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  #16  
Old 09-21-2023, 10:55 PM
mcmars mcmars is offline
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The case is gonna be where you want you guitar to be to buffer the day and night fluctuations that will be stressful. The case will average out the fluctuations and protect the guitar. Or play it during the day when the humidity is good and let it be on a stand, but then put it to bed at night when your humidity rises.

It makes no sense that the case would be hot, not like it has heat packs in it. These thermometers and the humidity gauges are not precise, you likely have some false readings happening.

It is true that below 30% can cause cracking, but going the other way with too much humidity can be equally damaging when bridge start popping off, necks start moving forward, the guitar loses tone and molds take over. If you live in a coastal climate with high humidity, you might need some silica packs?? But I am in the dry desert SW and deal with the opposite problem.
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  #17  
Old 09-22-2023, 01:54 AM
Jaywalk3r Jaywalk3r is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by printer2 View Post
How does the inside of the case become warmer than the room temperature? Have you tried another meter in the case?
It sounds like either a faulty hygrometer or a dying battery in the hygrometer.
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  #18  
Old 09-22-2023, 10:29 AM
printer2 printer2 is offline
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I have found a Dollar Store meter that seems to be fairly accurate and cheap enough to have a few around to check up on each other.

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  #19  
Old 09-22-2023, 11:15 AM
guitar george guitar george is offline
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The humidity numbers you quoted sound absolutely fine to me. Excessive dryness can cause the most problems. Most guitar owners never think about humidity, at all, and have no problems with their guitars. Don't over-concern yourself with humidity and just enjoy your new guitar. Welcome to the AGF!
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  #20  
Old 09-22-2023, 01:58 PM
CharlieBman CharlieBman is offline
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Over time, humidity level is very important. I used to be one of those who never bothered with it. I learned this lesson the hard way when my old Martin nylon classical cracked on both the top and side.

Now I just keep all my guitars out of the case in a closed humidity controlled room using both a humidifier and dehumidifier as needed. If you go that route, get models with reasonably accurate humidistats. That way you can set it and forget it...other than maintenance. Definitely worth it to me.
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  #21  
Old 09-22-2023, 03:03 PM
Joseph Hanna Joseph Hanna is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guitar george View Post
Excessive dryness can cause the most problems.
With respect, George, and just because I slightly disagree here Excessive dryness causes the most "damage", quickest. I still, however, bolt upright in bed, recalling the price I paid to have Breedlove reconstruct my Revival 000 from the guitar's inability to adjust from California's daily climate to the wet Ohio River Valley. An overly damp guitar can (I'm a witness) burst a guitar apart at the seams, albeit a slower process than a dry guitar. Over-humidity also tends to affect tone rapidly. I'm guessing not everyone hears that or, in the alternative, if their guitar(s) are impervious. Perhaps it's a bit of both. For me, anything over 60% RH for over a week or so, and I might as well stuff wet socks in the sound hole.

Quote:
Originally Posted by guitar george View Post
Most guitar owners never think about humidity, at all
That may be true, but as I mentioned earlier, at least a portion of those folks (myself included) that proclaim humidity problems are trivial, at some point, discover humidity problems are decidedly not trivial. I will concede all guitars are uniquely different, and the humidity resistance of one guitar may well be titanically different than the next. That, and those who live in very stable RH conditions, have less of a chore on their hands than someone in Cincinnati or St. Louis who must fight massive RH swings.


Quote:
Originally Posted by guitar george View Post
Don't over-concern yourself with humidity and just enjoy your new guitar. Welcome to the AGF!
I tend to agree with this as it's not something to be overly concerned with, but, at least for me, I've taken appropriate measures to keep from getting another hefty rebuild bill from Breedlove.
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  #22  
Old 09-22-2023, 03:34 PM
Charlie Bernstein Charlie Bernstein is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zach156 View Post
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",

Yup.

but that anywhere in the 40-60 RH range is acceptable.

