New guitar care question

Discussions relating to the classical guitar which don't fit elsewhere.
Andrew Pohlman
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Location: SF Bay Area

Re: New guitar care question

Post by Andrew Pohlman » Tue Apr 18, 2017 9:56 pm

joachim33 wrote:
montana wrote:Goggles it. Your average humidity level in the bay area is 74%. Should you really be worrying about adding humidity ? I live on the Pacific Ocean as well. Never worried about it.
What is that 74%? Inside/outside, at which temperature. I have digital hygrometers (no proper clue how precise they are), but often showing 90% or more outside and 35% inside. That is in the middle of the heating period in southern Sweden. Taking outside humidity from the weather forecast is not good enough if you have a significant difference in temperature.
I live in the SF Bay Area and I regularly measure relative humidity. It is NOT 74% average (if I read the previous statement correctly). I see more like 50-60% RH. The SF Bay Area is semi-arid. In winter, the RH gets below 40. If it gets to the 70% range, I'm shocked, and it won't stay there for long.

Advice from someone who lives in SF Bay Area and has been managing guitar humidity for 5 years : there's almost nothing to worry about. Watch it closely when frigid northern storms come in - that's when you'll see RH drop below 40% --> 35 or below. Having said that, I keep my guitar cases at 60% RH so I have a buffer zone between acceptable lows and highs, and as a guard against hot trips in the car.
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Jeffrey Armbruster
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Re: New guitar care question

Post by Jeffrey Armbruster » Tue Apr 18, 2017 10:04 pm

If you're on the bay itself, the RH is much higher than just south or east or north of the bay. The fog in summer really raises the RH. Inland--Silicon Valley, Walnut Creek etc.--but still in the Bay area, it's dryer for sure.
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quixilver
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Re: New guitar care question

Post by quixilver » Mon Jun 12, 2017 2:56 pm

Sharkbait wrote:
Fri Apr 07, 2017 6:20 am
Would anyone be able to advise how best to protect guitars from too much humidity? I'm from Singapore, where it's always hot and humid (humidity is pretty much constantly above 65%). While I know higher humidity won't result in cracks to the guitar, I suppose the heat and humidity can cause the guitar to lose sound/sound "flabby". So besides keeping the guitar in a sealed case, what else should I do? Use dehumidifiers? Any suggestions which dehumidifiers? Thanks
This is a very common issue when you stay in a tropical country especially somewhere near to the seashore.
I keep my guitars in their hardcase and I always prepare the room by turning on the aircon for about an hour until the hygrometer displays somewhere between 55-60%, it can be dropped to 45-50% but it would be too cold for me and going down too far from 75-80% (my standard room reading) might raise the risk of getting a crack if you do this too often.
Woods apparently adapt into humidity quite instantly especially if the finish is very thin like a french polish, they absorb/release the moisture pretty fast. Hence, if your room is set on the ideal humidity level, the loss of sound quality will not be obvious.
Well, I've been doing this practice for the last 8-9 years in Singapore and have not found any major issue with my guitars *fingers crossed*

Francisco
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Re: New guitar care question

Post by Francisco » Mon Jun 12, 2017 8:38 pm

Relative humidity in the Bay Area will normally be significantly higher outside, as the temperature outside (in San Francisco, for example) is about 50-65F most of the time, while normally it will be about 70F inside (you need some heat every month of the year in San Francisco, for example, and lots of people are shocked when they hear this). The warmer air inside accepts more humidity, and since it is the same air as outside, the percentage of water saturation (which is what relative humidity is) will be lower inside.
It is common for the RH in San Francisco to be about 70-75% outside and 50% inside.
A guitar is supposed to be happiest at about 50% relative humidity with a normal indoor temperature of about 70F (21C). So I'd say the Bay Area is sort of the ideal area for guitars. I would not worry at all about humidity over there. Even if you get a few days where it falls below 40% indoors, it is never long enough to be a concern.

Once you move a few miles inland, however, it may be a very different story.
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llch
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Re: New guitar care question

Post by llch » Fri Jul 14, 2017 6:00 am

keithwwk wrote:
Sat Apr 15, 2017 4:33 am
Hello Sharbait,

I do want to know what is the best method too to bring down the humid. I know aircon and dehumidifier are both very effective way but quite costly and need a delicate room for this.

Recently I just started to look into humudity issue in Sg here. I am now using industrial grade silicon packs to dry my guitars. These can be reactivated by heating in up at 125°C for 8 hrs. I firstly tried on a used gator hardcase and monitor the reading by a digital hygrometer. By 4 to 6 packs dry the inside quite well with 55% to 65% (home reading is abt 75% to 90%. But the problem is the gator hardcase not very good sealed. So the silicon packs need to replace and reactivate almost weekly. Just last week, I got a new lightweight hardcase labled as "Rapsody". This case seem sealed pretty well when locked. 2 packs can keep humidity reading like forever 54% or 56% after 1 week of usage by at least open/close twice a day to take out and put in back the guitar. Maybe the case is still very new and dry? So I am now looking at D'Addario's Humiditrak hope to use it to monitor the level without opening the case thru smartphone.

I got an other ideal is to custom build a bigger camera dry cabinet for guitar storage should be much more cost effective in long run.

Can't help much just sharing my experince.
keithww - Did you get any updates on this? Am quite interested as Malaysia shares similar weather with Singapore - humidity of 75-95% of course.

