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 The most appropriate Clarinet temperature & humudity
Author: Naum 
Date:   2018-01-01 21:22

I put a small thermo&hygrometer inside my clarinet case.
It was 14.9°c and 67%.
Is this an appropraite number?

What is the most appropriate temperature and humidity for Clarinets?

have a nice day :)

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 Re: The most appropriate Clarinet temperature & humudity
Author: Bob Bernardo 
Date:   2018-01-01 22:23

14.9 C. That is about 67 degrees F. a shade cool for my tastes. You should take your time when warming up your horn to avoid any cracks. The humidity levels are OK.

I prefer about 75 degrees F, 23.8 degrees C or so, rough math off of the top of my head, without looking it up.

50's to low 60's humidity is ideal, but very hard to obtain all of the time, if not impossible. I think it is impossible when the weather is cold out and the humidity is pretty much zero. You can use those Damp-its or make your own by taking those proscription bottles, drill some holes in them and add a sponge inside them, then wet them as needed, but still the clarinets still dry out a shade too much and the bell ring spins and the joint rings can come off. As far as I know there isn't anything on the market, such as a case which can control the humidity effectively.

Anything above 85 to 90 percent humidity might or will cause mold. This can surely effect your health.

So your humidity level is fine. Just a shade cool by just a few degrees.

Designer of - Vintage 1940 Cicero Mouthpieces and the La Vecchia mouthpieces

Yamaha Artist 2015

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 Re: The most appropriate Clarinet temperature & humudity
Author: bmcgar 2017
Date:   2018-01-01 23:53

I don't think these specs have been established empirically or scientifically, but anyway....

As I've written many times before here, the critical matter is not the temperature or humidity (WITHIN REASON) at a given point, but what happens when abruptly subjecting an instrument to a temperature and-or humidity that is radically different. This stresses in the wood, which cause cracks. (Any accomplished woodworker or furniture restorer knows what "shocking" wood like that will do.)

In other words, by trying to keep your instrument at a particular temperature and-or humidity, you may be risking more than you would by just being careful to avoid extreme changes.

(Sure would like to have a couple of clarinet makers and accomplished wood workers chime in on this.)


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 Re: The most appropriate Clarinet temperature & humudity
Author: LC007 
Date:   2018-01-02 00:28

Just my opinion....

I have a "music room" where I keep my guitars and violin and clarinet. I try to maintain 45-50% humidity. In the winter that can be a challenge when it's really cold. Right now in Ottawa it's -26C (-15 Fahrenheit). The humidity device on my furnace is turning full time but it's not always enough so I have a portable room size humidifier that I use when it's dry. For temp I maintain 68-70F.
I keep the clarinet in the case, and the case is left open usually, or lid down but not latched. I want the air to circulate around it after playing.

I think 67% RH is on the high side. For a day or 2 it wouldn't pose a problem. But if left at that level for a longer period my guitars would not be playable. Don't know how my clarinet would react. I have never done that experiment.

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 Re: The most appropriate Clarinet temperature & humudity
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2018-01-02 04:04

I have a number of inexpensive hygrometers and have found them to be unreliable - at least in the sense that no two of them actually agree on what the relative humidity is. So, the first question is, how certain are you that the reading on your hygrometer is accurate?

FWIW, I tend to consider seriously two indicators: is condensation forming on the instrument (RH is much too high)? are the socket rings loose (RH is too low)?

We're in an unusual cold snap right now in my area - temps haven't been out of the 20s (F.) in a week and are going down near 0 at night. We keep the indoor temp around 70 degrees during the day and let it fall into the mid-60s at night. RH in the house right now is in the low 40s (depending on which hygrometer I use) with a whole-house humidifier running. I'm not finding that any of the rings are loosening and the clarinets are playing normally. I should say that the newest of the clarinets I regularly play is around 35 years old, for what that may be worth.

I don't think trying to maintain some specific temperature and humidity is of much use as long as the instrument is being played regularly and you're warming it from the outside (per bmcgar's comment) before you start blowing hot air into it.


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 Re: The most appropriate Clarinet temperature & humudity
Author: Philip Caron 
Date:   2018-01-02 05:49

For 11 years during Vermont winters my house heating has cycled between 54 and 58 degrees F. I fully warm both joints of my wooden R-13s against my body, held by my arms, before playing. Someone suggested that as better because it warms the wood from the outside and is therefore less stressful during the transition from cold to warm. I don't know if that's true but it sounds reasonable, and I haven't had any cracks. (But one must remember one is holding them!) The instruments sound normal to me even in this currently cold and dry environment.

