Depending on where you are currently living, there are some things that will affect your tone. These are things besides your guitar or your skills. These factors are not certainly things that are in your control, however, these are things like the weather. You might think that the weather might not affect your sound at all but it can vary significantly. Depending on where you live, the level of humidity in the air can be a pretty large problem for guitarists. It can do a lot of things to your guitar, the smallest of them being a non-desirable tonality, and even may cause big damages that might not be repairable. This is because of the construction of the guitar, which consists of mostly wood. Wood is a material that is affected significantly by moisture and abrupt temperature changes.
For those that don’t know, most guitars are made in very strictly regulated environments. For example, the humidity is kept very constant among other things. I would recommend watching a documentary about the process as it is so educational. Even some guitar stores keep the humidity constant in their stores to ensure the quality of their instruments. However, once you buy it the thing is completely in your hands and you should be careful about the well being of your guitar. This includes checking out where it is stored and ensuring the proper environment for it.
This is where you utilize humidifiers. These amazing devices help you keep a constant humidity in your guitar or the room that you are storing your guitars if you have multiple instruments. With these devices, you keep adequate moisture around your guitars and effectively ensure that those have better tones and durability. For that reason, we are going to check out the guide to the best guitar humidifiers, where we will discuss the top picks, which makes a good guitar humidifier and so much more. Now without further ado, let’s take a closer look.
Which Are The Best Guitar Humidifiers?
5. Oasis OH-5 Plus+
We are going to kick off this list with an interesting guitar humidifier, the Oasis OH-5 Plus+. This humidifier is of the maximum strength and it is specifically designed to keep things humidified in areas that require a higher level of maintenance such as in desert areas.
The Oasis OH-5 Plus+ comes in a very small package that is very compact and pretty powerful for its size. It is a cylindrical tube that is supposed to hang from the strings of your guitars and it definitely won’t touch your guitar at any time. It will sit deep inside your soundhole and it has a syringe that assists you in refilling the humidifier.
The moisture with this one is distributed properly and you won’t need to think much about it. You can also monitor the whole thing very easily so you will know everything about it. One of my favorite things about the Oasis OH-5 Plus+ is its anti-leak gel that forms crystals that keep things mess-free.
4. Music Nomad MN300
Moving on with our list we have a humidifier from a brand that has delivered some great devices to keep your guitar in tip-top shape, but the Music Nomad MN300 model takes the cake in its lineup. Also for the price that it comes at I don’t think that anyone will complain.
The Music Nomad MN300 is one of the most well-thought guitar humidifiers in the market, as it has focused to keep your guitar at a proper humidity and also deliver a no-mess, low maintenance experience. This means that the Music Nomad MN300 will not require any thinking about it.
It is an in-case model that keeps the proper amount of humidity inside your case and releases the excess to make things better for your guitar. It has a sponge named humid-i-bar that holds a lot of water and has an anti-drip feature that works wonders.
3. Arion In-Case Humidifier
Next up on our list, we have another in-case guitar humidifier that is pretty simple and does its job without any guesswork, the Arion In-Case Humidifier. This one is very efficient at keeping your guitar well humidified and in proper shape, so nothing bad will happen to your beloved instrument.
The Arion In-Case Humidifier uses a pretty interesting space-age technology clear tube. It comes in the form of a hydrogel that is specifically designed for this purpose. This allows the Arion In-Case Humidifier to keep the moisture at the right level and also allow the moisture to get out of the case gradually.
Just fill it with water, and it should last at least a couple of months before needing a recharge. Oh and yes it doesn’t need a replacement. Great value for the price.
2. D’Addario Humidipak
The runner up in this list is the D’Addario Humidipak. This one comes from a brand that is one of the pros in the guitar business, and not just for humidifying. It is one of the best because it takes all the guesswork from the equation, which you will see in a moment.
The D’Addario Humidipak is one of the most popular options in the market because it doesn’t need any manual adjustment or needing to measure the humidity in your rooms. It works as a case humidifier that is designed to perfection.
It is also pretty cheap and this two-way humidifier will keep the humidity of your guitar in the sweet spot, between 45 and 55 percent. They are also very easy to use just put them in your case and forget about them.
1. TaoTronics Cool Mist
On top of the list, we have the definite best guitar humidifier in the market, the TaoTronics Cool Mist. This one is actually a room humidifier that costs really very little for what it offers so it definitely delivers great value for the price. Without further ado let’s check it out.
