It doesn’t matter how well crafted your guitar is, it’s still vulnerable to weathering damage.
The more expensive your instrument is, the more pressing the need to put some cautions into place to help preserve its long life, humidifiers are one way of dealing with climactic wear and tear.
If you require a humidifier and do not want to read the entire article, below are the recommended items from the article. (Low, Medium and High Price)
When dealing with An Acoustic Guitars, the best humidifier is the D'Addario Humidikit, Humiditrak / Humidipak Bundle
However, this will depend on several things, like if you want it to do several tasks – like Dorm Room, or Cold and Flu symptoms.
There will also be costs for the humidifier - like Mist Type, Water Tank Capacity, Coverage Area and Noise Level. So as you can see, there is a lot in picking the right humidifier!
For some people, humidifiers may sound like an unnecessary item, or maybe they are completely unfamiliar with them, especially if they are playing guitar as a hobby or they’re just starting.
If you are one of these people, stay with us while we break down various features and rudimentary precautions when using a humidifier.
Similar to humans, musical instruments also have their desired humidity levels. The most comfortable levels for guitars, particularly acoustic ones, are somewhere between 35% and 50%.
The ideal temperature is approximately 70-75 degrees Fahrenheit range (21°C -24°C). Electric guitars are less liable to temperature changes, however, their necks might get warped if the humidity is simply too low or too high.
If the ratio in your home stays under 30% for a chronic period, you may start seeing some damage to your prized six-string. The frets might buzz and the tone might deteriorate a bit. Also, the bridge on your acoustic might become loosened, and also the body might start cracking. If the humidity drops below 15%, consequential and often irreparable damage might happen.
On the contrary, with overly high humidity, you might see the top of your acoustic swell up and bend. In severe cases, the bridge might pop out.
Very high humidity can ruin your guitar as severely as an excessively dry atmosphere. Hence, it is crucial to avoid exposing your guitar to extreme humidity levels.
Certain guitarists think that a dry environment will intensify a guitar’s tone, but that is false. While natural aging causes cell crystallization and hardening of the wood which results in a louder and more dynamic sound, it has nothing to do with dryness, which will only cause damage and require structural repairs within the long term.
A guitar humidifier is a device that evenly disperses water vapor within your guitar case, and in most cases actually inside of the guitar itself. They do this in several ways but essentially they are made of something very absorbent which either comes able to install or needs to be wet.
Some guitar humidifiers use a dampened sponge or other materials with a sponge-like consistency. Certain ones are man-made, but many of them are naturally originated composites. Some use salts or clay and others use more sophisticated composites that have been lab designed to have properties specifically fit for function.
These can be in the forms of crystals, beads, or jellies. Some are engineered with materials that have superior absorbency and extra high water retention. Guitar humidifiers have immensely high capabilities for an item so simple.
The porous component is then put in a container to stop the water from touching the instrument itself. Then it can securely create an adequate humid environment inside of your guitar case. Ideally, you want your guitar to be sealed and packed away somewhere as when left on stands there is always a chance it could be knocked over and damaged.
Humidifiers are pretty simple and straightforward to use, no matter the type. As most customers will pick any device that is easy to use, the majority of competitive brands have designed humidification systems that require very little effort for your benefit.
If your guitar humidifier doesn't come damp, then your first step will be dampening it, it is advised you use distilled water to prevent mold and another bacterial build-up inside the humidifier (which can spread to your guitar). This may be as simple as removing (if removable) the sponge to soak it in some water or as tricky as needing a syringe to fill it via an access point.
After filling them, you need to put them into their enclosure, which is often a breathable fabric pouch or a plastic pod. They usually hang between the strings in the center of your sound-hole because it is a prime position to give the most equal dispersion of moisture, however, some sit below or above the strings in the space left to prevent the strings from stretching.
They take very little maintenance it is really easy to maintain refills if you pay attention.
Now that you know why a humidifier is important and what it can offer, let’s take a glance at a few tips and precautions you need to take in order to keep your six-string in a pristine condition.
Guitar players have to contend with their guitars becoming too dry which produces a cracked sound when played. Keeping your acoustic guitar well humidified will keep it in the best possible condition and maintain its resale value. With so many different humidifiers out there, it can be difficult to know which one is worth buying.
If you want to create the loudest, most iconic sound that your guitar will ever make, then you should choose a warm mist humidifier. If however, you want to create a soft and mellow aura to your acoustic guitar then choose a cool mist. There is no "wrong" choice. Your decision depends solely on your musical style and personal preference. A cool mist humidifier does have its benefits though.