I also oil both instruments' bores every couple weeks during the winters. Again, I "don't know", but it sounds reasonable and I haven't had cracks.

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 Re: The most appropriate Clarinet temperature & humudity
Author: DougR 
Date:   2018-02-17 08:33

I heard the same thing from the repair guy at my local guitar shop. He was really negative about Dampits because characteristically we let them get dry as a bone, then soak them & put them back in the case; his feeling was the sudden introduction of so much humidity could cause a guitar to crack.

I haven't yet found that to be the case (har har) with my 2 guitars, which stay in cases (with Dampits, which I am not terribly religious about keeping damp) all winter. No cracks yet by the way. I have little case humidifiers (can never remember the name, but YOU know: those little plastic tubes with cotton in one end & a knob that you turn that supposedly controls humidity) which seems to keep the wood humidified enough to keep the rings tight.

Hope this is useful.

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 Re: The most appropriate Clarinet temperature & humudity
Author: Dan Shusta 
Date:   2018-02-17 10:16


I just did a little experiment with two, inexpensive, digital temp/humidity monitors. One is located in the hallway of my home and the other is located in my bedroom. I exhaled air from my mouth directly into both of them at a normal exhaling pace for approximately one minute while taking in air as fast as I could to keep the airflow outward as constant as possible. What I learned was quite interesting and baffling.

1. In the hallway, the humidity went from 22% to 99% while the temperature went from 68.5 to 72 degrees.

2. In my bedroom, the humidity went from 21% to 99% while the temperature went from 70 to 73 degrees.

Now, I felt that the humidity would, indeed, max out. However, what intrigued me was that the temperature went up only a few degrees.

Now, normal body temperature is 98.6 degrees. So, I figured my lungs were also at that same temperature. It appears that the air I breathed in quickly absorbed the moisture from the lungs while the temperature of the lungs had very little affect on the incoming ambient air temperature.

I don't know why, but I previously believed that I was breathing out air very close to body temperature. This little, highly unscientific experiment proved me wrong. I was breathing out air which was slightly higher than the ambient air temperature I was breathing in.

I have read over and over again on this BB that breathing out hot, moist air into a cold, wooden clarinet causes the inside to expand faster than the outside and the possibility of cracking increases.

What all of this boils down to is possibly this: If it's 60 degrees outside, you're probably not blowing 98 degree air into the instrument. You're probably blowing around 62 to 64 degree air into it. (Or, just a few degrees above ambient temperature.)

So, what about that incessant advice to "warm up your instrument when it's cold outside to prevent cracking"?

I'm beginning to believe that the wooden clarinet body is absorbing a very high humidity level compared to what the ambient level is and that is what is possibly producing cracks...sudden internal high level humidity compared to lower level outside humidity.

Something here is not adding up correctly for me and I'd appreciate it if somebody would enlighten me.

Again, F.W.I.W. and thank you.

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 Re: The most appropriate Clarinet temperature & humudity
Author: Bob Bernardo 
Date:   2018-02-17 13:31

Wow Dan! So interesting.

I have an idea and it won't cost much at all so I'll get one. A store called Harbor Freight sells these infrared thermometers so I will first take a reading of the room and the clarinet and see if they both read the same when cold.

Then I'll play the clarinet for a few minutes and see what the 2 registers read, the upper and lower registers. Than after about 20 minutes. I will take readings every few minutes but just record any significant changes and report back.

I will try to get one this weekend.

A really GREAT subject to check out. It will help solve several issues such as what really causes cracks, the temperature or moisture. So far it seems like moisture more of a concern by far than temperature. More follow up this week.

Designer of - Vintage 1940 Cicero Mouthpieces and the La Vecchia mouthpieces

Yamaha Artist 2015

Post Edited (2018-02-17 13:35)

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 Re: The most appropriate Clarinet temperature & humudity
Author: DavidBlumberg 
Date:   2018-02-18 09:08

67% is much too high. You want it under 60.
45-55% is much more ideal so that you don't end up with rusted springs for one thing or Mold.

Temp wise, it can sit no problem that cold, but if played it must be warmer to start with on the outside so you would need to warm it with your body heat first to ensure that it doesn't crack.

I have 4 Lomax cases that do an amazing job of temp and humidity control.


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