What is a comfortable condition for my Taylor to be in (Humidity)

Discussion in 'Acoustic Instruments' started by Resonate01, Jun 16, 2013.

  1. Resonate01

    Resonate01 Member

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    So this is my first Taylor, a 310ce, and I'm terrified that my acoustic will get damaged. My acoustic usually stays in my basement with my other instruments. I must say it's quite a bit cooler in my basement than the other floors of my house. Not freezing, but just a bit cooler. Maybe a tad less humid too.

    I have no way of knowing what the humidity level is, but I was wondering if there is any way of knowing how to keep it from getting damaged.
     
  2. Curt

    Curt Member

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    Taylor guitars are happiest between 45% and 50% relative humidity.
    It's a really bad idea to try and guess the humidity level where you plan on keeping your Taylor.
    Drive to your nearest cigar / pipe shop and buy a hygrometer.
    $10 to $20 dollars.
     
  3. frquent flyer

    frquent flyer Member

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    Radio Shack has those gadgets too.
     
  4. snakestretcher

    snakestretcher Member

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    Unless your environment suffers from extremes of humidity or dryness I wouldn't obsess too much. Guitars are pretty tough creatures-certainly tough enough that a few flimsy pieces of glued wood can withstand a couple of hundred pounds of string tension trying to fold them in half!

    Keep your guitar in its case when you're not playing it, don't expose it to extremes of temperature, or sudden changes in temperature and, get yourself a hygrometer and an inexpensive humidifier, and use it if necessary.

    In the winter months when humidity is low in my home, I keep a small bowl of water near my guitar and replenish as it evaporates. Never had an issue with dryness/excess humidity in over 40 years of owning and playing many, many acoustics. Some arrived home very dry; notably a Martin CEO5 with a sunken top (a sure sign of excessive dryness). A week or so sitting next to my 'humidifier' and the top popped right back up.
     
  5. thiscalltoarms

    thiscalltoarms more gadgets than Batman. Gold Supporting Member

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    45-50% is definitely the ideal range. I bought a digital hygrometer on Amazon. I keep one in the room with the guitar and another in the Taylor case. Its hard to keep everything consistent, but I love my Taylor so I try to check on it atleast once a day.
     
  6. royd

    royd Member

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    just be aware that inexpensive hygrometers are notoriously inaccurate.

    If you watch your guitar and be aware of how it changes, that will give you a good idea. If the top starts to expand, too humid. If it shrinks and flattens or the frets start to feel sharp at the edges of the fingerboard, too dry. And how does it sound? An over wet guitar will sound dull. Too dry might cause some new buzzes. Then, the other piece is ho do you feel? If your skin is drying out, the guitar likely is as well. If it feels humid to you, the guitar likely agrees.
     
  7. WrapAround

    WrapAround Member

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    There are a plenty of good reads over at Acoustic Guitar Forum (http://www.acousticguitarforum.com/forums/index.php). As inaccurate a hygerometer may be, I can't see a reason not to have one in a case or in a room to get a ballpark figure of what the RH is. And I would agree that observing the changes in your guitar is a must. I have a small one in a case and a larger one in the room.
     
  8. JSeth

    JSeth Member

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    I think it's really easy to over-obsess about humidity... I see it all the time, over at the Acoustic Guitar Forum...

    Royd made a wonderful point... If YOU feel too dry, then your guitar probably does, too... same goes for temperatures...

    I realize that there are a lot of locations that experience radical humidity swings, from season to season... but, unless you live in one of those areas, there is no need to be all "freaked out" about humidity!

    Changes in humidity from day to day don't affect your guitar; it doesn't happen that fast, I'm afraid. PROLONGED exposure to low or high humidity can cause problems, no doubt about it, and I'm not intimating that it's not important to be aware of the humidity in your area/home.

    For what it's worth, I have been playing acoustic guitar for over half a century; I am fortunate to own several hand-built instruments and love them dearly... and the ONLY problem I have had from extreme humidity was when I lived on the island of Kauai for 9 months and did not know enough to adjust the truss rod... had to have the fret board removed and re-planed on my (then) fairly new Mark Angus #35. That was over 30 years ago, and, although I have traveled all over the States, I have lived mostly in the West.

    A modicum of awareness and a "damp-it" or other soundhole humidifer will suffice... I don't think I would keep my acoustic guitar in a basement, however, not unless I lived down there...
     
  9. danman

    danman Member

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    Although its good that we are afraid to hurt these instruments, they are actually pretty tough and not as fragile as you think. I wouldn't buy a meter or anything like that. Just know when the AC/Heat is running your humidity will be extra low, and:

    Keep it in the case.
    Your guitar will tell you if she's thirsty or too wet. Watch for signs(top warps, sharp frets, etc)
    Use a planet waves Humidipak. These are brilliant, no more sponge-soundhole contraptions. If dry, they'll humidify, if wet, they'll absorb.
     
  10. TheoDog

    TheoDog Member

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    I am a big fan of the Oasis Guitar Humidifier and Hygrometer set.
    You can monitor the current, min and max temp and humidity and the humidifier will not add moisture unless it is needed.

    Just remember to use distilled water.
    Maintaining regular humidify cation in an entire room is challenging, but nice.
     
  11. Jim Moulton

    Jim Moulton Member

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    45%-55%, I have an analog one That I reset every so often, I have almost ruined guitars, because of not watching humidity. If you have an all Laminate, you do not have to be as worried, they are not as fragile.
    Jim
     
  12. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    you probably have to go out of your way to hurt an acoustic by over-humidifying it (unless you live in the tropics) but it's all too easy to damage with dryness, the wood shrinks until you might split the top!

    (here in southeast VA it's fine in summer, but wintertime indoor heat sucks the moisture right out of the air, necessitating humidifiers.)

    taylor's site has good info about humidity and what to look for on the guitar.

    +1 to maybe not leaving the guitars in the basement unless it's in a comfortable 40%-50% range.
     

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