Acoustic guitars (and hollow body electrics) like to be humid, but not too humid. It’s a balance. Guitars that are left to dry out can cause serious headaches and even costly repairs down the road. It starts with losing intonation and can end with a cracked body, warped neck or more.
Some symptoms of dry guitar include:
• Sharp fret ends
• Neck bow (slight curve in guitar neck bringing the fretboard away from the strings)
• Sunken top
• Lifted bridge
• Lower string height, buzzing notes
• Cracking of the neck and/or guitar body
• Changes in the instruments tone
There are generally two types of humidifiers for guitars: One Way- the kind that adds moisture, and Two Way – the kind that adds and removes to balance overall moisture. The kind that only adds moisture is typically used in parts of the country that suffer dry air during part of the year. The Northeastern United States in the winter months is one example. The second kind can be used during humid seasons (again Northeastern United States in the summer) or humid locations, like Florida. This kind of humidifier will add moisture when it’s dry, and soak up excess moisture when it’s humid.
Here are two of the best of each type for under $20.
D’Addario One-Way Acoustic Guitar Humidifier
This D’Addario humidifier adds moisture to your guitar without damaging the finish because it is suspended by the strings and never touches the guitar body. There are no clips or fasteners and it’s easy to use.
To use this humidifier, simply place the moistened sponge inside the case and place the case between the 3rd and 4th strings. The humidifier just hangs in the sound hole of the guitar so it never touches the body of the instrument, and releases the moisture slowly and evenly keeping your guitar perfectly humidified.
D’Addario Two-Way Humidification System
The two-way humidifier is just like the one way above, except that a special packet is used in place of a sponge. This packet maintains a constant 45%-50% relative humidity level within your instruments case. This system eliminates the guesswork of maintaining your guitar’s proper humidity level because it seeks to balance between 45-50% by adding or removing moisture