Other Guitars

Most Stable Guitars Throughout the Seasons


Being it's been quite cold lately (and pretty dry in my house w/ its forced hot air heating) I've been refilling the humidifiers in the cases of my hollowbodies each week (the 6116PTV is a bit bit more thirsty than my thin bodied Casino). Which brings me to this question: what guitars do you find are least effected by weather changes (temp, humidity, etc). Of all my guitars (Gretsch 6116PTV, Epi '61 Casino Reissue, FNG LP copy, Squier CVC Tele and Rickenbacker 620/6) the most impervious to these changes (ie action/feel/set-up stays the same w/o tweaking) is somewhat surprisingly the Rick 620/6. However when you look at the materials and construction of the Rick it really isn't that surprising (neck through construction, maple body and maple neck). If I didn't know better, I would have assumed it would be the Tele.


My Strat and Tele seem to resist the weather changes better than my other guitars.

Most affected are my acoustics. But not my Ovation. I could throw that thing into the fireplace for an hour and it would come out unscathed. Those things are built, really built.


Necks with binding.


My Gretsch 6116PTV that has an unbound ebony board has been the most susceptable to "fret sprout" during the dry winter months. This year I've been able to keep the fret sprout to a minimum by using an Oasis case humidifier.


A Rainsong would probably withstand weather issues pretty well.


I leave the Ric in the case most of the wetter months, and so far, so good. No issues when I do haul it out. As for the others, the Takamines and Fender acoustics seem to hold up well, and the pair of Squiers haven't had any issues. My Chet, which spend almost two decades in it's case as a Broken Toy, seems to do okay in our wet winters, too.

We don't have much of a cold problem here on the island, but we do get a lot of wet. So far, all has been okay.


With any guitar, keeping it in the case seems to definately help. On the Rick site, some folks believe that Ricks hold up pretty well in different temps, etc due to the use of the same type of wood for both the body and necks and the density of the maple they use while other guitars are usually made of a combination of different woods. I have no idea if there is any scientific validity to that. Maple would still contract or expand in reaction to temp and/or humidity changes.


As for Rics, my 4001 holds well, once the truss is set, it doesn't move at all… For other basses, graphite rods in the necks really do make a difference.


How did the guitar legends manage their guitars during their formative years?


I find that my 2 Gretches (MIJ Poly))as well as my Martin D18 ('76 lacquer) seem fine through the dry season. I am forever tweaking Fender necks it seems. It is amazing how they seem to drift in and out of spec. I have a whole house humidifier as well as a room humidifier going this year due to the excessive dryness here in NE.


Currently my 64 Corvette is rock solid no matter the time of year, as is the Parker Fly. I had a Taylor Acoustic that also never changed.


My BST is the most solid, as far as staying in tune throughout changes in weather and humidity.


We're having the coldest February ever here in Toronto, with humidity way down. I've placed Planet Waves Humidipaks in all my guitar cases (G6136TLDS, G6120SHTTV, G5420, Taylor 528E Acoustic) and they are holding up perfectly. I cranked the central humidifier (on the furnace) to around 50%, and the guitars are fine. My Tele seems fine, with no humidipak. I bought a bunch of StewMac humidity and temp sensors and keep one in each case, too.

Humidipaks are expensive, but they add or subtract moisture, as needed, and are spec'd for guitars. Highly recommended.


I only subject my Tele's to awful weather. Mainly because they look better when abused than a Gretsch or a Rickenbacker. They are the Timex Watches of guitars...Take a licking and keep on ticking.


Necks with binding.

– CBell

True unfortunately.....or so it seems if one inspects my Gibson Firebird.

My Strats seem to be the best. To be honest though, my Black Phoenix is now enduring it's 6th winter and seems fine. I keep the room it's in at 60 degrees the whole(or most of the time) winter.


My RainSongs asked me the other day: "What is this heat and humidity you speak of?" Now admittedly, Southern California a few miles from the beach isn't exactly the home of weather extremes, but you can take a RainSong anywhere, and it won't mind. The only guitar that acts like a barometer is my Americana Way Out West, which develops pokey fret ends and unplayably low action when it's dry (I keep a saddle shim in the bag for those days), and becomes playable again when that changes. For a $49 guitar, I don't complain.

My Reverend guitars hardly ever go out of tune, let alone need neck or action adjustments due to weather. For the most part, the Gretsches are the same way.


My most stable guitars are the ones that are older than me. They hardly move, which makes sense.

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