I, like many other guitar owners, ignored humidity control until my near-mint 1930s Gibson L-4 developed a crack in its back during a particularly harsh New York City winter a few years ago. Since then, I’ve been obsessively monitoring the relative humidity level in the room where my wooden instruments are stored, a task made simple by an old-school Abbeon hygrometer I found on eBay.
While the relatively large Abbeon monitors the relative humidity in the environment perfectly, a product like the Oasis OH-2C digital hygrometer/thermometer is a great choice for measuring the conditions inside an instrument’s casing.
Features Of Oasis OH-2C Digital Hygrometer
The Oasis OH-2C digital hygrometer is a palm-sized, ultra-slim unit featuring two Velcro squares for simple mounting on any surface and a clip for connecting it to the flap of an instrument case’s inside accessory section. The Oasis OH-2C digital hygrometer, which has a 20–100% effective humidity range, is supposed to be accurate for years and comes with a five-year warranty. The OH-2C measures temperatures in Celsius or Fahrenheit and records high and low temperatures.
I reside on the coast in Northern California’s moderate climate, and while I’m lucky not to have to battle with dryness, I do use a small dehumidifier to keep the room where my instruments live at an appropriate humidity level of 45 to 50 percent. The OH-2C level exactly matched the Abbeon level. Though I didn’t notice the need for calibration, the unit is adjustable in +/-5 RH points with a suggested kit from Boveda, which was free with the purchase of the Oasis OH-2C digital hygrometer at the time of publication on the manufacturer’s website.
I put the OH-2C through its paces with a prized Collings archtop and was astonished by what I discovered: the humidity level within the container was 58 percent, which is obviously greater than optimum. This was extremely useful information. I now hang the guitar safely on a wall outside of the case, where the humidity level is ideal—and the instrument gets a lot more playing time.