Because it is a room humidifier you can use it to keep a healthy level of humidity in your rooms and because it is so advanced you will feel its benefits right from the get-go. The features of this one are just endless.
The TaoTronics Cool Mist has a 4-liter water tank and comes with a super stylish design that makes it a pretty attractive option for your rooms. It also has a lot of high-end features such as the options for setting presets for humidity, which will be extremely beneficial for guitarists. With this feature, you will easily keep the humidity for your guitars at 45 to 55 percent.
Is Humidity a Big Danger?
You might think that it is not that harmful or humidity might even be innocent. Yes, light humidity or occasional exposure to humidity might not bring large problems besides some tonal change. However, if you don’t keep it under control and if it is persistent it may cause unrepairable damages. This is especially important for people that have pretty expensive guitars or multiple instruments in their studios or rooms. Throughout the US, we mostly see dry air conditions. In the summer it gets hot and we use air conditioners pretty frequently which dries out the air, then after that, the temperatures drop and heaters dry the air again.
During most of the cases, the humidity of the air in our houses drop below 30 percent, this might cause some pretty large damages to your guitar in a short time. When the humidity drops below 30 percent, you might start seeing, warped guitar necks, loose bridges, neck joints, separating glue, reduced playability and tonal abnormalities such as buzz in the frets and overall poorer tone.
Then again this is not as bad compared to when the humidity drops below 15 percent. That is where the big problems will start to appear, which marks a point of no return. At this range, you will start seeing cracks on the body of your guitar, including the body, bridge, and fretboard. I have seen this happen and it is literally the worst thing. Like watching a guitar die, and if it is a special guitar for you it is even worse.
Some guitarists argue that a dry environment will enhance the tone of your instrument by causing cell crystallization and hardening of the tonewood. However, that has nothing to do with dryness. That process happens with natural aging, which elevates the sound of your guitar, with a lengthy process, that makes your guitar lengthy and more dynamic tonal range. It is not worth risking the well-being of your guitar for a guitar humidifier that costs very little, sometimes as little as $5.
Some people guess the humidity in a room very accurately, which is pretty surprising to see. While I can play make a guess, I still rely on a hygrometer to do that properly. There are very low costing hygrometers or thermometers that can measure the humidity of a room properly.
There are very simple devices such as the ThermoPro TP50, which works wonders for its super low price and digital interface that doesn’t let anything for guesswork. Also, there are some more high-end devices out there that are specifically designed for guitars such as the D’Addario Humiditrak. This one uses a Bluetooth sensor that is pretty accurate and allows you to check on the status of your instruments from your phone which is pretty useful.
Types of Humidifiers
There are some different types of humidifiers out there. Some more useful than others for general purposes. Also, there are humidifiers that are specially made for guitars which might be better for you. There are generally three large types of them, soundhole humidifiers, case humidifiers, and room humidifiers, so let’s check them out.
Like their name would suggest these humidifiers go around the soundhole area of your guitar. There are some that completely cover the soundhole and there are some that sit between the strings, and the rest hanging down from the guitar. These are the cheapest options out there and also the easiest to use. Also, I should mention that these are the most popular type of guitar humidifiers, however, they only do their job properly if you store your guitar in a case, otherwise, they are of no use.
Guitar Case Humidifers
These two like their name suggest are better suited for the case of your guitar. These are a little more advanced than the former, and keep the whole humidity in your case regulated and appropriate at all times. These models usually work by employing a plastic or metal tube that allows vapor to pass through. Some models even use a humidifying pouch that does the same job. But then again these models work only if you keep your guitars in a case.
This is the high-end option and it is a perfect option for people that like to keep their guitars out of their cases most of the time. This is also the best option for guitarists with multiple instruments. By using these you will keep all your guitars in proper shape and will also keep the room humidity above 30 percent which is beneficial for your health as well. Then again these are a little more expensive than the other options, but I think they are well worth the investment if you have multiple instruments.
Before ending this article I want to state that these guitar humidifiers are not just for acoustic guitars. While acoustic guitars are more prone to damage, solid body guitars, like electric and bass guitars also need to have proper humidifying to keep their performance on top. Most people think of guitar humidifiers as premium accessories however, in my opinion, these are pretty cheap things, which won’t make a dent on your budget, and their benefits outweigh their cons. I think that reading this guide will help you choose the best guitar humidifier and will help you keep your guitars healthy. Good luck.