Dried out acoustic guitar

For guitars of the straight waisted variety (or reverse offset).
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Jaguar018
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Dried out acoustic guitar

Post by Jaguar018 » Wed Jan 13, 2021 7:19 am

A month ago or so I saw a (relatively) fancy acoustic guitar for sale from a private seller. We agreed on a price and I have 'right of first refusal' if someone else comes sniffing around. Now I have to come up with the funds. :squint: I decided that I can sell my not-quite-as-fancy Martin acoustic to get to that magic $$$ amount.

Took my guitar to one of the decent stores around here thinking I could sell it on commission, but they aren't doing that these days with Covid-19 still in full swing. The store is currently appointment only, so no foot traffic.

They instantly spotted something I was oblivious of: the bridge was coming up and the wood was bowing right around it because the guitar was so dry. :(

So they are going to keep it for a week, try and get it humidified properly and then reassess. Urg.

I'm glad that I took it to the store; I was mulling over selling it on Reverb, and if the seller discovered that same issue it could have been a disaster.

In the meantime I'm getting a humidifier for my little office where all my gear is jammed into.

The thirsty guitar in question:
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Larry Mal
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Re: Dried out acoustic guitar

Post by Larry Mal » Wed Jan 13, 2021 7:33 am

Well, get a hygrometer, and keep an eye on that. Your guitar (and you) want humidity around 40-50%.

Here's a little article Taylor wrote about it.

Your guitar doesn't care if the humidity is in the room or the case, but really, just humidify your home or office room.

I run humidifiers at home throughout winter and somewhat in summer when AC takes a lot of humidity out (if needed).

I also have these in my guitars.

If you can get the room stable at 50% or so, you don't need those.

There are some thing that look like little pillows that claim to regulate humidity, by pulling it when there's too much and adding it when there's not enough.

Do not use these. They tell you to put them in the guitar, and they can fail catastrophically, leaking water all over the inside of your guitar.

Hope this helps. Can't wait to see the new guitar! I, too, am a fancy man.
Back in those days, everyone knew that if you were talking about Destiny's Child, you were talking about Beyonce, LaTavia, LeToya, and Larry.

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mbene085
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Re: Dried out acoustic guitar

Post by mbene085 » Wed Jan 13, 2021 7:49 am

I've been a religious humidifier for many years, ever since a Taylor 114ce I owned split down the middle of the soundboard because of my negligence. It was hanging on the wall and I heard this massive CRACK followed by the ringing of strings. It was a heartbreaking sound.

I humidify in the 37-42% range with a hygrometer that's been calibrated via the saltwater method - you seal it in a bag with a small cap/container of salt that has been wet just enough to produce a slurry. Leave that for a day and it'll be exactly 75% humidity in there, allowing you to calibrate your hygrometer (if it's adjustable).

Here in Canada, if you try to humidify to 50% in the dead of winter you'll end up with sweating windows.

It's also important for your electric guitars to be humidified. Fret sprout is annoying and/or expensive to fix.

If you've got hardwood floors or nice furniture, they'll be much happier in a humidified home, as will your sinuses.

Get a cool mist humidifier. The ultrasonic ones deposit mineral dust on surfaces unless you use distilled water, and the warm mist ones can easily form condensation on metal in particular, like guitar hardware.

I use a console-type from Honeywell that has served me well for many years. I've owned three different Honeywell cool mist humidifiers and they've all performed well, so that's what I stick with.

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Jaguar018
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Re: Dried out acoustic guitar

Post by Jaguar018 » Wed Jan 13, 2021 9:02 am

Thanks guys.

I live right outside DC, so it's pretty humid here for most of the year. We even have a humidifier thing on our forced air heater-- but it's not exactly space age technology.

Humidifier is on the way, and I'm looking into getting some bigger humidifiers for the rest of the house as my wife has sinus/allergy issues.

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papa_hotel_delta
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Re: Dried out acoustic guitar

Post by papa_hotel_delta » Fri Jan 15, 2021 9:10 pm

I'm admit I'm surprised this happened in DC, pretty damn humid place, so I'm guessing its the AC? I lived maybe 175 miles south of DC for 3 years and never needed a humidifier, almost the opposite - acoustics sounded dead and furry most of the summer.

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