A Few Words about Humidity

I realize most of you know about this, but there may be a few that can learn by my mistake.

I live in Central Indiana and it gets cold and dry her during the winter, especially when the heating system kicks on. I do have a whole house humidifier, usually set for 35% ( which is too low for guitars). When it gets below 20 degrees F, I set the humidifier even lower to avoid condensation on the windows. This may be good for the house in general, but was terrible for my guitars.

I normally keep my guitars out on stands for convenience. I started to notice fret buzz on my 12 string acoustic, and it started to sound flat. The warmth and fullness just wasn’t there. I changed the strings and it almost sounded worse. So I called a local luthier, after describing my issues (just the ones I have with my 12 string that is). He knew it was drying out. So its in the shop, they have a room/chamber to re-hydrate it. after 2 weeks they will do a full setup and get it back to where it should be.

As for my 6 string, it wasn’t so bad (maybe because its much older). So I purchased a hard case (only had a gig bag before) and some Humidify packs and its now stored in there, only taken out to be played. Sounds much better.

My electric guitar is in the best shape, frets are not protruding, dodged a bullet there.

As a result of all this I’ve purchased a Humidity meter for my music room and will be more careful about monitoring it and taking care of my equipment.

Waiting to get my 12 string back.

Charlie

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Hi Charlie,
Hope all your instruments are Ok.
i recently bought myself a fancy acoustic, and wanted to make sure i am keeping it in the best possible conditions.
i found this new product from D’Addario which I think is brilliant - if it really can deliver what it says on the packet.
Here’s a picture

Happy practice time!
Ruaridh

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I keep my guitars in their cases in the (Minnesota) winter. I use the humidipak system with my acoustic (putting humidity right inside the body seems important) and a wet sponge in a plastic soap box with the electric. I have a humidity gauge in each case.

Having to get them out to practice every day is a small inconvenience compared to the risk of damage. Once the house humidity gets consistently into the mid-40s and above they’ll go back onto their stands.

I’m confident I found the issue soon enough to avoid any major issues, just the $$ to get everything back in shape. The shop said they see a lot of this, this time of year. They weren’t too concerned.

I am using the D’Addario Humidipack for my 6 string and intend to use them for my 12 string when I get it back. I put a Hygrometer in the case and its reading 49% humidity.

I have read that some people re-charge the humidipacks, however after a re-charge they don’t maintain proper humidity level. So I have refills when these run out.

Charlie

I’ve recharged mine, and they work just fine. Recharging is really no different than what they do when they absorb excess humidity in the case in the summer (if you use them for that. I use a room dehumidifier.) Again, I keep a humidity gauge in the case, so if they weren’t working right I’d see it.

You can get the refill packs on Amazon a lot cheaper. They’re identical to the D’addario packs except they say Boveda on them. I wouldn’t be surprised if Boveda makes them for D’addario.

I had no idea about humidity conditions for guitars :scream:. I’ll investigate which are the good conditions in my area. Just recently I started to think about rehydrate the fretboard (I didn’t know this was actually something to do). On Justin section about guitar maintenance there’s nothing about this. Isn’t it? Have you any resource to read about good care of an electric guitar?

Thank you!

Its more the acoustics that struggle in places were its sdry weather conditions. Typically parts of northern america and scandinavia were its very dry climate during the winter. But yes. Humidity is important for guitars.

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Agreed acoustics are the most susceptible to high/low humidity. I would suspect that semi hollow electrics are also. For solid bodies its mostly the fret boards, just run your hand along the side of the neck, shouldn’t feel the frets sticking out.

From what I read the humidity should be 45-55%, 50% is the sweet spot. Places like South Florida have the problem of too much humidity.

I knew how humidity effected unfinished wood, never connected it to my guitars. Live and Learn.

Charlie

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Hey, Charlie. I live in south central Indiana between Bloomington and Martinsville. To combat the humidity issues I use a small misting humidifier placed in my music room. The room is wood paneled so proper humidity is a must for the paneling as well as my guitars. I have a Taylor 224ceK. Taylor sells a replacement jack that contains a wifi unit. With a Taylor app on my iPhone I monitor the humidity inside the guitar daily. Using the small humidifier I have been able to keep the humidity level between 40-50% even on the driest cold days when the furnace seems to run non-stop.

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I have a similar issue with my cheapo Ibanez acoustic, and for now, I’m not trying to do anything with it. Fret buzz on 6th string, frets below 6 on the first string sound the same. Moist air will be returning to Michigan in a week or two and I will give it some time, but it is a $200 guitar new and I’m not going to put any money into it if I can’t get it back to a more playable condition on my own. My tex-mex Strat doesn’t seem to care, but I was storing it in a hard case instead of a gig bag.