Humid-dry-humid place for guitar?

Construction and repair of Classical Guitar and related instruments
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Arash Ahmadi
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Humid-dry-humid place for guitar?

Post by Arash Ahmadi » Sun Mar 03, 2019 10:04 am

Hi folks,

I often hear that if a guitar was built in a humid city, it should be maintained in almost the same condition and humidity. They say if you bring a guitar from a humid city to a dry city for a couple of years, then move it back to a humid city, it's almost going to ruin the guitar...

I have a guitar that's made in a humid city (80-90% humidity) and is in a dry city (25-35%) now but in a room with a humidifier set to (40-50%). Will there be any problems if I move it back to 80-90%?

Saying that, I think the luthier must have kept it in less that 80% humidity as too much humidity is not good for the guitar, right?

My questions are:
1- Is that saying true about moving a guitar back and forth from humid to dry to humid places? If so how likely is my guitar in risk (bearing in mind it's in a room with 40-50% humidity)?
2- What's the best way to protect the guitar from too much humidity? Dehumidifiers seem too expensive, heavy and bulky...
To send light into the darkness of men's heart, such is the duty of the artist. (Robert Schumann)

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Keith
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Re: Humid-dry-humid place for guitar?

Post by Keith » Sun Mar 03, 2019 11:56 am

A humid city does not equal humid workshop; it is the workshop humidity that matters.

The best way to control too much humidity is to use a dehumidifier and/or air conditioning. Dehumidifiers are not really that expensive and the benefits outweigh the costs nor are they bulky (about a square foot at the base and about 3 feet in height). Think how much damage high humidity causes and the money spent to correct the damages to say nothing about mold. Dehumidifiers work. Case in point. I currently live in Louisville KY and it is humid from mid- April through mid-October. I run my dehumidifier when I leave home in the morning and turn it off when I get home. During the 9+ hours I am away it sucks up a gallon of water. This is one gallon of water in the living room where the guitars are located each and every day. Some of that gallon of water each day would have been sucked up by my guitars.

Guitars are like humans--we do not like extremes.
be true to the one you love but have many flings with different guitars

guitarras en la espiritu de la:
Marcelo Barbero
Jose Ramirez III

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bear
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Re: Humid-dry-humid place for guitar?

Post by bear » Sun Mar 03, 2019 1:31 pm

I live in a northern swamp, so classic swamp conditions in the summer and right now 6 inches of snow on the ground. My 10 string was made in Italy, outside of Venice, three others from Spain, and one from Michigan. My wife has one from Germany, China, northern Mexico and one from Costa Rica. So many different climates, impossible to copy. Each guitar has a sponge in it. When the sponge drys out, I wet it. All guitars are kept in their own cases and only taken out to be played. So far, so good.
2013 Jeff Medlin '37 Hauser 640mm sp
2006 Michele Della Giustina Concert 10 string 650mm ce
2005 Jose Ramirez 4E 650mm ce
2005 Manuel Rodriguez Model C3F 650mm sp
2003 Manuel Rodriguez Model D 650mm ce

MessyTendon
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Re: Humid-dry-humid place for guitar?

Post by MessyTendon » Sun Mar 03, 2019 4:36 pm

A good quality case that has a nice seal and some humipacks you should be good. If the humidifier you bought is keeping it relative 50 percent, you should be fine...and you can always use a boveda pack in the case to raise it a touch.

Temperature will affect humidity with in room humidifers. So if you are keeping some moisture, where it's dry it's better than nothing.

When you go to the larger humid zones then use in case humidifer, boveda pack/planetwave works well.

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Arash Ahmadi
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Re: Humid-dry-humid place for guitar?

Post by Arash Ahmadi » Mon Mar 04, 2019 9:31 am

Keith wrote:
Sun Mar 03, 2019 11:56 am
A humid city does not equal humid workshop; it is the workshop humidity that matters.

The best way to control too much humidity is to use a dehumidifier and/or air conditioning. Dehumidifiers are not really that expensive and the benefits outweigh the costs nor are they bulky (about a square foot at the base and about 3 feet in height). Think how much damage high humidity causes and the money spent to correct the damages to say nothing about mold. Dehumidifiers work. Case in point. I currently live in Louisville KY and it is humid from mid- April through mid-October. I run my dehumidifier when I leave home in the morning and turn it off when I get home. During the 9+ hours I am away it sucks up a gallon of water. This is one gallon of water in the living room where the guitars are located each and every day. Some of that gallon of water each day would have been sucked up by my guitars.

