FAQs

Any question about Music Sorb and its products?

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Piano (4)

How can Music Sorb help the performance of Dampp-Chaser?

 

We do not feel Dampp-Chaser is really competition, but Grand PianoMusic Sorb definitely has its place in all pianos without Dampp-Chaser, but even as an adjunct to Dampp-Chaser.  Our tests have shown that it fills in where Dampp-Chaser fails by flattening out the terrible humidity swings.

No Heat

We think it only proper to point out that we call Music Sorb the “gentle humidifier” as it requires no heat.

Moving or storing your piano? 

Music Sorb goes right on working even during moving or storage.

Forgetting to fill the water tanks?

What Music Sorb will do is extend the protection when Dampp-Chaser runs dry, and will recharge when the piano owner does remember to refill the tank.

Electricity Gone?

When the electricity goes or is turned off or unplugged, Music Sorb goes right on maintaining the right humidity range.

Actually, Music Sorb will quite simply benefit the Damp Chaser and the piano, obviously.

 

Which should I choose for my piano humidity control? Pouches or Cassettes?

 

Actually, it makes no difference which you use, pouches or cassettes, for maintaining your piano as far as effect. And both are simple to install.

The difference between the cassettes and the pouches is simply packaging.

The cassettes are the card boxes with windows that are covered with a non-woven cloth similar to a surgical mask. The windows allow the product to work.

The pouches are the same product, the same amount, but these are simply a non-woven cloth material, again, like a surgical mask.

We find that the cassettes fit nicely into a vertical piano, while the pouches are often used in grand pianos. But both work in either type of piano.

Because Music Sorb might be visible from certain angles when the grand piano is open, we offer discreet, attractive cloth bags in which Music Sorb can be placed.

These same bags may be used with any variation of Music Sorb (i.e. piano pouches, piano cassettes, stringed-instrument pouches) and are offered free of charge with each new order.

 

How much Music Sorb will I need for my piano?

 

Two cassettes (upright pianos) or two pouches (grand pianos) are required for most environmental conditions. Some larger pianos or pianos kept in extreme humidity environments may need more Music Sorb.

 

Activating Music Sorb in a Dry Climate. Where will Music Sorb find its humidity?

 

(or since I live in a very dry climate, where will Music Sorb find humidity to desorb?)

Music Sorb Pouches and cassettes are delivered for practical shipping purposes holding 30% humidity. Music Sorb for Pianos is formulated perfectly to maintain humidity in a closed area between 40% and 60%. So once you open the package, it immediately begins to adsorb humidity from the air to try to reach 50% humidity.

So if you live in such a dry area that the humidity indoors where you open the package is below 50%, then you may need to precondition the units. See also how to measure correctly the RH and our advice about  hygrometer-accuracy-test.

Two things you need to know to preserve the perfect humidity range:

  1. Music Sorb adsorbs and desorbs (You may want to read about the science behind Music Sorb.) in such a way as to maintain a humidity range of 40 to 60%, but it does not contain much moisture upon delivery…approximately 30% humidity right out of the package.  Thus if your piano humidity or instrument case is below that level, there is no way Music Sorb can find humidity in the air to adsorb enough moisture and then emit or desorb humidity since it is essentially empty.  Simply it does not have enough moisture to desorbIf you had opened the plastic wrapping in high humidity, Music Sorb would have “filled its tank” by taking in enough humidity out of the air to desorb to the correct humidity levels.
  2. And so, you need to activate Music Sorb. Alternatives to the video above are mentioned below. We recommend following the video instruction.

Activation or Pre-conditioning Alternatives:

 

Instead of placing the Music Sorb units directly into the instrument case or piano while the humidity is near low (or below 40% RH), we suggest that you place the Music Sorb set on a cabinet or shelf in the bathroom just before you shower to let the Music Sorb adsorb humidity from the shower steam which Music Sorb will release (or desorb) when you have placed it into the instrument case or piano.  In other words, you are loading up Music Sorb so that it may release moisture.

How long you need to let Music Sorb adsorb depends of the atmosphere in the shower room, but you can feel when Music Sorb has adsorbed considerable moisture because the Music Sorb becomes heavier from the water it contains.  But it will not feel wet!
Steam-Now-Produced-from-Almost-Freezing-Water-2

Music Sorb never feels wet, nor should it since wetness could harm your piano or wood instrument.

