I'm curious what the "flock of gulls" here do about humidity control for their Seagulls. I have a S6 original that I love and don't want any dehydration issues. I purchased my S6 at G****R C****R and noticed a S6 rustic that had a nasty crack clear through the thin cedar top. The sales guy told me Seagulls were more prone to cracks due to the type of finish used on the tops. I have to admit that my S6 has a thinner looking finish than other acoustics I've owned. I was encouraged to purchase a hardshell case and in case humidifier w/ my Seagull (no I did not purchase the one w/ a crack). Amazingly there was not a traditional hardshell case in stock that fit and since I drove about 2.5 hrs to get there just to buy that S6 I settled on a RoadRunner semi-hardshell case. It's very similar construction to a bike helmet and from what I've read this is similar to a Tric case? It's incased in canvass and is very light and great for being mobile w/ the guitar. I also have a incase humidifier that sits suspended in between the strings in the soundhole opening and another old school absorbant chalk-like material in a round plastic case that sits near the head stock. I've put in a Oasis hygrometer that sits in the case and seems to be accurate enough. I don't use a room humidifer but keep the case humidy around 5% higher than the relative humidy for my home (which is generally 35-55%. I've noticed since I brought it home last January that it immediately became hydrated to where it supposed to be and the top slightly raised w/ the swelling due to humidifying the instrument. This slightly raised the action but after switching to some new strings things have settled to a acceptable action heighth and pretty decent sound.
I'm curious what the rest of you do to keep your Gull in a happy humidy range. I generally keep my axe in its case unless playing as I don't have a humidity controlled guitar room.
In the past I have used a damp chamois in a sandwich bag. It trick taught to me by my great uncle. I have used a chamois or Sham Wow in the last few years in my S6 case. I may look into an Oasis.
I put a humidifier on my furnace a few years ago. I live in St Louis so its pretty humid during the summer. I figure that if a guitar goes out of tune upward its damp enough, if it goes out of tune down I do somethinge to raise the humidity. It would scare me to live in a desert.
I have a related question. Will my S6 suffice in the Seagull gig bag w/ sound hole humidifier or would it be best to get a hard case, perhaps a TRIC or other? (I have thoroughly read the mixed views on the TRIC but would be willing to try). Here in Southern California the weather is usually mild and arid. The RH in the house right now is 45% but can get in the 20s. My guitars are kept in room that stays relative stable and I don't have to stress generally about humidity balances.
The Seagull S-6 with the laminate sides and back will be less affected by humidity flux than your solid wood instruments. I kept mine out on a stand in my guitar room 24/7 and never had any problems. Occasionally in the winter when we were using forced air furnace heat, I'd slip in a Kyser Lifeguard sound hole humidifier when the ambient room humidity got below 35%, but in the spring, summer, and fall (at least here in central North Carolina) I don't worry about it at all. As long as the room has 40%-55% I personally think you're fine without worring about keeping the guitar bagged or cased. Now, if you should ever suffer indoor humidity in the 20% range, that would be completely different!
Thanks Jud. Yeah this past winter it got in the 20% range in the room but when I checked on my other guitars in their hard cases in the closet, the RH was much higher, around 40-50%.
I will stick with my Seagull gig bag then. It is really very nice and well-made. My travel mainly consists of taking a guitar to family or friends' houses or out to the park for a local jam. If I have to fly, I have Hiscox cases.
Wow ... your lips must have started cracking when it got down that low in your house!! Worst I've seen here in winter was about 31% ...
Its terrible on the hands - that is the worst part. :(
If you do get a TRIC, I recommend the older regular case over the newer deluxe case, as the former has several locking latches while the more expensive model, with exterior padding, has a zipper and a velcro flap. I like the TRIC (older regular model) because there is the right balance of protection vs weight, though I find it to lose humidity slightly faster a conventional hard case... maybe due to the lack of an interior shag carpet.
This all makes me wonder how my grandfather kept his old Martin playable in a house heated by woodstoves and fireplaces. We really have it easy these days.
As a young "rebel rouser", I hauled my guitars all over the place... I never gave humidity a thought, I changed my strings when they broke, and cut folded paper for saddle shims. Now my music room looks like a guitar hotel/hospital/repair shop/hospice, but I really cannot say my instruments sound any better.
That is why there are so few good original guitars from before the 60's They tore themselves apart.