It is important to think about how much space your humidifier will require in order for the mist to disperse. This can be a problem if you have a small acoustic guitar that requires a large humidifier in order for it to work. If you are on a budget, then you should buy something cheap or freebie from ebay or craigslist until you can afford something more expensive.
You will need to buy a humidifier that is capable of holding enough water for your guitar. This obviously depends on the size of your guitar. A large acoustic guitar may require more water than a smaller one. The general rule is that if you feel the guitar needs a lot of water then you should invest in a larger humidifier.
You should choose a humidifier that produces an authentic sound as opposed to one that has a cartoonish sound to it even though they may be louder. This means buying one with an antibacterial filter and ensuring it has been properly cleaned and maintained by its manufacturer or dealer before purchase.
A handy feature to look out for when choosing a humidifier is if it has a ready-to-use reservoir that can be filled with drinking water or distilled water for easy refilling. You are unlikely to need to change the entire filter when refilling this but it is still important to ensure the filter has been changed regularly.
You have to take your budget into consideration when choosing a humidifier as well. If you play in a band and need to spend a lot of money on guitar gear then you can afford to buy a high-end humidifier. If you are an occasional guitarist or play at home in your bedroom, then just about any humidifier will do.
Another thing that needs to be considered when choosing the best humidifier is how easy it's going to be for you maintain. You don't want something that needs constant attention and repairs. Find something that is easy to use and has many accessories that will make the job of maintaining it easier.
Do you have allergies? Find a humidifier that uses no bleach or no chemicals, like a cool mist humidifier. Are you going to be sleeping with it on your bed? Look for one that has child proof caps or features a safety lock. Also, make sure it is affordable. You don't want to end up buying something that uses a lot of electricity and costs too much money. You can always reuse the water in your humidifier for other things as well like gardening or making tea.
It is important to read the manual before purchasing any humidifier. Also, find one that has a wide compatibility range as most manufacturers provide a variety of models according to their target audience. You can even combine different types of filters in order to achieve the sound you want.
Look for a humidifier that is well-made and durable. You don't want to buy something that will break down usually after the warranty ends and then you have to buy another one. Removable filters are preferred as it allows you to clean them effectively which will make your humidifier last longer.
Noise is an important factor when choosing a humidifier. The capacity of the ultrasonic technology used in some brands of humidifiers can make some of them quite loud, especially when in operation. You can choose between cool mist, warm mist or ultrasonic as they each have different features and benefits.
Search for humidifiers that have been made recently as this will indicate that they have been well looked after by their manufacturer and also have received a few quality assurance checks. This is something that you don't want to go wrong with as it greatly affects its durability and lifespan, plus it could be hazardous should there be a problem with the unit.
Again, the humidifiers below are probably the ones that you will need to buy!
The prices of these are low, medium and high. This will give you the best range. The lower prices will not have all the bells-and-whistles, and the higher price one's will.
Please Note: Just because a humidifier is marked, for example “Baby Room”, it will still work for other things, for example “Living Room” or “Plant Humidifier”
Acoustic guitars are wood made either wholly or partially. Humidity affects wood when low or high. Too much moisture warps the instrument while too much dryness makes the wood to shrink and crack. When manufacturing guitars, room temperatures are always controlled.
Humidifiers are good for guitars and a solution to all moisture problems. They include room humidifiers, guitar case humidifiers, and sound-hole humidifiers. All these serve the same purpose, but differently. Storing your instrument in a place with balanced humidity can help it last longer.
Humidifiers are good for many guitars. But some need them regularly. Laminate acoustic guitars also need humidifiers. But not as much as the solid counterpart. Remember that the laminate is as well. Any mishandling would see it behave as if it was bare wood.
Although unnecessary, laminate guitars get humidified once in a while. Most when the climatic conditions are not favorable. Using a room humidifier in cold weather prevents your guitar from becoming brittle. Other times, keeping the guitar in its case is enough to maintain its quality and functioning.
Solid-body guitars are in rooms with controlled temperature and humidity. It’s because of how wood is sensitive to climate change. Too many of the said factors affect its performance and lifespan at large. But humidifiers solve all these problems and the instrument functions well.
The handling of the instrument also plays a big role in its quality maintenance. These guitars need to storage in a room with a humidifier or get humidified regularly. Although some people view this as overrated, it’s necessary if you want to maintain its quality and sound. Humidifiers help the wood maintain its sturdiness and the wires to remain tight.
If you require more information, please check these references
Are Guitar Humidifiers Necessary , article, "www.happynewguitarday.com", retrieved on, Sun 11-October-2020
Why Is My Guitar Bridge Buzzing , article, "www.happynewguitarday.com", retrieved on, Sun 11-October-2020
Climate controlled guitar cabinet , article, "patents.google.com", retrieved on, Sun 11-October-2020