Obviously, you don’t have to shower.  You can put a teapot on the stove and let it steam over the set of Music Sorb.  Quicker and easier?  Just don’t overdo it. (See below)
police-car2

Important Warning: Blink! Blink! Blink!

No water
Do not put Music Sorb under running water or in water as it will destruct.  Just let it precondition itself while you have some extra dampness in the air so that it can balance out the humidity in your piano or instrument case.

It is important that you do not put Music Sorb on a wet spot in the kitchen if you use the teapot.  If you see water collecting on the counter from the steaming pot, it is too much.

You could also wrap a damp bath towel around Music Sorb as long as you wring out the towel well before wrapping the Music Sorb.  In other words, humidity is fine; water is not.

If you have a sauna, pour water on the hot rocks.  Or if you have, not a Turk bath, but a sort of Turkish bath (humor), well…you see the steamy possibilities.

Finally:

Piano humidity range

Once you place the heavier Music Sorb back in your instrument case or piano, everything is automatic.  If this is a grand piano, of course keep the top closed when you are not using it in order to maintain the humidity level.  Likewise keep your instrument case closed whenever possible…both when the instrument is in the case and when it is not.

PS: If the humidity showing on your hygrometer never gets above 40% RH, you may want to shower again someday, even if you personally don’t really need to. OR probably you should see the hygrometer accuracy test.

 

Stringed Instruments (10)

Why and How Would I Need to Precondition Music Sorb for Strings?

 

Music Sorb for Strings is delivered for practical shipping purposes holding 30% humidity. It is formulated perfectly to maintain humidity in a closed area between 40% and 60%. So once you open the package, it immediately begins to adsorb humidity from the air to try to reach 50% humidity.

You Live in a Dry Area

So if you live in such a dry area that the humidity indoors where you open the package is below 50%, then you may need to precondition the units.

You have several choices of methods for preconditioning, but the idea is to give Music Sorb the ambiance it needs to adjust itself. It is paramount that you do not put Music Sorb directly into water in any way, such as under the faucet or shower, into a cup or glass of water, or even a water puddle. Music Sorb will become ruined.

Preconditioning Methods in No Special Order

The Shower Method

shower If you open the sealed guitar, violin or cello pack and place the units on a shelf in the bathroom while taking a hot shower, the units will adjust.


The Tea Kettle Method

tea-kettle Boil water in a tea kettle and leave the Music Sorb unit in the area for a few minutes. Careful not to let the water pool on the kitchen counter as this is too much water for Music Sorb.


The Humidifier Method

steam If you have a humidifier in the house, open the sealed guitar pack in the area and leave for a few hours. Humidifiers are different, so use your judgment. Don’t let the humidifier spew water directly on the Music Sorb units.

Water Weighs Something

It is not necessary to control results since Music Sorb will adjust itself, but if you are picky and if you have a precise scale, such as a kitchen scale for weighing food ingredients, you can weigh a Music Sorb unit before conditioning it and then weigh it again after trying one of the processes above to see if it seems to be slightly heavier.

Music Sorb will not feel wet, which is important for you to know, since you do not want your guitar to get the slightest bit wet. (We have even seen instructions to wipe the sweat off guitars after you have played.)

If you have a hygrometer and it is showing that Music Sorb does not seem to humidify your instrument, you really need to run a test on the hygrometer.  It is easy.

police-car2

Important Warning: Blink! Blink! Blink!

Do not put Music Sorb under running water or in water as it will destruct.  Just let it activate or condition itself while you have some extra dampness in the air so that it can balance out the humidity in your piano or instrument case.

 

What Makes Music Sorb Special for My Guitar?

 

How Humidity Affects Your Guitar

High humidity is bad for your guitar.

Low humidity can be worse for your guitar.

Humidity swings are like beating your guitar against a tree. You know that low humidity dries out the wood and can cause cracks almost anywhere in the guitar structure. High humidity causes the wood to swell, warping and pushing the minute pieces that structure your instrument out of place.
Humidity swings makes your guitar scream in pain (or worse).

