Bass Case Humidifier to combat Ebony shrinkage?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Twocan, Dec 19, 2014.

  1. Twocan

    Twocan Living the Dream Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2009
    Another dry and cold winter is threatening my beloved ebony boards (MI winter humidity v CA conditions = shrinkage of the George Costanza nature). My Alembics have moved from the wall to their cases. Has anyone used any bass case humidifiers and were they worth it? I'm trying to be proactive and avoid any protrusion of fret edges, which is a commonly noted problem with humidity shifts.

  2. 202dy

    202dy Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2006
    Let the fingerboard shrink.
    Trim the fret ends in the spring.
    Done forever.

    In-the-case humidification is like working out one day a week. Fitness-wise it will help a little. Prolonging life, maybe not so much.

    Ultimately, for these devices to work as sold requires an air-tight case. Plan on spending six hundred US dollars. The average blow mold or fiber case leaks enough air to render the humidifier useless unless tended every day or two. Even then there is no guarantee that it will work. If it does, great. If it doesn't, the guitar is in the same condition it would be as if nothing was done. It will still need to have the frets trimmed.

    Whole house humidification, on the other hand, works great. That is, until the guitar is transported to rehearsals and gigs five days a week. Then refer to the above.
    Hopkins likes this.
  3. I keep my house at 45-55% humidity all winter long. In the summer I have a hard time keeping the humidity down to that level. No airconditioning.

    All my guitars and my solitary precision bass have been out of the cases and on various stands/racks for their entire lives. They go into a case only for transport. I've a Gibson ES125 that's been hangin' out since 1957 with no problem. A 2007 Gibson L4CES (ebony fretboard) that sits on a rack with the 125 and it also shows no ill effects. A Larrivee LV03RE with ebony fretboard also shows no signs of dehydration. It hangs out with the others.
    I like to play my guitars and bass as much as possible and hate having to dig them out of their cases in order to play.

    The key is to keep the house humidified. This helps in keeping the human body comfortable too and saves a little bit on heating bills.

    Take care in transporting to and from gigs in the winter.