In Part 2, we look at some ways to maintain the guitars and avoid the bellying and bridge lift problems that are common in SG.
Note that these are tips based on observations and recommendations, and are not meant to be definitive.
1. Always keep the guitar in its bag or case
I cannot stress on this enough – ALWAYS keep the GS Mini in its case when you’re not playing it.
This seems common sense, but many owners tend to leave their GS Minis out in the guitar stand. Perhaps the smaller sized GS Mini is just too handy and owners like to have it close by whenever they need to play. But no, please keep it after playing.
Our humid condition is not the guitar’s best friend so don’t take chances.
2. Dehumidify the guitar
a. Use dehumidifying packs
Having one or two of these in the case or bag can absorb some amount of moisture.
Bear in mind that these need to be refreshed or replaced periodically.
b. Use a room dehumidifier
This device will regulate the room humidity to your desired level. By operating this in a room together with the guitars, it will help maintain the ideal humidity (about 45%).
Go for those with humidity level settings and auto-off functions. These are useful functions that will benefit your precious guitars.
However, the cost of acquiring and running a room dehumidifier may put off some people. A decent unit sets you back $300 – $400. Storage for such items may also pose a challenge.
c. Dedicated guitar dehumidifier
Products such as The Kiln from Guitaring Passionately has been gaining popularity because it is much easier to operate than a room dehumidifier. The relatively handy size of such a device may be a big advantage.
3. Use light gauge strings
Since the stock medium strings (13-56) put too much tension on the top, it is a good idea to switch to light gauge (12-53). While you lose some volume, the guitar still sounds decent and the risk of bridge lift is greatly reduced.
It is worth mentioning that all the GS Minis that came to me with significant bellying and bridge lifts were on mediums for a considerable period of time. This is a clear sign that the medium strings are pulling the top a tad too much than what we want in this climate.
On the other hand, my personal GS Mini has been fitted with light gauge (12-53) since Day 1 and it doesn’t show any bridge lift.
4. Regularly inspect the guitar
Make it a point to inspect your guitar for excessive belly bulge. A slight bump below the bridge area is perfectly normal but if your guitar seems to have too much of bellying, it may be a bad sign.
Also check if the wing tips of the bridge are lifting too much. If you can insert a business card far enough, it’s bad news.
With this simple blog entry, let’s hope we will see less GS Minis succumb to our hot and humid climate.
Click the link below for Part 1.
*photos from Bernard Godfrey Guitars, The Guitar Spa Singapore, Acoustic Guitar Forum, Guitaring Passionately and De’Longhi