winter and low relative humidity effects

DeafDumbBlind Kid

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besides the dry, itchy skin, the electrocution of the cat when petting her, the arc welding of the light switches, has anybody else noticed sonic changes as the air dries out from heating? I already know about acoustics, having had one. I'm talking about electric guitars and amplifiers. I already know about excessive dryness affecting the fingerboard of an electric. I had fret sprout on my strat, which I left out all the time. It went from no sprout to 'Ouch, WTF?' once it got cold and snowy last year.

I had to work all this week (rarity for me), and had seriously neglected my guitars, except for a couple of minutes of unplugged playing. The last time I played through an amp was a week ago friday. Since then, we've had our first real snow storm, followed by some seriously cold weather.

I have a digital thermometer/hygrometer in my room, and have watched it go from 37% to 22% during the past week. Having the procrastinator chromosome in my genetic makeup, I still had not set up the humidifer I bought late last winter. In my defense, I did buy new filters for it 2 weeks ago. IMHO, you are better off with no humidifier than one with a funky old filter.

Sorry, I digress. I plugged in my guitars last night, and the sound was not what it was last week. It was harsh, raspy and just not the sweet, velvety smoothness of before. No setting changes, only 8 days time difference. Knowing the humidity was approaching "OMFG its dry in here" levels, I think the speaker cone is reacting to the air's moisture (or lack thereof). So I got off my lazy ass and set up my humidifier. In 12 hours, the RH (relative humidity) has gone up 3 points, from 22 to 25.

Our machine is a whole house console unit, but I am getting a dedicated unit for my guitar room. If it is going to be a long, cold winter, daggummit, I wanna play my guitar and like what I hear.
 

tiedstick

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besides the dry, itchy skin, the electrocution of the cat when petting her, the arc welding of the light switches, has anybody else noticed sonic changes as the air dries out from heating? I already know about acoustics, having had one. I'm talking about electric guitars and amplifiers. I already know about excessive dryness affecting the fingerboard of an electric. I had fret sprout on my strat, which I left out all the time. It went from no sprout to 'Ouch, WTF?' once it got cold and snowy last year.

I had to work all this week (rarity for me), and had seriously neglected my guitars, except for a couple of minutes of unplugged playing. The last time I played through an amp was a week ago friday. Since then, we've had our first real snow storm, followed by some seriously cold weather.

I have a digital thermometer/hygrometer in my room, and have watched it go from 37% to 22% during the past week. Having the procrastinator chromosome in my genetic makeup, I still had not set up the humidifer I bought late last winter. In my defense, I did buy new filters for it 2 weeks ago. IMHO, you are better off with no humidifier than one with a funky old filter.

Sorry, I digress. I plugged in my guitars last night, and the sound was not what it was last week. It was harsh, raspy and just not the sweet, velvety smoothness of before. No setting changes, only 8 days time difference. Knowing the humidity was approaching "OMFG its dry in here" levels, I think the speaker cone is reacting to the air's moisture (or lack thereof). So I got off my lazy ass and set up my humidifier. In 12 hours, the RH (relative humidity) has gone up 3 points, from 22 to 25.

Our machine is a whole house console unit, but I am getting a dedicated unit for my guitar room. If it is going to be a long, cold winter, daggummit, I wanna play my guitar and like what I hear.

Yah dude, I'm totally feeling that here. Both my acoustic and electric have become very different in feel. I suck at adjusting the neck and just any other basic setting up, so the dry environment kinda pisses me off. As far as amplification goes, I havent noticed much of a difference in my amp. But then again, my ear is still in training when it comes to these things. :)

The only good thing about the dryness is that I don't get asthma. Either way, I don't plan on living in the Midwest too much longer. The summers are too summery and the winters are too wintery.
 

MIDNIGHT

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planet waves has a humidity control product that sells for about 30 bucks i think.. :wave: i'm not sure if this is also for electric guitars though.. :hmm: .. the video showed the demo for an acoustic guitar.. :rolleyes:

Planet Waves - Humidity Control

what's the humidifier that you used? :wave:

:hippie:
 

DeafDumbBlind Kid

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Midnight, I had a unit very similar to that when I had my acoustic.

I'm talking about whole room units, so everything in the room gets humidfied. We have a big console unit downstairs that since I put it on Saturday night, has raised the RHL in my upstairs room from 22 to 27/28. Not quite the desirable 45%, but a step in the right direction. The downstairs is nice and comfortable now, my cat is happy that petting her doesn't threaten to set her fur on fire.

I think, correction, I know I need to get a unit for upstairs. I'm not sure a single unit will work with the two main rooms being separated by a hallway (kind of a barbell shape). There is no room in the hall for a console unit, so I'm thinking two smaller units.

If I'm going to be spending a lot of time indoors, I want my gear to play and sound good. It is a small price to play Gunga Din to a trio of humidifiers if the comfort level in the house stays up, IMHO. It is one of those things I probably should have done a long time ago. Better late than never, I guess.

Slash - good point about the seasonal adjustment. It isn't really that hard to do, but you do need to know what you are doing. I'm fortunate to be learning for a real pro how to do this kind of stuff. I want very much to be able to do this for a living someday.
 

MIDNIGHT

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Midnight, I had a unit very similar to that when I had my acoustic.

I'm talking about whole room units, so everything in the room gets humidfied. We have a big console unit downstairs that since I put it on Saturday night, has raised the RHL in my upstairs room from 22 to 27/28. Not quite the desirable 45%, but a step in the right direction. The downstairs is nice and comfortable now, my cat is happy that petting her doesn't threaten to set her fur on fire.

I think, correction, I know I need to get a unit for upstairs. I'm not sure a single unit will work with the two main rooms being separated by a hallway (kind of a barbell shape). There is no room in the hall for a console unit, so I'm thinking two smaller units.

If I'm going to be spending a lot of time indoors, I want my gear to play and sound good. It is a small price to play Gunga Din to a trio of humidifiers if the comfort level in the house stays up, IMHO. It is one of those things I probably should have done a long time ago. Better late than never, I guess.

Slash - good point about the seasonal adjustment. It isn't really that hard to do, but you do need to know what you are doing. I'm fortunate to be learning for a real pro how to do this kind of stuff. I want very much to be able to do this for a living someday.

oh ok yeah i see whatcha mean.. :wave:

:hippie:
 

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