Set neck vs. bolt-on in cold weather

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Set neck vs. bolt-on in cold weather

Postby playingdead » Sat Apr 11, 2009 4:56 pm

Played a large outdoor show today up in Vermont -- big stage, large system. It was cold out -- probably 40 degrees when we set up, mid-upper 40s when we were playing. Heaters on stage, but it was still cold up there.

My Tiger would not stay in tune, period. Whole thing was shifting constantly; I'd tune up the strings, by the time I was done and checked going down, the whole thing would be off. Used it for about three songs, took out my backup Stratocaster with the Garcia wiring. It was better, still kept going out, but much better than the Tiger.

We set up at 10 am or so, went on at 12:30. About a 3-hour drive to get there, athough the car was heated. After sound check, I had left the Tiger out on its stand while the first act went on, hoping it would acclimate. After the first set, I tried tuning it up again, no go, same deal. Pretty much unusable. The Strat seemed to settle in a little bit better. By the end of the second set, my damn fingers were so cold I could barely play anyway.

What's the norm, here? Is a bolt-on less susceptible to cold weather than a set neck?

I should've brought a Travis Bean, but damn, that metal neck would've been freezing.

And the damn strings on the Strat were about 3 years old, it was torture playing that thing for three hours!
Last edited by playingdead on Sat Apr 11, 2009 5:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Set neck vs. bolt-on in cold weather

Postby playingdead » Sat Apr 11, 2009 5:27 pm

Guy on another board posted a photo of me and the guitar from today, shortly before I gave up on it ... I look a little annoyed at it. LOL

Image
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Re: Set neck vs. bolt-on in cold weather

Postby Emoto » Sat Apr 11, 2009 7:39 pm

Holy crap, the Killington gig was TODAY??? :shock: Too early for an outdoor gig in that neck of the woods. For some reason, I thought it was later on in the warm weather, and had made a mental note that it would be a fun motorcycle ride to head up there for that. Frankly, I think even a Bean would have given you trouble. 40s is way too cold, IMHO. Sorry to hear it was such a drag.
Such a long, long time to be gone, and a short time to be there...
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Re: Set neck vs. bolt-on in cold weather

Postby playingdead » Sun Apr 12, 2009 5:23 am

Well, you know, they stick a big stage and huge sound system at the foot of the mountain, and then they blast Dead up the slope for the spring skiers.

The first year we did it, we played outside, it was a kind, warm day, in the 50s, a little chilly, but it was fine. Second year, it was nasty out, they moved it inside to the base lodge. That year was chaotic, it was three bands, pretty disorganized, just one set each. Last year, it was just an acoustic duo and us, and the forecast was bad, so they set it up inside, but it turned out to be a nice day outside. This year they decided, outside rain or shine. The weather was nice, it was chilly, but sunny, pushing 50 for the high.

They had an outdoor show there last weekend, the sound guy told me they were having 100 mph wind gusts. So, we got lucky, in a sense ... LOL
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Re: Set neck vs. bolt-on in cold weather

Postby Rusty the Scoob » Tue Apr 14, 2009 9:10 am

You definitely got lucky. I was hiking in VT both days and Sunday was snowing and over 20* colder with at least 30 mph wind gusts most of the day. Although they would have put you inside for sure in that case, so maybe you weren't so lucky after all.

About the stability - what kind of Strat is it? I've found that basses with graphite or steel stiffeners in the neck are far more stable than those that are just wood with truss rods. I think the newer Am. Standards and similar strats may be built that way.
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