2022 our 25th year online!

Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 3 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments.
Over 100,000 members from around the world.
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

Shop our online store for music lovers
SEARCH
Piano Forums & Piano World
(ad)
Pianoteq
Steinway Spiro Layering
(ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad)
Wessell Nickel & Gross
PianoForAll
Who's Online Now
75 members (Appalachian, Andrew E., Catlady, accordeur, brennbaer, 17 invisible), 918 guests, and 345 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Hop To
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3
Joined: Jul 2022
Posts: 41
N
Full Member
OP Offline
Full Member
N
Joined: Jul 2022
Posts: 41
Hi all - another question from the noob. Every dealer i've been talking to as I do my research has recommended installing a piano saver system (they all say they are doing it at their cost) to control the humidity levels in the piano. In NJ you can imagine the humidity fluctuates wildly between summer and winter. Is this something that is recommended?

As you can imagine it's been years since I've been in the piano market and the new tech available out there constantly amazes me! smile

Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 15,250
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 15,250
This is just my opinion, and my piano experience is limited, but I don't think the "Damp-Chaser" systems or "Piano Life Saver" systems are as popular as some may think, although several members of PW have them installed in their piano. It is an option, and not something you absolutely need, especially if the environment in your home is relatively stable in terms of %RH swings.

On the other hand, if properly installed, and maintained (on a continuous basis), they do help the tuning stability of an acoustic piano, usually. Even so, despite the damp chaser system installed, an acoustic piano will still need tuning periodically.

That said, there are a lot of testimonials from piano owners with damp-chaser systems installed in their piano, that they do help tuning stability. I have the heater bars (but not the humidifier) and a humidistat instilled under the soundboard of my Yamaha C7, and I think it helps some during periods of higher humidity.

Also, FWIW, I don't have the source of the info in front of me, but I've read that some high-profile piano manufacturers do not recommend the damp chaser systems on their piano.

Personally, I think it is just another optional add-on the dealer is trying to sell/promote, and I don't believe the "at cost" statement, but that is just me.

Good luck!

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 1,514
T
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
T
Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 1,514
My tech doesn't believe that a tiny heater bar can effectively control the humidity for the whole soundboard. Winters in Portland are ok (don't need to run excessive heat so it doesn't get too dry) but my summer tuning stability increased when I got a Danby dehumidifier. I run it under the piano with the relative humidity set at 50%. I had been opening windows to cool down the house at night and I didn't realize what huge humidity swings there are from doing that!


2001 Petrof 125 -> 2002 Petrof IV -> 1999 Bösendorfer 225
Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 653
T
500 Post Club Member
Offline
500 Post Club Member
T
Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 653
I'm in northern New Jersey. Despite having a whole house humidifier, in winter my (cheap) hygrometer shows relative humidity at 27. So - yeah, I use the system. Also, somebody posted a while back that they'd measured room humidity and then measured near the soundboard (with the piano saver installed and running) and got a higher reading.

Joined: May 2006
Posts: 7,489
7000 Post Club Member
Offline
7000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 7,489
If you have really tough humidity conditions in your home, and the system is properly installed, and if you get a grand piano, have the “undercover” installed, keep the piano closed when not in use, and are willing to do the periodic maintenance (about every 6 months) and monitor the status every few days…then it’s a good idea.

Most users don’t fall into all these categories, so they would be better served investing the savings into a few more piano tunings. In most parts of non-coastal NJ, I suspect just running a bit of room humidification in the dead of winter would be sufficient. Central AC would take care of the humidity in the summer. Maybe don’t open the windows in your piano room in between. If you’re really worried, then get a hygrometer and try to maintain the room humidity in as tight of a range as you can, practically speaking. I can keep my piano room basically between 35-60%, over the course of the year, which isn’t perfect, but it isn’t horrible, either.


Pianist, teacher, apprentice technician, internet addict.
Piano Review Editor - Acoustic and Digital Piano Buyer
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 8,180

Platinum Supporter until December 31, 2022
8000 Post Club Member
Offline

Platinum Supporter until December 31, 2022
8000 Post Club Member
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 8,180
I like the whole house solution, because it helps other stuff too: furniture, people (one daughter is prone to nose bleeds in the Winter), etc (I have 4 guitars and more than one piano, so all benefit). I think if you can keep the space the piano is in (room or whole house) relatively stable, then you’re ok. If not, then investigate a system.

(FWIW, opinions differ strongly on this topic)

I had always relied on the AC to cut humidity, but over the years we’ve steadily pushed the thermostat up a few degrees. We also replaced the AC a couple summers ago and the new system is more efficient. Consequently, it doesn’t run as much, and so the humidity crept up. So, last summer I bought a stand-alone dehumidifier to “augment” the AC, and it helps a lot.


