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humidifying your bass

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by bassgeek, Dec 10, 2000.

  1. bassgeek

    bassgeek Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2000
    Asheville, NC
    I have recently moved into a very dry, hot apartment (radiator steam heat). My Juzek has reacted to this with almost radical changes in action/set-up, almost on a daily basis. I've tried to keep a damp-it in it but I'm unsure as to how to use it most effectively. Any suggestions or advice on this matter would be appreciated. Thanks, bassgeek.
  2. I don't use a Dampit anymore, since I found that if they are too wet, they will drip water inside your bass, possibly damaging it. I just use a vaporisor in the room with my bass, you can get them at any walmart or K-mart type store for around $20-30. Another cheap way,since you have radiator heat is to put a pan of water on top of the radiator. A hygrometer is also a good idea .(It's Like a thermometer,but measures humidity in the room) I got one from radio shack for $15.
  3. I agree. The dampits can be a temporary solution, say if you are rehearsing in a dry space, but I don't recommend them for solving your dryness problem. I bought a Bionaire humidifier from a hardware store ( about $50 Am.) It has an adjustable output control. Much better than the cheaper humidifiers that have none. I also have an electronic hygrometer. It is best to keep the humidity around 30-40%. This way the bass won't crack when moving to a drier hall. I can adjust the humidifier to keep the room a consistant humidity and don't have to mess with turning it on and off every few hours. (you will have to refill the water every few days depending on the size of the humidifier and room) Make sure you don't put the hygrometer close to the humidifier as you can get misleading readings. This combination is more expensive than dampits, but will yield much more satisfactory results.
  4. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    Humidifiers are the way to go, and less expensive than repairing cracks and open seams. Two expensive basses cracked spontaneously on me last winter.
    According to Gage, to get optimum results with a Dampit, saturate it, then wring it out so it won't drip. After you hang it in the bass, put the cover on the bass. Admittedly, this is one big pain if you practice every day.
    My panic mark is when room humidity goes below 40%. If that happened consistently, I would buy a 2nd humidifier.
  5. A word of warning about humidifiers - I have used certain models of "Bionaire" in the past (these were of the "ultrasonic" type) and found them to put a very fine layer of dust (some sort of precipitate from the water) over everything in the room. The type of humidifier which boils the water of slowly (i.e. vapourizes the water) is much better for avoiding that problem!

    - Wil

    PS: Room at between 40 & 50 per-cent humidity, and all the basses live in their cases - that's the way I do it, and have never had any problems (so far...)

  6. I have an excellent humidifier recommended to me my local acoustic guitar shop. It's a Bemis - it sits on the floor and has a rather large tank but then has a filter and a fan, so there is no boiling. I found it considerably more effective than the Bionaire humidifiers and since the water isn't boiled, there is no cleaning required other than changing the filter every season (although I use an anti bacterial additive to keep odours away). The other good thing about the Bemis is the way the tank is designed - the entire tank and base is moulded out of one solid piece of plastic so there is no chance of leakage. I've had some major problems with Bionaire's leaking on me since the tanks hang upside down.
  7. bassgeek

    bassgeek Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2000
    Asheville, NC
    Thanks for all the advice, guys. I'm scared to even find out what the humidity is in my apartment-the litmus type strip that comes with the Dampit ain't hacking it so I'll probably pick up hygrometer.
  8. Bob Gollihur

    Bob Gollihur GollihurMusic.com

    Mar 22, 2000
    Cape of New Jersey
    Big Cheese Emeritus: Gollihur Music (retired)
    My last house had radiator heat-- my solution for keeping my breathing passages and bass happy was to put pots of water on a couple radiators and refill them periodically. Cheap and effective.
  9. Scott Cutrer

    Scott Cutrer Guest

    Aug 21, 2000
    Richmond, VA
    I am in the same boat up here with the Frozen Chozen in Upstate NY. I also work in a guitar shop and have recently adopted the same humidifier/hygrometer treatment in my house with forced air heating for my bass and my nose. Never had to deal w/ this in Florida or Louisiana.

  10. Tim Ludlam

    Tim Ludlam

    Dec 19, 1999
    Carmel, IN
    I use a combination of humidifier/dampit. I just can't seem to get my room humidity above 38%. So I am assuming that the combination is adequate. I do thoroughly ring-out my dampit, and re-soak it quite often. I do not cover my bass, because I practice often.

    I'll just keep my fingers crossed until spring.
  11. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    Consistency might be more important than the absolute number. I think the problem occurs when the bass flexes to meet the environmental condition of the moment.

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