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Question/Comment:

Well I have had my Steinway Model A for 6 months now.
I have had a Humidity Meter sitting on the piano and it's been hovering around 52 - 57% all summer and early fall.

I also purchased a Venta Humidifier for the dry winter months here in the Mts. of North Carolina - chilly but not freezing cold.

Our heat has started running and the Humidity has dropped to 45% in the room.

But here is the real COMMENT/QUESTION:

My piano has a FANTASIC, SOLID, ROBUST Sound, while still maintaining its sweetness in the middle/treble register.

Is it ok to try and maintain my RH at the 45% most of the year?
I have read so many different things. 45% - 50%

is 45% - 55% range a normal adj change over the year, or is that to wide of a swing?

I know this subject has been posted before - but more about - Humidity Range, I have read all that and the range isnt really a problem.
was just wondering is 45% a good number to always aim for? I sure do like the sound and feel of the piano at this point.

constructive comments very much welcomed!

thanks everyone
brdwyguy


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I think 45%(really 42%)is the sweet spot for most manufacturers.


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I have to allow my humidity to fluctuate through the year because we have more extreme cold than you do, probably more humid summers. I have my piano in a separate room, so even though the house has central air and forced air heat, I can control the piano room separately. I use a programmable controller in my room that maintains the following ranges during these approximate times:
Summer: 50-55%
Fall: 45-50%
Winter: 40-45%
Spring: 45-50%

When it gets really cold in winter (-10F and lower), I have to lower the indoor humidity to 35-40% to prevent too much condensation, but that doesn't happen too often.


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Hey Brdwyguy,

Very good responses so far. I will add a good thought - The important part of Rh is consistency. Whether the Rh is 45%, 38%, 40%, etc. is not nearly as important as the consistency of the environment. So if your room goes from 40% to 55% on a daily basis is worse than a consistent 38% Rh.

My 2 cents,


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Hi Rich
no it's NOT going from 40 - 55 daily
it's doing 45 -55 Seasonally
Summer was around 50 - 55
Fall was around 50
and now its around 45 - 47


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Originally Posted by brdwyguy
[...]it's NOT going from 40 - 55 daily
it's doing 45 -55 Seasonally
Summer was around 50 - 55
Fall was around 50
and now its around 45 - 47

I would say that you have nothing to worry about.

Regards,


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+1
That’s a really good seasonal range. I have to work to keep my home between 40-60% annually, and still I’ll get the occasional day that pushes outside those limits.
The piano seems to cope with that just fine, averaging 3 tunings per year unless I need to make a recording.


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Keep in mind that wood takes on humidity about five times faster than it gives it up.

So the biggest damage comes from spikes in humidity. That is why even if you have room or house humidity control the addition of the Dampchaser case mounted dehumidifier with the humidistat is wise if you live in a climate with a wide seasonal RH range.

A few days of dryness won't affect the tuning much but one day of significant rising RH will knock it out of tune immediately.

As for tone. Wool takes on humidity even quicker than wood. So a spike in RH will dull the sound and slow the touch immediately because the hammers will get heavier and the bushings will get tighter.


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