To case or not to case?

MikeKMikeK Asheville, NCNew Altamira M-10, Epiphone Zephyr Regent

I always leave my guitars in their cases when not in use. It's kind of an obsession, and like many obsessions, I'm not sure when and why it started. I wonder how others feel about this? I was feeding the other guitar player in my trio's cat recently while he was away and noticed his beautiful Dupont sitting out in it's stand. I'm drawn to the idea of being able to just grab it for my daily practice sessions without having to fumble around with the case. I realize it's a "1st world problem", but want to get the forum's take on this. Will I start having tuning issues on the bandstand if I stop storing them in their cases? Will it affect my beloved intonation and require more frequent setups/string changes? Or will life go on normally, with no noticeable difference, save for a little extra dust?



  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    Posts: 6,154

    @mikegnik In your climate I would definitely keep your instruments in a case when not in use (preferably with a case humidifier.) The dry, cold winters in Asheville can be hard on instruments, often leading to sunken tops and cracks. Keeping your instrument at 50% humidity will prevent those problems. The only caveat would be if you have a room or whole house humidifier which would allow you to safely keep your instruments out on a stand at all times.

    I've seen way too many guitars that have suffered terribly due to East Coast winters!


  • MikeKMikeK Asheville, NCNew Altamira M-10, Epiphone Zephyr Regent
    Posts: 385

    That's good information Michael, as always I appreciate your input. I'll follow your advice!

  • BonesBones Moderator
    Posts: 3,320


  • Posts: 4,776

    Humidity is a big one as Michael said. If I left my guitar on a stand and went on a trip that'd be the most stressful trip of my life thinking if I'm gonna return and find a split top. But if you have a good room humidifier, sure leave it out.

    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • TwangTwang New
    Posts: 415

    I’ve got into the habit of leaving the latches undone on my case. I’ve got away with it up to now but the climate where I live is temperate with no great extremes in humidity.

    When temperatures really drop, the heating kicks in, the air gets dry and you are in trouble. I’ve read loads of horror stories. A common one is pros on tour staying in hotels. They open there cases in the hotel to find a load of firewood and are stranded halfway round the world without a guitar to perform with. Makes you wanna buy a strat 😁

  • Posts: 283

    I use a whole house and room humidifier for that reason. Keep the Joe Pass out. It can probably handle the humidity change.

  • Lango-DjangoLango-Django Niagara-On-The-Lake, ONModerator
    Posts: 1,857

    My studio is in the basement and I leave ‘em all out... never had any problems yet...


    Paul Cezanne: "I could paint for a thousand years without stopping and I would still feel as though I knew nothing."

    Edgar Degas: "Only when he no longer knows what he is doing does the painter do good things.... To draw, you must close your eyes and sing."

    Georges Braque: "In art there is only one thing that counts: the bit that can’t be explained."
  • JSantaJSanta NY✭✭✭ Dupont, Gaffiero, AJL
    Posts: 262

    I live in WNY, and right now the furnace is running most of the day. The space I keep my guitars in has a room humidifier that keeps the space at around 45%-55%RH.

    I keep my Bumgarner and usually my PRS JA-15 out on stands during the day so I can grab one when I need a mental break from work, but at night, they go back in their cases with the D'Addario Humidipaks.

    The Bumgarner has not required any setup changes in the 7or 8 months I've had it, which I'm willing to believe is due to in part because I keep the temperature and humidity right around the same numbers.

    I was talking with my teacher (a well known/regarded player) about guitar storage recently during a lesson, and he's told me he's come back from tour during winter months to cracks in guitars because the humidifier wasn't refilled while he was gone, even though the guitars are left out of their cases in his practice space in the basement (Mid-Atlantic). The humidipaks are a relatively budget friendly option to keep our guitars happy. Even my solidbody guitars have a pack in the case to prevent fret sprout.

  • BonesBones Moderator
    Posts: 3,320

    Twang, don't leave your latches undone. I know a guy who destroyed an instrument when he forgot that the latches were undone and picked up the case. Easier to do than you might think.

  • TwangTwang New
    Posts: 415

    Many thanks Bones, duly noted. 👍️

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