Guitars are like humans--we do not like extremes.
That's something! Well, I would do the same but I a going to travel to another very humid country. So it's really a pain in the neck to buy a dehumidifier and then sell it, since it's not very useful for a charity organization anyway either. So I was hoping to find another solution.
To send light into the darkness of men's heart, such is the duty of the artist. (Robert Schumann)

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Arash Ahmadi
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Re: Humid-dry-humid place for guitar?

Post by Arash Ahmadi » Mon Mar 04, 2019 9:35 am

bear wrote:
Sun Mar 03, 2019 1:31 pm
I live in a northern swamp, so classic swamp conditions in the summer and right now 6 inches of snow on the ground. My 10 string was made in Italy, outside of Venice, three others from Spain, and one from Michigan. My wife has one from Germany, China, northern Mexico and one from Costa Rica. So many different climates, impossible to copy. Each guitar has a sponge in it. When the sponge drys out, I wet it. All guitars are kept in their own cases and only taken out to be played. So far, so good.
You have a little guitar heaven at home! So what do you do during the swamp time?

It's relatively easier to humidify, although hearing the stories of people who were using sponges or various brands which then leaked and harmed the guitar worries me too much to use one of those. Instead, I am using a humidifier and the guitar stays in the case most of the time.
To send light into the darkness of men's heart, such is the duty of the artist. (Robert Schumann)

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Arash Ahmadi
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Re: Humid-dry-humid place for guitar?

Post by Arash Ahmadi » Mon Mar 04, 2019 9:41 am

MessyTendon wrote:
Sun Mar 03, 2019 4:36 pm
A good quality case that has a nice seal and some humipacks you should be good. If the humidifier you bought is keeping it relative 50 percent, you should be fine...and you can always use a boveda pack in the case to raise it a touch.

Temperature will affect humidity with in room humidifers. So if you are keeping some moisture, where it's dry it's better than nothing.

When you go to the larger humid zones then use in case humidifer, boveda pack/planetwave works well.
Do you mean a good case can protect from too much humidity? I guess cases like Hoffee perhaps, mine is a Hiscox pro II which is very unlikely to do that.

I can't trust in case humidifiers as I've heard horror stories about them, but I had never heard of boveda... Can it dehumidify too? It looks safer than planetwave, etc...
To send light into the darkness of men's heart, such is the duty of the artist. (Robert Schumann)

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Keith
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Re: Humid-dry-humid place for guitar?

Post by Keith » Mon Mar 04, 2019 10:45 am

where there is humidity there is usually heat. run the AC to cool down the room and reduce the humidity
be true to the one you love but have many flings with different guitars

guitarras en la espiritu de la:
Marcelo Barbero
Jose Ramirez III

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bear
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Location: Massachusetts

Re: Humid-dry-humid place for guitar?

Post by bear » Mon Mar 04, 2019 1:50 pm

Arash Ahmadi wrote:
Mon Mar 04, 2019 9:35 am
bear wrote:
Sun Mar 03, 2019 1:31 pm
I live in a northern swamp, so classic swamp conditions in the summer and right now 6 inches of snow on the ground. My 10 string was made in Italy, outside of Venice, three others from Spain, and one from Michigan. My wife has one from Germany, China, northern Mexico and one from Costa Rica. So many different climates, impossible to copy. Each guitar has a sponge in it. When the sponge drys out, I wet it. All guitars are kept in their own cases and only taken out to be played. So far, so good.
You have a little guitar heaven at home! So what do you do during the swamp time?

It's relatively easier to humidify, although hearing the stories of people who were using sponges or various brands which then leaked and harmed the guitar worries me too much to use one of those. Instead, I am using a humidifier and the guitar stays in the case most of the time.
I do the same all year. I assume that the humidity inside the case is about as constant as I'm going to get. I have a Humicase? for my Ramirez. It has those humidifier things built in. One of them leaked a jell-like substance all over the lower bout. The sponge (Planet Waves) is not a problem. The sponge should be damp, not dripping.
2013 Jeff Medlin '37 Hauser 640mm sp
2006 Michele Della Giustina Concert 10 string 650mm ce
2005 Jose Ramirez 4E 650mm ce
2005 Manuel Rodriguez Model C3F 650mm sp
2003 Manuel Rodriguez Model D 650mm ce

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joachim33
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Re: Humid-dry-humid place for guitar?

