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FDP Forum / FDP Unplugged - Acoustic Instruments / All you guys that worry about humidity...

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Ragtop
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The older the violin

the sweeter the music.
Jan 4th, 2018 02:52 PM   Edit   Profile  

... should come live in the High Rockies where I live now. This is my first winter here.


The humidity right now, at 3pm, is 6%. Six.


It was 8% when I got up. Inside the house was 26% at that time, and that was with the big humidifier running all night.


My guitar room has a little Sunbeam nursery humidifier left over from when the kids were little, and it cranks out a nice cool mist; but it can't get the Rh in that room above 30%. So I keep a Planet Waves soundhole humidifier in each case, and return each guitar to its case after playing.

We'll see what happens, so far so good.

6%!

Peegoo
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Curled up

in the fecal position
Jan 4th, 2018 02:58 PM   Edit   Profile  

Yikes. Six percent? That is about as dry as you want many woods to be in order to get good finish adhesion.

Which is BAD for acoustic guitars.

Ragtop
Contributing Member
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The older the violin

the sweeter the music.
Jan 4th, 2018 03:29 PM   Edit   Profile  

Hard to believe, but the furnace in this house has no humidifier built in. I guess I could have one installed, but I hate to spend too much money on a 10-yr. old furnace because it would then blow up the next day, as you know.

Peegoo
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Curled up

in the fecal position
Jan 4th, 2018 04:40 PM   Edit   Profile  

Humidifiers incorporated into a central HVAC have their own set of issues and can be problematic for the system.

It's better to have a separate humidifier. You're doing it right.

Chris Greene
FDP Host

Idaho, USA

Nine mile skid on a ten mile ride
Jan 4th, 2018 04:49 PM   Edit   Profile  

I gave up long ago with whole house humidity so any acoustic guitar is in its case with either a soundhole humidifier or a case humidifier and the expensive ones have hygrometers in them as well.

6L6
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San Francisco, CA

Jan 4th, 2018 04:55 PM   Edit   Profile  

I know personally of a 1965 D-12-35, 1966 D-35, 1963 D-28, and my own 1962 Gibson J-50 that survived without a single problem in Boulder, CO from 1964 thru 1968 with no humidification treatment.

Heck, we didn't even think about such things back then!

That said, I leave a Collings D2H in Truckee, CA (close to 7,000 ft MSL) and I do put in D'Addario Humidipacs that seem to work fine. Cheap and super easy to use.

6

(This message was last edited by 6L6 at 06:57 PM, Jan 4th, 2018)

Ragtop
Contributing Member
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The older the violin

the sweeter the music.
Jan 4th, 2018 05:06 PM   Edit   Profile  

"Heck, we didn't even think about such things back then!"

Ain't that the truth! And now every other thread on the AGF is about humidification. Seems a bit excessive. However, when I see that the Rh outside is 6%, I get concerned.

If the top on my '81 Guild D-46 were to pop, I'd be so distraught that I'd probably hurl myself, along with the guitar, off one of the many cliffs around here. Maybe I'll go fill the bathtub with water and throw the guitar in, just to be safe!

Chris, I would guess that your country is super dry just like mine is?

stratcowboy
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USA/Taos, NM

Jan 4th, 2018 05:49 PM   Edit   Profile  

Well...must be your specific locale. Here in the southern Rockies...well...we're waaaaaaay better off. We've currently got a humidity level of 10%.

Yes...I put one of those Music Nomad soundhole humidifiers in. Works great. When I owned a Westerly Guild F-50 blonde back in the '70s, I used a travel soap dish punched with a bunch holes, and a regular sponge inside. So some of us were worried about this stuff back then. But there certainly wasn't an industry built around it.

Ragtop
Contributing Member
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The older the violin

the sweeter the music.
Jan 4th, 2018 05:56 PM   Edit   Profile  

Jeez, stratcowboy, that's subtropical compared to here!

We went for a hike today, it was 52 degrees, sunny, with no wind whatsoever. Not normal. We need snow.

HeavyDuty
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Northeast IL

Not very bright but does lack ambition
Jan 4th, 2018 07:46 PM   Edit   Profile  

One of the reasons I switched to carbon fiber acoustics...

catnineblue

LA , Calif

I try my best
Jan 4th, 2018 08:30 PM   Edit   Profile  

I have a 2004 Seagull S series grand. For the first 4 years I never had any case humidifiers, didn't even know they existed. Point is it played great until I decided to add a dampit. I called a tech here in Hollywood CA who does repairs , Neely Guitars and he told me I should never have added this or any sort of humidifier. Since then about 1 1/2 years ago I haven't and it still has not changed meaning it has never been the same.

