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Old 09-21-2023, 03:07 PM
zach156 zach156 is offline
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Default How Important is Humidity Control?

Hi everyone, first time posting. I purchased a new Martin 000-15m a couple of weeks ago and I've been trying to nail down a concrete answer on the importance of humidity control. I've heard that 45-55 RH is "ideal", but that anywhere in the 40-60 RH range is acceptable. I recently purchased two Govee hygrometers alongside some Boveda packs and, as it turns out, the temperature and humidity are generally better outside the case. In fact with regular on-and-off AC in my apartment, temperature sits at about 70-74 degrees and about 50-55 RH. Unfortunately, I assumed it would be safer in the case, but the case was consistently about 5 degrees hotter and wetter inside. However, while my apartment conditions are pretty good, I cannot run the AC constantly, and at night (when it's usually off) the RH rises to 65-67 RH. My question is this: is the higher RH at night something to be concerned about long-term? Additionally, Should I be concerned about the time it spent in the case, where it sat at about 75-77 degrees and 65-67 RH? Or are theses negligible differences for the short time I've had the guitar?
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Old 09-21-2023, 03:16 PM
JackC1 JackC1 is offline
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I consider proper humidity very important. However, if you keep a close eye on your guitar, you can detect humidity-related issues. If caught early, you can reverse it. But, it just seems easier to maintain good 50%RH.

Having your guitar every night at 67% (so that's 8-10hrs); plus inside the case at 67% (assuming it's there while you're at work, so another 8 hrs). 2/3 of its life is over humidified; I think that'll cause you problems in a few years.
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Old 09-21-2023, 03:25 PM
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warfrat73 warfrat73 is offline
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Well, if the RH in your apartment is in the right zone, then the RH in the case should eventually equalize to the right zone, provided that you're not adding humidity to it with the various humidifiers.

A couple of hours at night of too high humidity is unlikely to be a big problem, though it is less than ideal.

If you can get the RH in the case equalized with your apartment when it's in the right zone you should be good (leaving it open for a few hours should about do the trick, unless the liner is holding a lot of moisture).

Then being in the case at night when the humidity goes up will provide a buffer against that rise, it might come up a bit inside the case, but with a properly humidified guitar and environment inside the case, it shouldn't come anywhere near the external RH. That's probably your best case scenario (no pun intended, but I'll take it).

With good quality cases, I've had the internal RH stay within range for months of winter weather without adding humidity. The key is monitoring it and adding the humidifiers when it needs it. If you're having a hard time getting the RH in the case down, try some silica packs... I know Boveda packs are supposed to go both ways, but they're not great at removing large amounts of moisture.
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Old 09-21-2023, 03:34 PM
Scoobtay Scoobtay is offline
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I've found that the cheapy, D'Addario humidity packs have worked wonders since I began using them. I'm a bit of a "find what works and forget it" sort of person, but these have kept my cased guitars in excellent working order through many weather events.

I also find them to suck in moisture as well as they dish it out; I thought it was time to get some new packs as the ones I was using had dried out... until a week of rain came through and those packs filled up like little water balloons in my Bourgeois.

I'd keep your guitar in the case, with a humidity pack, in lieu of "raw-dogging" it out in your apartment.
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Old 09-21-2023, 03:52 PM
Earl49 Earl49 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zach156 View Post
...as it turns out, the temperature and humidity are generally better outside the case. In fact with regular on-and-off AC in my apartment, temperature sits at about 70-74 degrees and about 50-55 RH....
First question: your apartment is generally within the desired range, so why exactly are you adding humidity to the case? That seems to be creating problems where none existed before.

Secondly, realize that the claimed ability for Humidipaks to absorb excess moisture is mostly marketing fiction, according to many user reports here. If you have excess RH in the case, then absorptive silica gel packs are the solution, coupled with diligent monitoring. In the winter, my daytime temp and RH in the house is 69 and ~45%, while the night we let the house cool down to 64 and the RH then sometimes drops into the 37-39% range. We are cooking, showering, laundering, and breathing less at night therefore putting less moisture into the indoor air. I've had no adverse effects on any guitar or uke. Quick and extreme RH changes are what hurt guitars. long slow cycles within a few percentage points is no big deal. Your room parameters should be fine. Take out the moisture packs and go forth in peace. Save them for the hard heating season when your indoor RH drops below 40% for extended periods.

Humidity control doesn't matter at all -- until your bridge lifts, the center glue seam cracks from sound board shrinkage, and the frets sprout. "Other than that Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play"?
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Old 09-21-2023, 04:36 PM
Joseph Hanna Joseph Hanna is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Earl49 View Post
Humidity control doesn't matter at all -- until your bridge lifts, the center glue seam cracks from sound board shrinkage, and the frets sprout. "Other than that Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play"?
Exactly. With humidity threads like these, it's inevitable that a handful of folks are gonna respond with the "humidity issues are a wives' tale" and the "I keep my guitar out all year long and don't pay no never mind." From my rather painful personal experience, I'd submit humidity problems are never a problem until they're a problem.
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Old 09-21-2023, 04:37 PM
Glennwillow Glennwillow is offline
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How Important is Humidity Control?

It's important only if your guitar cracks. And then it's too late.

However, it is low humidity which cracks a guitar, not higher humidity, which appears to be what you have.

