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Old 11-09-2009, 10:36 AM
sunvalleylaw sunvalleylaw is offline
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Default How to open/acclimate guitar that has been shipped.

Hi all, it is a new guitar day for me! Sorry if this has been addressed before, but I did not find it with some searches if it has. I will soon receive my 1996 Martin SPD-16TR. It has been shipped here to Idaho from North Carolina, beginning last Tuesday, so that is almost a week in trucks and warehouses. It came from the western mountains of NC, not on the coast, so at least it will not be a coastal to desert humidity change, but nonetheless. Also, we are entering late fall/winter here, and it is chilly. Currently 25 F, and expected to reach the mid 40's today, and should be mid 30s by the time I receive it. 58% humidity though, so that is a plus!

I was planning on letting it sit in the box a half hour, then open the top or side of the box and let it sit another hour or so, then feel the case to see if is still cold to touch and if not, take the case out and let it sit for an hour or so, then crack the case for another little while. Basically take the work day from 11 or so on (when I should receive it) to open it up. Sound good? Overkill? Any other suggestions?

Thanks!

I will do a separate new guitar day thread when I can have it out and snap a pic or two, and have had a chance to play it a little.

Last edited by sunvalleylaw; 11-09-2009 at 10:41 AM.
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Old 11-09-2009, 11:30 AM
T-Bone028 T-Bone028 is offline
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I dont think it should be that much of a process for acclimating a guitar that has been in transit...I would probably unpack it, check for damage, stick a soundhole humidifer in it for good measure, and close the case back up. I would then let it sit for a day or so, re-tune, let it sit for a couple of hours, and then enjoy.
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Old 11-09-2009, 11:39 AM
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The 16 series has the Geib-style case, correct? i don't think that style case would hold the cold for all that long. I would just take it out of the box, and let the guitar sit in the unopened case for a couple of hours before opening.
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Old 11-09-2009, 11:47 AM
sunvalleylaw sunvalleylaw is offline
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I am not sure about what style of case is what. I will pull it out here pretty soon and let it sit. I may throw a home made humidifier in too in a while. I have to work all day anyhow, so it can sit til this afternoon and warm up. Should be plenty of time I guess. Thanks for the feedback.
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Old 11-09-2009, 12:06 PM
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I just yank it outa the case and strum and finger pick, even if it sat in the delivery truck in 100 or even 0 degrees all day, and play and they usually arrive in tune.....OOPS... I was thinking Carbon Fiber...sorry... Continue on without me...
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Old 11-09-2009, 12:18 PM
sunvalleylaw sunvalleylaw is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billv View Post
The 16 series has the Geib-style case, correct? i don't think that style case would hold the cold for all that long. I would just take it out of the box, and let the guitar sit in the unopened case for a couple of hours before opening.
Shipping box is now open and it turns out it has the thermoplastic Martin case. Will just let it sit a while.
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Old 11-09-2009, 12:20 PM
Martin_Nut Martin_Nut is offline
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As it is likely that you guitar sat over the weekend in storage at low temperature, be careful. Go slowly. Once you open the case in room temp whatever is going to happen will happen. It's the shock of the warm air meeting the cold guitar that does damage.

Depends how low the temp was and how long the box "soaked" at that low temp. If it got well below freezing, I'd leave the box alone for a few hours at room temp, then open the box and check to see how cold the case felt. Don't open the case yet. If the case was really cold I'd leave the guitar in the case for at least 2-3 hours, maybe longer, before opening.

Rapid temp change is what you are trying to avoid here. Humidity is not at issue until you get the thing safely unpacked, and then it's more a maintenance issue than an issue that will immediately cause irreversible damage.

Good Luck - and have fun!
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Old 11-09-2009, 12:23 PM
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If the temperature is....comfortable outside, or inside the delivery truck it should be safe to open it. If it's cold I let the box sit until the outside of the box feels like it's the same temperature as the room. Then I take the case out of the box. If it feels cold I let it sit 30 minutes or so after it's reached room temperature.
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Old 11-09-2009, 12:29 PM
Buck62 Buck62 is offline
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DANGER WILL ROBINSON!!

DO NOT OPEN THE BOX UNTIL IT HAS TIME TO WARM UP TO ROOM TEMPERATURE!!!


BaylinerCapri had a thread on this last winter when he opened up the box too soon on his new Martin D-35 and the top immediately started to get spider cracks in the finish.

Here's the thread (with a link to pics) on why you should definitely wait several hours on a cold day to open up a new guitar...

http://www.acousticguitarforum.com/f...d.php?t=142081


.
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Old 11-09-2009, 12:35 PM
sunvalleylaw sunvalleylaw is offline
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Thanks you guys. I have all day at work before I can play it anyway, it got here at 10:30. So I will wait until later in the afternoon to open the case. The box felt warmed up to the touch so I opened it, but the case feels cold, especially the metal strips on the thermoplastic case, so I will wait until the case itself, plastic and metal, feels warmed up for a good long while. As I said, I have all day anyway before I can really check it out.
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Old 11-09-2009, 01:22 PM
1folksinger 1folksinger is offline
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Default Open Up The Box

