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  • #2040 Reply

    margaretellen
    Participant

    I was wondering if you could explain about the use of dampits. I have one, but I’m not sure how to use it – all the time? Does it need to be refilled periodically? Can it be overused? How important is it? Thanks!

    #2044 Reply

    Michael Sanchez
    Keymaster

    For those that don’t know, a dampit is a tool that is used to humidify the inside of an instrument. If you don’t use a dampit in dry conditions (I would consider this under 30% humidity), you can get small cracks in your instrument or open seams (when the top or back gets slightly unglued from the ribs). The worst thing in the world is a cracked instrument as it costs thousands to get that fixed (doesn’t justify the fix most the time). An open seam is much less expensive since it can easily be re-glued, but you want to avoid that if possible by having a dampit.

    It takes time for an instrument to experience enough dryness to crack (so don’t be alarmed). By having a dampit in the inside of your instrument you can feel confident that the inside where humidity matters should not go under 30%. All you have to do is put water over top of the dampit and since it contains a sponge inside, it will soak in enough water to humidify your instrument.

    You should change out a dampit once every 2 weeks. After that, you can keep it inside the instrument even while you are playing. They are well worth the $10 investment to save you from any sort of issues with cracking and open seams. Don’t worry about using them in humid conditions, only dry conditions.

    #2065 Reply

    margaretellen
    Participant

    Thank you Michael!

    #2088 Reply

    April Ellis
    Participant

    I have a pro-tec case that I’ve had for about a year and a half. It has a gage in it. I’m jot sure if it’s for humidity or not. How do I find out what it’s for and how to use it?

    #2111 Reply

    Michael Sanchez
    Keymaster

    It’s definitely a hygrometer that is used for humidity controls. If you find that humidity in your case is below 30%, that is a problem. Anything above that is fine, and if you are in the below 30% range, I highly recommend getting a dampit to prevent your instrument from cracking.

    #2488 Reply

    April Ellis
    Participant

    Good morning everyone! So I went into my case and looked at my hygrometer, and it’s sitting dead on 30%. So should I go ahead and invest in a dampit, and start using it? I’ve never used one before. And we live in Tx, which is usually a pretty dry heat. Also, will this also give me a better sound out of my instrument since the wood will no longer be dried out? Looking forward to finding out more information! 😀

    #2546 Reply

    Michael Sanchez
    Keymaster

    Hey April, if you have dry air, you will be doing your instrument good to get a dampit. 30% is low humidity, so that is a definitely a trigger that would should get one. I wouldn’t say it would improve the sound of your instrument, but it will prevent it from cracking and damage which you definitely wouldn’t want. If you look at it from the standpoint of how your instrument would sound if you did have cracks, it definitely would make your instrument sound better from that! Sometimes a violin can even be unplayable when it has enough damage from cracks.

    #6495 Reply

    Caroll
    Participant

    Should the dampit be kept inside the case, or is it better to put it into the instrument?

    #6837 Reply

    Anteros
    Participant

    I was wondering that myself. I did buy a dampit upon recommendation from my teacher but I wasn’t sure at what point to actually use it. Although we have a whole house humidifier to keep humidity up, I’ll be sure to use if we hit 30%.

    #7094 Reply

    Finamoon
    Participant

    Thanks! Great information! I will look into the humidity levels of where I am so that I can see if I need one when I get a violin.

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