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humidity question

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by Marc Piane, Nov 4, 2005.


  1. Marc Piane

    Marc Piane

    Jun 14, 2004
    Chicago
    I live in a fairly small apartment. After I shower, or run the dishwasher, I notice a spike of about 5% in humidity. I try to keep my house around 45%. It usually goes up to about 50% then slowly back down. Is that bad for my basses?
     
  2. christ andronis

    christ andronis

    Nov 14, 2001
    Chicago
    ..it shouldn't be. I work out in my studio and I notice a spike in the humidity of about 5 or 6% when I'm done. It always goes back down after about 25 minutes.
    I keep mine at around 50-60% and have had no problems.
     
  3. nicklloyd

    nicklloyd Supporting Member/Luthier

    Jan 27, 2002
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    That little variance isn't a problem. However, be careful of over-humidifying your bass in the winter. +50% is pushing it.
     
  4. christ andronis

    christ andronis

    Nov 14, 2001
    Chicago
    My post could have been a little clearer....Nick is correct, 50% in the winter is higher than optimal. Usually in the winter mine is around 40% When that Hawk comes swoopin' in from the north, the humidity usually takes a dive...and if I'm not mistaken, most of the guys who know around here have said that when the humidity dives like that, it's a dangerous time for (double)basses.
     
  5. christ andronis

    christ andronis

    Nov 14, 2001
    Chicago
    ouch....I hate when that happens. Is that your bass??
     
  6. Johonn

    Johonn

    Nov 19, 2004
    Brunswick, ME
    Wow.

    ouch.

    Wow. :eek:
     
  7. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    Looks like that Bass was hit AND the tail wire snapped at the connection. Ribs crushed, Sound post and Bass bar cracks and plenty other 'puzzle' cracks n splits. I hope you have insurance because to restore that Bass properly from to looks of it, it may exceed it's Value.

    Fill out your profile and tell us what kind of Bass it is or at least what you think it is. That will be Expensive to repair. Even if it's a 20k or more Bass, the two cracks up and under the Bridge feet kills the re-sale value on a new Bass. At least to me it does.
     
  8. Ben Rose

    Ben Rose

    Jan 12, 2004
    Oakland
    Last night I experienced my first NorthEast style humidity dive. It has been hovering between 37-40% in my home for a few weeks, but last night I walked in from work and the humidity had dropped to 20%. Boiling a pot of water in my home will take the humidity from 20% to 45% in 10 minutes, but I'm about changing the humidity that drastically in such a short period of time. The bass is in it's bag. How slowly should the humidity be adjusted back to normal? With the door open, the room temperature stays at about 64 degrees, closed it drops into the 50s overnight.
     
  9. nicklloyd

    nicklloyd Supporting Member/Luthier

    Jan 27, 2002
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    But how fast does it drop from 45% back to 20%? You need consistency and not a push and pull scenario. Buy a warm-air room humidifier, keep it at 35%-40%.
     
  10. Ben Rose

    Ben Rose

    Jan 12, 2004
    Oakland
    Thanks, Nick. I hung a damp towel on a music stand and that seemed to help regulate keep it in the 30s through the night. I'm going to get a humidifier at lunch today. I think I will put the humidifier in the room next to my practice room at first.
     
  11. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004

    I have had good results with an evaporative humidifier. I stay away from the "misting" types that can leave residues.
     
  12. Ben Rose

    Ben Rose

    Jan 12, 2004
    Oakland
    What kind of residues? (Dag. These margins are huge.)
     
  13. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist

    Apr 7, 2005
    Sutton, MA
    I bought one of those big floor units at Sears and it was working fine but the other day the humidity in the house dropped and now it's working hard to keep the humidity at 35%. I'm not worried at 35% but it's not even the coldest part of the winter yet.

    Perhaps I need to build a walk in humidor. :meh:
     
  14. nicklloyd

    nicklloyd Supporting Member/Luthier

    Jan 27, 2002
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    I haven't had any residue problems with my Warm-Air Honeywell Humidifier... not very big, easy to use, and under $50 at Home Despot/Lowe's/etc.
     
  15. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004

    Depending upon the type of water used in the humidifier (mineral content, etc.), a fine white "dust" can be left on furniture (and basses) in the room. If you use distilled water there's no problem.
     
  16. Jeff Bollbach

    Jeff Bollbach Jeff Bollbach Luthier, Inc.

    Dec 12, 2001
    freeport, ny
    Basses do not double as ottomans!
     
  17. This website talks about moisture diffusion through the exterior walls of the home and how to prevent it. It stands to reason that if moisture can't leave, then it must stay. Just an idea on maintaining humidity.

    http://www.eere.energy.gov/consumer/your_home/insulation_airsealing/index.cfm/mytopic=11810
    Vapor barrier" paints are also an effective option for colder climates. If the perm rating of the paint is not indicated on the label, find the paint formula. The paint formula usually indicates the percent of pigment. To be a good vapor diffusion retarder, it should consist of a relatively high percent of solids and thickness in application. Glossy paints are generally more effective vapor diffusion retarders than flat paints, and acrylic paints are generally better than latex paints. When in doubt, apply more coats of paint. It's best to use paint labeled as a vapor diffusion retarder and follow the directions for applying it.
     
  18. Ben Rose

    Ben Rose

    Jan 12, 2004
    Oakland
    Yea, but they make great sleds.

    I just picked up the Honeywell humidifier at lunch. It's a little noisy, but I'm guessing I won't need to use it all of the time.
     
  19. armybass

    armybass Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2001
    I have a small $25 Honeywell and it keeps me right around 40 to 41% most of the time.