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Humidity   You are logged in as Guest
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Sirjoe

 

Posts: 4
Joined: May 29 2006
 

Humidity 

I'm thinking about ordering a new guitar and I want to make sure I don't have
problems with humidity since my present guitar has developed a bowed neck.
What's the best way to protect a guitar against extreme changes in Humidity? Are humicases the answer? Do those humidifiers placed in the soudhole work? Are there room appliances that could do the job?

Sirjoe
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 14 2006 5:28:21
 
mrMagenta

Posts: 942
Joined: Oct. 25 2006
From: Sweden

RE: Humidity (in reply to Sirjoe

I'm also interested in this. Swedish winters = very dry home climate because of heating... I have been keeping my guitar in its case, together with a humidifier placed in the soundhole, still the fretboard shrunk and cracks started developing along the top. I noticed it in time to save the instrument, but it was a nasty suprise.

My teacher has an automatic humidifier to keep a certain air-moisture in the room. I've seen guitar-shops using these as well. They look like laser-printers only with a funnel pointing upwards from the top. 1200/6 = ca 200usd is what they go for at the hardware-store here. I think i'll get one, not only to keep instruments happy, but also to feel better myself.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 14 2006 5:59:57
 
Ricardo

Posts: 13234
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: Humidity (in reply to Sirjoe

The key is simply take care and inspect your guitar every day. In the dry cold season, I have to put more humidity every 3 days, or else. All my guitars in their cases when I am not playing them.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 14 2006 6:29:36
 
Anders Eliasson

Posts: 5780
Joined: Oct. 18 2006
 

RE: Humidity (in reply to Ricardo

Yes, exactly. Take care.

First of all buy a hygrometer, so that you can messure humidity. Do it!!!!!

If you can stay above 30% in your home, Ricardos way with humidifiers in the cases should be ok. If not, a humidifier like the one MrMagenta has seen is a VERY good idea.
I will advice a cold mist humidifier, they are a bit more expensive, but they only use some 60 watts when in use, a hot mist use around 400 watts.

_____________________________

Blog: http://news-from-the-workshop.blogspot.com/
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 14 2006 7:49:08
 
JasonM

Posts: 1773
Joined: Dec. 8 2005
From: Baltimore

RE: Humidity (in reply to Sirjoe

What about those soundhole humdifires? is a case humidifier and gauge good enough or are those more efficient?
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 14 2006 21:54:20
 
ricecrackerphoto

Posts: 265
Joined: Feb. 5 2006
 

RE: Humidity (in reply to JasonM

i have an older case with a planet waves in case humidifier. i left town recently for five days, filled up the humidifier and closed the case. we had a long spell of santa ana winds here in LA which means non-existent humidity and tons of brushfires.

i returned to find that my fretboard had shrunk and that where the fretboard attaches to the soundboard, the finish has whitened in a couple of spots indicating some movement. no cracks as far as i can tell. the planet waves thingie was bone dry.

i am absolutely furious but there's no one to blame but myself. not much else for me to do but to buy a humicase and perhaps a room humidifier.

my jesus bellido blanca is only six months old. DON'T LET THIS HAPPEN TO YOU!

doug
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 14 2006 22:37:30
 
Sirjoe

 

Posts: 4
Joined: May 29 2006
 

RE: Humidity (in reply to Sirjoe

Thanks for all the input. I will definitely get a hydrometer first thing. By the way,
does anyone know how a humicase works as opposed to just a case?

Sirjoe
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 15 2006 5:57:04
 
JasonM

Posts: 1773
Joined: Dec. 8 2005
From: Baltimore

RE: Humidity (in reply to Sirjoe

I was looking into it after Doug mentioned getting one. The only difference I see with that case is that is has a pocket above the sound hole for one of those humipods. That looks like the only thing. I think I might just get the pods and meter and stick it in my case as opposed to buying the new case.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 15 2006 21:20:41
 
ricecrackerphoto

Posts: 265
Joined: Feb. 5 2006
 

RE: Humidity (in reply to JasonM

well not that i'm ecstatic over the humicase but i think a major difference with it is that it has a rubber strip along the edges so that when it closes, its a tight seal keeping all the moisture in.

i'm still shocked that i had humidity damage after five days but my case is an old school VGV case and there was only one planet waves pod near the headstock.

as anyone in the SoCal area knows, the past santa ana period wasn't even that brutal or long but when i picked up my guitar and felt all the frets sticking out of the neck, i knew bad things had happened. but this is the LA desert, not sure it'll get that drastic in bal'more!

doug
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 15 2006 23:58:58
 
Anders Eliasson

Posts: 5780
Joined: Oct. 18 2006
 

RE: Humidity (in reply to Sirjoe

Doug

Sounds like a rough week for your guitar. In a desert area, I would always advice you to Have your case humidified, Have a hygrometer in the room where its stored and a room humidifier to back up.

