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RafterGirl
08-11-2017, 05:35 PM
I just got a solid top tenor ukulele, so I picked up a humidifier at my local acoustic music shop. They had the Music Nomad Humilele brand. I have saturated the sponge as directed with distilled water. In reviews of this product people say they have to re-moisten the sponge once a week. Mine is bone dry every day. Am I doing something wrong? It's suspended from the strings in the sound hole as instructed, and inside a hard case. I want to take good care of my new uke, but refilling the sponge everyday is a pain.

DanY
08-11-2017, 06:17 PM
I use the nomad humilele in both of my solid wood ukes, and they're great! I like how they have a low profile so you can close your case without it causing any pressure to the strings. What I do is get a plastic cup, fill it up with distilled water and cover it with plastic wrap. I keep the cup bed side so it's easily accessible. Whenever I check the sponge and it's starting to get hard, I just dunk the sponge, squeeze it under water, lift it up and bang it slightly on to the inner sides of the cup, then put it back in. It only takes a few seconds. I initially ran into the same problem so this has made it a lot easier. Hope this helps!

RafterGirl
08-12-2017, 04:10 AM
I use the nomad humilele in both of my solid wood ukes, and they're great! I like how they have a low profile so you can close your case without it causing any pressure to the strings. What I do is get a plastic cup, fill it up with distilled water and cover it with plastic wrap. I keep the cup bed side so it's easily accessible. Whenever I check the sponge and it's starting to get hard, I just dunk the sponge, squeeze it under water, lift it up and bang it slightly on to the inner sides of the cup, then put it back in. It only takes a few seconds. I initially ran into the same problem so this has made it a lot easier. Hope this helps!

Thanks. I wonder if I'm squeezing out too much of the water from the sponge before putting it in the case? I'll try not squeezing out so much and let it stay wetter.

jer
08-12-2017, 05:11 AM
Having a humidifier is great, but without also having a hygrometer to check the humidity level you'd be missing out on an equally important part of the equation. Do you have a hygrometer? Maybe you do and just didn't mention it. Over-humidifying the instrument is also bad. I use a little digital Oasis humidifier I like a lot. In your situation, you'd probably want it in the case with the uke. Optimal conditions are usually around 45% humidity give or take a few, according to most experts.
I use the one like this: https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/OH2
As to how much you'll have to re-moisten your humidifier, it completely depends on where you live and what your conditions are. The lower the humidity the more you'll have to refill it. It's just part of caring for solid wood.

If you really want to take the guess work out, try this:
https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/HumidipakKit
It adds or takes away humidity as needed.
I use that system when I have to humidify. The refills do cost a bit, so there is expense involved. I tend to use one or two of the packets along with another humidifier I can refill...then it makes the more expensive packs go farther.

RafterGirl
08-12-2017, 05:40 AM
Having a humidifier is great, but without also having a hygrometer to check the humidity level you'd be missing out on an equally important part of the equation. Do you have a hygrometer? Maybe you do and just didn't mention it. Over-humidifying the instrument is also bad. I use a little digital Oasis humidifier I like a lot. In your situation, you'd probably want it in the case with the uke. Optimal conditions are usually around 45% humidity give or take a few, according to most experts.
I use the one like this: https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/OH2
As to how much you'll have to re-moisten your humidifier, it completely depends on where you live and what your conditions are. The lower the humidity the more you'll have to refill it. It's just part of caring for solid wood.

If you really want to take the guess work out, try this:
https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/HumidipakKit
It adds or takes away humidity as needed.
I use that system when I have to humidify. The refills do cost a bit, so there is expense involved. I tend to use one or two of the packets along with another humidifier I can refill...then it makes the more expensive packs go farther.

I don't have a hygrometer yet, but I will get one asap. I live in a dry climate (Utah) and use central AC in the summer and forced air gas heating in the winter. I will also buy or maybe make a humidifier for my concert laminate uke as well. Both of my ukuleles have hard cases as well as soft gig bags, so I'll keep them in their hard cases with the humidifiers unless I'm playing them. I also have a Bonanza HPL ukulele that is Wilsonart laminate body, but does have a wood neck & fretboard. Should I humidify that one, or is that bad for the HPL? I'll have to check with the Pete & Shelley with Bonanza. Those humidity packs look like an easy way to go, but pricey.

