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Your experience with “Boveda” 2 way humidity control?


germain

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With the winter weather coming I decided to switch from Stretto to Boveda. With the first one I always kept forgetting to put water in it and the Boveda is completely maintenance free. So far the hygrometers in all my cases are registering all around 47-50% humidity. Anybody else here using them?

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I can't speak to this specific brand but I've been using the D'Addario / Planet Waves equivalent in three guitar cases - two or three packets per case. They seem to work quite well but in the dry winter months, I need to rotate them out and recharge them in a small, sealed container with a very wet sponge (using distilled water to avoid unnecessary growth). I put a little perforated "shelf" in between to keep the packet(s) from touching the sponge directly.

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I've talked to several people who have used them, and they said that they work well, except that they have limited capacity before they either become completely dried out from releasing moisture, or hydrated from absorbing moisture to the extent that they won't absorb any more water. So in very humid or very dry conditions, they need to be replaced frequently.

And if you use them in a case which isn't very vapor-proof, it may require several at a time to keep the interior humidity stable.

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David brings up a good point. The case lining covers the entire surface of the interior of the case, padding included. It makes a big difference if the case is lined in cotton velvet (think Gordge) or thin synthetic cloth. A cotton velvet case will absorby humidity like a sponge, but will provide a more stable environment in terms of relative humidity. Thinly lined, unpadded cases will react more quickly to the deployment of a humidifier, but then will be less able to maintain that stability, especially if the case is opened often.  

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I use the same method as above with a sponge soaked in warm water inside the container but not touching it. If they dry out too much the absorbant material turns into sharp crystals. This can cause the outer layer to puncture which makes it leak a bit. I find that a salad plastic container works well. Putting it in the sun helps to rehydrate the humidifier.

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Three points to consider when selecting any humidifier...

1.  Never stick something wet inside your instrument.  I have seen too many puddle stains inside nice instruments.

2.  Simple mechanical devices that run on their own are cheapest, easiest to maintain, and do a perfectly adequate job.  Wick and tube case humidifiers are dirt cheap, require zero effort, and work flawlessly.

3.  Your instrument has a very high tolerance for reasonable climatic variation - and it will experience variation anyway when you take it out and play - so creating a micro-controlled environment in your case is pointless.

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7 hours ago, Shunyata said:

Three points to consider when selecting any humidifier...

1.  Never stick something wet inside your instrument.  I have seen too many puddle stains inside nice instruments.

2.  Simple mechanical devices that run on their own are cheapest, easiest to maintain, and do a perfectly adequate job.  Wick and tube case humidifiers are dirt cheap, require zero effort, and work flawlessly.

3.  Your instrument has a very high tolerance for reasonable climatic variation - and it will experience variation anyway when you take it out and play - so creating a micro-controlled environment in your case is pointless.

2. No, they will by no means work flawlessly, require zero effort, nor will they remove moisture.

3. That will highly depend on what climactic variation you consider to be "reasonable", won't it? Where I live, the indoor climate ranges between 5% and 100% relative humidity, depending on several factors such as the time of year. I consider a 20% variation to be reasonable, if both the short-term and long-term health of the instrument are priorities. Zero fluctuation is better, which is why museums dedicated to the long-term preservation of historic objects do that if they have the budget.

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4 hours ago, David Burgess said:

2. No, they will by no means work flawlessly, require zero effort, nor will they remove moisture.

3. That will highly depend on what climactic variation you consider to be "reasonable", won't it? Where I live, the indoor climate ranges between 5% and 100% relative humidity, depending on several factors such as the time of year. I consider a 20% variation to be reasonable, if both the short-term and long-term health of the instrument are priorities. Zero fluctuation is better, which is why museums dedicated to the long-term preservation of historic objects do that if they have the budget.

5%-100% humidity indoors? In Ann Arbor Michigan? That's rough.  You should move a few miles south.  The weather is much nicer here... and our football team is better. ;-)

Just kidding about the football... for those who don't know, those were serious fighting words in these parts.

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