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kdmccullum
07-15-2014, 10:41 AM
I live in the high desert of southern California and I've stuck to laminates up till now because the humidity gets to the mid 20s in the summer on a regular basis. Temperatures of 105+ are rather common. In the winder it's cold and the forced air heater dries everything out.

I leave my long neck soprano hanging on the wall and it also goes in the car with me for a little lunch hour playing. My tenor stays in a case but it's a laminate too. Low humidity is not an issue with either.

For a few months I had a solid zebrawood soprano and every time I pulled it out of the case I needed to tune it, and then I would have to re-tune every few minutes. It took it a good 30 minutes to settle down. I ended up selling it and replacing it with a laminate because it became madding just trying to play it for an hour.

I've been playing for about 2 1/2 years and I have been thinking of adding a concert or replacing my tenor with either an all solid or solid top uke. But the whole humidity thing has be freaked out.

So given my climate situation should I
a) Go for all solid and a good humidifier.
b) Go for a solid top only and a good humidifier
c) Forget it and look for the highest quality laminate I can find. (Which of course leads to more questions)

Kurt

ericchico
07-15-2014, 11:32 AM
Can you just get a nice Uke, keep it in a case with one of these http://oasishumidifiers.com/ukulele.html ?

Icelander53
07-15-2014, 12:23 PM
Good questions. I stuck with laminates for the same reasons. Then I got a solid top and heard it and said Wow! Well then I got going with all wood because they really do sound better most of the time. I took a small closet and set it up with pans of water and a gauge to see where the humidity was at. It easily keeps all my ukes at 45-53% humidity. Then I use a humidifier in the case if needed. I've had no problems so far. I say go for the wood and make it work.

river_driver
07-15-2014, 01:03 PM
or
d) get a room humidifier - and keep the case humidifiers for when you're playing out of the house.

LloydAZ
07-15-2014, 01:16 PM
I live in Phoenix, so I know what you are going through with humidity being low most of the time (although it's actually raining out today!)

I currently only own laminates but would love to get a good solid instrument sometime soon. Even with my laminates I keep a humidifier in the case because the fretboard, neck, headstock, etc... are still solid wood. Better safe than sorry.

I'm looking at building a humidifier cabinet for my instruments in the near future. Using an inexpensive cabinet from Ikea, some tool hangers from Home Depot, a container with a damp sponge, a couple of PC case fans to circulate the air, and a couple of digital hygrometers. I may also need to add some weather stripping to the doors to keep the humidity in. Altogether it shouldn't cost more than $200 to do the whole thing.

As Icelander said, you could also convert a small closet in your home to do the same thing, which would be cheaper than what I am looking to do.

Ukejenny
07-15-2014, 02:29 PM
If I were in your situation, I would either...

A: move to Alabama (where I live, in North Alabama, we have loads of humidity).
B: Maybe look at a Blackbird Clara, as it would stand up to as much or as little humidity as can probably be dished out.

Option A was a joke, but I'm seriously looking at option B for myself. I want a Blackbird Clara and an Outdoor Ukulele (soprano) - one that I can play outside or inside and get an amazing sound, while the OU will most likely live in my van.

river_driver
07-15-2014, 02:37 PM
I want a Blackbird Clara and an Outdoor Ukulele (soprano) - one that I can play outside or inside and get an amazing sound, while the OU will most likely live in my van.

I read this and only heard one thing in my head:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3nhgfjrKi0o

Sorry for the interruption. Carry on.

Ukejenny
07-15-2014, 02:41 PM
I read this and only heard one thing in my head:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3nhgfjrKi0o

Sorry for the interruption. Carry on.

Bwahahahahahahaha! Love. IT! And your username ties right in as well!!!

river_driver
07-15-2014, 02:43 PM
Bwahahahahahahaha! Love. IT! And your username ties right in as well!!!

Drat! My secret identity revealed!

lelouden
07-15-2014, 02:43 PM
Its funny....I shouldn't admit this but Im in the Phoenix Arizona area and I have all my instruments hanging on the wall. All of them solid wood and even my $1000 uke is hanging. I haven't had a problems yet. They stay in tune, the action seems fine, no cracks or neck problems. I guess Im the only one with a problem to be so irresponsible:) They all get played a lot cuz they're staring me down for attention everyday! If you are concerned get yourself a humidifier to hang inside the sound hole and remember to water it when its dry. You should be fine IMO.

