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Searcy

Humidity in your guitar room.


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So it's getting cold around here and folks are cranking up their heaters and the air in their homes is becoming as dry as Death Vally. For your guitars sake do you pay attention to the temp and humidity in your house?

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I have unsupported suspicions that the humidity thing is overblown. I have owned and seen many guitars that have not been taken care of humidity-wise (or otherwise, for that matter) and have not failed, despite years of what some may call neglect. My buddy retrieved an old 70s Yamaha classical that had been stored for years in his dad's central California attic, and it looks, plays and sounds wonderfully - and remember, it has no trussrod. I think that if all the warnings about humidity were true, we'd be reading about related failures a lot more.

 

I am kinda there with you, my place has moderate stable humidity so I don't worry.

My fathers house is dry as a bone, and I have seen a couple of acoustics go to complete crap in that house as a kid.

So there is validity to it, but more over to acoustic than electric.

 

Anyone ever have an amp (all tube) who's tone would vary with weather?

My old kustom 36 coupe would sound good on clear dry night and like Crap on cloudy humid days....

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My guitar room is "the house". My old guitar room is now called "the baby's room".

 

I hear ya there....

I'll have to rent a space once we decide it is time to get pregnant.

As for now my "office" is my glorified guitar room / walk-in closet.

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I keep my playing area at about 68 degrees with humidity between 45% to 55%. When heating with wood it becomes more of a challenge. Then they all go in their cases with individual humidifiers.

I really believe it makes a big difference where I live.

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When I first started buying premium level guitars I was absolutely freaked out about humidity so I bought humidifiers because my house is heated by wood. I asked my guitar teacher about it and he told me that living at sea level in a moist area not to worry about it-I keep my guitars in the cases when not in use and care for them well,and they still look and play excellent. The only problem I seem to have is keeping the brightwork free of pitting and tarnish from the moisture-thank you for "FLITZ"!

I use the Gibson Reissue Restoration kit (cleaner polish and fretboard conditioner) and have never had a problem

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Up until 2 years ago I never really worried about it. I just thought adjusting the necks of my guitars with the season change was something that you had to put up with.

 

Then I got talking with a local tech friend of mine and he felt that especially in the north east winter the lack of humidity was a problem for guitars. He felt that any room with guitars on display should have at least 45% humidity.

 

So I figured as I've got a good bit invested in my guitars it might be wise to get a humidifier for the winter months anyway.

I gotta say it's done the trick for me. Every guitar neck has stayed just the way it was set up since I started my little experiment.

 

I'm not saying everyone is gonna have the same results but I'm a believer.

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I live in Alaska and in a heated environment here the RH can drop below 20% and lower.

 

I lost a nice Yamaha acoustic over one winter. It was unfit for anything but kindling when I took it out of its case.

 

I keep a hygrometer and humidifiers in both of my acoustic cases now and monitor them regularly.

 

It'd be a shame to reduce my J-185 to firewood due to inattention to humidity.

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How about posting all about "How to properly humidify a room and or a house" for the proper care of guitars and instruments..........

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It's really pretty easy. Add a humidifier to yer furnace, get some sort of metering for humidity. I use a three transmitter system that sends to the kitchen the temp/humid of the front yard, the back yard, and from the "studio" downstairs. Keep the humidity in the house where humans like it, somewhere around 50%, and your guitars will be equally happy.

 

rct

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Guest farnsbarns

I do but only because I have a small humidor in there for cigars and occasionally have cause to take the hygrometer out and I always get a reading of between 42% and 48%. Same goes throughout the house what ever time of year. Down here in southern England the amount of rain is about the same year round (close enough in respect of humidity anyway) and we all have gas fired central heating which doesn't dry out the air. Relative humidity takes a small drop in the summer but actually that is simply because warmer air is less dense and can hold more moisture which raises the dew point (100% relative humidity) so it's not a real change.

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OK, one more comment and I will shutup on the subject. Over the last 30 years I have been involved in class dragracing using a pneuumatic throttle stop to control ET on runs. As a part of this I own a fairly high dollar weather station that tells me where to set the timers for each run-(as races are sometimes won or lost by .0001th of a second. You can buy these instruments from any retailer that caters to the racing community. From rather inexpensive meters to very expensive depending on your needs. I use this stuff to keep track of humidity because my house is heated by a wood stove in the winter. Usually my house is in the 40-50% range and the nitrocellulose finishes on my guitars look just like they did when they were purchased. Just my opinion....

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Weather you heat with wood or not isn't really that important. A powerful, and constantly running AC unit can dry air out in your house as well. The point is that you need to know what the humidity is in your house. If it stays between 45 and 55%RH and there are not any drastic and rapid shifts then you are likely ok and don't need to pay much attention. But it's wise to learn what the situation is first. When I first starting building acoustics I have some very nice Indian rosewood sides split bad just sitting in my shop because it got too dry. Now I use two big Kenmore cool air humidifiers to keep my RH between 45 and 55% which I monitor with a quality hygrometer.

 

Right now it's 53%RH in my house and 72% outside. Last night it was 55% in the house and 91% outside.

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I pay attention to the humidity in the summer because I dont want my basement to mold. I keep my guitars down there as well so I'm not too concerned about the humidity in the winter. It gets considerably less heat from the furnace than the upstairs, yet generally stays warmer by a few degrees somehow. I kept the humidity at around 55 over the summer. I noticed that I didnt need to do any truss adjustments yet...but we have been getting a lot of rain lately so that may still change.

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I live in NE Ohio where the summers are hot and humid and the summers mean dry, forced air heat. I generally watch humidity, but I don't obsess. My Alvarez-Yairi has never been humidified a day in its life and has suffered no ill effects; conversely, a crack in the binding of my SG appeared, most likely because of very low humidity.

 

I keep my Yairi and my MexiTele out in all conditions; my Taylor, SG, and vintage Epiphone 12-string stay in their cases with a case humidifier.

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