#2
since you're in arizona, i'm sure you will need humidity, but the most important thing first is to get a hygrometer or 2. i assume you're talking about humidifying your rooms, not your guitar, since you could use in-case humidifiers for just the guitars. i've seen mostly cool mist used in guitar stores, although if it's chilly where you are, a warm humidifier makes more sense, and can help heat the room.

keep in mind that with one or more humidifiers going, you could actually end up with too much humidity in the room, so those hygrometers are a must, and it's important to determine the ones you have are accurate.
#3
Quote by patticake
since you're in arizona, i'm sure you will need humidity, but the most important thing first is to get a hygrometer or 2. i assume you're talking about humidifying your rooms, not your guitar, since you could use in-case humidifiers for just the guitars. i've seen mostly cool mist used in guitar stores, although if it's chilly where you are, a warm humidifier makes more sense, and can help heat the room.

keep in mind that with one or more humidifiers going, you could actually end up with too much humidity in the room, so those hygrometers are a must, and it's important to determine the ones you have are accurate.


Thanks for the info. I don't really plan on humidifiying the entire room, but just the small area where I keep my guitars. I have 2 of the paper style hygrometer that came with the in-case humidifiers I bought for my one guitar. If my Mr. Potato guitar had a regular sound hole, I wouldn't even need an external humidifier, but the in-case ones that actually fit my guitar are violin size and don't really do much good. I have been using them for a couple of weeks now and my top still has a bulge. I hope putting a humidifier in the corner where my guitars are will do the trick. So you think I should shell out the bucks for a digital hygrometer, or will the little paper ones work?
#4
a bulge usually means too much humidity, not too little.

i really think you should get a hygrometer quick!
#5
Quote by stillsoldier4ch
I have been using them for a couple of weeks now and my top still has a bulge.

Just a note... Most strung guitars have a bit of a belly from the string tension. It isn't much, but it's certainly visible. I'd guess that in Arizona in the winter time, you shouldn't even need a humidifier.

Here's a current humidity map. Where are you?
#6
hey, nice map!

btw, our guitars don't bulge, but on the other hand, we use extra light strings on every acoustic in the house.
#7
Really good info guys! Thanks a lot. I really appreciate it. That's a pretty sweet map, by the way. Unfortunately, Tucson is in the dryer part of the state. Maybe my luthier gave me wrong information, though. When I took it in because of a dead note, he told me that my guitar was bulging in one area and sinking in another so in order to fix it, all I needed to do is keep it at around 40% humidity for a while and if that didn't fix it to bring it back in and he would look at it some more. He just lowered the action on my other acoustic for $45. He's a pretty cool guy, so I don't know. Hmmmmm.
#8
40% humidity is normal for guitars. some luthiers consider 40% optimal while others consider it the lower end of normal, but either way it's a good goal to aim for all the time, not just when your guitar has issues.
#10
it sure does! the humidity is way lower than last night.

Quote by GC Shred Off
The map I posted seems to be automatically updating with the website. How interesting.
#11
But would a mist humidifier (or even regular guitar humidifiers) over humidify your guitar? I have a home made humidifier, and im scared of adding too much water to the sponge. I also have a mist humidifier but I never use it around my guitars.

I've also heard that a big fluctuation of humidity or temperature can wreck the guitar, so im scared of putting a mist machine on...

Yeah I have alot of questions haha
#12
Symptoms of dryness: These are the symptoms I think a consumer is most likely to observe...

* Top grain prominent - This resembles a washboard in my mind. These are raised lines in the top which are noticeable to the touch. The soft wood between the darker grain lines has lost it's moisture and the grain now stands prominent. Warning: once this becomes severe cracks are usually imminent. Take heed, this may be your last chance to avoid cracks.

* Sharp fret ends -The fingerboard has shrunk due to the loss of moisture but obviously the metal fret wire does not. The frets are now wider than the fingerboard and the sharp ends can become apparent. yow! This is particularly noticeable on unbound fingerboards.

* Action has dropped - The top has begun to flatten out as it looses moisture and the action is lowered as a result. The fingerboard extension (portion of the fingerboard which is glued directly to the top) may also sink a bit causing a bend in the area where the neck and body join.

* Top is concave - Yes, after dead flat comes concave. If you've gotten to this point without a crack you are very lucky.

* Top cracks - After a fair amount of moisture loss the top begins to flatten, the soft grain begins to shrink and eventually the pull is so great that a crack forms in line with the grain.
If left unattended these cracks can spread open and create even more costly and highly visible repairs.

Taken from fretnotrepair.com
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Now an interesting note. In high humidity, you will notice that behind the bridge the top will belly up and under extreme conditions you will see that in front of the bride the top is convex (sinking).

I saw this extreme case in a local store b/c they kept this guitar in a 'special' area away from most peoples grasps, but it was in direct sunlight and locked up behind glass.
Hydroxic acid, kills thousands of people every year. Studies have shown lakes and rivers all over North America contain high levels hydroxic acid. Currently governments have taken no action against this life threatening chemical.
#13
Winter in Utah is still bad, so I'd imagine it's the same in Arizona. I use a cheap no name humidifier and it works fine.

Edit: As far as I know the sponge should just be damp, not wet.
#14
Get a straight edge, like a ruler. Right below the bridge of your guitar, the straight edge should be able to rock back and forth. If it sits flat and touches the edges of the instrument or if there is a place in which it dips below your straight edge (like, for instance, it contacts two places of your ruler with a dip between those points) then it is too dry. The same applies to the back. A guitar should have a healthy roundness to it but not overly so.

If you're using those color-coded paper hygrometers, throw them away and get a better one. I use two Caliber III hygrometers - one sitting in my room and the other in the case. 40% is adequate but in a dry area like Arizona you might want to keep it closer to 48-50%.
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#15
I've decided against getting a "real" guitar humidifier like the Planet Waves humidipak or the Oasis whatever-its-called. Too expensive. Get yourself a hygrometer or 2 like the Patti suggested and when you see (through the various tests described throughout this thread) that your guitar needs humidity just take a ziplock bag, poke a nice amount of holes into it, soak a sponge, ring the sponge so it doesnt leak or drip, and leave it in the case with the guitar over night. See what happens and repeat this process as needed. There are some videos on youtube demonstrating the sponge in a baggy buildng better
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