use of dampit humidifiers

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [DB]' started by Jeff Brisk, Apr 8, 2003.

  1. Being new to the double bass world I have a question about the use of dampits. My bass is a 1962 Kay and been in Colorado for most of it's life without any dampits or humidifiers used. Is it wise to start using one or leave it as is? I want to keep this bass happy & healthy!
  2. Tim Ludlam

    Tim Ludlam

    Dec 19, 1999
    Carmel, IN
    You will find some players (KPO comes to mind) who are violently opposed to that particular product. I will use them only if transporting my bass in some pretty severely cold, dry weather. Otherwise, I maintain a somewhat constant humidity by keeping my basses in a room with an all-house humidifier, but only in the winter. I use a hygrometer to assure that I maintain adequate humidity.

    Plywoods are not as susceptible to humidity flucuations as carved basses, but I have heard people say that a properly humidified ply sounds better.

    So, I would not use the dampits if I were you. I would buy a hygrometer and attempt to maintain a modestly steady humidity level, but only with a humidifier when necessary.

    BTW I keep my basses at a level of 37% to 40% humidity. For some, those levels might seem a little low, but the key is consistancy. My basses sound very good at that particular level.
  3. If you are going to us a dampit, use it correctly. That is - wring out most of the water before you put it inside your bass. Over filling one can (and does) lead to expensive damage to the inside of the instrument when the water drips down inside.
  4. Jeff Bollbach

    Jeff Bollbach Jeff Bollbach Luthier, Inc.

    Dec 12, 2001
    freeport, ny
    Anyone advocating ANY use of damndampits has little understanding of physics.
    Direct from a recent Regents test-

    Fart is to an Iraqui sandstorm as...

    A well wrung Dampit is to the humidity needed to keep your bass happy.
  5. Tim Ludlam

    Tim Ludlam

    Dec 19, 1999
    Carmel, IN
    Well, that pretty much sums it up.......and what a visual. Jeff has a way of making complex physics seem quite simple.
  6. I've always thought Dampits were designed to give a psycological boost to the player. Kind of like when politicians advocate doing something totally useless so they can say they have done something (even when they haven't done anything to actually solve the problem).
  7. arnoldschnitzer

    arnoldschnitzer AES Fine Instruments

    Feb 16, 2002
    Brewster, NY, USA
    Here's an experiment someone needs to do: In a room with low relative humidity (say, 20%), place a hygrometer in your bass. Now, add a Dampit or two, wait a while and check the humidity change. My guess would be 1-2% change which would last perhaps an hour. Bob and Jeff have hit the nail with their heads.
  8. poalf


    Feb 27, 2003
    Phoenix, Az
    well... at the risk of opening myself to ridule:

    I live in Az. you know "but it's a dry heat." I use the dampits, six of them, wring them out well and keep my bass in it's case when not played. My assumption is that kept wrapped up inside the case (Moradian), they can keep what little air there is reasonably damp. Certainly if the bass was in an open room, the sponges would have minimal effect.

    I bought a new Wilfer model 12 last summer and haven't popped a seam.

    Previously I kept a Martin guitar unhumidified and after a year or so it had all the classic signs of dehydration. I use sponge type humidifiers in both a 50 year D-18 and a new Colings (guitars) and have had no problems.

    Could be just luck: I wouldn't call this good science, but until somebody convinces me otherwise. I'm sticking with it.
  9. Ridicule? No - not us. If using 6 dampits makes you feel secure, they've done their job.:cool:
  10. poalf


    Feb 27, 2003
    Phoenix, Az
    I knew that was going to happen sooner or later.. it's not the spelling, it's the typing and proofreading.
  11. Rod B.

    Rod B.

    Jun 11, 2002
    This is an old thread, but I just looked here. :p

    I tried the experiment years ago, but with an acoustic guitar and the relative humidity being 26%. It only raised it 3%. I assume the results for URB would be less.

    I went to using a home made case humidifier. It's a film canister with holes in the top and a sponge inside. It raises the humidity more like 10%.

    For something as big as an URB I'd think a plastic travel soap container with holes drilled and a sponge. Plus it's big enough that I think you could place it in the bag with a snug fit so it wouldn't rattle around and damage the URB.