I have recently purchased an analog synthesizer (the DSI OB-6 Desktop). Unfortunately, the only place I can place it is on a window shelf which has a water-heated radiator below it.

I have read that musical equipment should be placed away from radiators (this has previously been covered here and here) as they may cause detuning. I'm not sure if there can be other problems, like something affecting the wood or material of the instrument.

My understanding is that the detuning primarily comes from temperature changes, not heat per se.

I am therefore wondering if I'm ill-advised to place the synth at this location? Is it alright as long as the radiator is always on, or should I turn it off (at the detriment of getting a chillier room during winter)?

Furthermore, I'm also concerned that the proximity to the window will further lead to more extreme temperature changes as the temperature variability during winter can be several tens of celsius. Although thermodynamics even out temperatures in a room, I find that it can sometimes be somewhat cooler by a window.

  • 2
    Windows, even double glazed ones, can attract moisture, and if it's South facing, will also make the equipment get rather hot on Summer days. Where is the property?
    – Tim
    Nov 26 '18 at 11:16
  • 2
    That is an expensive and high quality instrument. If it were mine, I would happily move furniture around to make sure I had a better place to put it. In front of a window above a radiator sounds like the worst possible place. Except perhaps in a shower. Nov 26 '18 at 12:37
  • @ToddWilcox Because of moisture and/or temperature swings from the window? The radiator can be turned off if needed.
    – P A N
    Nov 26 '18 at 12:38
  • Possible duplicate of Do instruments get out of tune when you place them near a radiator?
    – icedtea
    Nov 26 '18 at 13:56
  • 1
    Yes, because of all the things that can happen near a window that can be bad for musical instruments. Temperature, moisture, sunlight - and that's assuming the window is never opened. Nov 26 '18 at 14:34

Whatever you do, do not put it next to a window or a radiator. Move furniture and stuff to make room for it. Also, don’t put it in the basement, if you have one.

Explanations as requested: The radiator emits heat. The window provides moisture. The heat bends the wood, and the moisture alters the wood shape. Obviously, the synth will not stay in tune. I don’t suggest the basement, because if isn’t finished (and even if it is), due to wildly varying temperatures and humidity, the wood will alter shape. This condition exists with all instruments (especially ones containing or made of wood, such as a piano or violin). If you need to put it somewhere which has highly varying temperatures and/or humidity levels, I suggest you get a humidity controller.

  • 1
    I agree - although some finished basements are quite safe for musical instruments. It depends on the basement, in my experience. Nov 26 '18 at 14:32

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