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Humidity


cliffmac

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Six or seven things come to mind that could be causing your buzz. I imagine you can ask on the internet and get illustrated explanations which might help you figure it out, or else you can wait for the knowledge to come flowing from forum members. Either way, don't jump to conclusions. Did you know that it's possible to overhumidify a guitar? That's the eighth thing I can think of.

 

You can always take it in for a good ol' fashioned set up.

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Northern Ontario, eh? Probably a bit dry as you say. Humidifier in the sound hole, perhaps one up by the headstock, keep it cased when not in use. You may give the truss rod a 1/4 turn tweak (counterclockwise) to give the neck a wee bit more relief which may alleviate the slight buzz. I have a few guitars that need this seasonal adjustment in the fall/winter when the humidity here averages in the single digits.

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Of course I'm looking for the knowledge one can only find here. As for the over humidify thing there is no bulge or swelling of any kind, I checked first with a straight edge top and back. the bridge plate does seem a bit low to me though this is what leads me to think the wood is dry and on the edge of cracking. Its been in the case since I posted this and will remain till tomorrow when I can check again and after I buy a hydrometer for it.

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Im in Calgary Alberta.. I use two per guitar... 1 worm, 1 pad without the plastic ring.. I take those off.. to much force could crack around the sound hole.... or the style the dangles between the strings.. I always leave my guitars in there cases and closed .. keep away from outside walls and off of concrete.. and off of Floors.. the guitars should be in the 48 % humidity, at 65 degrees min.. No higher than 80.. thats where they swell..

 

we have issues with dryness, cold, summer time, well anything can happen.. cold, warm around here all the time..

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Im in Calgary Alberta.. I use two per guitar... 1 worm, 1 pad without the plastic ring.. I take those off.. to much force could crack around the sound hole.... or the style the dangles between the strings.. I always leave my guitars in there cases and closed .. keep away from outside walls and off of concrete.. and off of Floors.. the guitars should be in the 48 % humidity, at 65 degrees min.. No higher than 80.. thats where they swell..

 

we have issues with dryness, cold, summer time, well anything can happen.. cold, warm around here all the time..

 

I know that with the cold snap my dear wife has the heat higher than usual and that's fine. I keep it in the closed case when not playing and I hope things will be ok. I might be getting excited for nothing maybe string guage or a truss rod tweak will be the cure.

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I finally broke down today, seeing my humidity in my office creep down from 50% to 38% over the last week or so. It will be about 10 degrees tomorrow night, and the humidity will get closer to 30% if it does...

 

So out came my inexpensive Vicks friend, and I closed the door to the office...

 

http://www.amazon.com/Vicks-Warm-Mist-Humidifier-Shut-Off/dp/B001FWXKTA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1388621253&sr=8-1&keywords=vicks+warm+mist

 

(remember to use distilled water).

 

I bet if you get the humidity up in the room you keep your guitar, your buzz will go away. I like these humidifiers because I like to keep my guitars out. I know I will play them much less if they are in their cases with sponges.

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I'm glad to know there's a vibrant luthier community in north Ontario. I still think your guitar needs the pro touch. I have a similar clime on the north side of the Catskills. Single digits tonight and tomorrow. High of 0 F on Fri. My house is part woodheat part hot water baseboard. The humidity in my guitar room (away from the wood heat) is 25-30% all winter long. Current guitars are early to mid 1930's and many old flat tops have hung here under these conditions, never cased or humidified, yet I've never had problems with noticeable changes in action, tone, tuning, or structural integrity.

 

Just lucky, I guess.

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I'm glad to know there's a vibrant luthier community in north Ontario. I still think your guitar needs the pro touch. I have a similar clime on the north side of the Catskills. Single digits tonight and tomorrow. High of 0 F on Fri. My house is part woodheat part hot water baseboard. The humidity in my guitar room (away from the wood heat) is 25-30% all winter long. Current guitars are early to mid 1930's and many old flat tops have hung here under these conditions, never cased or humidified, yet I've never had problems with noticeable changes in action, tone, tuning, or structural integrity.