Post by joachim33 » Mon Mar 04, 2019 3:14 pm

Arash Ahmadi wrote:
Mon Mar 04, 2019 9:41 am
MessyTendon wrote:
Sun Mar 03, 2019 4:36 pm
A good quality case that has a nice seal and some humipacks you should be good. If the humidifier you bought is keeping it relative 50 percent, you should be fine...and you can always use a boveda pack in the case to raise it a touch.

Temperature will affect humidity with in room humidifers. So if you are keeping some moisture, where it's dry it's better than nothing.

When you go to the larger humid zones then use in case humidifer, boveda pack/planetwave works well.
Do you mean a good case can protect from too much humidity? I guess cases like Hoffee perhaps, mine is a Hiscox pro II which is very unlikely to do that.

I can't trust in case humidifiers as I've heard horror stories about them, but I had never heard of boveda... Can it dehumidify too? It looks safer than planetwave, etc...
The boveda is essentially the same as the PlanetWaves. The Boveda seems not to be marketed in Europe. The latest PlanetWaves holders seem very similar to the Boveda ones. Key difference is the Boveda has two packs at the head, the PW only one. I use the PW in a Hiscox case and a simple case that came with a 500€ guitar. In the Hiscox (better seal) the packs in the guitar deplete faster, with the other case (not so well sealed) the pack in the headstock depletes faster. I live in Northern Europe so I only have the issue of the guitars needing humidity in winter. In the Hiscox the packs last longer.

I would not use the packs without the holders (boweda or PlanetWaves). The holders are from some gore-tex like material and provide extra protection against the packs bursting.

Before using the PlanetWaves two way system, I used the Planet Waves Acoustic Guitar Humidifier. As others noted, you have to keep the sponge moist and not dripping. I fail to see how that could drip onto the guitar. However you need to use your own judgement when the guitar is properly humidified to avoid over humidification. With the 2-way-system, that is more or less automatic. It releases moisture below 45% and absorbs moisture when the air is above 50%.

What a good case (well sealed) does, it slows the humidity exchange. So if the instrument is properly humidified, it will not loose (dry environment) or gain (moist environment) humidity as quickly. I would not rely on this to get me through the entire heating period.

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joachim33
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Re: Humid-dry-humid place for guitar?

Post by joachim33 » Mon Mar 04, 2019 3:24 pm

Arash Ahmadi wrote:
Sun Mar 03, 2019 10:04 am
Hi folks,

I often hear that if a guitar was built in a humid city, it should be maintained in almost the same condition and humidity. They say if you bring a guitar from a humid city to a dry city for a couple of years, then move it back to a humid city, it's almost going to ruin the guitar...

I have a guitar that's made in a humid city (80-90% humidity) and is in a dry city (25-35%) now but in a room with a humidifier set to (40-50%). Will there be any problems if I move it back to 80-90%?

Saying that, I think the luthier must have kept it in less that 80% humidity as too much humidity is not good for the guitar, right?

My questions are:
1- Is that saying true about moving a guitar back and forth from humid to dry to humid places? If so how likely is my guitar in risk (bearing in mind it's in a room with 40-50% humidity)?
2- What's the best way to protect the guitar from too much humidity? Dehumidifiers seem too expensive, heavy and bulky...
You should ask your luthier for which humidity the instrument was build (or what they had in their workshop when building it).

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Arash Ahmadi
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Re: Humid-dry-humid place for guitar?

Post by Arash Ahmadi » Mon Mar 04, 2019 5:43 pm

Keith wrote:
Mon Mar 04, 2019 10:45 am
where there is humidity there is usually heat. run the AC to cool down the room and reduce the humidity
In Nordic countries, it can be the opposite!
To send light into the darkness of men's heart, such is the duty of the artist. (Robert Schumann)

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Arash Ahmadi
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Re: Humid-dry-humid place for guitar?

Post by Arash Ahmadi » Mon Mar 04, 2019 5:46 pm

joachim33 wrote:
Mon Mar 04, 2019 3:14 pm
Arash Ahmadi wrote:
Mon Mar 04, 2019 9:41 am
MessyTendon wrote:
Sun Mar 03, 2019 4:36 pm
A good quality case that has a nice seal and some humipacks you should be good. If the humidifier you bought is keeping it relative 50 percent, you should be fine...and you can always use a boveda pack in the case to raise it a touch.

