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  • Low humidity the culprit?

    I've had a Martin HD28 for about a year now, and I didn't have problems until recently. From the 10-12th frets, usually on the high E, B, and G strings I get a buzz if I pick harder than anything but soft or finger. Strumming those strings produces a buzz too.



    I called a local repair guy and he said that it was due to low humidity. I have a hygrometer in my case, and it says that it's been low, around 26%. So, I went to the store and bought a tube that has a sponge in it that you soak, and then place it in the body. I also took a dish cleaning sponger, soaked that then squeezed out the excess water, and placed it in a sandwich bag. Then, I poked lots of little holes in the sandwich bag so the moisture could get out. I put this sponge underneath the headstock, whereas the tube sponge is in the body.



    So, now, I am keeping the guitar in its case with these new damp items. The repair guy said that it could take a couple weeks to get the wood back to normal moistness. For weeks now I've been compensating for this buzz by playing the high E and B strings softer with my fingers, but strumming doesn't sound solid. Can I still play my guitar and take it out of the case while it re-humidifies, or do I have to leave it in the case for weeks?

  • #2
    You can take it out, but leave the case CLOSED. Also it is going to take longer to get it back up to the proper humidity level too. But if you are playing it for a hour or two, big deal as long as you keep the moisture in the case and keep checking it every couple of days. After it is back to normal 48% make sure that you close your case when using your guitar to hold the moisture in your case.
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    • #3
      After humidifying it for that long I'd be thinking it might need to have a fret or two leveled ...
      "Plunk your Magic Twanger, Froggy". Andy Devine

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      • #4
        Well, I'm going to keep it in the case for several days and monitor the humidity. Before I put these sponges in 3 hours ago, the case was reading 26%. Now, it's reading 29% so it looks like it's doing something.



        I'm hoping I don't need to do anything to the frets.

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        • #5
          Something is not right. The humidity in that case should be more than 29% by now with those humidifiers in there. You need a humidity of at least around 35% - 40% in that case, preferably 50%-60%.



          I assume you're keeping the guitar/case in a temperature controlled room... no lower than maybe 60 degrees all the time... and keeping the case closed at all times.



          Don't worry about the frets until you get the humidity right. And what you're doing doesn't seem to be enough.
          Proud reject from the HCAG Civil Posters Society, Martin snob, vitriolic sociopath, and tantrumist

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          • #6






            Quote Originally Posted by FretFiend.
            View Post

            Something is not right. The humidity in that case should be more than 29% by now with those humidifiers in there. You need a humidity of at least around 35% - 40% in that case, preferably 50%-60%.



            I assume you're keeping the guitar/case in a temperature controlled room... no lower than maybe 60 degrees all the time... and keeping the case closed at all times.



            Don't worry about the frets until you get the humidity right. And what you're doing doesn't seem to be enough.




            I just read it, it's at 30% and the temp reads 66 F. I don't know where else I can put moist sponges. There's one underneath the headstock, the other is in the body.

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            • #7
              That's all you can do - so far - if you want to fix the issue within the case only.

              But the low humidity is doing YOU no good,either. It's stressful for your body, too.

              I would consider getting a humidifier.

              I loved the ultrasonic types, that produce a fine mist. They can - literally - pump gallons of water into the air. Unfortunately, they need a lot of control (you should never let them run dry) and maintenance (should you have "hard" water). Thankfully, where I lived, the water was soft, so whenever I've turned on the heating, I've turned on the humidifier. I easily ran through 1/2 gallon or more per day during a cold snap, but it was worth it.

              Thankfully, now I live literally by the sea - no more humidity problems.
              .

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              • #8
                That's all you can do - so far - if you want to fix the issue within the case only.

                But the low humidity is doing YOU no good,either. It's stressful for your body, too.

                I would consider getting a humidifier.

                I loved the ultrasonic types, that produce a fine mist. They can - literally - pump gallons of water into the air. Unfortunately, they need a lot of control (you should never let them run dry) and maintenance (should you have "hard" water). Thankfully, where I lived, the water was soft, so whenever I've turned on the heating, I've turned on the humidifier. I easily ran through 1/2 gallon or more per evening in my small music room during a cold snap, but it was worth it.

                Thankfully, now I live literally by the sea - no more humidity problems.
                .

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                • #9
                  That humidifier that you have in the body sounds kinda like a "Dampit" snake. I've heard of people who put two or three of those in there. Maybe a couple more sponges if you can.



                  I have to say, the humidity in the room where you keep this guitar must be extremely low. Maybe humidify the room some???
                  Proud reject from the HCAG Civil Posters Society, Martin snob, vitriolic sociopath, and tantrumist

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