I have had the joy of receiving 5 different instruments via UPS, or the U.S.Mail. In each instance, I opened the box and checked out the guitars within the first five minutes. (Except for that one time my 1939 00028 Martin was "dropped" over my locked gate onto my patio in the drizzling rain.) That turned out okay, because it was in a large brown shipping box and case, which protected everything just fine. The last guitar I bought from a fella in Ohio, where he told me it was hovering in the "10's" and I'm here in California, where it hovers in the high 70's! I had it shipped overnight by the U.S.Mail...and when I opened it, it was slightly on the cold side, but otherwise it was perfect. In each case, all the guitars were just fine (and still are.)
In my experience, the whole "waiting thing" is just a bit overly cautious. When makers build an instrument, hopefully they are using aged wood and fine craftsmanship that will last for years and years to come. If a little change in temp. throws the thing out of tune, tune it. If there's a bit of a difference in humidity, so what? Let common sense dictate. If you're comfortable, your guitar is comfortable.... should you need to add moisture or create an environment that's a little dryer.... go ahead. To me it's more important to check out a shipped instrument right away, just in case there's a real shipping problem or damage. I suppose I've been very lucky to never have any damage done to any of the five I've gotten over the years. I will add that they have all been either Martins or Collings, and all survived the changes without incident. 1 folksinger.
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Old 11-09-2009, 03:11 PM
Brackett Instruments Brackett Instruments is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1folksinger View Post
I have had the joy of receiving 5 different instruments via UPS, or the U.S.Mail. In each instance, I opened the box and checked out the guitars within the first five minutes. (Except for that one time my 1939 00028 Martin was "dropped" over my locked gate onto my patio in the drizzling rain.) That turned out okay, because it was in a large brown shipping box and case, which protected everything just fine. The last guitar I bought from a fella in Ohio, where he told me it was hovering in the "10's" and I'm here in California, where it hovers in the high 70's! I had it shipped overnight by the U.S.Mail...and when I opened it, it was slightly on the cold side, but otherwise it was perfect. In each case, all the guitars were just fine (and still are.)
In my experience, the whole "waiting thing" is just a bit overly cautious. When makers build an instrument, hopefully they are using aged wood and fine craftsmanship that will last for years and years to come. If a little change in temp. throws the thing out of tune, tune it. If there's a bit of a difference in humidity, so what? Let common sense dictate. If you're comfortable, your guitar is comfortable.... should you need to add moisture or create an environment that's a little dryer.... go ahead. To me it's more important to check out a shipped instrument right away, just in case there's a real shipping problem or damage. I suppose I've been very lucky to never have any damage done to any of the five I've gotten over the years. I will add that they have all been either Martins or Collings, and all survived the changes without incident. 1 folksinger.
Waiting isn't about the wood, it's about the finish. Sudden temperature changes will cause some finishes( expecially Nitrocellouse Lacquer) to check, or crack. Sudden changes , cold to warm are what causes the most damage. Since you're in a fairly warm climate you'll likely never have a problem.


Added/ I doubt I'd ever have a problem here in NC except on the coldest days. Most problems caused by opening the case too soon happen up North where it's really cold.
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Old 11-09-2009, 05:42 PM
Martin_Nut Martin_Nut is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1folksinger View Post
I have had the joy of receiving 5 different instruments via UPS, or the U.S.Mail. In each instance, I opened the box and checked out the guitars within the first five minutes. (Except for that one time my 1939 00028 Martin was "dropped" over my locked gate onto my patio in the drizzling rain.) That turned out okay, because it was in a large brown shipping box and case, which protected everything just fine. The last guitar I bought from a fella in Ohio, where he told me it was hovering in the "10's" and I'm here in California, where it hovers in the high 70's! I had it shipped overnight by the U.S.Mail...and when I opened it, it was slightly on the cold side, but otherwise it was perfect. In each case, all the guitars were just fine (and still are.)
In my experience, the whole "waiting thing" is just a bit overly cautious. When makers build an instrument, hopefully they are using aged wood and fine craftsmanship that will last for years and years to come. If a little change in temp. throws the thing out of tune, tune it. If there's a bit of a difference in humidity, so what? Let common sense dictate. If you're comfortable, your guitar is comfortable.... should you need to add moisture or create an environment that's a little dryer.... go ahead. To me it's more important to check out a shipped instrument right away, just in case there's a real shipping problem or damage. I suppose I've been very lucky to never have any damage done to any of the five I've gotten over the years. I will add that they have all been either Martins or Collings, and all survived the changes without incident. 1 folksinger.
Woody said it right - I live in Calif too, and have received over 20 nicer guitars over the past few years via all three big shippers. In Winter you are probably pretty safe opening an overnight shipment from back East, as it has probably not sat long enough to really soak up the cold. But you are very right to say "use you common sense". If you are receiving a nitrocellulose finished guitar (i.e. pretty much all Martins) you need to be particularly careful about abrupt temperature changes. If in doubt, give it some extra time before opening the case.
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Old 11-09-2009, 06:03 PM
verbs4us verbs4us is offline
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Default How soon, Lawd, how soon?

Robin, at Guitar Gallery in Nashville, recommends letting the guitar acclimate in the case for 24 hours from hour of arrival. The one thing you know is that you never know how long, how cold, how hot, how dry and how humid the conditions that it went through. But no matter what, in 24 hours, regardless of the case, it will reach whatever ambient in is in your ambiance and you will not expose it to any shock upon opening and you both will live happily ever after.
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Old 05-28-2019, 10:07 AM
VTexan VTexan is offline
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Default I'm taking shipment

...of a New Jersey guitar to here in San Antonio. It will have been warm in both places, of course.

Question: I suspect it will have been in a FedEx delivery vehicle with air conditioning provided by the vehicle's open windows. If said guitar is delivered to my air conditioned office, is that enough of a temperature differential to be concerned about?
Follow up: If that IS enough of a differential to be concerned about, would opening up the package outside in the shade be sufficient?
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