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  • Writer's pictureJohn Barton's a dry cold.

For those of us fortunate enough to live in New England really need to recognize that our instruments may not feel as fortunate. Our climate while great for skiing and dog sledding, is tough on instruments. For a large amount of time during the year we need to heat our home and that tends to dry the air,  which dries out our instruments. In our shop it takes twenty quarts of water per day to keep our humidity levels as close to 50% as possible. I had to special order two extra heavy duty humidifiers from our local hardware store and they do a pretty good job. We also have one in our home.  

How dry is your house? For about $8 you can get a thermometer/hygrometer from your hardware store. Taylor (not the guitar guys) makes one, not the most accurate, but it is cheap and you can afford to scatter a few around and it gives you a general indication of potential problems. If you simply can’t keep your home at a minimum of 35% see us about investing in a guitar humidifier. We stock several and they are all under $15.  

The thing is you have to read the directions. A customer came in recently with a guitar showing extreme signs of dryness. Sharp fret ends, unstable neck very dry fret board. The customer explained that when not in use the guitar was always in the case with the humidifier. That was very good.  Evidently, I failed to explain that humidifiers need to be stocked with water, and that never occurred to the customer who didn’t look at the directions or the pictures on the package. The guitar is now back to normal after a restful, hydrating stay at the Friendly River guitar spa. Had the customer waited much longer we would have had serious cracks to repair.

Humidifiers are equally important for solid body guitars.

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