Annual Humidity post - SUPER IMPORTANT - READ THIS!!!!!!! (long, but worth it)

gcolbert

Sonar Fanboi
From the OP :
60-80% over the course of the year, from low to mid 80% in the summer to as low as 5% indoors during the winter.
This is completely dependant on where you (or your guitar) lives.


I have run an electronic hygrometer in my house, tracking the inside relative humidity for a little over two years now. I can unequivically say that adding a humidifier to my guitar cases would have resulted in higher levels of humidity and more frequent and dramatic of changes in the guitar's wood moisture content than just leaving my guitars exposed in an open room (outside of their cases) would have. I can absolutely show that, in Maryland using central forced-air heating and air conditioning, that guitar case humidifiers are not a good idea (summer or winter) and that just a simple guitar case is more than adequate to protect any reasonably built guitar.

I would not argue that the same would be true in Colorado or Utah (where I know the results would be different). In fact, taking the guitar out of a humidified case in these geographies would actually be even more damaging than just leaving them out. They might help if you decided not to play your guitar until spring though!

Glen
 

shoom

New member
I'm in Australia, it's not uncommon to have 80% humidity on a 35+ degree (Celcius) Summers day. But there will also be dry days. What is the best % humidity to store your axe at if you got a humidifier? Also, I was wondering for long term storage, is it better to store a guitar in it's case lying on its back or keep it hanging by the neck on your wall? Is there also any merit in detuning?
 

muttley600

Banned
I'm in Australia, it's not uncommon to have 80% humidity on a 35+ degree (Celcius) Summers day. But there will also be dry days. What is the best % humidity to store your axe at if you got a humidifier? Also, I was wondering for long term storage, is it better to store a guitar in it's case lying on its back or keep it hanging by the neck on your wall? Is there also any merit in detuning?

Both these questions have been answered multiple times here.
 

shoom

New member
But being 15 pages I thought someone might kindly point me to the right information and maybe there's a new school of thought on it
 

shoom

New member
Was that one of the cool creations made in japan in the late 80s when no facilities were open stateside? Have you seen the Katana and the HMT? (Heavy Metal Tele) others that escape me right now. was this guitar one of them?


OK, so I'm also the proud owner of a Fender Stratacoustic. Fiberglass body with a plywood top and an easily replacable neck. I don't have any qualms about draging it out-of-doors regardless of the weather or throwing it behind the seat of my pick-em-up truck (self-inflicted redneck humor) without a case. With a good set of strings on it I think it sounds as good as most of the Ovations I have played, but I wanted a steel string that was as usable of a utility guitar as my D-60 without the worries of having to treat it like a stradivarius violin. It is a good piece of engineering - even if it only sounds good when EQd and amplified. No need for humidity control here:)
 

shoom

New member
I did search here and this very thread, found my answer on another site. But most people on the forums i go on will say 'search is your friend' but still find you your answer.
 

Paj

Active member
FWIW, Would like to mention/reiterate some humidity points, often reminded to me by my tech:
(1) Some manufacturers will not honor repairs if the guitar is inspected as "not humidified" (Martin).
(2) Rule of Thumb: Newer woods, more diligent humidifying
(3) Humidifying your case, a la the "perforated soap dish" can be a double-edged sword; be careful not to overdo it and end up with mildew, which can not only attack the interior of the case but also the fretboard, bridge and finish of the guitar.
(4) Don't forget to lemon-oil your fretboard and bridge from time to time. A drying bridge can result in pins rising. Rule of Thumb #1: If you can distinctly see the patterns in the rosewood, it's probably time to oil. Rule of Thumb #2: The oil goes on the cloth or brush, not directly poured/sprayed onto the wood.
(5) Resign yourself to the fact that the only reliable route with acoustic guitars is recommended, routine maintenance. You take shortcuts at your own peril.

And, since we obviously all have instruments that we cherish and are worthy of it,
Happy Thanksgiving, everybody.
Paj
8^)
 

gcolbert

Sonar Fanboi
(1) Some manufacturers will not honor repairs if the guitar is inspected as "not humidified" (Martin).
Where did you get this information from Paj?

Interesting. In researching Martin's recommendation the only reference I can find to using guitar humidifiers is:
Caution should be taken if you choose to use a humidifier to combat low humidity.
From Martin Guitar's "Owner Resource Guide"

Martin goes way out of their way to advise about the risk of high humidity and temperature, but only mentions low humidity in the context of prolonged exposure or sudden changes in temp/humidity.

All of my Gibsons (and even the Yamahas) seemed to survive the winter none the worse for not being "humidified."
 

Paj

Active member
Where did you get this information from Paj?

Interesting. In researching Martin's recommendation the only reference I can find to using guitar humidifiers is:

From Martin Guitar's "Owner Resource Guide"

Martin goes way out of their way to advise about the risk of high humidity and temperature, but only mentions low humidity in the context of prolonged exposure or sudden changes in temp/humidity.

All of my Gibsons (and even the Yamahas) seemed to survive the winter none the worse for not being "humidified."

I got the info from my tech. He is a certified Martin tech and luthier (acoustic & electric) with about 45 years experience.

Paj
8^)
 

gcolbert

Sonar Fanboi
Snake Oil Salesmen

I got the info from my tech. He is a certified Martin tech and luthier (acoustic & electric) with about 45 years experience.

Paj
8^)

Well Paj, you may want to change your post to say that your local luthier says, not that Martin says, that humidifiers are required before Martin will perform warranty work, That is not their official documented position (but I'm sure your luthier is more than willing to sell you a humidifier). Martin's published position is that humidifiers need to be used with caution. Additionally, there is nothing in their documentation that recommends them,
 

Paj

Active member
Well Paj, you may want to change your post to say that your local luthier says, not that Martin says, that humidifiers are required before Martin will perform warranty work, That is not their official documented position (but I'm sure your luthier is more than willing to sell you a humidifier). Martin's published position is that humidifiers need to be used with caution. Additionally, there is nothing in their documentation that recommends them,

I'm not exactly sure how or to whom that "Snake Oil Salesman" applies, but I'll be happy to get a clarification from him that deals specifically with the issue you raise, since he deals directly with Martin for warrany repairs. For the record, he's never offered to sell me a humidifier of any type. He has told me of issues that he's had to both correct/repair for dessicated guitars and to address issues with certain types of humidifiers, including the proper use of those he has seen the most success with. It is his recommendation to humidify your guitar, even though it ultimately cuts into his bottom line. I certainly have no commercial interest in guitar humidifiers and I wish they weren't necessary---the maintenance is a PITA.

Paj
8^)
 

Davcxbr

New member
From my 6th grade science: find your friend who has the longest hair and ask for a strand or two. Find a board about 12" long and pound a nail about half way into it at one end. Tie one end of the hair to this nail, and tie a small fishing sinker to the other end. Now, in the center of the board glue two pop-sickle sticks on their long edges parallel to each other about 1/2" apart, and parallel to the length of the board. Now get a 6 or 8p finishing nail and glue the end of a toothpick on the center of the shaft of the nail so the it is perpendicular to the nail. The toothpick will be our pointer. Now - carefully take the hair and loop it once around the nail and place the nail on the pop-sickle stick rails with the toothpick pointing straight up. Carefully hang this on the wall and adjust so the toothpick is horizontal with the fishing sinker hanging below. You now have a humidity indicator that is quite accurate once you have calibrated it with marks along the board. ; - )
 
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