How to Upload Pictures
“If it sounds good, it IS good.” ― Duke Ellington!

Joined: Nov 2019
Posts: 200
K
kre Offline
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
K
Joined: Nov 2019
Posts: 200
Having had DC system in two grands, I highly recommend it. You will save the cost very soon in less tuning visits, or at least enjoy piano that has good tuning stability.

Joined: Mar 2021
Posts: 1,037
S
1000 Post Club Member
Online Content
1000 Post Club Member
S
Joined: Mar 2021
Posts: 1,037
I live in the DC metro area and previously lived in the northeast and Midwest. All of these climates have significant changes in humidity throughout the year. New Jersey will be similar.

The way that I think about this is that humidity control is a layered thing. If you have a good HVAC system that maintains a reasonable level of humidity control, this is great and will go a long way. The Dampp Chaser is a layer on top of that that will further help with tuning stability. Room humidification/dehumidification is also an option or layer that you can have, but it honestly requires a lot more maintenance than either a good home HVAC system or a Dampp Chaser. For a point of reference, I fill my Dampp Chaser tank about once every 10 days during the driest months and about once a month during the most humid months. We have a dehumidifier in the basement that needs to be emptied every day or two during the most humid months.

For me, the Dampp chaser is a pretty low maintenance way of helping the piano. Does it create a perfect microclimate that keeps the entire soundboard at exactly 42% RH year round? I doubt it! But I think it helps, and it’s pretty low effort on my part.

Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 5,150
P
5000 Post Club Member
Offline
5000 Post Club Member
P
Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 5,150
Piano mom,

You did not specify whether you are buying a grand or an upright piano (I think). Uprights respond significantly better with a DC system than do grands (closed vs open).

There is absolutely no argument over which is better. Whole house total climate control to museum quality level is hands down THE BEST. If you can achieve that you have no need of any contraptions on your piano.

If you cannot achieve the above then that now creates a situation calling for a reasonable solution since everyone everywhere KNOWS that good humidity control is the single best thing you can do for the stability and longevity of your piano.

The DC system (properly installed and maintained) is one of those solutions (not perfect but pretty good esp on uprights). Grands need an undercover AND a full overcover (anytime not in use) to make it more effective. I would not own a piano without a system on it. I have been installing them for decades.

Peter Grey Piano Doctor

Last edited by P W Grey; 07/06/22 07:36 PM.

Peter W. Grey, RPT
New Hampshire Seacoast
www.seacoastpianodoctor.com
pianodoctor57@gmail.com
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PK0T7_I_nV8
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 1,103
S
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
S
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 1,103
Properly installed and maintained, they can make a dramatic difference.

Joined: Jul 2022
Posts: 41
N
Full Member
OP Offline
Full Member
N
Joined: Jul 2022
Posts: 41
Well, my piano will be on the main floor where the temp is fairly regulated but NJ gets so dry in the winter, and hella humid (like this whole week!) in the summer. I'll get the humidity monitor and think about the Piano Saver - let's find a piano first! :P

It's so funny growing up, my parents saved up and bought me an old Hardman upright piano and NONE of this stuff was ever factored in! My mom said they just went to a Macy's, picked one out based on 1) the price and 2) how it looked and the color (brown with ornate legs and music stand!), and boom, it got delivered. And that piano got me through 15+ years of lessons and auditions and performance rehearsals and all that! I'm really glad I found you guys that has taught me so much more, exposed me to all this new tech, and I appreciate all the input and info as I now go through this piano-hunting journey. Lots to think about - and excited to be getting back into it!

Joined: May 2007
Posts: 2,117
M
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
M
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 2,117
I would not purchase anything until you collect data on the humidity in your home. You may be solving a problem that does not exist.


Yamaha P90, Kawai GL-10
Joined: Mar 2022
Posts: 2,137
S
2000 Post Club Member
Online Content
2000 Post Club Member
S
Joined: Mar 2022
Posts: 2,137
Originally Posted by twocats
My tech doesn't believe that a tiny heater bar can effectively control the humidity for the whole soundboard.

Me too. I highly doubt that it can.

Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 5,150
P
5000 Post Club Member
Offline
5000 Post Club Member
P
Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 5,150
It can't. That's why it is NOT a panacea. Too many assumptions get made about these systems. They are only a partial solution. Designed to work pretty well between 35% and 65% RH. The rest is up to you. If you decide not to do it you reap the consequences. Pretty simple.

Peter Grey Piano Doctor


Peter W. Grey, RPT
New Hampshire Seacoast
www.seacoastpianodoctor.com
pianodoctor57@gmail.com
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PK0T7_I_nV8
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 8,180

Platinum Supporter until December 31, 2022
8000 Post Club Member
Offline

Platinum Supporter until December 31, 2022
8000 Post Club Member
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 8,180
Originally Posted by SouthPark
Originally Posted by twocats
My tech doesn't believe that a tiny heater bar can effectively control the humidity for the whole soundboard.