Stop the Pain

Music Sorb protects against low humidity and Music Sorb protects against high humidity. Importantly Music Sorb helps protect against humidity swings. Place Music Sorb in your (preferably hard) instrument case, keep the lids closed as much as possible, keep your guitar in the case when not in use. Music Sorb will buffer (like a car’s shock absorbers) against humidity swings and maintain a relative humidity of 40% to 60% in your instrument case.

Be Responsible

Would you hesitate to give a very expensive guitar to a teenager? He can promise to take care of it with all his heart, but will he remember to not leave it in the back seat of the car in the summer heat? Personally, we know of one very responsible teenager who left his guitar just once in the car during the summer. The guitar, an heirloom, was destroyed.

We say it this way because you need to be grown up about maintaining your instrument in every way…including temperature extremes since temperature extremes affect humidity.

Extra Insurance

Yes, if you want extra protection from humidity swings or you don’t have a hard case for your guitar, it does no harm to add more Music Sorb units into your instrument case. Music Sorb will not leak water nor emit any harmful chemicals as it is all natural.

Read our 4 Tips and Tricks to Save Your Guitar

 

How can I check my instrument for damage caused by low humidity?

 

Any of the following is a sign of damage from low humidity:

  1. Frets are not smooth (especially at the edges),
  2. the neck is no longer straight,
  3. the body changes shape,
  4. the bridge lifts or shifts,
  5. strings buzz,
  6. cracking of the neck and/or body (in the instrument’s body; not yours),
  7. and the whole tone of the instrument changes.

To find out more about low humidity damage read our blog.

 

Does my guitar need to be humidified?

 

The number one cause of all instrument damage is the wood drying out, the top of a guitar can drop by as much as an eighth of an inch as it dries out. And this is just one example.

Luthiers see this more than any other necessary repairs.

Read more about it in this article.

 

How do I use Music Sorb?

 

How to use Music Sorb

We hate to tell you how simple it is to use Music Sorb since the product is not simple. But the laboratories at Fuji Silysia looked for a maintenance-free humidity control system for art work, building material, and wood instruments. Quite simply, you place the right number of Music Sorb units into your instrument case and keep the lid closed as much is practical. Music Sorb does the rest. [One exception can be that if you live in a very dry area, you may need to pre-condition Music Sorb.]

 

How is Music Sorb better?

 

On top of every other method being more complicated, you do not have to think about Music Sorb for a year.

Why after a year?

Music Sorb does not absorb and leak moisture. Music Sorb for Strings technology is to ADSORB and DESORB moisture in a specific, pre-determined humidity range for wood musical instruments. It never feels wet, or leaks, or needs thought. But after about a year, like a rechargeable battery, its buffering effect diminishes. How much it diminishes is dependent on such a variety of uncontrollable factors (how much you open and close your instrument case, the ambient humidity variations, how much you travel, etc.) that we strongly suggest that you change it out after a year.

 

Is there anything else I should know about maintaining my instrument?

 

Having solved humidity concerns with Music Sorb, you need to know to avoid subjecting your instrument to temperature extremes. For example, leaving your instrument in a hot car (even in the trunk) on a summer’s day, is a big no-no.

To learn how do deal with this and other threats read our blog.

 

How long will the Music Sorb units last?

 

Music Sorb units replacement

Music Sorb UnitsAs we said above, like a rechargeable battery, Music Sorb’s buffering effect diminishes over extended use. How much it diminishes is dependent on such a variety of uncontrollable factors (how much you open and close your instrument case, the ambient humidity variations, how much you travel, etc.) that we strongly suggest that you change your Music Sorb units out after a year.

Read our Why use Music Sorb?.

 

What is Music Sorb made of?

 

Music Sorb made of Silica gel

Music Sorb is literally reconstructed sand (silica) so that it can adsorb and desorb within the correct specific humidity range for wood instruments. Music Sorb is all natural. Other versions of Music Sorb, under a different brand name, have other specific humidity ranges. For example, Art Sorb has an exact humidity range of 70% made for valuable art work such as the Mona Lisa in the Louvre.

If you have any additional questions, please contact us.

 

How many units of Music Sorb for Stringed Instruments should I use?

