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Guitars & Weather Tracking


RickGibsonDenver

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I've posted other threads about humidity and acoustic guitars, after I "Killed a Hummingbird" by leaving it out of the case during a dry arctic storm. Since then I've replaced it, kept it in a humidified case, bought an indoor/outdoor weather station, repaired the home humidifier system, and started tracking weather conditions and "guitar behavior".

 

I keep several electric guitars on wall hangers in the family room, which now is at a constant state of 35%RH, and 72.5F. I think the only variation is barometer pressure, so I've been tracking that, and here's what (I think) I've found. When the atmospheric pressure drops, my guitars all tend to go sharp. When it climbs, they go flat. I'm not completely sure why, although the cheapest in my collection, with the dainty, frail neck seems to accentuate more, while the Lucille responds similar, but lesser.

 

Can anyone with an accurate barometer and a Snark tuner try the same, and confirm my results?

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Yes, I'd mentioned the last time this came up about how it seems as though the guitar is like a big barometer. The old barometers have the words "Stormy" at the low end, and "Very Dry" at the high end. Your flat/sharp observations would align with the guitar drinking in moisture(expanding) and bending away, going sharp, and contracting (going flat) in the dry. Maybe we should re-label our old barometers with "Very Sharp" at the low end, and "Very Flat" at the high :).

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I leave my 'Frankenstein' guitar out in an unregulated room - and I would say your observations are spot on. High pressure here in the mountains seems to portend bright sunny days - dry dry dry, and its the Low pressure systems that bring the snow / rain, and therefore dump a bit of humidity into the air. Problem around here is that its mostly always sunny. What a problem, eh?

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My old Matao, which is solid wood, has never even had a case, humidifier, or any special care, has lived over 20 years in the dry desert, and has suffered no problems. I have no idea what year it is, but I am guessing late 70's. Perhaps the nicer guitars are more high maintenance.

 

Yeah, that's what I'm told over and over, give Gibson, Taylor and Martins very special treatment. My Chinese Ovation Celebrity ($200 w/case @ EZPawn) sits out on a wall hanger, the face (sound board) has obvious waves and ripples, yet it stays pretty much in tune, sounds decent and projects well with a heavy pick, basically never complains. I've also been told that if I give my Hummingbird a few years for the wood to cure, it will become a lot less "delicate". It will be out of warranty by then, so I won't take the chance.

 

Now you've done it, people will be starting threads on how to control

barometric pressure in there guitar cases and music rooms.

 

Go Wily

Oh, that would be way too easy.......

Construct an air intake vent with an electric fan, an air outlet vent with electronically adjustable louvers, then connect them to variable auto-pot switches that are activated by an in-room barometer... [thumbup]

 

So with constant indoor humidity and temp, the baro has dropped from 30.01 to 29.69 since my last tuning, and I'm roughly 1 1/2 frets sharp on my Charvel, about a fret sharp on my Lucille. (Looks like we're in for some nasty weather...)

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My old Matao, which is solid wood, has never even had a case, humidifier, or any special care, has lived over 20 years in the dry desert, and has suffered no problems. I have no idea what year it is, but I am guessing late 70's. Perhaps the nicer guitars are more high maintenance.

 

Those kinds of stories come up often with all brands in the mix. A Gibson in an attic for 40 years found with no problems. A Martin under a bed since the 50s found with no problems. And then there's been posts by people saying they've maintained their five year old guitar in perfect conditions only to find it one day with a crack. The luck of the draw. BUT, for those making sizable expenditures on nicer guitars it would be foolish not to take reasonable precautions. I've got an inexpensive old Yamaha from the 70s that had a cardboard case I threw out decades ago - never a humidifier, or any special care - it's just fine. But I do take reasonable precautions with my nicer guitars.

 

 

.

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The temp and humidity are constant where I keep them. It's got to be just the pressure.

 

 

 

 

Has anybody here played THEIR acoustic guitar in a plane at 30,000 ft? Just wondering what the cabin pressure does?

 

I haven't - too busy being the sweaty seat gripper nervy back seat driver type, like Woody Allen......

 

 

 

 

BluesKing777.

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