Me too. I highly doubt that it can.

The same thought occurred to me initially, especially because wood is a relatively poor thermal conductor (i.e. a good insulator). But then it occurred to me that perhaps the heater bar isn't meant to heat the wood directly, but to heat the air adjacent to the wood. Air is also not a great conductor, but the temp will change through convection instead. The raised temp would lower RH. And the RH change in the air would affect the wood more evenly.


How to Upload Pictures
“If it sounds good, it IS good.” ― Duke Ellington!

Joined: Mar 2022
Posts: 704
500 Post Club Member
Offline
500 Post Club Member
Joined: Mar 2022
Posts: 704
Put a bucket of water under the piano...!! 100% better tuning stability guarantee!

Joined: May 2015
Posts: 11,256
Gold Subscriber
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Gold Subscriber
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 11,256
Originally Posted by probably blue
Put a bucket of water under the piano...!! 100% better tuning stability guarantee!

I thought, but maybe I’m wrong, that adding humidification directly under the piano was not best. I know that a commercial humidifier is to be placed a few feet away.


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
"I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho

It's ok to be a Work In Progress
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,442
R
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
R
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,442
I tried one in my Yamaha g7 for years and couldn’t really tell the difference. Removed it 6 years ago and am not sorry.


Laugh More
Yamaha G7 - Roland FP7 - Roland FP80
[Linked Image][Linked Image][Linked Image][Linked Image]
Joined: Feb 2018
Posts: 1,870
G
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
G
Joined: Feb 2018
Posts: 1,870
Originally Posted by probably blue
Put a bucket of water under the piano...!! 100% better tuning stability guarantee!

Well firstly your problem has to be too dry rather than too humid for that to help.

Then you have no control over it so will have to remove and take away the bucket as the humidity changes.

Then it is unlikely to be as effective as the humidifying component of the life saver as you only have the surface area of the bucket to evaporate moisture. Now if you do effectively what the PLS does and suspend a towel into your bucket of water with a fan blowing over the towel you would likely get something even better if your towel and fan were bigger than the ones in the PLS grin But you would then need, like the PLS, to also use a humidstat for controlling your fan.

Worth considering for a simple cheap and reasonably effective way of passively increasing local humidity is to use the "hydroceel" tubes - which are essentially a less messy and longer lasting version of a big wet sponge. Personally I've stopped using one of these hydroceel units and have simplified to just dehumidifying as my problem is more one of periods of high humidity than being too dry.

Joined: Feb 2018
Posts: 1,870
G
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
G
Joined: Feb 2018
Posts: 1,870
Originally Posted by dogperson
Originally Posted by probably blue
Put a bucket of water under the piano...!! 100% better tuning stability guarantee!

I thought, but maybe I’m wrong, that adding humidification directly under the piano was not best. I know that a commercial humidifier is to be placed a few feet away.

I may be wrong but I think the principle is simply that if you have a small humidifying device, such as the PLS, which is designed to only humidify a small area around the piano, then you need it by (or actually in) the piano. However if you have a big unit designed to humidify a whole room or whole house that will produce so much water vapour that the air near to it is far too moist for a piano and you need to keep the two a sensible distance apart.

Last edited by gwing; 07/08/22 12:17 PM.
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3

Moderated by  Ken Knapp, Piano World 

Link Copied to Clipboard
(ad)
Piano Buying Guide
The Definitive Piano Buying Guide
(ad)
PianoDisc

PianoDisc
(ad)
Faust Harrison Pianos
Faust Harrison 100+ Steinway pianos
(ad)
Mason & Hamlin Pianos
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Practicing is Fun!
by malkin - 08/19/22 05:52 PM
Trade-in question
by RealPlayer - 08/19/22 03:09 PM
Kawai CA-67 (used) vs CA-49?
by JasonD - 08/19/22 02:47 PM
Download Sheet Music
Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads
What's Hot!!
FREE June Newsletter is Here!
--------------------
Forums RULES, Terms of Service & HELP
(updated 06/06/2022)
-------------------
Music Store Going Out of Business Sale!
---------------------
Mr. PianoWorld's Original Composition
---------------------
Sell Your Piano on our world famous Piano Forums!
---------------------
Posting Pictures on the Forums
-------------------
ADVERTISE on Piano World
Forum Statistics
Forums43
Topics214,471
Posts3,217,629
Members106,122
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
Please Support Our Advertisers

Faust Harrison 100+ Steinways

Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver

 Best of Piano Buyer

PianoTeq Bechstein
Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads



 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | MapleStreetMusicShop.com - Our store in Cornish Maine


© copyright 1997 - 2022 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5