Do you do anything to humidify your electric guitars?

Markcarl

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Jul 19, 2023
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I moved to a new house in South Dakota last year. During the wintertime the humidity in my house can get low around 20% even with the furnace humidifier turned on.

I take special care of my wood acoustic guitars by keeping them in their cases with an in case humidifier during the winter months. I have some carbon fiber acoustics that are always left out of their cases year round.

My question is this. Should I do anything special to humidify my electric guitars? I have 3 solid body PRS electric guitars that are currently hung up on the wall. I like being able to grab them and play them whenever I want without taking them out of a case. I have to admit I like looking at them too!

I’ve heard when electric guitars get too dry that fret edges will start to stick out a bit from the fretboard. I don’t know if the guitar will get damaged or develop cracks though.
 
I’m in North Central Maryland. I run a dehumidifier in my sound room/finished basement in the warmer months, and a humidifier in the colder months. I keep the humidity right around 50%. Personally, I believe that keeping guitars in the proper humidity is very beneficial to longevity and issue free playing satisfaction.
 
I dont do anything special. I dont own acoustics. My electrics have been fine some going on 10 years hangin on the wall.
 
My NYC apartment gets down to 20% humidity in the winter months and none of the humidifiers I've owned have come close to maintaining 40% humidity let alone 50%. The PRS SE 245 I had never experienced any fretboard shrinkage (fret sprout) but a Suhr Standard I had did.

I have a Les Paul now and store it in its case. I use two 49% Boveda packs and monitor it with a Govee hygrometer. This keeps the guitar at about 48% humidity.
 
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absolutely! i run a giant room unit and aim for 50% but in january and february i'm lucky to keep it at 40%. avoid cool mist units as they produce white dust. filling the humidifiers with water and cleaning them can sometimes be a chore but it is well worth it to me to keep the guitars happy.

all my fenders have had fret pop when they got too dry, but only one prs ever did.
 
Yes. Soon as the heat goes on in the fall and winter, I get the humidifier running in my guitar room.

I've had a Brazilian Rosewood acoustic crack in the winter and sharp fret ends sprout out of the edges of the neck of electric guitars because the neck width shrank in the winter.

Year round, I have sound hole humidifiers in all of my acoustics. It's a chore but I don't ever want to hear a Brazilian Rosewood guitar crack again.
 
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When I lived up North I ran a humidifier in the room my music gear was in to supplement what the humidifier on the furnace was pumping out. If you add additional humidifiers to your house your heat will feel warmer too.

I have been in South Florida for over 11 years now and I used to run a humidifier in my music room in an apartment I lived in before we bought our house because the air conditioner pulled so much humidity out it ran it lower than I wanted it to be. I have not really had an issue in the house I am in now and have been in this one for over 8 years.
 
Not proud of this, but I made a homemade humidifier for my music room. It actually fits the room decor, which is a rendering of the lunchroom/turnout room at the plant where I used to work. Tattered overalls and worn out hard hat hanging in the corner; rusty warning signs on the walls; plywood shelves; you get the picture…. Anyway, I bent some stiff wire mesh into an arch about the size of a hand towel, put that into a plastic container of the right size, draped a worn out hand towel over that so that it’s ends would be under water, filled the container with water, and ran a floor fan blowing over the soaked towel. The towel kept sucking up the water and the fan kept evaporating it and dispersing it into the air. Looks like #€££, but works like a charm.
 
I am in suburban Chicago, so winter months are pretty dry. I have my guitars hanging, year round (no acoustic) and have never experienced any negative affects from low humidity. At least not with any PRS (1 SE I used to own needed a truss rod tweak in the late fall and late spring). There are 3 guitars hanging in an upstairs music room and 5 in the basement. I run a dehumidifier in the basement from spring through mid October. During the winter months, in the basement, I run a humidifier. I am able to keep the humidity above 40% during the winter months. Also run a humidifier upstairs in an adjacent bedroom upstairs. That's enough, plus steam from the shower, to keep the humidity in the 45% range during the winter upstairs.
 
I live in Florida, where the AC keeps the humidity at 50% or so for 11 months out of the year, 2 weeks of open windows and doors, and 2 weeks (sporadic on and off) of "heat". I don't worry about the humidity during those heating days, spurts are too short to really do anything.