I can see the bridge tilts a bit down near the sound hole and like high action yet it's higher than I want so soon I will lower the saddle which has plenty of height to bring in down from 1/8" to 3/32" at the 12th fret low E. Also the original saddle was a very loose fit . Never noticed this until one day I removed all the strings and it fell out so I got a new one and shimmed it since Graph Tech only offers one thickness. I need to lower it by 1/16" at the saddle and shim it on the neck side instead of the lower bout side. I guess Seagull routed the slot to wide on this one. Plus on the treble side the slot had a lip that did not allow the saddle to sit fully down on the slot. I trimmed that away and replaced the saddle.

I've read at a certain age guitars settle into their environment 6 years if I recall and since only the top is solid wood spruce it never cracked yet it did sink a bit. I never measured the action when I got it or checked for how the neck was and it does have a bit of fall away from the 12 fret to the sound hole. I do think it was level years ago. I had a 2002 AMI 12 fret and even though it had a ply top it sounded great it was the Almond model. It was my go to above the grand yet I liked the 14 fret deal. I have a Epi EL-00 Pro and like it better because for me a 12" radius works better than the Seagull 18". I keep the Epi humidified and it's a 2012 Model. It seems pretty stable and the frets are a bit taller. Seems to high of action on an acoustic puts to much strain or leverage on the top. Seagull states 7/32" low E 12th fret. I can see the saddle on the Seagull grand does tip toward the neck so I will lower 1/16" and shim that side.

Ragtop
Contributing Member
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The older the violin

the sweeter the music.
Jan 5th, 2018 07:40 AM   Edit   Profile  

Hey, Peegoo, now I'm curious; what kind of problems can you have with a humidifier attached to your HVAC system?

MJB
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Who's we sucka?

Smith, Wesson and me.
Jan 5th, 2018 07:49 AM   Edit   Profile  

If you do decide to add a humidifier to your furnace, they are normally in the ductwork downstream of the actual furnace. The furnace can be replaced without disturbing the humidifier.

I too would prefer stand alone units as they are easier maintenance.

It's a thing of the past for me as I now live in east central Florida. 64% RH outside right now.

Ragtop
Contributing Member
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The older the violin

the sweeter the music.
Jan 5th, 2018 08:15 AM   Edit   Profile  

Maybe I should send my guitars to you, MJB, for a couple weeks of R&R.

Although, I must admit, they sound really good right now and hold their tune well.

Peegoo
Contributing Member
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Curled up

in the fecal position
Jan 5th, 2018 09:01 AM   Edit   Profile  

Ragtop, whole-house humidifiers can cause rust in the metal ductwork if they go out of adjustment.

They can also be a breeding ground for mold spores, bacteria, and other stuff if not properly maintained.

The AMA recognizes a condition commonly known as humidifier fever, which is a low-level bacterial infection of the lungs. It presents like minor flu symptoms that are persistent despite treatment, because once the medication runs out, the cause takes over and the person is sick again.

Ultrasonic humidifiers are safer in this regard because they don't operate by passing forced air over or through a wet membrane; there's no place for bacteria to grow.

Hammond101
Contributing Member
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So. Cal. USA

Jan 5th, 2018 09:39 AM   Edit   Profile  

My acoustics are stored in their cases with humidifiers and hygrometers. It's been very dry in SoCal and my electrics on the wall are suffering a bit even with a humidifier running.

A Tele that I built about 6 weeks ago now has a slight amount of fret sprout and I had to completely redo the set up.

Ragtop
Contributing Member
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The older the violin

the sweeter the music.
Jan 5th, 2018 09:46 AM   Edit   Profile  

Interesting, Peegoo, thanks. Actually, I used to worry about mold and bacteria. My previous 4 houses, all back in eastern Nebraska, had HVAC humidifiers, and each year I would change that aluminum wick. It got pretty gross over the course of time.

As I mentioned, I also use an ultrasonic humidifier in my guitar room. Those things are pretty slick and really crank out the mist. Only drawback is that they require distilled water, which is kind of a PIA, seems like I'm always running to the store for more.

stratcowboy
Contributing Member
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USA/Taos, NM

Jan 5th, 2018 10:10 AM   Edit   Profile  

"They can also be a breeding ground for mold spores, bacteria, and other stuff if not properly maintained."

Legionnaire's Disease...anyone??? I'll take a pass and go with the in-case solutions.

Peegoo
Contributing Member
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Curled up

in the fecal position
Jan 5th, 2018 11:31 AM   Edit   Profile  

You can distill your own water at home.

A purpose-made countertop distiller pays for itself in short order.

Go to the Amazon link above and shop around.

One like this.

Doc Sarvis
Contributing Member
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USA/Salt Lake City

Tuned Strings and Tight Lines
Jan 6th, 2018 04:34 PM   Edit   Profile  

My Martin D28 has fifteen un-humidified years living out of its case in Salt Lake City with zero issues. I tried using a humidifier at first but I'm just too lazy to stick with it. I'll keep my fingers crossed.

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FDP Forum / FDP Unplugged - Acoustic Instruments / All you guys that worry about humidity...




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