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Do you use a humidifier in all your acoustics?

Discussion in 'Acoustic Heaven' started by Telefan33, Oct 13, 2020.

  1. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    I'm on the east side, Wenatchee to be specific. For half of the year we have heat on in the house and for half of the year the humidity inside is less than 40 percent. I also carefully watch the RH in my shop and I'm very careful about the room where I store my wood - it is also my wine cellar and stays at 45% and 50 F year around.

    My message to everyone who has asked or is interested in humidity is to check it if you can (you can buy a cheap little hygrometer and calibrate it easily) and control it one way or another. I'm starting to look forward to more calls from people with sharp frets, wonky action and cracked tops.
     
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  2. jimgchord

    jimgchord Tele-Afflicted

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    In the case, yes. Film can with holes in lid, stuffed with damp sponge.
     
  3. Telacious

    Telacious TDPRI Member

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    Ever since I had a special run Martin GC dread (all solid wood) where the top sank down and the frets popped out a little at the edges, I use humidifiers in all my wood acoustics. Luckily, no cracks developed and I was able to get it back to normal within a couple of weeks by using heavily damp sponges in plastic containers stuffed in the sound hole and some spongey deals in the headstock side of the case. I've since sold that guitar.
    I now use the D'addario Humidipaks year round in my higher end guitar. They came with a nifty little bluetooth "humiditrak" hygrometer/thermometer for free. They keep the guitar right around 50% throughout the year and I can track levels on my phone. Recently I put one of the hanging sponge types in my dreadnought and will keep that damp until mid-spring. Best of all, I also have a carbon fiber that I don't ever have to worry about, yea!!!
    I don't bother with my solid body electrics.
     
  4. eclecticsynergy

    eclecticsynergy Friend of Leo's

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    I've kept a dampened sponge in each of my cases - electric and acoustic - for nearly fifty years now. I remoisten them once in a while when they harden.

    Several of my acoustics languished unattended in storage for years when I went through a divorce and the closure of my recording studios. The guitars were not happy about it, especially my old Guild MkIV. The ebony fingerboard shrank so much that not only did the frets sprout, the fingerboard actually pulled away from the top creating finish cracks. These weren't through the wood but the guitar needed a complete refret. Another old guitar developed several small cracks in the back and one in the top.

    Since then I take much greater care with the acoustics, and I keep them at home. I'm using the Planet Waves with the high tech sponge in my acoustic cases these days, in addition to the regular sponge they all get.

    Have considered the Humidipaks but I have many guitars so it would require something of an investment, especially with ongoing replacement costs.

    Electrics are far less demanding; they still just get plain old kitchen sponges. I haven't ever had fret problems on an electric due to excessive dryness. Still, if I lived in a desert climate I might choose differently.
     
  5. adjason

    adjason Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    I have a somewhat lower end Martin and a Guild 12 string. Never used any kind of humidifier- always keep them out of the case within reach. Maybe I've been lucky but I don't think I ever will-what did folks do in the 40's and 50's?
     
  6. FenderGuy53

    FenderGuy53 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yep. After I saw the cost to buy a 'real' humidifier, I accepted the challenge to make one.

    I bought a few of those clam shell, soap bar holders for travel, for under $1 each, drilled some holes in the top, then bought some kitchen sponges, cut them to fit, and a gallon of distilled water, and - voila!
    Mission accomplished!

    FWIW, I keep my humidifier in the body compartment of my acoustic case, thinking that the body wood and soundboard would be more susceptible to changes in humidity.
     
  7. FenderGuy53

    FenderGuy53 Poster Extraordinaire

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    I use a folded, white terry cloth towel, cut to size, to fit inside the body compartment of the case. The soap dish fits between the towel and case.

    Works great!

    Absolutely! ;)
     
  8. brashboy

    brashboy Tele-Meister

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    Not necessarily. It can get cold in central to northern florida, cold enough to destroy orange crops. During cold snaps, running the central heat can suck the humidity out of the room. I've had fret sprout in Gainesville and sunken acoustic tops.
     
  9. Audiotrove

    Audiotrove TDPRI Member

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    I have a very nice Aria Dreadnought AD-80 styled after a Martin D42. It has a lovely solid quartersawn Engelmann spruce top which I know for a fact is solid because it split straight down the front due to being displayed in a dehumidified environment.

    While I had it expertly repaired (no small cost), it ain't the same. It was a very depressing lesson in why nice acoustics with solid tops should be humidified when the air is very dry.

    I don't necessarily think laminate tops require humidity, but if you have a nice solid top acoustic, trust me when I say you don't want to find out the hard way why it needs proper care.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2020
  10. Audiotrove

    Audiotrove TDPRI Member

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    About 1.5" left of the center line, under the bridge. This is why you should humidify nice acoustics. Don't find out the hard way like I did.

    Aria AD-80.jpg
     
  11. brashboy

    brashboy Tele-Meister

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    When I lived in St. Louis I could get terrible fret sprout on electrics, even with a humidifier spewing.
     
  12. brashboy

    brashboy Tele-Meister

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    I doubt if temp and humidity dynamics have changed that much since then. I suppose they simply dealt with fret sprout, sunken tops and cracks. Or maybe they kept guitars in cases. Go back far enough and there was no central heat and air. These concerns seem to loom much larger today than back in the day. I'm 69 and I don't remember hearing or reading much about the humidification issue back then...

    Maybe some other older players can chime in here.
     
  13. PCollen

    PCollen Friend of Leo's

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    I live in Melbourne area....rarely a problem here, and then only for a few days at most.
     
  14. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    I'm an old player, started in the early 70's and bought a few nice guitars back then. I still have an early humidifier that came with my 74 D-18, it was a round red plastic box with some sort of clay like material that you soaked with water and put in the case. And the old hippie humidifier was half an apple in the case - if you got hungry at a gig you had a snack.
     
  15. harleytech

    harleytech TDPRI Member

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    I do !!!
     
  16. tortiseshell

    tortiseshell TDPRI Member

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    I think putting this is in a room is a must... removes the mystery. Had a bunch of digital ones and they all read differently. Read the fine print in their manual and the percent can be off by quite a bit compared to temperature. This is from stew-mac... most repair shops and luthiers I've been to have this unit visible... nothing digital about it, no batteries... great unit.
    https://www.stewmac.com/strings-and...onitoring/stewmac-hygrometer-thermometer.html

    My mantra... the case is the place. But once we are stable at around 45% all is good for hanging... winter is on it's way :)
     

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  17. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    ^^^ Google "calibrating a hygrmeter". You use a saturated salt/water mixture which will give a relative humidity of 75 percent. Most digital hygrometers have buttons to calibrate them - if they don't you'll know how much yours is off and its relatively linear.
     
  18. muudcat

    muudcat Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    all my acoustics get humidified, unwise to not
     
  19. vintageampz

    vintageampz Tele-Meister

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    " ...... humidifier in all your acoustics?"

    How do you get a Humidifier IN an acoustic?
    I've got to see this.
     
  20. El Marin

    El Marin Friend of Leo's

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    I live in Madrid. Madrid is a very DRY town. No problem here ever.

    Until you gig with an acoustic duo, witch I do. Years ago I got some top cracks in a superb Spanish Guitar.

    So, I got a hard case with an Hygrometer and a sponge thing with a foam that you wet between the strings. But just use it when I travel. As Madrid is dry, if I go gigging to the north coast, really wet, I put that thing full of water and when I come back to Madrid, I let it dry sloooowly again in the case. 20 years doing that and no crack ever

    [​IMG]
     
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