humidifiying an acoustic guitar in winter...

Discussion in 'Acoustic Instruments' started by lv, Dec 17, 2005.

  1. lv

    lv Supporting Member

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    forced air heat has got my house pretty dry....any tips? do those dampit things work? or should I get a room humidifier?

    thanks
     
  2. jimmybcool

    jimmybcool Supporting Member

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    Hi,

    I am no expert but I am fighting the same issue. I live in Arizona and it is DRY here now. And I bought two xpensive new acoustics last month.

    I am using a room humidifier and it does raise the humidity. I am trying for 50% but forget it. Can't keep it there. The heat blows in dry air and then I open the door to go play with my stuff and that lets out the humidity and the humidifier runs out of water sometimes (my bad)

    I also use in the case humidifiers. The McPherson came with a case system with a hygrometer and humidifier. I use that. The Martin I use this thing (don't know name) that slides between the strings into the soundhole.

    If you have a newer instrument it is more important. I asked the guy at the store why my old Guild which sat in its case in the house for 8 years without humidity control wasn't effected.

    1) It is 30 years old and already dry enough.

    2) The old D-50 Guilds were built like tanks.

    Anyway, long winded but yeah, if you have a new acoustic I would get a humidifier.
     
  3. sws1

    sws1 Member

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    I just got a honeywell humidifier ($50 shipped) that I put in bedroom. I've moved all guitars in to the room. Puts out so much steam I was able to get it up to 75% humidity when I first used it. Now I have it dialed back to deliver about 55%. All in a pretty big bedroom.

    I'm not cracking the top on any guitars like I did to my Taylor last year.
     
  4. retro

    retro Member

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    I posted this in another thread but...I use a couple of plastic travel soap dishes with snap top lids from Target. Drilled holes in the lid and cut a sponge to fit inside. I put them inside the case and it works quite well. Room humidifiers are nice.
    I had a soundhole humidifier but it dripped inside my guitar once.
    If I remember correctly I think it was the guys at the Podium who tipped me on using the travel soap dishes.
     
  5. jimmybcool

    jimmybcool Supporting Member

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    Well I got a question.

    I bought "cold" humidifiers for my room. Are the steam ones better?
     
  6. neve1073

    neve1073 Member

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    You need a good case that will provide a seal. Then inside the case compartment you need to put a cigar humidifier.
     
  7. AnthonyL

    AnthonyL Silver Supporting Member

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  8. Gazza

    Gazza Member

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    I'm in Colorado, at this altitude just about as dry as anywhere. I keep my guitar room humidified at 50-60%. I also use the kyser sound hole humidifiers in each guitar.
     
  9. Avenger

    Avenger Member

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    I have a whole house humidifier on my heater, but I still like to keep my Taylor in the case with a Dampit for the entire heater season. I think Dampits work just fine. Just squeeze the water out of the sponge and there will be no water drippage. The other suggestions about cigar humidifiers and the soap dish with sponge sound like great suggestions too.
     
  10. mrfjones

    mrfjones Member

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    I use a dampit right now but the cigar humidifier sounds like a very good idea to me too
     
  11. LesPaulMan

    LesPaulMan Member

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    I keep a small humidifier going in my bedroom, and usually have it set to where the humidity is in the low 40% range. Never had a problem at this level with any guitar.
    The only time I would REALLY start to worry is if the level ever approached the low 30's (or lower).
     
  12. rodr55

    rodr55 Member

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    I use a dampit, just make sure to squeeze all the water out and dry the outside. You also want to make sure you don't over humidify. I would get something to measure the Humidty such as the Lacrosse Wireless Temperature and Humidity Station (http://www.lacrossetechnology.com/).

    On the Collings guitar site there is some useful information on guitar care and feeding: http://www.collingsguitars.com/carefeeding.htm
     
  13. riffmeister

    riffmeister Gold Supporting Member

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    April Aire whole house humidifier......it mounts on the furnace. Works very well.
     
  14. elambo

    elambo Member

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    Been using the Planet Waves wedges here in Chicago. It's almost impossible to keep the room up in the 40% range, but hopefully, with the wedge, the case itself is fine.
     
  15. syxxstring

    syxxstring Member

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    I use the little clay deals in the plastic boxes and the planet waves humidity system. Yeilds about 55% for my Breedlove.
    The Breedlove care and feeding instructions say not to use the body humidfiers because they over humidify the body.
     
  16. Chris Rice

    Chris Rice Member

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    I have a 20 gallon fishtank with a fairly large opening in the back. With a bubbler going, I lose a little over a gallon of water due to evaporation every week and my bedroom has been at 45-60% all winter. It has been unusually warm, so less heater than normal.
     
  17. Ganderson

    Ganderson Member

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    Holy Smokes...

    I had no idea owning a decent acoustic was so high maintenance. I am gearing up to buy one but is it really necessary to control humidity to this degree? Does this only apply to all solid wood instruments? Will it damage the instrument if you don't control humidity carefully? I am very curious about this.
     
  18. sws1

    sws1 Member

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    Yes - My mint condition Taylor 810 which spent the winter in my living room at 20-30% humidity developed a 6 inch crack right through the wood and finish. And by crack I mean I should shove something between the crack into the body. Fortunately it was covered under warranty.
     
  19. Ganderson

    Ganderson Member

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    :eek:

    It's been REALLY dry in Texas this winter...

    *rethinks getting all solid-wood guitar*
     
  20. Den

    Den Member

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    I use a cool air room humidifier from Sears that easily keeps the humidity in my home studio above 50% and what I really like is that its almost silent when its running ... I have to get right next to it to tell if its running.

    When the Santa Anna winds come through, I find myself filling it more often, but it's become such a habit, I don't even think about it anymore.

    One big advantage ... since I got it, I spend a lot less time retuning my guitars and fooling around with seasonal set-up changes.
     

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