Rllink
08-12-2017, 06:26 AM
I use an Oasis, just because Mike at Mainland sells them and I bought my ukulele from him. It works fine. I only need to use it a few months out of the year anyway. It shrivels up as it gets dry, so it is easy to tell if it needs more water. It takes several days to shrivel, sometimes a week. It just depends. I play my ukulele every day, so it isn't too hard to keep track of, but I've never had to fill it daily. I do not measure the humidity inside the case. I just assume that it is doing its job. I'm just not sure that humidifying a ukulele is that exact of a science. Someone gave me a "dampit" humidifier. In fact, they gave me two of them. I rolled one up at one time and put it in the case, up under the tuners, but there is no way to tell if they are still moist or not. They are just a rubber tube with holes in it and filled with some material that soaks up water. How would anyone know? When I submerse it to fill it, I don't even know if it absorbed any water in the first place. But I quickly decided that I didn't need to go to that much effort anyway.

RafterGirl
08-12-2017, 09:03 AM
I had an interesting conversation with the guy that owns the local guitar shop. He's in his 70's and has been playing guitars most of his life. He says doesn't use humidifiers, even with his expensive guitars. His theory is that it's changes in humidity that cause problems. He feels like his guitars acclimate to where they live. He feels like they are in & out of their cases frequently so they don't need extra humidity while in the case and then come out into the dry air to be played. I can see his point. Perhaps I won't get too stressed about the exact humidity level, but continue to use the Nomad Humilele in the case with my solid top tenor. I think I'll just make a home made one to stick in the case with my laminate concert. If refilling the Nomad gets to be a pain in the butt, I'll get an Oasis. I use cpap, so I'm refilling the humidifier on my machine every other night with distilled water, so I suppose soaking a sponge for a few minutes isn't that big a deal.

Choirguy
08-12-2017, 09:30 AM
RafterGirl,

I would point you to the Ukulele Review Site (By Hawaii Music Supply/The Ukulele Site): http://www.theukulelereview.com/2017/01/11/what-every-ukulele-player-should-know-about-humidity/

Here's the deal: while I do believe that The Ukulele Site wants to sell you a ukulele, I don't believe that they are warning about humidity with the intent of selling humidifiers, and I do believe that they have seen ukuleles come back to them, cracked, as a result of customers not caring for their instruments.

If you are using a laminate instrument that has a wood neck or a wooden fretboard, you may still benefit from keeping your ukulele in a humidity controlled environment. Wooden fretboards expand and contract with the humidity, exposing fret ends. Only the plastic & polycarbonate ukuleles--as well as the complete composites of Blackbird have no need of specific humidity control--although you would be well advised to not store a bugsgear or waterman ukulele in your car in the summer!

You want your ukulele to live in humidity levels of 40%-60%. You don't need to shoot for a specific humidity number, but if the humidity of your general area is less than 40%, your ukulele will need a humidifier, and if it is above 60% (that's pretty humid for a place where humans live indoors), you will need a dehumidifier.

I know some people who are not humidifying their solid wood instruments. Maybe that works for them...but they are choosing to take a risk that their instrument could break--and accepting the consequences of that risk. The issue isn't taking the ukulele out of a humidified case, it is where you keep it for the 22 hours that you aren't playing it.

Once the weather where I live turns cold and heat goes on in the house, my humidifiers go into my solid wood ukuleles, and it becomes a weekly exercise to check them (and fill them) with distilled water. Right now I am using Oasis ukuleles, but also throw some Herco humidifiers in the case in the dead of winter, as winter is brutal here.

So...order a cheap hygrometer from eBay or Amazon, which at the least will give you a general idea of humidity, and try to keep your ukulele above 40% relative humidity. Good luck!

RafterGirl
08-12-2017, 10:25 AM
I have read a lot about humidity and ukulele care, so this guy's take on it was definitely different and really surprised me. Figuring out my humidity level and sticking a humidifier in the case with my ukes isn't really too hard in order to take care of them.

I think maybe I was squeezing too much water out of the sponge on the Nomad. It's still wet today.

cyber3d
08-12-2017, 03:07 PM
More good reading about humidity care from your instrument.

http://www.chicagofretworks.com/2014/12/23/why-and-how-to-humidify-your-guitar-2015-edition/

https://www.maurysmusic.com/maury_s_blog/view/155880/humidifying_acoustic_guitars

http://www.acousticguitarforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=206168

There is so much good info on the subject. Also, remember that you can over humidify your uke too. You'll likely notice the sound getting muddy or muted. Imagine sound coming through wet wood.

Also your hard case is not going to solve the humidity problem unless it is hermetically sealed. 99% of the guitar and ukulele hard cases are not. The only ones I've seen that can are in the $4,000 and up range.

ripock
08-12-2017, 04:22 PM
Here's my contribution to the thread. I use oasis humidifiers and I have a hygrometer that I use in hard cases. In the dry winter the hygrometer seems to average about 45% and I just checked it and it is at 62% in August. I use it because it is another toy and who wouldn't want to totally accessorize the ukulele at every instance? Maybe it actually helps, maybe it doesn't; only time will tell.