Yup again. I don't let it get too low, but I don't mind if it get's too high. Extra water dampens the tone a little, but it doesn't hurt the guitar unless you leave it out in the rain.

I recently purchased two Govee hygrometers

You don't need two hygrometers.

alongside some Boveda packs

Also overkill.

and, as it turns out, the temperature and humidity are generally better outside the case.

Surprise!

Cases are for taking the guitar out of the house. Indoors, a guitar in a case doesn't get played. Put the case in the closet. Put the guitar where it's handy.


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?

Again, it's low humidity that hurts guitars.

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?

Yes.

Why? Again, a case discourages playing. Keep it where you can grab it — on a stand or on a wall hanger or in a safe corner, for instance. I use stands.


Or are theses negligible differences for the short time I've had the guitar?

The age of the guitar isn't the point. Dryness is the point. A dry room can crack a solid-wood guitar whether the instrument is new or old.
No need to panic. Guitars don't crack every day. Plenty of players never humidify their guitars. Humidifying is just a (very smart) precaution against the unlikely event.

I don't have AC. I use an off-the-shelf drug store humidifier. When that's not enough, I just spritz some water into the soundhole every dry day. Humidifying a guitar isn't precision engineering. Just keep some moisture in it and it'll be fine.

Guitars are for fretting — not for fretting over!

Last edited by Charlie Bernstein; 09-22-2023 at 03:42 PM.
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  #23  
Old 09-22-2023, 04:23 PM
Mandobart Mandobart is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie Bernstein View Post
No need to panic. Guitars don't crack every day. Plenty of players never humidify their guitars. Humidifying is just a (very smart) precaution against the unlikely event.
Eventually these threads grow to where I feel like sharing my personal experience. YMMV, of course.

I grew up at high altitude (7000' above sea level) in arid northern New Mexico. Wintertime temperature and relative humidity are in the single digits. We had never heard of humidifying anything. We just grew up with straight hair sticking out, nosebleeds and getting shocked every time we touched metal.

My grandfather's violin (built in humid Mittenwald Germany in the 1880's, moved to damp northern England, crossed the ocean and then spent the next 85 years in NM), my dad's 1940's Martin classical guitar and my 1970's Roth student violin were never humidified in those days. Our school's orchestra room had a row of instrument lockers along the outside wall facing west. All these instruments were subjected to gradual changes in temperature/humidity resulting from daily and seasonal variation.

I never knew anyone there that ever encountered a crack, split seam, finish checking or anything else. Much later in life I decided to monitor and maintain the relative humidity in the room my multiple wooden instruments are stored in.

Not until I joined the AGF did I hear the horror stories of folding, sprouting, cracking, splitting and exploding guitars. Do these things really happen? Of course - people aren't just making this stuff up. Is it common? I don't know. Maybe a poll is in order.

Do wooden instruments "acclimate" to new surroundings? Of course not. ALL the wood used in building instruments was dead LONG before the tree was ever cut down. Guitars aren't alive, don't "adjust" to changes and can't be "trained" to withstand a new environment. The residual moisture content, building techniques, finish, rate of relinquishing trapped moisture, and storage conditions (as well as how quickly or slowly environmental parameters change) work together to determine what explodes and what doesn't.

Does it cost much (compared to the cost of a decent instrument or repair job) to monitor and adjust the temperature and RH where we keep our guitars? Not at all. You may want to trust your luck (or blissful ignorance) like young Mandobart did, or take reasonable care to hedge your bets like old Mandobart does. I still play my instruments outside, gig with them, go to festivals and take them camping in the mountains, desert and seashore.

Last edited by Mandobart; 09-22-2023 at 04:29 PM.
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  #24  
Old 09-22-2023, 04:46 PM
rmp rmp is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joseph Hanna View Post
I'd submit humidity problems are never a problem until they're a problem.

and there it is...


