Humidity gauges - quick review of two I just purchased

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While not as critical with solid body guitars as acoustic instruments, monitoring and controlling humidity can be hugely important when working with wood. Acoustic luthiers try to keep things at 45% RH +- a few percent. Again, not nearly as critical with solid bodies, but if you glue a fret board to a neck when it is supper dry, then on a humid day it could warp or pop off. With that said, here are two gauges that were recommended in luthier articles and my thoughts after purchasing both....

Testo 608H1 (~$70 https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002YEV8O2/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1)

and

Acurite (model 01083, ~$15 https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01HDW58GS/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1)

Testo:
-claims to be calibrated to a certification standard, but no certificate or documentation provided
-claims 3% accuracy for RH
-no calibration procedure or adjustments documented, nor do any appear to be possible
-3 digit display
-tracks min and max readings, but must press a button to see them
-uses 9V battery

Acurite:
-packaged in generic brown box, no branding
-no accuracy specified in manual, amazon page listing claims 2% RH
-has "calibration" function which allows you to apply a simple +- offset to the reading
-displays min and max right on the screen, no need to press buttons
-tracks min/max for both last 24 hours and all time min/max (since reset) - must press button to change which is displayed
-shows trend up/down for both RH and temp
-2 digit display
-smaller display than Testo, but easy to read
-uses 2 AAA batteries

Given the significant cost difference and the fact both are reading essentially the same RH, the Acurite is the clear winner in my book. Unless you really need the larger display, or like seeing the extra digit (to catch trends), I can't justify the higher cost of the Testo. I'm considering ordering a few more of the Acurite meters and sending the Testo back. Hope this helps someone. (sorry for the glare in the photo)

Mark

PXL_20201123_200225002 (1).jpg
 

Brek

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I still use the old school cigar humidor ones, easy to recalibrate with saline solution. Work for me.
 
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I still use the old school cigar humidor ones, easy to recalibrate with saline solution. Work for me.
Indeed - use em if you have them. The Acurite is pretty cheap though (~$15) and logs low and high point, so if you don't have anything or need more, these are pretty affordable.
 

judson

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for $6 at petco i bought this when i was growing weed indoors......

humiditygauge2.jpg


i can understand and agree with your thoughts but maybe sometimes you need to work with what you got then fine tune things later......but be aware of your surroundings

guitars go thru alot of crap and survive longer than humans.....

maybe during the build i can see it is something to be aware of but i dont think its an exact science.......

i make most luthiers cringe when i post some of the hacked up things i have done to a guitar, prolly could be considered assault in most US states !!

btw good reviews ...thanks :yesway:
 

CB91710

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I use the SensorPush system.
The ethernet hub is $100, the sensors are $50 each.
The sensors can communicate through BT directly so you don't need the hub, but with the hub, I can monitor remotely, and get push alerts if anything is above or below my defined limits.
I have one in the fridge too.

I also have one in our server room at work, because the AC is prone to failure, but I can't run the gateway on the office network, so it just updates and downloads when I walk in.

spush.jpg
 
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Wow Rich, hard to beat data logs if you are really picky about stable humidity. Very cool, and I can totally see some of the hard core acoustic builders doing this, but probably overkill for my needs. Still great to know it is out there.
 

CB91710

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Wow Rich, hard to beat data logs if you are really picky about stable humidity. Very cool, and I can totally see some of the hard core acoustic builders doing this, but probably overkill for my needs. Still great to know it is out there.
Overkill for my needs as well... considering my most expensive hollowbody is the Taylor 214 (and soon to be a 314).

But I'm a techno-geek in many aspects (and luddite in others... don't ask me to Zoom).

But it was actually quite informative... My environment is pretty stable, and though I use the DiMarzio/Boveda Humidipacks, more than once I've found them "crunchy" (IOTW, done), and the only difference in the graphs is the daily fluctuations are a bit wider than normal.
The dips where it dropped below 40%, it was below 10% outdoors... the humidipacks couldn't keep up.
But it makes me feel better about my Sigma 12 string that's been stashed away in storage in the case for the last 15 years... it's likely just fine.
 

Brek

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Indeed - use em if you have them. The Acurite is pretty cheap though (~$15) and logs low and high point, so if you don't have anything or need more, these are pretty affordable.
Apologies that read as a bit offhand and not want I meant to convey. I did have a digital one, i misplaced it a few years back. Having a log is useful, might look for another.
 
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Freddy G

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Overkill for my needs as well... considering my most expensive hollowbody is the Taylor 214 (and soon to be a 314).

But I'm a techno-geek in many aspects (and luddite in others... don't ask me to Zoom).

But it was actually quite informative... My environment is pretty stable, and though I use the DiMarzio/Boveda Humidipacks, more than once I've found them "crunchy" (IOTW, done), and the only difference in the graphs is the daily fluctuations are a bit wider than normal.
The dips where it dropped below 40%, it was below 10% outdoors... the humidipacks couldn't keep up.
But it makes me feel better about my Sigma 12 string that's been stashed away in storage in the case for the last 15 years... it's likely just fine.
That's D'addario/ Boveda.....not Dimarzio.

And I will warn anyone who listens about those things. Two guitars in the last 8 months on my bench nearly destroyed by leaking humidipacks. One a vintage Gibson and the other a new Martin Custom shop D-18 12 that was so messed up I wasn't sure if it could be salvaged.
 

CB91710

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That's D'addario/ Boveda.....not Dimarzio.

And I will warn anyone who listens about those things. Two guitars in the last 8 months on my bench nearly destroyed by leaking humidipacks. One a vintage Gibson and the other a new Martin Custom shop D-18 12 that was so messed up I wasn't sure if it could be salvaged.
I've seen those over the years. I'm not convinced it's not from rough handling of the packs. I've seen some pictures of supposedly new packs that have staining on them from what appear to be pinholes, but looking closer, it seems that there is some creasing of the envelope. Whether from handling during packaging or installation?
I do inspect mine carefully before use and when removed from the case/soundhole... I've not had any issues so far.

But there are enough reports that it certainly does warrant concern.


What do you recommend, in situations where the overall room humidity can not be controlled? I've always been leery of the long tube type... both from the risk of them being too wet and damaging the interior, but also over how frequently they need to be "recharged". Not all of my acoustics come out of their cases every week.
 

Freddy G

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I love the concept of the chemical regulating the RH both up and down. I am just very leery about putting anything like that inside the guitar. That goes for those tube things too.

But in fact it's not even necessary to stick it in the guitar, the case compartment is fine. I use those cheapo Herco packs and put them in the compartment of the guitar case. If one is not enough I use two. The moisture travels everywhere inside the case. I've conducted experiments using a programmable hygrometer.
 

CB91710

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I love the concept of the chemical regulating the RH both up and down. I am just very leery about putting anything like that inside the guitar. That goes for those tube things too.

But in fact it's not even necessary to stick it in the guitar, the case compartment is fine. I use those cheapo Herco packs and put them in the compartment of the guitar case. If one is not enough I use two. The moisture travels everywhere inside the case. I've conducted experiments using a programmable hygrometer.
I obviously can't use the Humidipacks as intended on the jazz box, so I just have one pack in the case up by the headstock. The acoustic cases lie flat on their back, so any leakage would just make a mess out of the case.
 
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I agree with Freddy - in a closed hard shell case, the compartment should be the same humidity as the rest of the case, so placing your humidity regulator there will protect the instrument and prevent any mess from damaging wood.

Edit: I suppose one could partially line the compartment with a plastic bag - oriented so fluid would be contained but moisture can still enter/leave the area.
 


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