Did you know that your acoustic or classical guitar is under constant threat? Most beginner and intermediate players don’t know this, but keeping the wood of your guitar moist is imperative. You don’t want the wood of your guitar to be living in conditions that make great firewood; instead, you want the living conditions to be nice and humid. If you don’t take proper care of the wood that your guitar is made from, disastrous things can happen!
Your guitar is not created to be able to withstand major changes in humidity; guitars are assembled in factories where the humidity is put under strict control. Guitar manufacturers understand that there when there is the slightest change in humidity, they risk warping or swelling the wood of the guitar before the instrument is even finished. Even guitar stores tend to be a bit co11oler than the average home and this is just to ensure that the guitars are not exposed to any humidity or temperature extremes.
Once the guitar you purchase finally ends up in your hands, you have to keep up with the maintenance! Some guitar owners spend thousands of dollars on their guitars but don’t understand that they have to give their guitars a humid place to be stored.
Having a guitar that’s dried out doesn’t sound terrible, but it can have disastrous results. A guitar that’s dried out can cause the guitar to crack, which alters that glue to dry out, the wood to separate, major changes in the actions, frets to stick out, and joints to become loose. All because you didn’t keep your guitar in a humid environment!
Before you go and start researching any old humidifier for your guitar, you need to know that there are actually two different types of guitar humidifiers. There are:
Guitar case humidifiers sit inside of the guitar case and typically rest right underneath the headstock.
Soundhole humidifiers are the more popular humidifier. These types of humidifiers can either cover the sound hole or sit right in between the strings of the guitar.
You can also purchase a room humidifier in order to provide humidity for your guitar. Room humidifiers keep the entire room your guitar is stored in at a steady level of humidity. If you own several guitars, this is probably the best option for you to go with.
While purchasing a guitar humidifier is important, how you use it is also important. If you don’t use your humidifier properly, you’ll also risk damaging your guitar. Make sure that when you use a sponge for your humidifier, that it’s a damp sponge, not a soaking wet one. Having a dry guitar isn’t good, but having a wet guitar is also not what you’re looking for. Also, make sure that your consistently check on your humidifier; no two environments are the same, so you should monitor your humidifier to see when it needs to be re-hydrated. You should need to dampen your sponge at least once a week.
This humidifier maintains the humidity level as a consistent 45%. It’s easy to use, especially because you don’t want to worry about sponges or water. If you purchase the Humdipak Kit, you’ll receive three Humidipaks that come along with a mesh pouch that will allow you to avoid harming the finish of your guitar.
The biggest complaint about the Planet Waves Humidipak Control System is that when it’s inserted, it stretched the strings on the guitar out. Also, if you want to truly take advantage of the entire humidifier system, you’re going to have to store your system in your hard case. There is also no measuring device for the amount of humidity the system is putting out.
The Oasis Instrument Humidifier is very popular mainly because the most recent models humidify the entire case, not just the instrument. This means that you don’t have to stick the humidifier into the guitar, lowering the chance of you damaging your guitar. Not to mention that the Oasis Humidifier can raise the humidity an extra ten percent if you live in a very dry environment! I also love how that when the humidifier gets low on water, the humidifier collapses, so there’s no second guessing if your humidifier needs water. The downfall to that is that this device does tend to dry out quickly, so make sure that you consistently check the device.
The Kyer Life Guard Humidifier is great if you want to keep your guitar displayed on a stand; this humidifier covers the sound hole, which ensures that the humidity is distributed evenly throughout the guitar. I personally recommend this humidifier to anybody who doesn’t like keeping their guitar in a case and likes to leave it out on display. The humidifier fits very well into the sound hole, so it’s not going to be a sight for sore eyes. However, if you have a sound hole that isn’t shaped like the generic sound hole is, this humidifier may be a struggle for you to get into the guitar.
The humidifier from Music Nomad has a very low profile in in the sound hole, which allows you to completely close the top of your guitar case without hitting the humidifier. You also don’t have to worry about dripping with this humidifier, as the synthetic sponge that’s in this humidifier holds more water than a typical humidifier and it comes with an Anti-Drip function. Also, there’s no need to buy any replacement packs because this is a one-time purchase! The only downfall with the Humitar is that it is recommended that you only use distilled water for the humidifier.
The Martin Guitar Humidifier is shaped like a snake and is made from fine materials, which allows this humidifier to absorb ten times its weight in water. There are holes in this humidifier which allows moisture to slowly come out of the holes; this is a very simple design. You can just stick the tube around the sound hole and it’s super affordable! The only con about the Martin Guitar Humidifier is that it doesn’t have any sort of device to measure the amount of humidity that the device produces.
You should not be hanging your guitar on the wall every day, all day. Keeping your guitar stored in a hard case is the best way to protect it from physical damage and the different changes in the elements. Hard cases are better for your guitar compared to soft cases, but soft cases still offer some protection from the temperature and minimal physical damage. If you have a lot of guitars in one room, you may have to purchase two humidifiers, which is completely normal!