 

Just lucky, I guess.

 

I miss the old woodstove use to sleep so much better, I always found the electric or gas to be a dryer heat. I couldn't wait and checked the guitar the buzz is gone so maybe the cold last night and it warming up from 4 am to now is what it needed and maybe the added humidity helped.

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Humdity the solution

 

 

 

Bryn, those are just about the best videos I've ever seen on this topic. It also points out why you should not be in a hurry to re-glue cracks until you thoroughly re-humidify a dried-out guitar.

 

Good lessons for all.

 

Wood shrinks and expands significantly across the grain, less so along the grain, by the way. When I was working on wooden boats, the rule of thumb for a 1" (25mm) thick by 12" (300mm) wide and 12" (300mm) long oak board was that it would shrink almost 1" (25mm)across the grain in going from green (fresh cut) to air-dried, but only about 1/8" (3mm) in length. It also loses a significant amount of weight while drying.

 

PS- I wish I could get the nails on my picking hand to grow and hold shape like Bob Taylor's!

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I've been using the Humidipacks by Planet Waves (no affiliation) with good success. They aren't cheap but they work. I've considered getting a room humidifier but I have a 100+ year old house with no insulation so trying to humidify our old drafty rooms seems like it would be problematic. The nice think about the Humidipacks is that they add or remove humidity as needed.

 

Tom

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I've been using the Humidipacks by Planet Waves (no affiliation) with good success. They aren't cheap but they work. I've considered getting a room humidifier but I have a 100+ year old house with no insulation so trying to humidify our old drafty rooms seems like it would be problematic. The nice think about the Humidipacks is that they add or remove humidity as needed.

 

Tom

 

after seeing the humidity register -- on my hygrometer for the last few days, i broke down and bought the humidipaks. certainly easy enough so far but i worry about the humidity hitting 50% (if the paks are capable of doing so as the label indicates). I think that's too high in my experience and 40% would be ideal.

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after seeing the humidity register -- on my hygrometer for the last few days, i broke down and bought the humidipaks. certainly easy enough so far but i worry about the humidity hitting 50% (if the paks are capable of doing so as the label indicates). I think that's too high in my experience and 40% would be ideal.

 

50% won't hurt anything in any way. Too high is almost always better than too low in any case, unless the guitar is floating in water. But 50% is not even remotely too high.

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50% won't hurt anything in any way. Too high is almost always better than too low in any case, unless the guitar is floating in water. But 50% is not even remotely too high.

 

Should have been more clear in my comment about 50%. What I meant is essentially I feel like the two guitars I play most often sound better in winter than summer. I suppose perfect world I'd like the humidipaks to be 35-40% rather than 45-50% but maybe some would say 35% is too low. Hasn't been my experience though.

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Should have been more clear in my comment about 50%. What I meant is essentially I feel like the two guitars I play most often sound better in winter than summer. I suppose perfect world I'd like the humidipaks to be 35-40% rather than 45-50% but maybe some would say 35% is too low. Hasn't been my experience though.

 

A lot of acoustic guitars sound better in lower humidity. In some ways, however, the question is not just how they sound and play, but what is going to be best for the guitar.

 

In your case, they sound better in winter because the inside humidity is lower due to heating your home. In my case (Florida), my guitars generally sound better in summer, when the central air conditioning runs and the interior humidity is fairly steady at 45-50%.

 

Right now (January) the inside temp is 73F (about 23c), but with no AC (or heat) running, the interior humidity is 73%. I have to re-tune daily if the humidity varies more than about 5%,

 

High humidity= high action= guitar goes sharp. Low humidity, the opposite.

 

In the summer, most of my Gibson flat-tops only get re-tuned once a week or so. I've pulled my old J-45 out of the case after a month in the summer, and it's still in perfect tune. Changes in humidity dramatically impact tuning and action.

 

When I was young, we were oblivious to temperature and humidity when it came to guitars. Sometimes we know too much for our own good.

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