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Can music gear develop problems if unused for years?

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Can music gear develop problems if unused for years?

Postby Sosabba » Tue May 13, 2014 9:43 pm

Hi all

I was thinking today about a pair of FBT Verve 12M PA speakers I bought around 5 years ago. Shortly after buying them, the band I was playing in split up and I have not gigged since. So they have sat unused for 4-5 years.

I similarly have some mics and some outboard gear which has not been used for a long long time (some of it well over 5 years).

My question is whether any of this equipment is likely to suffer for not having been used for so long? It's all in my music room (spare bedroom) which has a pretty stable humidity (45-55%).

Any thoughts would be great.

Cheers

Max
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Re: Can music gear develop problems if unused for years?

Postby Exalted Wombat » Tue May 13, 2014 11:13 pm

Deterioration is possible, though not inevitable. Start checking!
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Re: Can music gear develop problems if unused for years?

Postby hollowsun » Wed May 14, 2014 12:58 am

Anything can go wrong, often for no apparent reason.

Speakers are usually fairly robust but can suffer if the cones get damp (or little children poke their fingers into them! :)). Cigarette smoke can impede speaker cones but you'd be talking abut a 40 a day habit for a good few years (cigarette smoke can also damage mics ... in excess). Excessive heat can dry out cones as well making them stiff and less flexible.

But if your speakers have been kept in a fairly dry environment (i.e. not down some damp basement), I am fairly confident they'll be ok. If it's any consolation, a relative needed some speakers and I dug out a pair of old things that were in a cupboard for years - they were fine and still being enjoyed today and sound fine.

Just try 'em out!
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Re: Can music gear develop problems if unused for years?

Postby James Perrett » Wed May 14, 2014 12:12 pm

Sometimes electrolytic capacitors can dry out a bit and need re-forming and rubber parts can deteriorate but generally these processes take much longer than 5 years before they become a problem.
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Re: Can music gear develop problems if unused for years?

Postby Dr Huge Longjohns » Wed May 14, 2014 12:50 pm

What can happen often is that pots eg rotary volume or tone controls etc will become noisy and scratchy if they're not turned for a while. Sometimes this can be resolved with some switch cleaner and a bit of twiddling of the affected control. Not sure if your speakers have anything like this on, obviously.
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Re: Can music gear develop problems if unused for years?

Postby CS70 » Sun May 18, 2014 3:37 pm

With electrical kit, there's also tin whiskers which may create shorts with time (but independently from whether or not you use the equipment)
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