Humidity-Electric Guitars

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Buck, Nov 25, 2017.

  1. Buck

    Buck It feels awesome to be metal in a plastic society

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    Hi All, I know this has probably been discussed many times, but just curious on some opinions.
    I live in the midwest and have a whole house humidifier that keeps it at minimum of 33% humidity in the winter, and a whole house dehumidifier that keeps it at a max of 55% in the summer. For my acoustics, I keep those in the cases in the winter with humidipaks, and some hanging on the wall in the summer when humidity in the house is 45-55%. Question is...for my electrics (PRS & Gibson mostly), is it crucial to keep them cased in the winter months with a couple humidipaks, or is 33% minimum humidity enough to not have the fingerboard shrink and fret ends stick out. I tend to keep the few I play the most on the wall in the summer, simply because the humidity is in the good range for all my guitars.
    Thoughts on this for the electrics?

    Thanks!
     
  2. veinbuster

    veinbuster Coming of age

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    I don’t humidify any of my electrics in the winter and they haven’t come to any harm. My Les Paul needs a bit of a truss rod tweek early in the winter and again in spring, but I’ve never had any fret issues.
    The humidifier on my furnace usually keeps the humidity close to 40% but it does drop a bit when we get long cold stretches.

    I’ve kept PRS like that for 20+ years and my Les Paul and Tele for about 30.
     
  3. bodia

    bodia Authorities said.....best leave it.....unsolved

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    I'm the same. Live in the Chiago area. All of mine, except my lone acoustic, hang on the walls year round. A couple are fickle with the changes of season and require a truss rod tweak in the late fall and late spring.
     
  4. DreamTheaterRules

    DreamTheaterRules Archon owning member

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    usually my house only gets dry a couple times per winter. However, I leave most of my guitars in their cases. I have 3 out at a time, on stands, and somewhat rotate those 3 although the NF3 seems to always be out. ;)

    After a long dry spell, as soon as the air gets moist again, I'll open some cases and let some moisture in. But for the most part, only after dry spells lasting over a couple weeks, will I need to hook up a room humidifier. I do always watch it carefully.

    To address specifics, I think 33% is low. Guitars like 45-55%. I had one guitar that if I ever let it get dry, some of the fret ends would pop. Get it some moisture, and they were fine again. If you keep them in closed cases that were sealed when the air was somewhere around 50% they should be OK for a while, but I'd consider adding a room humidifier to keep it closer to 50% at all times.
     
  5. Herr Squid

    Herr Squid I was severely impressed

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    I go to some effort for my one good acoustic guitar (cased with humidipacks) during the winter when humidity seems to run in the low 30s. But I've ferociously neglected my electrics with respect to humidity. My current oldest is an '01 Singlecut and it's fine, as are all the others. The only fret sprout I've had is on my Fenders and a Warmoth. PRS dries their wood very thoroughly at the factory, and this is one of the ways that pays off.
     
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  6. 11top

    11top Cousin Eddie's cousin

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    Likewise. No issues. However, mine all hang in basements so they keep more humid in the winter.
     
  7. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    I seem to be more careful/OCD than most, but in Michigan winters I’ve had some really nice, high end guitars suffer the fret end problem and need lots of adjustments in the past. This includes Custom Shop Gibsons, high end Martins, etc., and of course the higher level Fenders, Andersons, etc, that seem to be more prone to these issues.

    I’ve always had whole house humidification, but it struggles to reach 30% in the cold months, and is sometimes lower. This includes my former house with two furnace/AC systems and two humidification systems, one for upstairs, one for downstairs. Today, my hygrometer says my house is at 31% humidity, and it’s not even very cold out. Yet I have a high capacity whole house humidifier on and turned all the way up.

    For the past few years I’ve used a combination of room humidifier (steam, so no white dust) and humidipaks, and that’s solved the problem. I keep them cased when not playing. No truss rod adjustments needed for season changes. Better yet, no scratchy pots, sticky dust, etc., from whatever’s circulating in the house HVAC system (like evaporated cooking oils.).

    A room will have the temperature and humidity fluctuate during the day and night. The case buffers these changes. In addition, rooms are dryer near the ceiling than the floor. So hanging guitars on the wall increases the dryness, if your room is dry.

    I realize that not everyone is as fussy as I am, but hell, I’ve got a lot of money and love sunk into my guitars! It doesn’t bother me to open a guitar case. I don’t need them out on stands or on the wall, and I don’t think of guitars as decor.
     
    #7 LSchefman, Nov 26, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2017
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  8. bodia

    bodia Authorities said.....best leave it.....unsolved

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    Man, you guys should man up! I'm in Chicago, and the humidity in my house never dips below 35%. Actually, it's usually around 40%. Of course, the thermostat is set for 62 degrees overnight, and never more than 65 degrees during the day. And, I work from home. We like it cold, and don't mind bundling up. The only thing I've got, other than a couple of room humidifiers, is an electric dryer. I've got a vent on it that allows the air to be blown into the house. That adds a little moisture when doing laundry. I've got neighbors that wear shorts and t-shirts inside year round. My wife thanks them because she works for the local natural gas company. :D
     
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  9. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    Um...OK.
     
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  10. Elliot

    Elliot Still a New Member

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    Next-level life hack. Are you sure this is ok (no strange toxin exposures)? If it is safe, the rest of us are living like animals.

    edit: I bet your place smells great too
     
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  11. bodia

    bodia Authorities said.....best leave it.....unsolved

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    Animals, I say, animals!
     
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  12. Alnus Rubra

    Alnus Rubra Loving nature’s wonders

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    Scotland! One word, no explanation needed! I’ll leave it there :mad:
     
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  13. Parralax view

    Parralax view New Member

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    Hawaii maintains an about 60% humidity level at all times. In Winter it goes up to sometimes 80% as Winter in Hawaii is not cold, but it is wet. I hang all of my gits, and all of them haven't seen their proper case in over a decade. The only thing I can tell or feel sometimes is a very slight relief change to some necks and not others. I don't bother to tweek as they always return. My strats or at least my MiM, have a very slight rising of the skunk stripe when it gets too humid. Past that, they return as soon as it gets dry and summer. ALL year round however, every window in the house is open, even during rain storms, so lack of humidity is never an issue.
     

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