DanY
08-12-2017, 11:47 PM
For those that use hygrometers, they have some cheap ones on amazon. Should I get one of those inexpensive desktop room hygrometers or one that goes inside the case?

Choirguy
08-13-2017, 01:10 AM
There are little round and square hygrometers that are generally used for cigar boxes. Just get one of those, and store it in the case away from the humidifier. There will always be the chance that they aren't as accurate as an Oasis--but they will track humidity. It isn't bad to have a desktop model in your house. You will feel better as a human if your own house stays in the 40-60% humidity range (skin, lungs, etc.) but that can be difficult to do in the winter or in a desert. We have a Nest thermostat and it also reports the relative humidity in our house (50% right now).

emarcano
08-13-2017, 04:34 AM
Since the UAS prevented from having just a couple of ukuleles, I opted for keeping the room where the ukes are stored humidified (~40%) with a warm mist humidifier during the winter month when the heat is on. It also keeps the room nice for people.

About hygrometers, beware of some very cheap ones. Get a digital one. I use a desktop one for the room.

Bonanza Pete
08-13-2017, 09:32 AM
Rafter Girl. Humidity will not harm the HPL in the least. If you have low humidity by all means add moisture.

RafterGirl
08-13-2017, 10:23 AM
Hey Pete. Since "Hot Rod" has a wood neck and fretboard, I figured I'd humidify it. Hot Rod survived a week long whitewater rafting trip in Idaho last week with three teenage girls. We had a blast jamming on our assorted ukuleles. I was lucky to get him back at the end of the week, as the girls were lusting after him.

WCBarnes
08-13-2017, 01:08 PM
I have a 2 year old Bonanza baritone that I have never humidified. I live in the Midwest with A/C in the summer and heat in the winter. I have not had any issues with the frets.

Choirguy
08-13-2017, 05:10 PM
I have a 2 year old Bonanza baritone that I have never humidified. I live in the Midwest with A/C in the summer and heat in the winter. I have not had any issues with the frets.

Lend me your instrument for the winter...I'll keep it at school and prove my point! ;)

Olarte
08-14-2017, 04:56 AM
I've had a room humidifier going on 8 years now. Keeps my room with 40 Ukes t a constant 50%

It's an 8 gallon and depending on the season it does not need refills for weeks t a time...

If you have a few Ukes and want them accessible for me this has worked without any issues with Ukes ranging from 1939 to the present.

WCBarnes
08-14-2017, 06:41 AM
If you are using a laminate instrument that has a wood neck or a wooden fretboard, you may still benefit from keeping your ukulele in a humidity controlled environment. Wooden fretboards expand and contract with the humidity, exposing fret ends.


Lend me your instrument for the winter...I'll keep it at school and prove my point! ;)

I do not humidify my house in the winter months. My solid wood ukes are soundly in humidified cases, but my laminate ones, including my HPL Bonanza are not. I have not had any issues, and don't anticipate any going forward. I would have absolutely no concern with my Bonanza withstanding a dry environment without humidifying it. None.

Choirguy
08-14-2017, 12:37 PM
I'm not worried about the ukulele...Pete's HPL laminates are pretty near impervious to any climate condition. The neck and fretboard are wood, and there's a chance that fret ends could become exposed, which isn't fatal in any sense...it just might require filing or sanding of the fret ends. I keep my Bonanzas humidified, as I do the school Mainlands (which, I believe, share a common neck). Now...if you put Pete's new corian fretboard on there...you'll never have an exposed fret end.

And if you ever truly want to experiment with fret end exposure, as I said, you are welcome to leave the ukulele with me at school for a winter...even a month in January...and we can see what happens. Not doing it with my ukuleles.

RafterGirl
08-14-2017, 04:26 PM
I'm counting on my Bonanza HPL standing up to anything. It will be packed on rafts and stuffed inside kayaks on rivers and lakes in all sorts of weather conditions and temperatures. It survived heat, sand, and teenage girls on a recent weeklong rafting trip.

Now I'm really curious to get my hygrometer and see just how dry my Utah air is. I ordered the hygrometer and another Nomad Humilele humidifier from Amazon. I made a couple simple humidifiers that I can use with the Bonanza.