I used to live in Ontario, where the wintertime humidity could get quite low. But I didn't own any fancy guitars back then, just a handful of inexpensively-acquired items like a Squier Strat and Tele (though one I still have is a 79 Les Paul). My two "nicer" (but still not expensive) acoustics, a 6 and a 12, did just fine, though I think I kept them in hardshell cases most of the time back then. And most guitars lived in the semi-finished basement, where humidity is always a bit higher than the floors above.

But doing what the rest of the posters up north do is a wise decision - easy prevention of issues is far better than hoping nothing happens, I suppose.
 
Not proud of this, but I made a homemade humidifier for my music room. It actually fits the room decor, which is a rendering of the lunchroom/turnout room at the plant where I used to work. Tattered overalls and worn out hard hat hanging in the corner; rusty warning signs on the walls; plywood shelves; you get the picture…. Anyway, I bent some stiff wire mesh into an arch about the size of a hand towel, put that into a plastic container of the right size, draped a worn out hand towel over that so that it’s ends would be under water, filled the container with water, and ran a floor fan blowing over the soaked towel. The towel kept sucking up the water and the fan kept evaporating it and dispersing it into the air. Looks like #€££, but works like a charm.

the whole room sounds quite interesting! do you have any pictures to share
 
I moved to a new house in South Dakota last year. During the wintertime the humidity in my house can get low around 20% even with the furnace humidifier turned on.

I take special care of my wood acoustic guitars by keeping them in their cases with an in case humidifier during the winter months. I have some carbon fiber acoustics that are always left out of their cases year round.

My question is this. Should I do anything special to humidify my electric guitars? I have 3 solid body PRS electric guitars that are currently hung up on the wall. I like being able to grab them and play them whenever I want without taking them out of a case. I have to admit I like looking at them too!

I’ve heard when electric guitars get too dry that fret edges will start to stick out a bit from the fretboard. I don’t know if the guitar will get damaged or develop cracks though.
My house's RH here in Michigan in winter was only around 25%, despite a whole-house humidifier. So for many years I tried various humidifiers in my guitar room, and they all worked, but filling them daily, and cleaning them was a bit of a PITA.

I went to those damn room humidifiers because the old fashioned ones that people used to stick in cases back in the day would either get drippy, didn't work well, or make the case stinky.

PRS says they keep their factory around 45% RH, and in a video one of the PRS guys making the acoustic PS models said the D'Addario humidipaks were a great thing to use. So I used them on my acoustic the first year, and no leaks, no smell, the case was always 45% RH according to a digital hygrometer.

So I decided to try putting only one D'Addario humidipak in the case of my electrics near the neck, where it would lay flat on the bottom of the case away from the guitar when the case is upright on its feet. On the French-Fit Artist, WL and PS cases, I put the pack by the headstock, again so it's resting on the bottom of the case when the case is upright.

This has worked incredibly well.

I stopped using the room humidifier. Periodically I check the status of the humidipaks to make sure they haven't dried out. I find they last around 3 months in winter here. I replace as needed.

Since I started using these, 7-8 years ago, I haven't needed a single neck adjustment or setup after a winter, there's no fretboard shrinkage with sharp fret ends (fret sprout), and the guitars feel great. I used to need a setup 3 times a year. Now, zero.

I also keep the humidipaks in the cases all year round, because they not only release moisture in dry weather, they absorb excess moisture in summer. the guitars don't swell due to moisture absorption that way. It's absolutely a great system.

I get the humidipaks from Amazon, and usually buy the Bovida brand, since they make the same packs for D'Addario, and I can get them in boxes of a dozen. I stick them in one of the fabric D'Addario bags that come with the sets for acoustic guitar, just to keep the paper pack away from the guitar's finish, though that's probably not necessary.
 
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I use a humidifier in various rooms and do the best I can to keep the humidity up in the house. The acoustics and hollowbodies will get cased until late spring when it gets humider again.
 
I’m in North Central Maryland. I run a dehumidifier in my sound room/finished basement in the warmer months, and a humidifier in the colder months. I keep the humidity right around 50%. Personally, I believe that keeping guitars in the proper humidity is very beneficial to longevity and issue free playing satisfaction.
Me too...Fallston.

I use a whole house humidifier and try to keep it about 40% in the Winter. My PRS's hang on the wall and only need a minor truss rod adjustment is all. I've heard PRSh say that if you're comfortable then so are your guitars.

Jim
 
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