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#649822 - 05/07/02 05:13 PM hygrometer
Alex F Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/16/02
Posts: 53
Loc: Chicago
What type or brand of hygrometer do you techs recommend? I have seen several references to digital hygrometers from Radio Shack, but have also seen some techs trash these as inacurate. I did a web search and checked specs on a number of instruments. Except for the very expensive models, the accuracy is stated as plus/minus 3-4 percent. Is this accurate for piano purposes? Of course, one could purchase a sling-psychrometer and do the flailing and calculating that is required with these kinds of instruments. With my luck, I would probably wack the piano and damage the finish.

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#649823 - 05/07/02 06:34 PM Re: hygrometer
Derick Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/03/02
Posts: 3290
Loc: New York

I believe it's more important to keep your piano at a constant humidity level than at a precise level. Therefore a 3-4% inaccuracy is not important. The hygrometer will consistently be x%inaccurate. Use it as a relative measurement of humidity not as an absolute.

Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats.

#649824 - 05/07/02 07:08 PM Re: hygrometer
SamLewisPiano.com Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/19/01
Posts: 635
Loc: WHITE BLUFF (Nashville area) T...
Derick is right on. For those of you with a WalMart, I saw hygros there for $15.........Sam
Since 1975; Full-time piano tuner/tech in Nashville;
Lacquer and polyester specialist.


#649825 - 05/07/02 08:02 PM Re: hygrometer
JohnC Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/02
Posts: 1672
Loc: Lower Left Coast
I am not a tech. But......I have used a Radio Shack hygrometer for years. I agree that 3-4% tolerance on accuracy is not a big deal. You mainly want to know if you are getting large swings. As Derick says, you want to keep the RH as constant as possible.
There are few joys in life greater than the absence of pain.

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#649826 - 05/08/02 09:17 PM Re: hygrometer
Christopher Fasulo Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/09/01
Posts: 18
Loc: Forest Hills, New York 11375
I just purchased an Oregon-Scientific ThermoHygrometer Model RMR136HG. It was $59.99 online. I recommend searching various online stores for one.......because the list price on this one was $89.99 and I found it on sale, with no shipping either. It is incredibly accurate, the specs don't give a + or - humidity variation. I just keep track of fluctuations. Seems to be working.

#649827 - 05/10/02 09:52 PM Re: hygrometer
Chris W1 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/26/01
Posts: 915
Loc: Boston
I think the accuracy is right there in the store for you to witness. At Radio Shack they all seemed to be within 2-3%, unlike the 10-30% variations I once saw on a bunch of dial gauges that were on the same rack!

Something I found usefull on the Radio Shack unit I have (I have two, one inside, one out) is that it registers highest and lowest readings between visits underneath the lid. That's a perfect report card on what the piano is going through, if you ask me.

Chris W
Amateur At Large

#649828 - 05/22/02 10:50 AM Re: hygrometer
Grotius Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/11/02
Posts: 100
Forgive my ignorance, but where exactly do you place a hygrometer -- alongside the piano? Underneath it? If you put it inside the piano, where exactly?

#649829 - 05/22/02 11:13 AM Re: hygrometer
JohnC Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/02
Posts: 1672
Loc: Lower Left Coast
Grotius, that's a good question. It probably could make a difference in the readings you get. However, if you are looking mainly for large swings it may not be that big of an issue.

For the record mine is in the right hand corner on top of the plate near the tuning pins.
There are few joys in life greater than the absence of pain.

#649830 - 05/22/02 06:20 PM Re: hygrometer
Jolly Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/20/01
Posts: 14135
Loc: Louisiana
Mine is a NIST certified dial type, which I believe is supposed to be accurate +/- 3%. I have it mounted on the wall, even with the case, where you don't see it unless looking for it.

Over 1.3M (and counting) posts where pianists discuss everything. And nothing.

#649831 - 05/23/02 12:23 PM Re: hygrometer
Chris W1 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/26/01
Posts: 915
Loc: Boston
Mine is in a vertical near a place where the felt curtain pivots from. I don't know where I'd put one in a grand. They are harder to create a microclimate within than are verticals.

I liked one of the previous threads on the Venta Air-washer and think that would be the way I'd go when the time to get a grand arrives. The house we are closing on 6/14 has forced hot air, which I'm going to try and start a thread about.

Chris W
Amateur At Large

#649832 - 05/23/02 12:59 PM Re: hygrometer
SteveY Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/01
Posts: 1820
Loc: NJ
Last time I visited Faust Harrison in NYC, they had a really cool hygrometer sitting on the desk in the front room. It had an analog guage. It was very nice looking (probably expensive), but good enough for my wife to approve of it being "seen" in our living room. However, I no idea what kind it is or where they got it.

I opted for the Radio Shack unit.
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