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keithwwk
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Re: New guitar care question

Post by keithwwk » Mon Jul 31, 2017 9:53 am

llch wrote:
Fri Jul 14, 2017 6:00 am
keithwwk wrote:
Sat Apr 15, 2017 4:33 am
Hello Sharbait,

I do want to know what is the best method too to bring down the humid. I know aircon and dehumidifier are both very effective way but quite costly and need a delicate room for this.

Recently I just started to look into humudity issue in Sg here. I am now using industrial grade silicon packs to dry my guitars. These can be reactivated by heating in up at 125°C for 8 hrs. I firstly tried on a used gator hardcase and monitor the reading by a digital hygrometer. By 4 to 6 packs dry the inside quite well with 55% to 65% (home reading is abt 75% to 90%. But the problem is the gator hardcase not very good sealed. So the silicon packs need to replace and reactivate almost weekly. Just last week, I got a new lightweight hardcase labled as "Rapsody". This case seem sealed pretty well when locked. 2 packs can keep humidity reading like forever 54% or 56% after 1 week of usage by at least open/close twice a day to take out and put in back the guitar. Maybe the case is still very new and dry? So I am now looking at D'Addario's Humiditrak hope to use it to monitor the level without opening the case thru smartphone.

I got an other ideal is to custom build a bigger camera dry cabinet for guitar storage should be much more cost effective in long run.

Can't help much just sharing my experince.
keithww - Did you get any updates on this? Am quite interested as Malaysia shares similar weather with Singapore - humidity of 75-95% of course.
I am still using the silica dry pack to control the incase humidity. I am monitor the level thru ambient weather WS-10 x4 Thermo-Hygrometer with Remote Sensors. I put the sensor in the case and monitor the level thru a display panel in my hall. So far so good. The only thing I need to do is change the pack if get too humid. :D
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Pat Foster
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Re: New guitar care question

Post by Pat Foster » Mon Jul 31, 2017 3:28 pm

Sharkbait wrote:
Fri Apr 07, 2017 6:20 am
Would anyone be able to advise how best to protect guitars from too much humidity? I'm from Singapore, where it's always hot and humid (humidity is pretty much constantly above 65%). While I know higher humidity won't result in cracks to the guitar, I suppose the heat and humidity can cause the guitar to lose sound/sound "flabby". So besides keeping the guitar in a sealed case, what else should I do? Use dehumidifiers? Any suggestions which dehumidifiers? Thanks
What's most important about humidity for a solid wood instrument is whether it's exposed to humidity that's much different from the conditions in which it was built. Most builders in the US, and I assume other countries, strive for somewhere around 40 to 45% as a compromise, like a middle ground between extremes. If your guitar was built in Singapore, it may well have been built in more humid conditions than other drier climates. You could get in touch with the manufacturer to find out what conditions it was built in.

Pat

chrisW3
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Location: London, UK

Re: New guitar care question

Post by chrisW3 » Wed Aug 23, 2017 9:46 pm

I've found this thread interesting as I live in a building with built in dehumidifier of sorts (it's a modern extremely well insulated building so it's to prevent damp building up). I find it personally quite dry so I've taken the hygrometer suggestion to see exactly what the humidity level is.

I'm also searching for best practice in terms of the position in which to store a guitar. I seem to remember that it's better for them to be stored in their cases and upright rather than flat on the floor. Is that true? Also, when storing the guitar for a while is it best to loosen the strings a bit to relieve tension?

I've had a neck warp on a previous guitar and want to avoid a repeat of that experience!

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souldier
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Re: New guitar care question

Post by souldier » Wed Aug 23, 2017 10:45 pm

chrisW3 wrote:
Wed Aug 23, 2017 9:46 pm
I've found this thread interesting as I live in a building with built in dehumidifier of sorts (it's a modern extremely well insulated building so it's to prevent damp building up). I find it personally quite dry so I've taken the hygrometer suggestion to see exactly what the humidity level is.

I'm also searching for best practice in terms of the position in which to store a guitar. I seem to remember that it's better for them to be stored in their cases and upright rather than flat on the floor. Is that true? Also, when storing the guitar for a while is it best to loosen the strings a bit to relieve tension?

I've had a neck warp on a previous guitar and want to avoid a repeat of that experience!
In terms of storing the guitar it really doesn't matter whether it is flat or upright. I've done both and it makes no difference. There is also no need to loosen the strings as guitars are designed to be tuned up to pitch unless you are shipping the guitar and it may undergo rough handling or extreme temperatures. The neck also should not excessively warp to the point of being a problem if it is built properly. My current guitar is 40 years old and is in perfect shape despite being in constant tension. If the guitar is poorly built, then you might expect issues, but any properly built guitar by a reputable builder should not give you any issues.

The main things you need to worry about storage is extremes of temperature (avoid direct sunlight, near vents, in cars, near heaters, near windows, etc.). The rule of thumb for temperature is anything uncomfortable for a human being is probably bad for the guitar. Also avoid extremes of humidity as has been discussed.
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Leendavid89
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Re: New guitar care question

Post by Leendavid89 » Thu Aug 24, 2017 6:09 pm

I agree with Montana. Everything depends on where you live and how you keep your guitar. Keep it in its case until you get a handle on things. Dadarrio humidification system is only 20 bucks and hard to beat. It is two way and remove and add humility as needed. Really can't beat that with a stick. That's what I do. I would rather be practicing than putzing around with hygrometers and stuff. Unless you have a huge collection. You definitely want to get some type is system down. If left untreated a solid wood guitar will sustain changes and potentially damage in any climate. Unless it is always perfect where you live.

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