Temperature will affect humidity with in room humidifers. So if you are keeping some moisture, where it's dry it's better than nothing.

When you go to the larger humid zones then use in case humidifer, boveda pack/planetwave works well.
Do you mean a good case can protect from too much humidity? I guess cases like Hoffee perhaps, mine is a Hiscox pro II which is very unlikely to do that.

I can't trust in case humidifiers as I've heard horror stories about them, but I had never heard of boveda... Can it dehumidify too? It looks safer than planetwave, etc...
The boveda is essentially the same as the PlanetWaves. The Boveda seems not to be marketed in Europe. The latest PlanetWaves holders seem very similar to the Boveda ones. Key difference is the Boveda has two packs at the head, the PW only one. I use the PW in a Hiscox case and a simple case that came with a 500€ guitar. In the Hiscox (better seal) the packs in the guitar deplete faster, with the other case (not so well sealed) the pack in the headstock depletes faster. I live in Northern Europe so I only have the issue of the guitars needing humidity in winter. In the Hiscox the packs last longer.

I would not use the packs without the holders (boweda or PlanetWaves). The holders are from some gore-tex like material and provide extra protection against the packs bursting.

Before using the PlanetWaves two way system, I used the Planet Waves Acoustic Guitar Humidifier. As others noted, you have to keep the sponge moist and not dripping. I fail to see how that could drip onto the guitar. However you need to use your own judgement when the guitar is properly humidified to avoid over humidification. With the 2-way-system, that is more or less automatic. It releases moisture below 45% and absorbs moisture when the air is above 50%.

What a good case (well sealed) does, it slows the humidity exchange. So if the instrument is properly humidified, it will not loose (dry environment) or gain (moist environment) humidity as quickly. I would not rely on this to get me through the entire heating period.
Thanks Joachim, good points! What is the limit of these 2 way system packs? How one finds out?
To send light into the darkness of men's heart, such is the duty of the artist. (Robert Schumann)

vesa
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Re: Humid-dry-humid place for guitar?

Post by vesa » Tue Mar 05, 2019 7:13 am

Hi Aresh
To get a little peace of mind contact your luthier
about humidity level in his workshop.
As it is said, outside humidity level has a very little to do
with the inside humidity level.
Central heating, airconditioning, different temperature inside etc.
change the things radically.
Nowadays almost everybody has a humidity controlled workshop.
Roughly said the consensus about humidity level is about 40-50% in the shop.
Buy (if you already do not have one) a digital humidity meter,
they are very cheap nowadays.
And answers to your questions:
1. No. Humidity changes are never a good idea.
As I have said in earlier posts:
-If no humidifier in wintertime (change from moist to dry) always a crack (sooner or later). Winter climate in my country is very hostile.
-When the opposite (from dry to wet) never significant problems. Here those who live in tropics have more to say!
2. Do not know - never needed one.
Do you have problems with your guitar?

Vesa
Vesa Kuokkanen

Antonio Marin nr. 813 1995 (Bouchet)
Vesa Kuokkanen 2016

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Arash Ahmadi
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Re: Humid-dry-humid place for guitar?

Post by Arash Ahmadi » Tue Mar 05, 2019 10:15 am

vesa wrote:
Tue Mar 05, 2019 7:13 am
Hi Aresh
To get a little peace of mind contact your luthier
about humidity level in his workshop.
As it is said, outside humidity level has a very little to do
with the inside humidity level.
Central heating, airconditioning, different temperature inside etc.
change the things radically.
Nowadays almost everybody has a humidity controlled workshop.
Roughly said the consensus about humidity level is about 40-50% in the shop.
Buy (if you already do not have one) a digital humidity meter,
they are very cheap nowadays.
And answers to your questions:
1. No. Humidity changes are never a good idea.
As I have said in earlier posts:
-If no humidifier in wintertime (change from moist to dry) always a crack (sooner or later). Winter climate in my country is very hostile.
-When the opposite (from dry to wet) never significant problems. Here those who live in tropics have more to say!
2. Do not know - never needed one.
Do you have problems with your guitar?

Vesa
Hi Vesa, thanks for your comment. I currently don't have a problem with my guitars but I am trying plan things ahead.
To send light into the darkness of men's heart, such is the duty of the artist. (Robert Schumann)

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