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#2463163 - 01/16/13 12:46 PM Fluctuating Temperatures w/Acoustic
Eepyikes Offline
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Registered: 04/23/06
Posts: 24
I know there is plenty of info out there about care of acoustic guitars in different temperatures/humidity. But I'm looking for help with a specific set of circumstances and wondered if anyone could give me some advice.

I was given an awesome 30-year old acoustic that is in near mint condition. I live in Los Angeles in an older house, so it is not exactly climate-controlled. The indoor temperature in Winter fluctuates from probably 55F at night to 71F during the day. The guitar stays in its case and I tend to only take it out around 8pm when it has been warm for a while. I do have a small space heater that I can potentially leave on low to keep the room warm "enough". I will get a proper humidifying insert for the guitar, once I know which one is the best.

Is this guitar gonna be safe here? In the Summer, the temperature in the house will range more like 65-90F, which I can try to combat a little with the room AC. I'm just wondering how deadly the wide range of daily temperatures is going to be for the instrument if it stays in the case (it's a very good case, not the cardboard kind, more like a flight case)

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#2463203 - 01/16/13 05:38 PM Re: Fluctuating Temperatures w/Acoustic [Re: Eepyikes]
skipclone 1 Offline
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Registered: 08/21/03
Posts: 6901
Loc: Japan
I live in Japan, there is no temperature control-period.
I can leave a heater/humidifier on when I`m at home but once I leave, everything is at the mercy of the elements. I know people here who have $10,000 instruments. I have asked around and so far no one I know has had a disaster. I did buy one guitar in the Philippines at winter break-the difference in climate did things to it one would normally associate with a black hole. Other than that-if your guitar has resale value it`s worth taking extra steps. I did a second buying trip and this time I covered it with blankets when I wasn`t around. I got the planet Waves humidifier, that fits between strings. When I was home ran the humidifier. That one did a lot better, I`ll be using it live next week.
Anyway it should be okay in the case, don`t forget to put it back after you play! to be honest I`m not even so convinced about those little humidifiers-how much of that is the wood actually going to absorb? if you`re talking months or years, maybe-but by then the moisture is long gone.
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#2463219 - 01/16/13 07:30 PM Re: Fluctuating Temperatures w/Acoustic [Re: skipclone 1]
Larryz Offline
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Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 5517
Loc: Hwy 49, California
I don't worry about temps, but I do worry about humidity. I keep my guitars in the case when not in use. You can't see or feel humidity in California and need a humidity guage to know what's really going on. I also invested in a humidifier and turn it on anytime the humidity is below 40. I can start at 17 and within 10 minutes get the room up to 37. It's well worth the investment. Those Planet wave packs are not worth a sh*t IMHO. They turn hard in about 45 days and cost too much for refills (especially if you have 5 acoustics and electric/acoustics x's $15= $75 every two months).

I paid about $70 for the humidifier and $30 for the guage...I use both almost daily. In the summer the air is dry all of the time and in the winter the wood stoves and pellet stoves dry the air out as well. But the humidity can be too low at anytime and you won't know it without the guage...

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#2463269 - 01/17/13 05:51 AM Re: Fluctuating Temperatures w/Acoustic [Re: Larryz]
whitefang Offline
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Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 5828
Loc: Lincoln Park, MI, UNITED STATE...
Keeping it in the case between use should be OK. I have a 40 year old Epiphone acoustic that spent most of it's life(until 12 years ago)in it's original, cheapie cardboard case and it suffered no serious consequences. At least nothing that couldn't be easily and inexpensively corrected. But I live in Michigan, where the only "dry" heat you find comes from your oven. And this winter, as last winter, it's been unseasonably warm for this state, so the cold won't be severe enough to worry about, either.
Whitefang
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#2463271 - 01/17/13 05:56 AM Re: Fluctuating Temperatures w/Acoustic [Re: Larryz]
skipclone 1 Offline
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Registered: 08/21/03
Posts: 6901
Loc: Japan
Larry are we talking about the same thing here? you don`t pay for refills for the device I`m talking about-just rehydrate the sponge inside the unit. If I had to pay for refills too I`d be using worse language than you...
Anyway ya, it`s more about humidity but if there`s no temp control there`s less than none over humidity, and it`s a total wet towel here after may or so. I think the average is about 70%, it`s almost unbearable for a couple weeks in summer.
Anyway as I mentioned, people leave instruments to fend for themselves here because there`s no choice, and they seem to survive. Not ideal by any means but, you need to decide how much it`s worth to really keep an eye on the environment.
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#2463273 - 01/17/13 05:58 AM Re: Fluctuating Temperatures w/Acoustic [Re: skipclone 1]
whitefang Offline
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Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 5828
Loc: Lincoln Park, MI, UNITED STATE...
I would KILL for 70% humidity in a Michigan summer!
Whitefang
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#2463276 - 01/17/13 06:08 AM Re: Fluctuating Temperatures w/Acoustic [Re: whitefang]
skipclone 1 Offline
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Registered: 08/21/03
Posts: 6901
Loc: Japan
Funny you should mention that, that just about sums up the effect it has on most people.
Makes you wanna kill.
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#2463310 - 01/17/13 08:26 AM Re: Fluctuating Temperatures w/Acoustic [Re: skipclone 1]
Winston Psmith Offline
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Registered: 02/15/10
Posts: 1947
Loc: Inside the Beltway
Originally Posted By: skipclone 1
Larry are we talking about the same thing here? you don`t pay for refills for the device I`m talking about-just rehydrate the sponge inside the unit. If I had to pay for refills too I`d be using worse language than you...