I'd keep it in the case, you won't be sorry for doing this.
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  #25  
Old 09-22-2023, 05:05 PM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mandobart View Post
...I grew up at high altitude (7000' above sea level) in arid northern New Mexico. Wintertime temperature and relative humidity are in the single digits. We had never heard of humidifying anything. We just grew up with straight hair sticking out, nosebleeds and getting shocked every time we touched metal.

My grandfather's violin (built in humid Mittenwald, Germany in the 1880's, moved to damp northern England, crossed the ocean and then spent the next 85 years in NM), my dad's 1940's Martin classical guitar and my 1970's Roth student violin were never humidified in those days. Our school's orchestra room had a row of instrument lockers along the outside wall facing west. All these instruments were subjected to gradual changes in temperature/humidity resulting from daily and seasonal variation....

I never knew anyone there that ever encountered a crack, split seam, finish checking or anything else...

Not until I joined the AGF did I hear the horror stories of folding, sprouting, cracking, splitting and exploding guitars. Do these things really happen? Of course - people aren't just making this stuff up....

...The residual moisture content, building techniques, finish, rate of relinquishing trapped moisture, and storage conditions (as well as how quickly or slowly environmental parameters change) work together to determine what explodes and what doesn't...
- and IME when supposedly "professional-quality" instruments from once-renowned brands are built with an eye toward the bottom line, rather than a noblesse-oblige standard of materials and construction, explosions are virtually inevitable without extraordinary precautions...

RIP, non multa sed multum...
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  #26  
Old 09-22-2023, 05:16 PM
Bluenose Bluenose is offline
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Default How Important is Humidity Control?

Humidity control is very, very important and you're very welcome.
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  #27  
Old 09-22-2023, 05:30 PM
Joseph Hanna Joseph Hanna is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rmp View Post
I'd keep it in the case, you won't be sorry for doing this.
I keep them in converted Ikea cabinets. They're at arm's reach, and the RH is easily maintained at 40-42% humidity year-round. No babying. And yes, before someone jumps in, I'm aware guitars are meant to be played and not pampered. Despite what many here think, the concept is undoubtedly not mutually exclusive.
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  #28  
Old 09-22-2023, 07:45 PM
Jaywalk3r Jaywalk3r is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mandobart View Post
Do wooden instruments "acclimate" to new surroundings? Of course not. ALL the wood used in building instruments was dead LONG before the tree was ever cut down.
The tree may be dead, but the wood remains very much alive with respect to its ability to adapt to its environmental conditions.
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  #29  
Old 09-22-2023, 10:12 PM
mdvaden mdvaden is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaywalk3r View Post
The tree may be dead, but the wood remains very much alive with respect to its ability to adapt to its environmental conditions.
Actually, wood in a living tree, dead tree and guitar are equally dead. But you are right about ability to adapt (react) within an environment.

Even our house changes from season to season and the doors seem to be one of the more obvious things to change by a couple millimeters or so.
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  #30  
Old 09-22-2023, 11:06 PM
Mandobart Mandobart is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaywalk3r View Post
The tree may be dead, but the wood remains very much alive with respect to its ability to adapt to its environmental conditions.
What do you mean by "adapt"? To me it implies something "gets used to" a new set of conditions. An example could be how 60 F is shorts and T-shirt weather up here in the PNW but is jacket weather in SoCal (personal experience spending several years in both locations). This is due to physiological changes that humans (and other actual living organisms) can effect.

Furniture, lumber, metal, concrete and guitars simply can't do that.

If you mean a guitar, 2x4 or wooden chair will reach equilibrium with their surroundings yes I agree, that happens. But that is not adaptation IMO. You can put a sponge in water - it will soak it up. Leave it out in the sun and it dries out. That's not "adapting."

Dead wood can't "learn" to withstand damaging environmental conditions. That's like thinking you can strengthen the neck-to-body joint by hanging progressively heavier weights off the headstock.
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