Humidity

We live in a very dry area in the US. One of our main concerns here is to provide our customers with real world knowledge about humidification and letting their instruments cure. Did you know that properly cured guitars need very little humidification? We’ve had nearly 100 year old Martin’s here for repairs that have no cracks or fretboard shrinkage – and won’t ever. These old Martin guitars were dried or cured properly prior to building and are nearly impervious to humidity changes. Sadly, guitar manufacturers are making instruments faster and striving to reduce costs – which means less drying time or attention to proper lumber selection. The best thing to do in this environment is to help your instrument cure and acclimate to the environment gradually over time. Once your instrument is properly cured – it will not shrink or crack.

Too much humidity can cause checking of your finish, warping, collapsing of the top, loose bracing, neck warpage, softening of glue joints, separating bridges and more. We do not recommend any more than 30-40% max humidity in your case or sound hole – enough to keep the guitar from cracking (which happens when a guitar acclimates too quickly) – but the perfect amount to allow the instrument to acclimate over time to the environment. Over humidifying your instrument is just delaying the inevitable – the wood to drying/curing. If this process is allowed to occur gradually it will not harm your instrument and eventually the instrument will need only minimal hydration.

Be warry of shops claiming to have high humidification (50% or more). That much humidity can potentially damage your guitar or cause it to deteriorate prematurely.

N. Smith