Prevention is better than cure: protecting your instrument against changes in temperature
Last week we posted a blog about the impact of changes in humidity and temperature on stringed instruments; with a focus on identifying and repair of the resulting damage. As it grows ever colder, here’s a look at prevention rather than cure and how to protect your instrument if a frost or drop in humidity is forecast.
Your instrument case can have an impact on how humidity and temperature will affect your instrument, a well-designed case will slow down the fluctuations between humidity inside and outside the case. We have some in stock so please inquire or come in and try them out and ask for our advice. Some cases come with humidity meters built in, sadly these are often inaccurate. If you don’t have an accurate humidity meter the next and possibly best gauge is whether your own skin feels dry. See some of our cases and covers HERE.
We have talked about cases but equally the room where you keep your instrument should be as atmospherically stable as possible and not too dry, a north facing room with no heating might be good. If your home is very dry consider using a humidifier in the room where you keep your instrument. We recommend Ultrasonic mist humidifiers that create steam at a low temperature (available from shops like Argos) or humidifiers that hang over a radiator.
3. Internal Instrument Humidifiers
A good option when it’s very cold or very dry is to insert an internal humidifier, these are inserted through the f-hole inside the instrument where the unvarnished side of the wood can absorb the moisture. We recommend Dampit humidifiers, other brands are Paganini or Trophy. There are options for placing a humidifier inside your case, we recommend those made by Stretto who also make an accurate digital hygrometer to accurately measure humidity. Planet Waves also produce some humidifiers that sit inside your case. See a range of humidifiers HERE.
Some people also recommend keeping instruments in silk or tightly woven cotton bags to slow down the transfer of humidity. Synthetics don’t have the same effect.
Come in and visit us to see our full range of cases, humidifiers and accessories. Our expert team are on hand to help out with any queries you may have and recommend good options.