Hi everybody, guitarists in particular,
I would like to know if and how do you keep your guitars at home.
I’m sixty and I’ve been playing for many years now and I always kept my guitars inside their bags/cases, to protect them; nothing more. Never had troubles.
Last year I eventually decided to buy a guitar rack stand for my five guitars as I wanted to have them ready to play and I liked the idea to see them ready to go…
This summer I realized that one of them, unfortunately the best ant the more expensive, an acoustic Larrivée D09-M, had his bridge starting to detach (see photos), so I had to take it to a luthier to repair (lot of money…).
Luthier told me that problem was likely too dry air and guitars have to stay in a humidity range around 50%(+o-5%) - the same suggested by Boveda so I bought an hygrometer
to check it; do you think it’s reliable? I’m afraid is too cheap… Do you use something similar? Any advice?
Thank you very much,
That hygrometer should be sufficient for checking the air where you store your guitars. Since your bridge gave way, that’s usually a sign of the humidity being too high. Is that your case? If you’re willing to spend the money, and still want your guitars out, you can get humidity controlled cabinets that are glass with wood frames so you can see them and have them nearby.
Acoustic Guitar mag has this article on the topic:
Acoustic Guitar Humidity and Storage
All a hygrometer does is tell you what the humidity is, what you need is a Humidifier.
My wife has 5 really expensive guitars and we keep them all in their cases, much easier to control.
You don’t say if your guitars are in a humidified room, which is the only way to keep them all at the proper level, otherwise you have to go the case route.
I know it’s a pain but we had a similar experience with a Martin 1952 D28, which had to be repaired .
As far as hygrometers go we have 5 Inkbird ITH-10’s for monitoring and different humidifiers like Oasis OH-1 for keeping them at the right level.
You can check them all out at Amazon.ca if you are in Canada or the US site.
My good acoustic stays in the case, my beater acoustic is always on the stand.
Thank you all for answering and for precious advices!
Now my main problem is to set a standard humidity in my room as it tends to be at the lower edge (45%) and I need to be sure my higrometers are reliable… I bought two, of the same type (see previous post) and they seem to be quite according in their measurement but I have an old analog higrometer and it gives me a different measure so I’m afraid the only way to have an answer is to buy a third digital higrometer to be ‘the judge’, so to say… How would you do?
For my Larrivée I’m using these Boveda envelopes: you put two in a bag that hangs inside the body laying on the strings; mine are slightly different from the ones in the picture.
For the room itself I have humidifiers on the radiator but it’s not enough so I have to buy some kind of device; somewhere I’ve read there are plants that help keeping the air wet, I’ll have a deeper search.
@SF_Green cabinets are great but really too expensive!
My luthier told me my problem was probably too dry air and I think it’s possible because my whole apartment is…
Honestly, a sling hydrometer is probably more accurate than the digital ones and will never wear out unless you break one of the thermometers. It’s 2 thermometers attached to a bracket that you whirl around. One thermometer bulb is dry/normal, the other has a cotton sleeve you soak with water, then you calculate (or read off a table) humidity from the temperature difference. This way you don’t have to worry about accuracy and calibration. I remember making our own in earth science class in 9th grade.
The pic shows two types.
@SF_Green Curious, I’d never heard about, I’ll look into it.
I know there are hair higrometers and I’ve read they’re more precise but I think they are more expensive but I prefer buying a good hygrometer than give more money to repair a precious guitar.
While I’m trying to go in depth I put my hygrometer inside the guitar case and it looks like Boveda envelopes are doing their job: whilst the outside humidity is around 45-46% in the case, near the guitar body, it’s 50%, that would be perfect (assuming the measure is right)
Thank you again for helping!
I generally keep my guitars in their cases, but I always have on solid body electric within my reach. In my region, it’s too humid in the summer, and too dry in the winter.I have a dehumidifier for the summer and a room humidifier for the winter. If my humidifier is accurate, it stays around 50% in the summer, and gradually goes down to 40% in the winter. The guitars seem to be ok with this (and the piano too). I try not to be too crazy about a change in this range, and of course, some of the guitars are in and out of the house depending on where I’m playing, and they seem to be able to handle some variation.
I was never particularly “crazy” about humidity and/or dryiness until I saw my Larrivèe bridge starting to unglue…
I had always kept my guitars into their bags when I was not playing - and so I do (again) now - but with no anxiety; after the “accident” - however - I would only have an approximate idea about my room climate to avoid troubles again; I’ll possibly buy an humidifier’ expecially for winter season, when radiators cause the air to be really very dry (for my troath too)
Hi arfo1962, I think it’s more about the change in humidity than the absolute number. I think the hygrometers (humidity gauges) I’ve owned have all disagreed with each other. But around here, it can go from 10% humidity on the coldest days of winter to 90% and higher on the hottest most humid days of summer. So anything you can do to reduce those extremes will solve the problem. For me it’s a humidifier in the winter and a dehumidifier in the summer. Others have whole house solutions.
Also, basement areas usually have a lot less variation, because their temperatures don’t vary as much. Remember, the warmer the air, the more water vapor it can hold.
HI @Early21, fortunately I don’t have such extreme changes where I live but things do change with different seasons; I have a dehumidifier for summer yet, anyway - included in air conditioner - and I think I’ll go with a humidifier, better if with a sensor included, so to start when humidity goes lower than a certain percentage.
By the way: any suggestion?
The humidifier you need depends on how large a room you have. I’ve found they all fail after five years! Anyway, I think the current one I have is Honeywell.
My ‘studio’ room is about sixteen square meters, three meters high; maybe I can consider it a small room?