Choirguy
08-14-2017, 05:47 PM
And giving WCBarnes full credit, there really isn't much that you need to do with a HPL Bonzana, other than to play it. I do think some extra humidity in a house can avoid sharp fret ends...but the instrument's needs are nothing like a full wood ukulele that does need some care.

DownUpDave
08-18-2017, 12:46 AM
Just a word of warning regarding "cheap" hygrometers. I bought 7 digital ones for $12.00 each from Home Depot, kept 4 that registered the same and returned the other three. I thought I was all set and well equipped............wrong!!! After about one year and lots of research I bought three hygrometers made by Caliber 1V that are used by Burgess, considered the best. They appear to be the same ones sold by Oasis as well. When the humidity level showed 20% on all three Caliber units my cheapees would not register below 35%. They were useless because it is low humidity that we are concerned about. Winter time is very dry in Canada

I keep all my solid wood ukes in hardcases with an Oasis sound hole humidifier so they were fine. But it is nice to have one or two out on stands when I "know, really know" the humidity level is safe.

102435

Rllink
08-18-2017, 06:30 AM
So what about solid top ukuleles with laminate sides and back? Are we as concerned about them?

mikelz777
08-18-2017, 07:36 AM
So what about solid top ukuleles with laminate sides and back? Are we as concerned about them?

I just got one and I will be humidifying it in the fall and winter heating months. I now have one of each kind, an all-laminate, a laminate with a solid top and an all-solid and I plan on humidifying each of them. After reading so many non-consensus threads and stuff on the internet I just started to experiment. At the time, all I had was my all-laminate and in the end, I found that humidifying it did make a difference. For certain it made a difference with the fret ends/feel of the fret board. I won't fall on the sword defending the claim but I think it made a slight difference in the sound as well. I guess the way I look at it is that the interior bracing and construction of the non-solid ukes is solid wood as are the fretboards so I'll try and take care of them just as I would the solid uke. Granted, my levels of concern are different. The all-solid and the solid top laminate will have inside the body humidifiers as well as a humidifier in the head/neck space. The all laminate will just have a couple of home-made humidifiers placed in the case.

DownUpDave
08-18-2017, 07:37 AM
So what about solid top ukuleles with laminate sides and back? Are we as concerned about them?

Yes, tops are the thinnest and most critical part of a ukulele

RafterGirl
08-18-2017, 08:25 AM
I just got one and I will be humidifying it in the fall and winter heating months. I now have one of each kind, an all-laminate, a laminate with a solid top and an all-solid and I plan on humidifying each of them. After reading so many non-consensus threads and stuff on the internet I just started to experiment. At the time, all I had was my all-laminate and in the end, I found that humidifying it did make a difference. For certain it made a difference with the fret ends/feel of the fret board. I won't fall on the sword defending the claim but I think it made a slight difference in the sound as well. I guess the way I look at it is that the interior bracing and construction of the non-solid ukes is solid wood as are the fretboards so I'll try and take care of them just as I would the solid uke. Granted, my levels of concern are different. The all-solid and the solid top laminate will have inside the body humidifiers as well as a humidifier in the head/neck space. The all laminate will just have a couple of home-made humidifiers placed in the case.

This is pretty much where I'm at, except I've yet to get an all solid uke. I'm sure at some point, I'll upgrade from my mahogany laminate to a solid top or all solid. In the meantime, since I live in an arid climate with summer central AC and winter forced air heating, I'll humidify all my ukes. I now have a sound hole humidifier plus one at the headstock for the solid top tenor & the mahogany laminate concert, and a couple homemade ones in with the Bonanza HPL. I need to get a hard case for the Bonanza, but for now the homemade ones are in the zippered padded case with it. I haven't received my digital hygrometer from Amazon yet, so I don't know for sure what my RH is yet.

RafterGirl
08-23-2017, 05:33 PM
According the the digital hygrometer that came from Amazon today. The RH in the room where my ukes live is 43-45%. Inside the cases with humidifiers is 48-49%. I looked up the outdoor RH for Salt Lake City and was surprised to see that the average monthly RH dips below 40% only in June - August. I definitely have seen the difference in the frets on my Bonanza HPL uke before I added a humidifier. They were getting rough, and the fretboard looked dry. A humidifier in the case plus some fretboard conditioner and it's good now.

AlohaKine
08-31-2017, 12:58 PM
Get the D'addario's Planet Waves Two Way Humidification System, there's nothing out there that comes close! If there's to much humidity, then it takes away, if not enough, then it adds it!

These are designed to maintain the correct level!

http://www.planetwaves.com/pwProductDetail.Page?ActiveID=4115&productid=523&productname=Two_Way_Humidification_System