In cold areas things can get even worse. Concrete houses with central heating in cold winter areas is about as bad as it gets. Everything dries out even yourself.

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Blog: http://news-from-the-workshop.blogspot.com/
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 16 2006 8:08:49
 
JasonM

Posts: 1773
Joined: Dec. 8 2005
From: Baltimore

RE: Humidity (in reply to Sirjoe

Hey Doug, that seal in the Humicase would be a good feature. I'm sorry about your guitar. I hope its ok now? I just got a used guitar from someone in Southern CA and it has some cracks in the finish from low humidity. I don't want anymore! Over here, I'd say its pretty humid. But like Anders said, in the winter it can be pretty dry in the house. My skin gets pretty dry so I worry about my guitar too.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 16 2006 20:05:57
 
itoprover

Posts: 339
Joined: Jan. 3 2006
From: Ottawa, ON

RE: Humidity (in reply to Sirjoe

I use this Planet Waves humidifier http://www.planet-waves.com/NewsDetails.aspx?ParID=3114 and it works great for me so far. Only $12 and I always have 48-50% humidity inside y cheap Gator case when it is 23-27% in the room! Always have it in a case in headstock section and put it into soundhole every other night (not every night).

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Ilia
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 17 2006 8:18:29
 
GregF

 

Posts: 3
Joined: Jan. 10 2007
 

RE: Humidity (in reply to Sirjoe

In his book "Classic Guitar Making", Arthur Overholtzer states that he cured his humidity problems by treating his wood with a water proofing solution before building. Once the wood was dry from waterproofing, he then built and finished the guitar using the normal methods. After that, he had no problems with humidity.

I assume that the treatment had no effect on the sound quality, or he would not have continued to do it.

Has anyone tried this?
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 12 2007 16:30:31
 
jrabbani

 

Posts: 192
Joined: Jun. 28 2006
From: Los Angeles

RE: Humidity (in reply to ricecrackerphoto

wow, that sucks doug...i haven't had any problems with the weather and my guitars in the past month, or at all for that matter...but these santa anas blow!
juben

oh yea, are going to see paco in feb?!
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 12 2007 18:16:23
 
ricecrackerphoto

Posts: 265
Joined: Feb. 5 2006
 

RE: Humidity (in reply to Sirjoe

hey juben,

i'm going to be out of town for pdl unfortunately but if this gig falls through then i'll get a last second ticket if i can. where are you sitting?

any my guitar's humidity problems got even worse. i ended up getting a crack in the back while i was away for the xmas holidays. actually it was more like a fissure since part of the wood was warping. i took it to german vasquez rubio who is going to repair it. he's going to have to insert a sliver of wood into the crack, sand and refinish the back.

also he said that of all places for it to crack, the back was the best and least important. i hope so!

from the graf-martinez site:

"An important aspect is the region where the guitar comes from and which climate it is ”torn away” from. There is an old saying, ”La guitarra de Granada suena (sounds) en Granada, la guitarra de Sevilla suena en Sevilla.” A guitar from Málaga, a town on the coast, won’t survive the first winter without cracks in the wood in a normally (for us) heated room, where air humidity often drops below 40 per cent. The same conditions wouldn’t harm a guitar from Madrid because it is very dry there."

is that really true? well it seems like my granada bellido had a rough first seven months acclimating to LA.

and maestro rubio's assistant paid my bellido a great compliment. he picked it up, played if for a while and then asked where i got from, how much it was, and then told me it was a great sounding guitar and a great deal. even with the back fissure!

doug
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 12 2007 23:45:25
 
jrabbani

 

Posts: 192
Joined: Jun. 28 2006
From: Los Angeles

RE: Humidity (in reply to ricecrackerphoto

I'm sitting about 8 rows back..so not too bad, wish i was closer though..
yea german knows his stuff, I plan on taking my 82 pantoja to him for some adjustments, and his assistant is a real nice guy, he let me play all of these custom order guitars from various pros in the US...I mean he was handing me one brazilian custom after another...man was I scared.
anyways, good luck with your gig, and take care of your bellido!

juben
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 13 2007 2:09:16
 
RobJe

 

Posts: 727
Joined: Dec. 16 2006
From: UK

RE: Humidity (in reply to Sirjoe

I don't think that humidity is such a problem in the UK - at least as far as serious damage goes. If other UK guitarists have different experiences I would like to hear of them. I keep guitars in their cases and that's about all. However I would like to know if anyone has any information about how changes in humidity affect the sound quality of a guitar. Sometimes after playing one of my guitars for several weeks and deciding that it is my favourite, I pick it up and it sounds very dull. Could this be humidity or am I going mad?
Rob
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 13 2007 9:43:14
 
Reece

 

Posts: 21
Joined: Oct. 31 2006
 

RE: Humidity (in reply to Sirjoe

I live bang in the middle of the UK, and on receipt of my new guitar I purchased a humidity tester. So far the humidity in my centrally heated house has been 40-48%.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 13 2007 11:03:48
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