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-   -   Do I need to worry about humidity with electrics? (https://www.acousticguitarforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=647273)

superbitterdave 05-26-2022 09:58 PM

Do I need to worry about humidity with electrics?
 
I monitor humidity in my house and try to keep my acoustics healthy.

Iím thinking about putting a guitar hanger in the garage (where I keep my electric bass). Then I started thinking, Ďmaybe I should put in two hangersí. Then, Ďand buy a fun electricí.

I donít really have room in the house for another guitar, and the garage will get hot and dry in the summer. But if itís an electric, do I need to worry that much? Regardless,
Iím not thinking of spending more than a few hundred, so Iím not worried about retaining investment value.

Dave

perttime 05-26-2022 10:54 PM

There's nothing to actually worry about with a solid body electric.
There's a couple of things that might need attention:
- In climates where humidity varies according to seasons, electrics often need seasonal tweaks of the truss rod.
- The wood of a drying neck may shrink while the frets remain the same size, causing "fret sprout". People fix that by refinishing the ends of the frets.

superbitterdave 05-26-2022 11:28 PM

Super helpful. Thanks!

Step 1 - 3 pack of guitar hangers for $15.

Step 2 - GAS!

Cheers,

Dave

rmp 05-27-2022 06:46 AM

So I think as mentioned, fret sprout is always a possible side effect. On a bound neck, you don't want that.

I've found in the winter, when it's really dry, my necks will kind of go out of wack too on my electrics if I leave them on hangers in my studio.

So as a rule, when it's very dry, I'll keep em cased,

this time of year tho in the north east,, not really much to worry about

Tuch 05-27-2022 09:07 AM

Temperature fluctuations-Will/Do affect the electric & acoustic guitar.Central heating/summertime-temp fluctuates.Steel strings...affected etc...The neck[Wood] under constant string tension etc Affects etc.Temp fluctuations affect upon..the neck=All combined and wood flexes accordingly.

superbitterdave 05-27-2022 09:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rmp (Post 7009536)
So I think as mentioned, fret sprout is always a possible side effect. On a bound neck, you don't want that.

I've found in the winter, when it's really dry, my necks will kind of go out of wack too on my electrics if I leave them on hangers in my studio.

So as a rule, when it's very dry, I'll keep em cased,

this time of year tho in the north east,, not really much to worry about


Tha is for the advice!

Cheers

Dave

superbitterdave 05-27-2022 09:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tuch (Post 7009704)
Temperature fluctuations-Will/Do affect the electric & acoustic guitar.Central heating/summertime-temp fluctuates.Steel strings...affected etc...The neck[Wood] under constant string tension etc Affects etc.Temp fluctuations affect upon..the neck=All combined and wood flexes accordingly.


Understood. Thanks!

Dave

FrankHudson 05-27-2022 09:25 AM

I may have inflicted sounds that could be described as "garage rock" at times, but I've never kept an electric guitar in an unheated garage. Given my northern US climate (110 F. to -25 F -- and very humid to very dry humidity) I'd consider that risky. On the other hand, I have kept things in outbuildings with hardwood handles and painted metal objects and they've lived through the same extremes.*

On the other hand, I've kept a range of electrics out on hangers HVAC covered living spaces for decades. I've seen a couple of cases of fret sprout, and that's about it. My studio space has a wider range of temp/humidity differences as it's not living space. Most guitars in cases there, but several also kept ready to grab.

So, to the OP: does this garage have any HVAC elements at all? What are the extremes of temp and humidity in your climate if it's just a covered space with no HVAC elements?

I know there's a spread of opinions about the utility of having a guitar ready to grab vs. "it only takes a couple of minutes to pull out a case and take the guitar out of that." I'm obviously in the "see guitar, grab guitar, play guitar" side of that. Because of that inclination, the risk to an inexpensive electric guitar wouldn't stop me if I thought I'd play the hanging guitar more.


*Hammers don't have frets. My axe must be a vintage model, it doesn't have a truss rod. My metal objects likely aren't painted with nitro-based paints.

Dru Edwards 05-27-2022 10:59 AM

I find my acoustics are more temperamental with humidity changes than my electrics. Acoustics have thin pieces of wood so they're much more susceptible to changes than electrics.

