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I am suer that this subject has been discussed  many times. For anyone who is not tired of sharing answers... Now that I am actually in one place, above ground; for whenever I was wondering if there is a simple answer of whether it is better to leave our instruments (guitars and/or banjos etc. ) on stands without cases or with. I am more concerned with those that may not get played as frenquently as those that we play everyday.

Moisture, Dryness, Vulnerability, Geographical Region...tornado, flood, wind, extreme cold, extreme heat...beyond air-conditiioning and heat; I know are always concerns; as well as just forgettign to take them out for a walk once in a while.

So if one of y'all have a moment, I'd appreciate a new thought or rehash an old one, or a referral to something already here.

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Mine always stay in the cases unless they're in my hands, or I'm at a rehearsal or performance when I use a stand. I don't have a lot of room at my place, and also have a rambunctious 2 year-old boy running around, so better safe than sorry. Also, back in my late teens, I was living in a big house with a bunch of buddies, and had borrowed my uncles nice old Yamaha 12 string to do some recording with. Had it just laying around. A roommate went to move a bureau, and ended up knocking it over right onto the Yamaha completely demolishing the thing. Had to pay my uncle back, but never was really enough -- he had that guitar for 20 years. Again, better safe than sorry...

I'm in the "out of the case" camp. As long as the air around the guitar is kept relatively constant in temperature and humidity (in the 40-45% RH and 19-21C temp range) AND it is on a stand or hanger where it is NOT touching any dangerous material (like vinyl or that god-awful orange tubing) your guitar will be just fine. I prefer the guitars out where I can see them and PLAY them! I humidify my guitar room with a warm mist humidifier with an on-board hygrometer that I can set to 43% RH. I just keep the tank filled during the winter months. No fuss, no muss.

The other issue with having guitars in the case; I firmly believe that "binding rot" stems from the off-gassing of some binding materials not being vented because the guitar is trapped in the case. 

Dang! ... adding "binding rot" to my list of guitar-related anxieties ... :-(



It seems to mostly happen with late 50's early 60's Gretsch guitars. There is something in the binding material (celluloid?) that off-gasses and makes the binding crumble to dust. From the reading I've done on the issue, the best defense against binding rot is keeping the guitar out of the case where the off-gassing can dissipate. And also, if you have signs of binding rot, performing surgery on that section of binding immediately as it seems to be a form of cancer that will spread throughout the binding.

I had a Gretsch Chet Atkins Tennessean made in the early 60's. The materials used for the binding was the main cause of the deterioration of the binding. They  also have a problem with the wiring losing its covering over time, causing shorts. It's really nothing to do with being in a case, although I am sure the gas from that "antique" plastic is not good...FWIW, some pre WWII Gibson pick guards deteriorate like this, and that gas does have a bad effect on the wood finish.


  "binding rot"? Now I'm officially nervous since I store them in the case.

Mine are always in the case and I check the humidity at least once a week, especially during the winter. Even with our mild winter this year and the guitars in their cases, I notice the sponge drying out a lot quicker. Must be diligent. I have been practicing a lot on my Larrivee  recently and its sponge has been drying out a lot quicker than the others.and it is in the case when not in use. 

Hmmm ... okay ...

A quick glance at the geographic location of each poster responding seems to indicate that generally, those who live above the Mason-dixon Line feel that cases are mandatory and those who live below are okay with keeping the guitars out on stands or hanging on the wall

I suppose this would be perfectly logical ... except for the desert Southwest of course.

I am in the northeast, and winters here include radiators, heat and dryness in your apartment. So I keep guitars in the case during the cold months with a guitar humidifier, AND a wet cloth in a plastic bag (with holes in it) that I throw inside the guitar...the humidifier itself is not enough. If you don't do this, your guitar is very likely to crack...

In earthquake prone areas, I think you should leave your guitar in a case, flat on the floor, at all times you are not playing it...

btw I always use a hardshell case.

I want to "Thank" members for their input to what I thought was perhaps an "Obvious Answer" question. Today in SW Georgia we enjoyed the torrential rains and near miss of potential tornado devastation. I suspect that the "hardshell cases" I have would at least leave a legacy. Just would not have had time to put guitars into them. However, we have far...though I believe I will "Case Up" the instruments I am not actually using as a simple "precautionary measure." Besides my wife will appreciate the return of the space by the sofa. She threatened to put a cover and a lamp on top of them and call it a "Unique Coffee Table."

Thanks again...I do/did appreceiate your input.

All of mine are cased unless I'm playing them. Humidified in the winter with the Planet Waves string suspended plastic cage and sponge thingy.

I know that of you keep a guitar on a stand, it is more accessible, so you can pick it up and play it when the mood strikes you. But I keep my guitars in my bedroom, which is rather small, and I'm afraid of bumping into the stand and knocking over the guitar. So I keep them in padded gig bags when I'm not practicing. I also have two cats, who might think a guitar is some kind of cat toy. The little one likes to rub her paws against the case as if it's a scratching post, so she might find the guitar itself even more interesting. Better to keep it covered, for the safety of the guitar and the cats.


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