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hydrating?

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by christ andronis, Oct 4, 2005.


  1. christ andronis

    christ andronis

    Nov 14, 2001
    Chicago
    This is more of a maintenance question than repair. I'm noticing in the add for Upton Bass cleaner/polish it says it's for "hydrating" also. I know what hydrating is, but is it something that needs to be considered for a fully carved bass or is a good humidifier enough? Or is it what a good humidifier does? I've never heard of this before. Thanks.
     
  2. Bob Rogers

    Bob Rogers Left is Right

    Feb 26, 2005
    Blacksburg, Virginia
    As I understand it, the safest and best way to keep an instrument (or a piece of furniture, or your skin and sinus passages) from drying out is to maintain the entire environment it's exposed to at a comfortable humidity level. I like 40-45% or above if I can get it. I have a humidifier in my forced air heating system and a room humidifier next to the piano in my living room and one in my music studio. I have a cheap digital hydrometer from Radio Shack in the studio. (Probably should get one for the piano, come to think of it.)

    If humidifiers are not practical for you, there are various gadgets designed to keep the local humidity inside an instrument up. No doubt others can help with those.

    I haven't read the instructions on Upton's polish, so I'm not sure what they are talking about. I'll just say that one basic purpose of a finish is to act as a barrier to liquids.
     
  3. Damon Rondeau

    Damon Rondeau Journeyman Clam Artist Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2002
    Winnipeg, baby
    I hope this doesn't start anything unpleasant, but I just had a tooth pulled and I'm in no mood for holding back.

    Short of soaking it water, there isn't anything you can put on wood that "hydrates" it. Wood will equalize with the humidity of its immediate environment. Period.

    Any other claim is bumpf to increase sales.
     
  4. christ andronis

    christ andronis

    Nov 14, 2001
    Chicago
    ..hope you feel better soon Damon. That's kind of what I thought too, it's just that the ad confused me. I didn't think that Upton was doing anything wrong, I was just curious.

    Bob, I've probably got the same Radio shack Digital Hydrometer that you do. I try to keep my studio between 55%-65% in the summer (with a de-humidifier.those of you out West don't have to worry about it) and at about 40% in the winter (with a humidifier in my forced air system).
     
  5. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Be aware that humidifiers on forced-air systems can be healty for your bass, but very unhealthy for you, since any time you introduce humidity into your ductwork, you're basically begging for mold, fungi, and various other uninvited funk to set up house. Last year, we had our ductwork cleaned, and after looking at some of the stuff that came out, I immediately disconnected the humidifier on the main furnace. Now I keep a simple room unit in the music room to keep the piano and bass happy, and breathe easier the rest of the year. YMMV.
     
  6. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    NYC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Maybe we can start selling "rehydrating tubs" on E-Bay, so that newbies can start soaking those Palantinos they just bought...
     
  7. christ andronis

    christ andronis

    Nov 14, 2001
    Chicago
    Chris...point taken. I just replace the filters about once every other month and it seems to help alot. My nose usually starts gunking up (too much information?? :) ) about the time the arctic air mass arrives if I don't. That's my barometer.