Before I kept my guitars in a climate controlled room (more than 15 years ago), my Les Paul tuning would go sharp in the summer so I was always had to tune it every day when I played it. No problems though.

superbitterdave 05-28-2022 03:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FrankHudson (Post 7009730)
I may have inflicted sounds that could be described as "garage rock" at times, but I've never kept an electric guitar in an unheated garage. Given my northern US climate (110 F. to -25 F -- and very humid to very dry humidity) I'd consider that risky. On the other hand, I have kept things in outbuildings with hardwood handles and painted metal objects and they've lived through the same extremes.*

On the other hand, I've kept a range of electrics out on hangers HVAC covered living spaces for decades. I've seen a couple of cases of fret sprout, and that's about it. My studio space has a wider range of temp/humidity differences as it's not living space. Most guitars in cases there, but several also kept ready to grab.

So, to the OP: does this garage have any HVAC elements at all? What are the extremes of temp and humidity in your climate if it's just a covered space with no HVAC elements?

I know there's a spread of opinions about the utility of having a guitar ready to grab vs. "it only takes a couple of minutes to pull out a case and take the guitar out of that." I'm obviously in the "see guitar, grab guitar, play guitar" side of that. Because of that inclination, the risk to an inexpensive electric guitar wouldn't stop me if I thought I'd play the hanging guitar more.


*Hammers don't have frets. My axe must be a vintage model, it doesn't have a truss rod. My metal objects likely aren't painted with nitro-based paints.


Thanks Frank!

SF Bay Area of CA, so it gets hot, but not insanely, and humidity tends not to be super extreme, but it does get dry. Large garage with a furnace in it.

Iím in the Ďkeep the guitars handyí camp, so suspect risk is not extreme.

Thanks again!

Cheers,

Dave

superbitterdave 05-28-2022 04:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dru Edwards (Post 7009827)
I find my acoustics are more temperamental with humidity changes than my electrics. Acoustics have thin pieces of wood so they're much more susceptible to changes than electrics.

Before I kept my guitars in a climate controlled room (more than 15 years ago), my Les Paul tuning would go sharp in the summer so I was always had to tune it every day when I played it. No problems though.


Good to know, Dru.

I donít mind tuning here and there so I think I have a plan.

Cheers,

Dave

s2y 05-29-2022 05:56 AM

Might be ok-ish with maple. Rosewood and ebony can shrink. I learned the hard way after improper storage that you can crack an ebony fingerboard.

I control humidity. Guitars stay in tune a LOT longer and I have to do a lot less wrenching. I used to set everything up twice a year. I now get to set it and forget it.

superbitterdave 05-29-2022 03:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by s2y (Post 7011025)
Might be ok-ish with maple. Rosewood and ebony can shrink. I learned the hard way after improper storage that you can crack an ebony fingerboard.

I control humidity. Guitars stay in tune a LOT longer and I have to do a lot less wrenching. I used to set everything up twice a year. I now get to set it and forget it.


Funny about maple. My 2 favorite acoustics are maple (Taylor 616ce and a Tak 12 string). So maybe I donít need to worry so much about those in the house [emoji3].

But thanks for the advice! And since Iíve not bought the electric yet, Iíll take that into account.

Cheers

Dave

s2y 05-30-2022 04:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by superbitterdave (Post 7011360)
Funny about maple. My 2 favorite acoustics are maple (Taylor 616ce and a Tak 12 string). So maybe I donít need to worry so much about those in the house [emoji3].

But thanks for the advice! And since Iíve not bought the electric yet, Iíll take that into account.

Cheers

Dave

I should clarify that MOST electric guitars with a maple neck+fretboard are finished and sealed.

Your acoustics likely still have ebony fretboards. Ebony is hard, but very sensitive to humidity. The braces in your guitar can also shrink and the top to sink.

superbitterdave 05-30-2022 04:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by s2y (Post 7011656)
I should clarify that MOST electric guitars with a maple neck+fretboard are finished and sealed.

Your acoustics likely still have ebony fretboards. Ebony is hard, but very sensitive to humidity. The braces in your guitar can also shrink and the top to sink.


Fair point

Thanks!

Dave


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