At Maton, we build all our guitars in a controlled factory environment of 50% relative humidity. We do this because we have established 50% as the level that will enable our guitars to best survive the humidity extremes found in Australia and around the world. This does not mean that Maton guitars are indestructible! Quality musical instruments are made from quality tone woods carefully dimensioned for optimum tonal performance, they also reflect changes in humidity levels. Well seasoned timbers have an equilibrium level of moisture of about 8%when relative humidity (RH) is at 50%. If the relative humidity climbs to 80%and stays there for some time the moisture level in the wood will increase. In a guitar this will result in a swollen ‘belly’ and a high action. Conversely, if the
guitar is subjected to 20% humidity for a long period the result will be a sunken belly, strings rattling on the fingerboard and protruding fret ends. In either case, the remedy is to expose the guitar to correct humidity levels until normality is restored.
Fortunately, relative humidity levels in Australia are generally between 30% and 70% and Maton guitars are well able to handle these levels. If your guitar is exposed to greater extremes than this you should take the following measures to minimize humidity damage by doing the following:
• In areas of high humidity keep your guitar in its case and store silicon gel
packs in your case to help absorb extra moisture. (This will also inhibit
string corrosion.) Four grams of silica gel is the correct quantity to protect a
guitar so two packs will suffice. If you are unable to find silica gel you can
use rice in a cloth bag to obtain similar results.
• In areas of low humidity fit a humidifying device to your guitar and leave it
in your guitar when it is in its case. These humidifiers are available from
Maton and can be ordered through your dealer.
It takes a few hours for moisture levels to rise or fall in the timber cells so don’t be afraid to play your gig, just don’t leave your guitarun necessarily exposed to excessive humidity levels for long periods.
These are cracks in the soundboard, back and sides associated with prolonged exposure to extremely low humidity levels. Low humidity cracks are not covered by warranty and must be attended to promptly as they may develop into major splits. When properly repaired these cracks are not detrimental to the tone or
structural integrity of the instrument.
Excessively high temperatures will tend to dry timber, even in high humidity and such conditions should be avoided. Leaving a guitar in a car boot on a hot day or exposed to direct sunlight for prolonged periods can very quickly dry out an instrument and even weaken glue joints. These conditions can lead to warping and splitting, some of which can be difficult to repair.
Warranty and Humidity
At Maton, we warranty our guitars against defects in workmanship and materials. Our warranty does not cover humidity damage so it is advisable for guitar owners to familiarize themselves with climatic extremes and to take appropriate measures to prevent damage when faced with extreme conditions. Remember it is easier to take a little care than it is to repair a damaged
For more information on humidity and guitars please call our service department or ask your local Maton dealer.