Question about guitars and humidity

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Sonic Reducer, Dec 12, 2005.

  1. Sonic Reducer

    Sonic Reducer Member

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    I keep my two guitars in my basement. It's been pretty cold here and the heat has been running constantly which really dries things out. I have a hygrometer and the humidity is at 30% Is that an ok level? Usually in the summer, spring and fall it's around 50%, but with the heat running it really dries things out. I keep the guitars out of their cases.

    Any tips or suggestions?
     
  2. I'd get them out of the basement and then I would keep them in the case. Treat your guitars like you treat yourself. If it feels comfortable for you, the guitars should be fine. If they're electric solidbody, I wouldn't worry at all, but I'd be nervous with some acoustics.
     
  3. george4908

    george4908 Member

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    30% is low, 45% is generally considered about ideal. Depending upon the size of your basement, a smallish room humidifier should take care of it. I'm using an Air-o-Swiss. Takes care of things and it's dead quiet. I refill it about once a day.

    Low humidity does affect solidbody guitars -- the necks can move around affecting the action. I notice it especially on Fender-style guitars. Humidity also affects the tone of your amp's speakers. Too much and things get muddy, too little and they can sound harsh.
     
  4. Rich

    Rich Member

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    The low humidity will also cause "fret sprout" -- that is, when the ends and the tangs of the frets start sticking out from the edge of the board. In really bad cases you could also get frets to "pop" (lift off the board). Basically, the wood contracts, the metal doesnt and voila.
     
  5. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    >> If it feels comfortable for you, the guitars should be fine.

    >> 30% is low, 45% is generally considered about ideal.

    >> The low humidity will also cause "fret sprout"... the wood contracts, the metal doesn't and voila.

    Bingo, bingo and bingo. These guys nailed it. Get that child out of the basement!!
     
  6. Wes_k

    Wes_k Member

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  7. Rich

    Rich Member

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    Yes, they help the body and are certainly better than nothing. But no, they dont do anything for the neck.

    Some guys use a case humidifier. Its a small canister filled with water- absorbing material. In a closed case it supposedly keeps everything happy through evaporation.
     
  8. mbratch

    mbratch Member

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    No and yes. ;) You may be quite comfortable in 25% humidity or less, but a good acoustic guitar may not be happy there. 45% is a good number to shoot for, as others have mentioned.
     
  9. mbratch

    mbratch Member

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    For case humidification, I've used a sponge inside a zip lock sandwich bag with some small slits cut in the bag.
     
  10. TheMiz

    TheMiz Supporting Member

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    I just bought 2 new Fenders at a oHIo dealer who was going out of business after 37 years.
    I never noticed the sprouts until I got home, Their store must have been VERY dry now I need to reverse the damage.

    I have oftened wondered about those little brown bags in a guitar case just what do they do?
     
  11. tmihm

    tmihm Member

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    I just bought a Planet Waves Humidipak for a new Taylor. I've only had it a week, so I can't really comment yet. Supposed to keep it at a consistent 45%....I've read reviews good and bad.

    That said....what's a good source for getting a hygrometer for inside the case? I have a digital one in my guitar room, but wanted a small one so I could really check it. Bought one yesterday at a cigar store, but it was 10% higher (humidity reading) than my other one!

    Any good recommendations? Any better or worse than others?

    Thanks!

    Terry
     

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