How humid is too humid?

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by Jeff Michael, Jun 12, 2003.

  1. I know dryness is the fear, but how wet is too wet? My music room hit 86% today. The strings were sweating. That's too wet. I've got a dehumidifier running now and the humidity is down to 78%. I've heard 35-40% bandied about as the lower limit, but no one speaks much of an upper one. Anybody?

  2. arnoldschnitzer

    arnoldschnitzer AES Fine Instruments

    Feb 16, 2002
    Brewster, NY, USA
    I think a max of about 60% is a good target. You don't want mushrooms growing in the bass. Keep in mind, though, that the worst damage that can occur is a result of losing humidity quickly. For example, you play a rainy outdoor gig, then put your bass in a meat freezer at zero degrees and ten percent humidity. You'd probably get a crack or pop some seams. Volunteers?

    Barrie Kolstien has an article on humidity in the new Double Bassist magazine. I haven't read the whole thing yet, but I concur with his opening statement that winter 2002-3 was the worst year in memory for bass problems, due to extreme climatic conditions.

    If you do a really damp outdoor gig, you might want to be careful taking a good bass right into an air-conditioned environment. Think about ways to transition the bass slowly, no matter the season.