I know there was a previous version of the Planet Waves humidifier that used the green floral foam to hold moisture. It was a pretty bad idea, the stuff disintegrates over time, which is why the new one uses a little cheap sponge. Really, a plastic soap dish with a lid, and a piece of plain old kitchen sponge work just fine. Punch, or drill, some holes in the lid, and keep a damp sponge inside.

Here in the Mid-Atlantic states, we get killer humidity during the warmer months - the real issue is dry indoor air, during Winter, especially if your home has hot air coming through the HVAC vents, instead of radiator pipes and steam heat. I use the Planet Waves humidifiers in all my acoustics, during the Winter months, but I also keep all my guitars in their cases, when they're not out being played.
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#2463503 - 01/18/13 08:21 AM Re: Fluctuating Temperatures w/Acoustic [Re: Winston Psmith]
skipclone 1 Offline
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Registered: 08/21/03
Posts: 6901
Loc: Japan
Ya, the infamous Bermuda high...The ones I mean have the little cheapie sponge, not the green whatever. There`s a type for classical axes that fits in the sound hole, I have one of those too. But regardless, it`s the same whatever you do. What happens when you`re not around? I would not trust leaving any electric device on when I`m not there to watch it, that could end up making climate problems irrelevant-permanently. My situation is such that, guitars are out of my sight for years at a time. There is no known treatment for that except guitar cases.
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#2463512 - 01/18/13 09:03 AM Re: Fluctuating Temperatures w/Acoustic [Re: Eepyikes]
Scott Fraser Offline
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Registered: 03/20/05
Posts: 3917
Loc: Los Angeles
Originally Posted By: Eepyikes
I live in Los Angeles in an older house, so it is not exactly climate-controlled. The indoor temperature in Winter fluctuates from probably 55F at night to 71F during the day.


That's about exactly the temperature range in my studio, also in Los Angeles. I keep all my guitars out, hanging on wall mounts. I've had no problems with the guitars, (mostly archtop hollow electrics,) nor with the grand piano. Temperature is not as much an issue with acoustic instruments as is humidity. It's worth keeping a Damp-it humidifier in the guitar while in its case, but I don't think you have too much to worry about in the LA climate. Guitars do pretty well here.
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#2463527 - 01/18/13 09:58 AM Re: Fluctuating Temperatures w/Acoustic [Re: Scott Fraser]
Larryz Offline
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Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 5517
Loc: Hwy 49, California
Yeah Skip and WP, the ones I was referring to are made by Planet Waves. They cost about $20 bucks when you buy them which is just for the cloth covers and refills (3) in each case. You cannot soak or reuse the refills and they cost $14 bucks +/-. You buy refills when they become hard as they are soft when they are new. This is a worry free method so that you don't get water in your guitar or spilled from a spounge or if you just forget to re-wet them, etc. It would be a great idea if they lasted 6 months or more (and maybe they do in some areas but not where I live). If I only had one guitar it might not be so bad but I still think I would pick a different product.

I do know the value of keeping humidity under control, especially on the more expensive acoustics. Less expensive laminates take less worry as far as bodies go, so I'm told. But, fretboards can shrink on any of them to include electrics.
The main thing for me is just to be aware of the humidity changes and have a guage handy in the area or room I play in. Then being able to adjust the humidity if I want to play and the whetherman is not cooperating is a big plus.

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#2463907 - 01/19/13 10:45 PM Re: Fluctuating Temperatures w/Acoustic [Re: Larryz]
skipclone 1 Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 08/21/03
Posts: 6901
Loc: Japan
Okay well, it`s convenient but I agree on the cost, that trades peace of mind for a big piece of change.
I mean, if you`re going to be around anyway what`s the big deal about how long they last? if you can wring a sponge out the guitar is not going to get soaked from the other type of humidifier.
_________________________
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www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandid=602491

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#2463959 - 01/20/13 09:03 AM Re: Fluctuating Temperatures w/Acoustic [Re: skipclone 1]
whitefang Offline
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Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 5828
Loc: Lincoln Park, MI, UNITED STATE...
So, you wouldn't recomend using it as a canoe paddle like GROUCHO did?
Whitefang
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#2463966 - 01/20/13 09:47 AM Re: Fluctuating Temperatures w/Acoustic [Re: skipclone 1]
Larryz Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 5517
Loc: Hwy 49, California
Originally Posted By: skipclone 1
Okay well, it`s convenient but I agree on the cost, that trades peace of mind for a big piece of change.
I mean, if you`re going to be around anyway what`s the big deal about how long they last? if you can wring a sponge out the guitar is not going to get soaked from the other type of humidifier.


There is no big deal if you are using a sponge and wringing them out on how long they last...but if you have to buy refills every two months it adds up quick, so I won't ever recommend the type I bought to anyone. The main thing IMHO is keep your guitar(s) in the case when you are not using them and be more concerned with humidity than temperature when you have them out of the case as fretboard shrinking and body cracks happen over time and are not as much fun as rowing a canoe WhiteFang...

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