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#647141 - 03/08/02 12:17 PM Dampp-Chasers and stable (low) humidity?
Nina Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/13/01
Posts: 6467
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Hi, folks:

What's your opinion of DampChasers when the humidity is quite low, but stable?

I've heard different opinions, one is that you must maintain humidity at ~40% under any circumstance. The other view is that it's the swings in humidity that will damage a piano, not the relative humidity if it remains consistent.

Here in Phoenix we are quite dry (duh) except in summer, but in the summer the A/C runs so frequently that the humidity inside the house remains fairly low.

I'm game to install a D-C if it would be helpful (I have a new Pleyel 130 upright, and am willing to make the investment to maintain this wonderful piano), but continue to get all sorts of mixed messages about its usefulness.

Any opinions?

Thanks in advance,
Nina

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#647142 - 03/08/02 12:19 PM Re: Dampp-Chasers and stable (low) humidity?
Nina Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/13/01
Posts: 6467
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Whoops, my phrase "damage a piano" may be a little extreme! What I meant to say is more along the lines of maintaining tuning stability for longer periods.

Nina

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#647143 - 03/10/02 11:32 AM Re: Dampp-Chasers and stable (low) humidity?
TomtheTuner Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/29/01
Posts: 806
Loc: Melbourne, Florida USA
Buy a digital hygrometer. Record on a calander for a period of one year the relative humidity in the room . Look for large swings. If there are none, you are fine without a Dampp-Chaser. If you see the humidity fluctuating more than 15% above and below 42%, then you need a complete system.

Every so often I see 70 -100 year old pianos that have lived in the Western States. The inside wooden parts look almost as good as a new piano. When you look inside an old piano raised here in the Eastern part of the country, the wood is dark brown. Hmmmmmmm. Is there a pattern here?
_________________________
Maker of the TCHAMMER
www.thomasccobble.com

BUSY IS BETTER THAN BORED

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#647144 - 03/10/02 12:28 PM Re: Dampp-Chasers and stable (low) humidity?
Palindrome Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/22/01
Posts: 3916
Loc: Chicago, IL USA
Yes, there's a pattern, but I suspect it's more likely due to suspended particulates (smoky pollution) than humidity.

That's probably not even worth two cents.
_________________________
There is no end of learning. -Robert Schumann Rules for Young Musicians

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#647145 - 03/10/02 06:49 PM Re: Dampp-Chasers and stable (low) humidity?
Nina Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/13/01
Posts: 6467
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
 Quote:
Originally posted by Thomas cobble:
Every so often I see 70 -100 year old pianos that have lived in the Western States. The inside wooden parts look almost as good as a new piano. When you look inside an old piano raised here in the Eastern part of the country, the wood is dark brown. Hmmmmmmm. Is there a pattern here?[/b]



Yes, I've noticed the same thing with cars... my old VW was in mint condition when I sold it a few years back with 250K miles... no rust, but the paint job was totally bleached out. It, too, was a desert native.

Nina

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#647146 - 03/12/02 11:45 AM Re: Dampp-Chasers and stable (low) humidity?
pianoseed Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/13/01
Posts: 884
Loc: here
Has anyone put a damp chaser on a Grand piano then covered the underneath below the beams with plastic or someting to hold in the moisture? I have a low humidity problem and a room humidifier is not practical.
_________________________
pianoseed

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#647147 - 03/17/02 12:00 AM Re: Dampp-Chasers and stable (low) humidity?
Nina Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/13/01
Posts: 6467
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
 Quote:
Originally posted by Thomas cobble:
Buy a digital hygrometer. Record on a calander for a period of one year the relative humidity in the room . Look for large swings. If there are none, you are fine without a Dampp-Chaser. If you see the humidity fluctuating more than 15% above and below 42%, then you need a complete system.

[/b]


Hi, Thomas:

Thanks for the reply, but I'm not sure I understand... are you saying that the humidity needs to be centered on 42%, but can vary +/- 15%?

OR

The humidity can be as low as 27% or as high as 57% without harming anything, as long as there aren't fluctuations at these levels?

If my indoor humidity is a stable 27% year-round, then I probably don't need a DampChaser? (Actually my guess is the humidity may be closer to 18-20%).

Thanks again, I apologize for my relative density (which has been known to fluctuate a good 15-20 IQ points depending on time of day).

Nina

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#647148 - 03/18/02 08:33 PM Re: Dampp-Chasers and stable (low) humidity?
TomtheTuner Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/29/01
Posts: 806
Loc: Melbourne, Florida USA
Yes I mean to look for swings in humidity
5% is OK kinda,
10 % is IFFY at best
15% means Trouble
I recommend the dampp chaser system. Get a qualified Tech to install it and if you see no improvment in a year then get another piano, or another Tech
_________________________
Maker of the TCHAMMER
www.thomasccobble.com

BUSY IS BETTER THAN BORED

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#647149 - 03/18/02 08:40 PM Re: Dampp-Chasers and stable (low) humidity?
Nina Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/13/01
Posts: 6467
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Thomas:

Thanks for the reply! I think the idea of measuring is a great one. I'll do it through this summer (that's our worst season) and see how much fluctuation I really get. If it moves much then it's DamppChaser time for me!

Nina

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#647150 - 05/13/02 07:08 AM Re: Dampp-Chasers and stable (low) humidity?
srg25 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/05/02
Posts: 3
Loc: New Hyde Park, NY
I purchased a 1962 Sohmer & Company (New York) Baby Grand to keep in my home on Long Island, New York. I wanted to do whatever I could to keep it looking as good as it did after 40 years. It looked new inside (action was pristine, as were the pinboard and bridges, and trap work) and had only minor mars on the casement. I decided to go for the DamppChaser, and am glad I did. I don't have to think about it anymore. My house tends to be dry most of the year, as evidenced by the fact that I am watering my piano about once every 2 -3 weeks. Its in a good spot (not in sunlight and away from the front window), but still need watering. It has become a joke around here, that the piano needs watering (like one of the many plants that we have). If you are not tight for the money, I'd go for it.
Stu
_________________________
srg25

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