Humidifiers too much, too little ??

Discussion in 'Acoustic Heaven' started by Tomm Williams, Apr 18, 2019.

  1. Tomm Williams

    Tomm Williams Tele-Holic

    Jun 11, 2016
    Ok please be patient..... true this may have been covered before but I’m still confused.
    I just bought a Martin Road Series acoustic and want to keep the top from cracking so I bought a small humidifier for my room. The region I live in is quite dry most of the year so this seemed like a good move.

    Now I see reference to suggestions of a 40% (approx) humidity level to protect an acoustic but....... how long is it safe to remove the guitar from that environment (gig) before the guitar dries out excessively? Hours? Days?

    The Road Series guitars are not that pricey but expensive enough to protect. This region probably averages 25% humidity most of the time.
  2. corliss1

    corliss1 Friend of Leo's Platinum Supporter

    Sep 13, 2008
    Lansing, MI
    Michigan winter survivor here.

    Remember, it's wood. You can do every possible thing right and it'll still crack and move and shift. With any brand of any solid wood type. It could also be crack-free for the next 100 years. Get a little case humidifier when you go to gigs and you're good. Play a gig for 4-6 hours isn't going to cause damage.

    Get as close to 40ish% as you can in the area where you keep it and you're doing alright.
  3. Route67

    Route67 Tele-Meister

    Jan 14, 2017
    The Road Series are more “road worthy” than the Standard Series, a little heavier built and sound good and you can play them hard - I like ‘em.

    As long as it’s kept in case with humidification it should be safe when out and in use for several hours at a time.

    Rapid changes in temperature and humidity is more to be avoided with the Standard Series because of the thin nitro finish.
    Gabrielle84 likes this.
  4. JL_LI

    JL_LI Friend of Leo's

    May 20, 2017
    Long Island, NY
    I use a Road Runner case for my #1 acoustic. The case has a soft nylon outer shell and a thick foam inner bolster. The bolster provides good thermal insulation. I’ve had no cracking , no signs of stress and no finish issues. My house doesn’t really dry out and is rarely wet. The case protects the guitar well enough to leave it upstairs. I think the Road Runner case would give good protection to and from a gig from both mechanical and weather related damage.
  5. Milspec

    Milspec Friend of Leo's

    Feb 15, 2016
    My 2 cents worth:

    1. Get 2 gauges to track your humidity levels. They can be off by 8-10% between brands, so with 2 you can at least get a better idea where it is.
    2. You want to keep the temperature pretty steady as well. 40% RH in a cold room is a bad thing and can cause a very damp room. Looking for 70 - 74 degree and 40-45% Humidtity on a consitent basis.
    3. A good case for gigs is a must and adjust the environment of your vehicle before loading up. I have seen the finish melt on acoustics that were carried to a closed up car parked in the Sun.
  6. BryMelvin

    BryMelvin Tele-Afflicted

    Jan 4, 2014
    Arivaca AZ
    I have guitars that I have had for Fifty and more years that have been on Guam , The Arctic ,and Arizona etc.
    Just get humicases or a quality add on case humidifier. Don;t worry about the short times at gigs, but don;t leave them unprotected out in the sun either. That can cause a crack in minutes!
    Stubee likes this.
  7. Stubee

    Stubee Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

    Jan 22, 2007
    I’ve owned Gibson flattop guitars since 1972 + a whole host of Martin and Taylor guitars. I live in Michigan but have traveled with them down to Florida and out to the mountain SW, plus elsewhere. My guitars live in a fairly controlled to very uncontrolled spot, ranging from a house with central AC in summer to a cottage with none, plus camping trips and winter in MI to coastal FL. I’ve never had a guitar crack or whatever by following a few simple things.

    I have Damp-It and soundhole humidifiers that I put in my guitars when the humidity gets down to about 30%. On a brand new guitar I might start doing that at 35% or so. In MI that’s in the winter with forced air heating.

    In the summer at my cottage I don’t do anything. It gets pretty humid but the only real issue is a bit of ‘swelling ‘= the action rises a bit. If it’s cold and dry camping I’ll use a humidifier.

    I just came back from an extended stay at coastal FL where the humidity is very high. I let my guitar sit for a couple days in its case when I got back so it could get used to my much drier MI house.

    You can take your guitar outta the case and play it if you’re doing the above in any conditions for the whole day. I play mine everywhere, including outdoors in any conditions I can stand in regular clothes without wearing gloves.

    There’s a huge amount of ‘info’ on the Internet these days on guitars + humidity that would lead one to believe that a flattop will implode if it’s not kept under controlled conditions. It’s mostly BS, as the existence of a whole bunch of vintage flattops that never saw a humidifier testifies. Just take reasonable care of yer guitar and enjoy it.
    Milspec and Route67 like this.
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