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Humidify Your Acoustic

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It's that time of year again here in the North. Since there are so many people here getting new acoustic instruments, I thought I would post this reminder. Many may never have has solid wood guitars before and as a result not be aware of the importance of humidifying.

When it's cold out and the heat comes on, the air dries out and so does your guitar. All sorts of things can happen when the wood in your guitar dries out. These include buzzing, tuning instability and in extreme cases cracking. There are many guitar humidifiers available at music stores. Rather than go through all of them as online reviews are readily available I'll just say I've tried many over the years and I've settled on the Oasis sound hole humidifier.

 

Humidify your acoustic instrument.

 

Happy pickin

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Good advice.

 

I just poured another gallon of water into my humidifier, and the weather station shows 69 degrees and 49%, which makes me feel warm and happy.

 

Cheers.

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Inside the soundhole where the unfinished wood lives is the place to humidify. I got a little man with a damp sponge inside my AJ who is in charge, just need to feed him once in a while.

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Hey folks. I recently was given a '69 Gibson Heritage. It has lived in our dry Colorado climate all of it's life. I don't believe that it has been humidified for many years. It's in great shape as is and I'm concerned that humidifying at this point may do more harm than good. Thoughts?

 

John

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My heat is on but my hygrometer in the case is reading 44%. I keep my guitar in the case when not playing it. Should I stick my Oasis in or is it ok?

 

It's my understanding that Gibson builds their acoustics in an environment that is roughly 42% humidity and 70 degrees F. Somebody will correct me if I'm off with those figures. As such, if the area you store and play your guitars is near 42/70 you are probably fine. You won't hurt anything by using the humidifier. When your heat stops coming on in warmer weather and the outside humidity rises you won't need it.

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Hey folks. I recently was given a '69 Gibson Heritage. It has lived in our dry Colorado climate all of it's life. I don't believe that it has been humidified for many years. It's in great shape as is and I'm concerned that humidifying at this point may do more harm than good. Thoughts?

 

John

 

Good question. Even though the guitar may not have been humidified, the house may have. You may want to check that.

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Getting worried as winter progess here...

 

I checked with the tech at Gibson in november about the need to humidify and was told that as long as the temp is in the low 70's I did not need to.

 

The thing now is that the humidity as gone below 40% a few days last week and this week too. Today it reads between 25 and 28 %, so I'm not going to play [sad] . My H-Bird is always in its case when not played and kept far away from the heat source.

 

I started checking around, but no dealers have the Oasis <_< , so looks like I will have to order online.

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Thanks for this. After seeing this thread I called TrueTone in LA to see if I needed to worry about it as we have pretty mild climate here. They said yes I should humidify it. I just ordered an Oasis sound hole humidifier. Better safe than sorry.

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And clean it regularly ... thats the mistake with my last one previous winter. Got so clocked up from the residue I had to get a new one.

 

If you have more than 1 guitar, you should consider a room humidifier. Mine automatically maintains 45% RH - no fuss or mess. Just have to remember to keep water in it.

 

LCB

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Has anyone else tried the sponge in the ziploc bag method? It seems to work pretty good, but it's the first time I've ever humidified a guitar before so I don't know

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I will relay what my local Gibson, Fender, Martin, Epiphone, & Guild warranty station (that are also Luthier/guitar builders as well), says to do.

 

Get a cheap plastic travel soap container, you know the kind that you put a bar of soap in and then put in the suitcase. Drill a few 1/8" holes in the top only. Unless you are really needing to restore humidity in a big way, they told me you don't need more than 3-5 holes in the lid of the soap case. Get a cellulose sponge and cut to fit the inside of the soap case. Wet sponge & ring out. Put in soap box & close lid place in guitar case (if room, below the storage box in case and next to the neck joint.

 

soapcase.jpg

 

Remember, that you have to get the CASE up to the humidity 1st to sustain the proper % needed. This will allow for longer time w/o re-wetting the sponge with it being larger. Keep an eye on the humidity guide (Hygrometer) inside the case to see how you are doing.

 

I've been using on the Dove, Guild, & J-160E for a while now and they do work great. Their trick if your guitar is showing stress from lack of humidity is to place a zip lock in the guitar and an open sponge on top of it inside the case and leave it for a few days. Watch the guitar and the cracks start to close up and you get the proper bow on the soundboard & back again. NEVER let any water get onto the inside of the wood so ring out the sponge good.

 

Don't quite understand the part from Gibson tech saying you don't need to worry about the humidity if the temps are below 70 degrees (if I read that correctly someone wrote). RH can be 10%-20% in a house with 68 degrees temp easy if you aren't running a humidifier with forced air HVAC systems. In floor heats a different story altogether!! Don't loose humidity in fact you often have to be running heat recovery units for removal of humidity with those heater systems.

 

Disclaimer: Be sure to REMOVE the camera (shown in photo) out of the plastic soap case before trying to put the sponge into it. [rolleyes] It works better, but that's all I could capture quickly from the web.

 

Aster

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To set the records straight, the tech mentionned that I should not worried about humidifying as long as the weather stays in the low 70's and the humidity somewhere between 40 and 55%, but I should never let it drop below 40%.

 

Since it was the case a few times lately, I got worried. Fortunately, the humidity rose over 40% for the last couples days and I found a luthier that sales those Oasis humidifyer, well at least that's the info I got from the net. Will have to wait 'till tuesday to get in touch and buy one.

 

[thumbup]

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I keep a dampit in each case everyday all year long.. the cases stay closed unless I decide to play a guitar that day... after that its back in the case... weather can change on a moments notice here... I wont take any chances.. Safest place for my guitars are in there cases..

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Would letting the moisture go up and down age a guitar,And make it sound better.

 

Yes, and it would also stop her from having wrinkles ..;-)

 

Only make it sound better, or in other words sound normal, how it should rather than thin and tinny if its too dry or soggy if its too wet.

 

All my ladies enjoy this facial during the winter months, works a treat.

 

p1548.jpg

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Maybe it's just me, but I'd think that letting the wood expand & shrink, esp. on a nitro finish, would tend to help the finish crack more. I know it's not a "Vintage" age but my Guild D-47 flat top has NO crack lines from age on it and I've had it for 35 yrs since new. Best to humidify slowly as well from what I've been able to read or learn from others. You can always watch for too much humidity from the bow on the top & back and if the joint seam down top & back are bulging any. Just back off if they start to raise any at the center joints or the bridge raises more than a 1/8" gap above the frets (use a straight edge down the neck and over the saddle) to check where it is now & as it's humidifying.

 

100+ on keeping the gits in the case unless playing for me.

 

Aster

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