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Guitar Humidification

Discussion in 'Acoustic Instruments' started by flaminguitarman, Feb 8, 2019.

  1. Bluedano1

    Bluedano1 Member

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    I remember owning the 'Dampit' tube, with sponge inside and pen clip to attach to soundhole or strings
     
  2. Barnzy

    Barnzy Member

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    London On
    I would first buy two or three cheap hygrometers from your local home improvement stores to get an idea of what you are dealing with humidity wise. Take some readings. If one just reads guitar forums like me, they could be left assuming that every guitar needs a humidifier...big mistake! My music room never drops below about 40% in any season and can climb as high as 65% in a wet spring/summer day. Now that is my situation and you should find out yours to know what you need to correct. But anyway...on the cheap, a "snap lid" soap holder travel box with a damp (...not soaking wet...) kitchen sponge inside can't be beat. Drill a few small holes in the lid for moisture exchange.
    I have seen a few guitars with watermarks left inside from leaking "dampit" hoses in the guitar. I'd be careful with that product IMO. There are some better "no leak" options from Oasis and Planet Waves.
     
    Bluedano1 likes this.
  3. Bluedano1

    Bluedano1 Member

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    Yup,
    That's why years ago, I switched to the simple Planet Waves one you squeeze between strings/soundhole and 'soapbox' sponge
    Truth is my acoustic ( cheap Martin D-1) has spent 99% of 26 years out of its case- played almost daily.
    But am now babying a brand new ( solid RW) Blueridge (in its case/midifier) protecting from evil Winter!
     
    Barnzy likes this.
  4. Barnzy

    Barnzy Member

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    Nice setup for you now. I made the mistake of constantly humidifying an already wet guitar because I didn't know enough and apparently didn't care to learn what to look for. I paid the price with over-humidity repairs. My bulging top started splitting the binding away from the soundboard. Now I am the first guy to preach about overhumidity!
     
  5. tammuz7000

    tammuz7000 Member

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    May 17, 2011
    Location:
    State College, PA
    I use the kyser in all my acoustics and it works great. I run water over it weekly and ring it out and put back in the guitar. I also use a ziplock bag with holes punched in it with a sponge and put under the headstock. The guitars are always stored in their case when not being played.

    I also use a room humidifier. I try to keep the room above 45-55% as well. It’s somehing you have to do to take care of your guitar.

    If you get the kyser take off the plastic ring so it slips in the guitar easier and make sure it’s not dripping when you put it in.

    Tom
     
  6. HughesP

    HughesP Member

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    Location:
    Canada
    Taking care of an acoustic and humidity can be a big deal.

    I've made all of the mistakes, it would seem, over the years.

    I have a guitar that has been seriously messed up from years of "trying" to humidify it, and having seasons of missing the mark pretty drastically in either direction. After 20 years, it has finally settled and become stable, but the geometry of the instrument is all off, it's virtually unrepeatable and my $4000 guitar is now worth around $400 if I disclose all of the issues (I'm too honest to do otherwise).

    First - as noted, get a hydrometer (or several). Know what the conditions are that you are dealing with - both under and over humidifying can cause issues. Take the guess work out. I'm quite fascinated by the new planet waves in-case hydrometer with bluetooth, so you can check on the conditions INSIDE the case, with the case closed - and it can send you warnings for when the humidity is too low.

    Once you know the conditions of where you love, THEN you can start to make better decisions. You may also find that certain rooms are naturally more humid.

    Here's some options:

    Room humidifiers:

    These are more expensive than a single case humidifier, but might be worth investing in if you have multiple guitars. It's also good for your skin & breathing!

    BUT Where I live currently, winter can get extremely dry. Like 10-15% humidity. A room humidifier is helpful, but most humidifiers are not enough. ALSO, I have learned that in extreme cold (like below -25 Celsius), having too humid a house can result in excess condensation, so while the humidity might be good for your guitar, 40-50% humidity in my house, where I live, will lead to water damage spots on my ceiling, around windows, and behind walls - potentially leading to mold situations, and poor ventilation. Not a problem in warmer environments, but if you live somewhere that has cold spells like that in the winter, it is worth considering. During these times, my guitar very much live in their cases. Otherwise, I'm stuck with house repair bills that can easily be more than the cost of a guitar, a long with potential health issues caused by black mold!

    Be contrast, if you like somewhere with lots of humidity (like 65% and up), you may need a dehumidifier. Do note, though, that if you are somewhere hot and humid, and have air conditioning, that the air conditioner might already be taking away enough humidity - so again, make sure you have a hydrometer (or a couple) to keep an eye on things.

    I literally moved from a super dry climate, to 100% humidity for 5 years, and back. Needless to say, my guitar was not happy with that treatment.

    In Case Humidifiers

    Beware of dampits (those green hose things with a sponge in them). If you live in a really dry climate (like I do) they don't hold enough moisture, but they also tend to leak/drip. I used these a lot in my "issues" guitar. The case hydrometer often thought the humidity was okay, but some parts of the guitar were drying out, while others were getting wet. The guitar has clear signs of water damage in addition to dryness issues. I realize some of this is user error, but I'd rather use something that doesn't have those risks.

    I really like the OASIS humidifiers. They have ones specifically for dryer climates. The planet waves ones are okay, but the OASIS ones seem to work better for me. I like how they start to crinkle, so you can visually see when they are starting to get dry, and they hold A LOT of water, while being generally drip free.

    I know a number of them claim that they will also absorb moisture if things get too humid, but I haven't seen evidence of this in real life. A home dehumidifier is still more effective.

    The biggest plus of having an in-case humidifier is I don't have to worry as much when I travel with my guitar. I play with an artist who, in addition to doing shows, will often do a few acoustic radio performances to promote her shows, so I need to bring an acoustic with me. If I just had a home humidifier, my guitars would get subjected to some pretty terrible stretches of dryness.

    The biggest downside to the in-case humidifiers, for me, is that the guitar is living in its case. I know it shouldn't be an issue, but it just results in pulling out the guitar less often. It's also easy to forget about checking on them, so things can get super dry without your knowledge.

    No matter what you do, make sure you have ways to remind yourself to check on the humidity, replenish your humidifier, etc.
     
    Beagle1 likes this.

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