How long will it take a violin to resurrect once I start humidifying it?
As I mentioned in another thread (on string research), I have a violin that has gone kinda dead on me.
From reading an old thread on this forum, one possible culprit is it has dried out (I kinda leave my violins lying about). I've put it in a case by itself, and put a humidifier in there.
How long would it take to start rectifying itself, if in fact that is the problem?
Within a day or two I would guess.
What was the humidity in the room where the violins were lying about? What is the humidity level in the case now?
I just put batteries in my indoor thermometer/hygrometer, and it is saying 45% at the moment. Case humidity is 62 in one case with the dead violin, and 42 in the other case.
Assuming the hygrometers are accurate, I'd say it will take about a week for the most of the wood in the violin to reach an equilibrium with 62% humidity, if it started at 45%.
Could speed up the process a hundredfold by dunking it in your toilet bowl.
Why the toilet bowl? Wouldn't the sink faucet be more sanitary?
In my mind, low humidity makes for a more lively, or overly harsh instrument... not dead. I would not expect more humidity to make a violin undead.
I've found the dial hygrometers (both of the ones that I have had) to be inaccurate by at least 20%.
Im having the same problem right now.It's been a heavy four weeks of playing and the soundpost has pushed the back out slightly.According to my luthier the soundpost just needs "snugging up".
If you want to humidify your fiddle why not just let it watch you take a shower?
I wonder if anything would start warping due to extreme changes in humidity, though? Especially if it's a new instrument? I've never broken in a new violin, but a new oboe needs to be kept at a specific humidity as constantly as possible and played for a little bit every day for about a year before it's properly seasoned and broken in.
How do you keep an oboe at constant humidity since its interior is subjected to 100% RH (and sprayed with spit) every time it is played?
Also, re: oboe, to oil or not?
I'll agree with Don Noon, in that I wouldn't expect a change from 45 to 62% humidity to bring a fiddle back from the dead.
Try changing the strings David?
My understanding is that 45% is within the range of humidity at which a violin should be kept.
My ear is so damned relative, but after humidifying it for two days, I went to a shop to test out other violins to possibly replace it. It was sounding pretty damned good. One of the people there said "What's wrong with the one you have?", meaning, it sounds fine, why are you shopping for another one?
I also ordered a Dampit for it, but my F hole is too small to allow the Dampit to be inserted. Back to the Planet Wave boxes.
Dampits aren't good for instruments in my opinion. Several top violin makers I know have told me they've seen water damage inside instruments with dampits. It's best to use a room humidifier or de-humidifier, and keep the humidity level consistent throughout the year.
Do Prims ever actually go dead? I thought they were nigh
I once asked Dimitry Sitovetsky how his Stradivarius coped with changes in humidity. He said, "It's been around for three hundred years. It's fairly philosophical".
If the case is made out of wood, that would help...if it's properly humidified.
Nate - I have used dampits for years and never had a water damage issue. I think the people at risk for that are the ones that do not adequately squeeze out the damper before inserting it. Ideally, the room in which you keep your instrument should be properly humidified, but many folks do not have the luxury.
David, as I have mentioned before, the reason an instrument may sound good at the store is the acoustic property of the room and presence of resonating instruments. I was surprised how my own baroque instrument sounds great at my friend's place and then again when we had a rehearsal at my place 7 days after. The difference? He does not have a carpet, but does 1 piano, 1 double bass and 1 guitar sitting there.
The violin I'm having problems with, I have had for years. I didn't just buy it. It did not used to sound bad. Another possibility is my ear got appreciably more refined.
So, I seem to be slowly reclaiming tone out of my "dead" fiddle.