igorthebarbarian
07-15-2014, 05:06 PM
I'm in AZ too and keep everything in a case or bag. Those Oasis ones good and obvious when they need to be watered, but they are pricey $! I have Herco's and some sponge ones in the cheaper ones too. I worry too and it's part of the reason I don't own anything super-expensive. I had a vintage no-namer crack on me due to not humidifying it at all, when I was first starting out. It still plays fine though

wickedwahine11
07-15-2014, 05:32 PM
I would highly recommend you store your uke in a case with a humidifier. I used to live in Pasadena, and regularly had humidity levels around 20%. I had a couple of issues with my ukes when I used to hang them on my wall, with a crack in one and a seam separation in another, so I ended up commissioning the building of a cabinet for my ukes from UU member Harold O. I then used humidifiers and a hygrometer inside to keep it between 45-60%.

69042

It is an extreme remedy but a case and humidifier should be fine unless you are paranoid like me. I have since moved to about a mile from the ocean, and my humidity usually stays around 50% so now I have my ukes on wall hangers. Still, I keep a hygrometer out and when it dips below 40% they go in a case with a humidifier.

PereBourik
07-15-2014, 06:04 PM
Kansas - A/C in the Summer and cold 15% humidity in the Winter. I'm all Oasis all the time.

If you want to live without fear and have great sound get a Blackbird Clara. Get a Flea to keep in your car.

Icelander53
07-15-2014, 09:38 PM
The sound sample on the Blackbird is pretty amazing. That's a chunk of cash but it looks like it might be worth it.

dirtiestkidever
07-15-2014, 10:01 PM
I would highly recommend you store your uke in a case with a humidifier. I used to live in Pasadena, and regularly had humidity levels around 20%. I had a couple of issues with my ukes when I used to hang them on my wall, with a crack in one and a seam separation in another, so I ended up commissioning the building of a cabinet for my ukes from UU member Harold O. I then used humidifiers and a hygrometer inside to keep it between 45-60%.

69042

It is an extreme remedy but a case and humidifier should be fine unless you are paranoid like me. I have since moved to about a mile from the ocean, and my humidity usually stays around 50% so now I have my ukes on wall hangers. Still, I keep a hygrometer out and when it dips below 40% they go in a case with a humidifier.

Just curious. Is there some mechanism to keep them from swinging into one another when you take them in and out? I am clumsy. If I had that the ukes would be swinging around like wind chimes when went to take one out.

strumsilly
07-16-2014, 03:52 AM
I moved to the high desert. I like to hang my ukes on the wall, so I bought a whole room humidifier and rotate them in and out of the room. so far no new cracks, and I've lived here 10 months.

Icelander53
07-16-2014, 07:00 AM
I'm on the edge of High Desert in Oregon. I do love that country. I've spent years hiking all over the Great basin. Dry summer and winter .

wickedwahine11
07-16-2014, 07:06 AM
Just curious. Is there some mechanism to keep them from swinging into one another when you take them in and out? I am clumsy. If I had that the ukes would be swinging around like wind chimes when went to take one out.

I covered a foam cushion with felt and each uke's hanger strap was a length that permitted the very bottom of the uke to be cradled by the foam. So they were not free floating, but rather were nestled in safely.

kdmccullum
07-16-2014, 01:08 PM
Thanks for the feedback everyone. Still not sure what direction I will take but it's nice to hear from others in the same situation.

Kurt

dirtiestkidever
07-16-2014, 01:28 PM
I covered a foam cushion with felt and each uke's hanger strap was a length that permitted the very bottom of the uke to be cradled by the foam. So they were not free floating, but rather were nestled in safely.

Ah. I can see now that they hang at different levels. Very cool. Apologies for derailing the thread a bit. Cheers.

VegasGeorge
07-16-2014, 04:37 PM
I moved from the central coast of California to Las Vegas in the Mojave Desert 12 years ago. I brought with me a number of Kamaka Koa Wood Ukuleles. At first, I was keeping humidifiers in the cases. I stopped playing them regularly, and eventually it became too much of a hassle to keep checking on the humidifiers. Yes, I know, shame on me, etc. But the story has a happy ending. None of them cracked. I've experienced no problem at all. I think that it's due to Kamaka's diligent seasoning of the wood before they manufacture the instruments. In the meantime, my mahogany furniture has all cracked in the dry climate. So, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

PereBourik
07-16-2014, 05:51 PM
The sound sample on the Blackbird is pretty amazing. That's a chunk of cash but it looks like it might be worth it.

So much better up close. I talked with Kimo Hussey after he visited Blackbird. He was very complimentary. I was glad because I was between order and delivery.