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Humidity Dance Begins


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Its here. Cold air is moving into the mountins where I reside, and along with the drop in Temperature, the Humidity is dropping like a stone. Outside humidity is 16%. In my guitar room (11x 12) the humidity dropped from 47% to 40% in less than 12 hours. Now I begin the obsessive dance to try and keep at 40%. Been darned near impossible in the past, but now I've moved the rack into a smaller room, and tuned up the EssickAir (vaccuumed away the dust) filled 'er up, and am ready for battle.

 

A bit of info on guitars and humidity: http://www.ryanguitars.com/NewsandEvents/Guitar_tech_tips/Humidity_Chart.htm

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I've had the opposite up to now. My J200 I bought back in March has bellied up over the summer and I'm waiting for it to come down. My house has been staying between 50 - 65% over this summer.

All of my acoustics seem to react to the humidity that way except for my Martins. It doesn't phase them.

I put a whole house humidifier in last season and it kept the house between 40-50% over the winter (I told my wife I did it for her comfort, she's doesn't understand guitars).

I may have to add a dehumidifier to my guitar room. I don't know how to put a spin on that to make my wife believe it's for her benefit.

I've read that it takes a few seasons for an acoustic to settle down so I'm going to let the J200 age and play it when it's in good shape. Maybe it'll get to my favorite status in a few years.

I did try keeping it in the case, but that didn't seem to help.

I guess Martin must do something different with their woods.

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Hey! thanks for the link. The weather here is very unstable...-40° and dry and +90° and humid. Got a studio with many instruments in the basement so I got to control the humidity (control freakmsp_scared.gif) using a humidifier during winter and a dehumidifier during summer to

keep it betteen 45° and 50°.

BTW: I'd like to have opinions on this: What is better (or less damaging), a little too much humid or a little too much dry environment ? ....and the effect on sound. Thanks.

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Its here. Cold air is moving into the mountins where I reside, and along with the drop in Temperature, the Humidity is dropping like a stone. Outside humidity is 16%. In my guitar room (11x 12) the humidity dropped from 47% to 40% in less than 12 hours.

 

Wow, that early! Over here in central Europe, I'm dealing with the highest humidity of the year (around 70% in my room in these rainy, foggy autumn days). My luthier told me not to worry too much, though. He said I'd be fine as long as I don't take my guitar to the bathroom and have a shower.

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[quote name=Run'

BTW: I'd like to have opinions on this: What is better (or less damaging), a little too much humid or a little too much dry environment ? ....and the effect on sound. Thanks.

 

IMHO I would tend to strive for a little too much humidity - dryness can cause wood to shrink and crack - I have an old Alvarez that I'd forgotten about (ok, neglected) and the neck, pulled by string tension, literally imploded into the body of the guitar one winter. Top cracked, sides cracked, it was awful and costly, I should have just tossed it into the fire. Too much humidity and wood swells, tops belly and intonation becomes uncharacteristically hard to maintain.

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Over here in central Europe, I'm dealing with the highest humidity of the year (around 70% in my room in these rainy, foggy autumn days). My luthier told me not to worry too much, though. He said I'd be fine as long as I don't take my guitar to the bathroom and have a shower.

 

 

I'm convinced your luthier is right. At my house in Florida, the air conditioning is on six months of the year, which keeps the humidity between 42% and 50% during those months. In the winter, the AC is off, and the are windows open unless a cold front goes through. Humidity in my office/music room varies between aboout 40% post cold front to about 67% as a high in the winter

 

At 67%, the transverse top belly increases, and the action of my flat tops typically gets higher, but not unplayable. Maybe increases by .5mm or so. That's the only downside of the higher humidity, and I don't adjust the action to suit, as it would be an endless battle to stay in phase.

 

Too dry, on the other hand, can cause cracks, typically in the top along grain lines. In my book, humidity that is too high is always better than humidity that is too low, unless you are using the guitar to paddle your canoe. I have my carbon fiber guitar for that purpose, as it couldn't care less about humidity.

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