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Care & Feeding of Acoustic Guitars in Cold, Dry Climates


 Noff
(@noff)
Estimable Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 102
Topic starter  

I feel like this would be a common topic but apparently my gn searchmojo is pretty weak right now.

So the humidity gets pretty low in the winter here in Pennsylvania, and we have oil heat so we're planning on keeping the internal temperature of the house relatively frigid to save money. I know that sudden changes in temperature=bad, but is it bad for an acoustic to live at a relatively stable colder temperature? It's not going to be freezing but it'll still be pretty cold.

Also, does anyone have any opinions on those little in-case humidifiers? They seem like a good idea but the ones that amount to sticking a wet sponge in the sound hole make me pretty nervous...


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(@eadgber)
Eminent Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 43
 

Noff I live over in Ohio.I really don't have the chilliness problem in the house but I do still have the low humidity to worry about. We use a woodburning stove when temps get to about 25F or below. They really dry out a house. I could definitely tell by tuning. My necks would dry out. I run a humidifier in the house now. It helps but I still got to keep guitars out of the same room as the stove. For my one acoustic ,I keep in a SKB case and just made a homemade humidifier with a sponge inside a Tylenol bottle. I just keep the sponge damp & drilled 5 small holes around the neck of the bottle.My gtr is a cutaway so I just use a ctoth to wrap around the bottle & it slips in that open cutaway. It seems to work because I've never had any trouble w/ that guitar.


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(@mmoncur)
Estimable Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 168
 

Here in Utah, with central heating, the temperature stays consistent but the humidity plummets to 10-15% during the coldest times. I've seen some guitars seriously damaged by this, and others (such as a 50-year-old tenor guitar I forgot about in the basement) survive just fine.

I recommend you don't take any chances. I got my Takamine acoustic through last winter with one of the Planet Waves humidifiers and a homemade "damp sponge in a soap dish" humidifier in the case.

I don't think temperature will be a major issue if it's consistent.


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(@tinsmith)
Prominent Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 830
 

Here in Utah, with central heating, the temperature stays consistent but the humidity plummets to 10-15% during the coldest times. I've seen some guitars seriously damaged by this, and others (such as a 50-year-old tenor guitar I forgot about in the basement) survive just fine.

I recommend you don't take any chances. I got my Takamine acoustic through last winter with one of the Planet Waves humidifiers and a homemade "damp sponge in a soap dish" humidifier in the case.

I don't think temperature will be a major issue if it's consistent.
Same here in Maine.

I have a Guild which got severe damage...twice... The Planet waves hole humidifier saved mine.
Of course it needs to stay it the case. I bought a new humidifier last year. The old one I put by the headstock.

It gets crapped up using regular water instead of distilled


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 Noff
(@noff)
Estimable Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 102
Topic starter  

Thanks for the move - I forgot that this was also the maintenance forum.

I ordered one of the planet waves humidifiers, sounds like they work ok and $8 is hard to beat.


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(@mmoncur)
Estimable Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 168
 

Be sure to check it regularly - mine would dry out within 3-4 days at the dryest times last year.

(That's why I added a second humidifier - that way it could last a week and a half while I went out of town.)


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