A reminder to hydrate your acoustics.

Discussion in 'Acoustic Heaven' started by Chunkocaster, Jan 16, 2020.

  1. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

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    Google how to calibrate a cheap hygrometer using a saturated salt and water mixture - it should be exactly 75% RH
     
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  2. DHart

    DHart Poster Extraordinaire

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    Good to test, but not all hygrometers can be "calibrated" - but with a known error, you can mentally factor that into what a cheap hygrometer reads. Not a bad idea to have several hygrometers anyway.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2020
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  3. eclecticsynergy

    eclecticsynergy Friend of Leo's

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    So those Boveda pouches work for a few months and then you discard them - not rechargeable?
     
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  4. DHart

    DHart Poster Extraordinaire

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    Reading humidity with great accuracy is very difficult, even with the most sophisticated instruments.

    Even if you can calibrate a digital hygrometer to the salt test, expect that the true accuracy of that hygrometer is likely no better than +/- 5% Relative Humidity - which is definitely close enough for properly maintaining a nice acoustic guitar.

    So, if your hygrometer reads 45% RH, it is likely actually somewhere between 40% and 50% - plenty fine, and perfectly safe for the acoustic instrument.
     
  5. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

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    A bit of irony. I build and play (and fix) acoustic guitars and I'm pretty anal about keeping all of mine in their cases and humidified. I have a couple of solid bodied electrics that I keep in cases for protection but I really don't worry about their humidity all that much - ie no sponge/baggie. I took my tele-clone out last night and notices that the fret ends were a bit sharp.....

    Today it went out to the shop and got the frets dressed a bit.


    And, DHart, yes, I know my hygrometers aren't dead nuts on but I know I'm in the ball park (or when I'm out of the ball park). As long as I'm somewhere between 40 and 50 I'm happy, short excursions above or below are OK.
     
  6. trev333

    trev333 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    It's about 35C with what feels like 90% humidity after a storm yesterday afternoon/night...

    I'm sure my old Ibanez on the wall beside me is drinking up as much as it needs right now,,,:)

    I broke a sweat typing this post..whew it's sticky,,,:oops:
     
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  7. swampyankee

    swampyankee Tele-Holic

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    While I was in a rock band and focused on learning covers, my Martin 000C-16GTE lay in its case untouched for maybe a couple years. When I did check on it I found the top was bowed up around the bridge area. I was shocked, and immediately detuned the strings to take the stress off the bridge. It came back, but I've been playing it with light strings and detuned a half step since.
    Now, reading about humidification, I'm thinking it was lack of humidity rather than strong tension that caused the bow?
    I'll get a couple soundhole humidifiers for them just to be safe.

    Sent from my SM-G970U using Tapatalk
     
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  8. Art VanDelay

    Art VanDelay Tele-Afflicted

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    I was expecting a meme of a pic of guitars soaking in a bathtub of Gatorade or something.
     
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  9. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    In my lounge room in Australia, It averages 50% humidity for most of the year but the air conditioner and fan can still upset things.
     
  10. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    :)

    [​IMG]
     
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  11. Greggorios

    Greggorios Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Definitely a good idea. Even the good ones have a pretty high fudge factor.
     
  12. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have left the humidifier in the sound hole all week with plastic over it, I've been playing it every night and checking how its going. It has absorbed three lots of the dampened foam. Every bit of distortion has gone from the top now and its sounding and playing great with a really low action about the same as on my electrics. I will just leave it on a stand in the hallway if I have the fan or air cond running now.
     
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  13. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

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    Update from my work bench. About two months ago a guy brought in a GS Mini with a crack in the top running from the bridge to the tail block. He wanted me to fix it and oh, yeah, could I adjust the action - it was a little buzzy. I said no, sent him away with a couple of my sponge/baggies, told him to call me in a month or so.

    Well, called today, brought the guitar back. The crack is tightly closed, the top has a nice little dome to it, the fret plane is right on top of the bridge like it should be. The guitar currently has two of my deep bridge clamps holding two little cross grain cleats under the top, tomorrow I'll clean it up (you can barely tell where the crack was) and restring it. I do need to make a couple of passes on the fret ends and I will check all the parameters, but I would say the guitar is back to perfect health.
     
  14. OldDude2

    OldDude2 Tele-Afflicted

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    Rain here west of Nashville followed by clouds followed by more rain...I believe we recorded our rainiest year on record. I can't gripe it's white and fluffy up north:p
     
  15. GGardner

    GGardner Friend of Leo's

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    Ok ok. I just guilt-ordered a D'Addario GH Acoustic Guitar Humidifer (sponge insert) and D'Addario Humidipak Two-Way Humidification System for my acoustic. And then impulse-ordered a bottle of Gibson guitar polish. You should get a commission.
     
  16. DHart

    DHart Poster Extraordinaire

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    Indeed, fine precision accuracy from a hygrometer is quite unnecessary... as long as you're in the general ballpark, life is good! :)

    I have four hygrometers and two of them read the same, one reads about one percentage off those two, and the forth reads about two percentage off of the first two - when doing the "salt test", range is 72 to 74 %. I'm quite comfortable that any of them is well within reason for gauging humidity of my acoustics, keeping in the 40 to 50% range.

    I do prefer the lively tones from a slightly dryer acoustic guitar, say 38-42%. It seems they start to sound less "alive" over 50%.
     
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  17. Bob Womack

    Bob Womack Tele-Afflicted

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    I've been watching the hydrometer. We had a couple of nights of 40% humidity but the temps is coming back up and with it the relative humidity. However, we usually don't get our cold snap until early February.

    Bob
     
  18. RoyBGood

    RoyBGood Doctor of Teleocity

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    It's the cover of ''BUT SERIOUSLY, FOLKS...'', his best solo album, imo. One of those albums that you can play right through without skipping any tracks. I love this record to bits!
     
  19. Marc Morfei

    Marc Morfei Tele-Afflicted

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    How important is it to control the humidity for electric guitars?
    I took a guitar for a setup to a new guy, and went on and on about humidification and how dry the guitar was etc. I always keep my guitars in cases, and rarely let them sit out. So I'm wondering how many of us keep our electric guitars in climate-controlled conditions. I'm guessing not very many. But I would be curious to know.
     
  20. idjster

    idjster VERY grateful member Silver Supporter

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    Wow! You're really lucky! I've seen some real messes from lack of humidity, though I've also seen a couple of real messes caused by leaking humidifying tools in guitars. I guess it all comes down to 'hydrate, but hydrate carefully'. I'm glad there was no serious damage to your guitar!
     
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