Yes, 40-60% humidity is where your guitar is best protected, but being higher than 60% isn't going to cause cracking. Getting bellow about 30% is where the risks of cracking appears.

I see this is your first post. Welcome to the AGF! Glad you are here!

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Old 09-21-2023, 04:40 PM
mdvaden mdvaden is offline
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Humidity control was new learning for me until I started playing just over a year ago and found the subject in forums. But I didn't do anything extra because my first guitar was under $1000 and I know a lot of people who have guitars sitting on stands in various homes, churches and buildings and all their guitars seemed to sound and look fine all the years I heard them play. But none of those were worth more than $1000 either. Nonetheless, their guitars didn't crack. Maybe their fretboards changed a little, but I never asked.

But what I read from others and learned inspired me to get a humidifier after I acquired several more guitars. And reading that the humidity can also be healthy for a home living environment, it seemed worthwhile.

I'm succeeding maintaining betwwwn 44% to 55% using a single Honeywell $79 unit bought "like new" (open box) for about $25 off Amazon. Fill it once per day and run it on low in a 22 ft. x 28 ft. room that shares the same AC / Heat circulation with the rest of the house. A few days the humidity seems to dip a bit faster and I just turn the knob to medium. I'm under the impression that humidifying may not be a big deal for people with guitars that are not expensive or are not sensative about the fretboard. But people with more valuable guitars ... say like yours ... may find it worthwhile.

I did like Joseph's comment just above where he said that humidity is not a problem until it becomes a problem.
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Old 09-21-2023, 06:14 PM
zach156 zach156 is offline
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No, it's not in it's case when working. It's only at 65-67 RH at night.
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Old 09-21-2023, 06:22 PM
Rockysdad Rockysdad is offline
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Here, https://www.larrivee.com/pdfs/Larriv...aintenance.pdf read this.
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Old 09-21-2023, 06:25 PM
zach156 zach156 is offline
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I was experimenting with the Boevda packs and the case. Yes, when running the AC on and off the apartment is within a desirable range, but I won't be home all the time and I don't necessarily want to run the AC constantly either. And then there is the nighttime issue too. I thought that the case would hold and sustain the room temperature at the time of its closure, and the Boevda packs would maintain 49% RH, as advertised... But neither happened. If my apartment was 72 degrees and 55 RH, my in-case hydrometer would immediately start jumping up in temperature and RH. Though, it seems like I need silica packs to take down the RH rather than the finicky Boevda packs. Still, I don't know what to attribute the rise in temperature inside the case.
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Old 09-21-2023, 06:38 PM
Mandobart Mandobart is offline
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Welcome to the AGF!
This is another "pass-the-popcorn" thread. Right on cue, first of fall and we're starting the first of many to come seasonal humidity thread.

Here's what my AGF search turned up...
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Old 09-21-2023, 07:01 PM
Dwight Dwight is offline
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Glenn got it right, 40-60 is fine. When it goes higher your guitar will sound like it's stuffed with socks and the top will rise a little. When it gets below 35-40% for a few days you may notice the fret ends sticking out a little due to wood drying and shrinking. Prolonged excessive dryness could cause the top to split.

Good luck with the new guitar!
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Old 09-21-2023, 07:28 PM
printer2 printer2 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zach156 View Post
I was experimenting with the Boevda packs and the case. Yes, when running the AC on and off the apartment is within a desirable range, but I won't be home all the time and I don't necessarily want to run the AC constantly either. And then there is the nighttime issue too. I thought that the case would hold and sustain the room temperature at the time of its closure, and the Boevda packs would maintain 49% RH, as advertised... But neither happened. If my apartment was 72 degrees and 55 RH, my in-case hydrometer would immediately start jumping up in temperature and RH. Though, it seems like I need silica packs to take down the RH rather than the finicky Boevda packs. Still, I don't know what to attribute the rise in temperature inside the case.
How does the inside of the case become warmer than the room temperature? Have you tried another meter in the case?
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Old 09-21-2023, 07:37 PM
zoopeda zoopeda is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Earl49 View Post
First question: your apartment is generally within the desired range, so why exactly are you adding humidity to the case? That seems to be creating problems where none existed before.

Secondly, realize that the claimed ability for Humidipaks to absorb excess moisture is mostly marketing fiction, according to many user reports here. If you have excess RH in the case, then absorptive silica gel packs are the solution, coupled with diligent monitoring. In the winter, my daytime temp and RH in the house is 69 and ~45%, while the night we let the house cool down to 64 and the RH then sometimes drops into the 37-39% range. We are cooking, showering, laundering, and breathing less at night therefore putting less moisture into the indoor air. I've had no adverse effects on any guitar or uke. Quick and extreme RH changes are what hurt guitars. long slow cycles within a few percentage points is no big deal. Your room parameters should be fine. Take out the moisture packs and go forth in peace. Save them for the hard heating season when your indoor RH drops below 40% for extended periods.

Humidity control doesn't matter at all -- until your bridge lifts, the center glue seam cracks from sound board shrinkage, and the frets sprout. "Other than that Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play"?
This is right. Humidipaks are better at humidifying than dehumidifying. If I were you, Id put some silica desiccant packets in your case with a hydrometer in there and put the guitar in the case at night.
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