 

Music Sorb for Stringed Instruments

Music Sorb has huge capacity. (See the Science Behind Music Sorb).  How many units you should use depends on your ambient humidity, how much you travel with your instrument, and how diligent you are to keep your instrument case closed.

But we do try to give the following guidelines:

Protect the wood in your guitar with Music Sorb

Protect the wood in your guitar

A violin can be maintained with three pouches.

A guitar can be maintained with six.

From cello to stringed bass with six to nine.

If you have a solid instrument case and live in a stable weather area (where is that these days), you could probably get away with fewer units.  But if you have any question at all, please write to us and we will answer faster than you might think.

Protect the wood in your musical instrument

Protect the wood in your musical instrument

 

General Questions (10)

How does Music Sorb work?

 

Music Sorb humidity control system is not a desiccant that absorbs moisture. Music Sorb is constructed to adsorb and desorb moisture at specific levels to maintain the right humidity range (RH 40% – 60%) for wooden instruments.

Music Sorb looks like a simple desiccant products that absorb moisture, but it is not. Unlike a typical desiccant, Music Sorb technology allows the release of contained moisture, once the relative humidity (RH) drops below the 40% range. On the other end if RH raise Music Sorb does not allow the moisture to be more then 60%.  More, the buffering action performed by our products is constantly protecting the wooden structure of your musical instruments from stress due to sudden relative humidity changes. An appropriate amount of Music Sorb in your musical instrument case or piano can thus help provide the correct humidity amount to keep your instrument in tune and protected. See our tests results on Music Sorb Application.

The capacity to adsorb and desorb is best explained in The Science Behind Music Sorb.

 

How do I know if my hygrometer is accurate? TEST IT!

 

Hygrometer Test

Hygrometers are notoriously bad at measuring humidity.  So tests have been created which anyone can do at home.  Once you have done the test, you can know how off your hygrometer is in total relative humidity percentage.  This will allow you to see how well Music Sorb is working for you.

How to Test a Hygrometer

The Steps

step 1 hygrometer test

 1. Gather supplies. To test your hygrometer using salt, you just need a few household supplies.

A small food storage bag that zips  

A tiny cup or bottle cap from a 20-ounce soda  

Some table salt  

Water

step 22. Fill the cap with salt and add enough water to make a thick slurry. 

Don’t add so much water that the salt dissolves; you just want it to be wet.

If you add too much, use paper towels to mop up the excess.

step 3 hygrometer test

3. Put the cap and the hygrometer inside the baggie.

Zip it up and place it somewhere out of the way, so it won’t be disturbed during the test.

step 4 hygrometer test

4.  Wait 6 hours. During this time the hygrometer will measure the humidity inside the bag.

step 5 hygrometer test

5. Read the hygrometer. If it’s accurate, it should show a humidity of exactly 75 percent.

step 6 hygrometer test

6. Adjust the hygrometer if necessary. If your hygrometer shows a humidity lower or higher than 75 percent, you’ll need to calibrate it so that it’s accurate when you use it to check the humidity of your piano or instrument case.

  • If you have an analog hygrometer, turn the knob to adjust it to 75 percent.
  • If you have a digital hygrometer, use the buttons to adjust it to 75 percent.
  • If you can’t adjust your hygrometer, take note of how many percentage points higher or lower than 75 percent it is. Next time you use your hygrometer, add or subtract a few percentage points for an accurate reading.

Some hygrometers are known to have fluctuations in accuracy over time. It is best to test a hygrometer every 6 months to maintain accurate readings.

 

Is Music Sorb safe?

 

Music Sorb safe packsMusic Sorb is so safe that, when it is time to replace it, you can literally empty the old pouches into the garden without worry. So why keep it away from children and pets? Because the feature of Music Sorb is its incredible speed and capacity to draw moisture out of the air. If you touched it with your tongue, you would not be harmed, but you would feel an immediate and uncomfortable dryness on your tongue. Imagine then if it were swallowed by a child or pet. Not a good thought.

If you have any additional questions, please contact us.

 

What is the ideal RH for my musical instrument?

 

40-60% is the ideal RH (relative humidity). It is a reasonable range to preserve the integrity of your wooden musical instruments.

Find out more about The Science behind Music Sorb.

 

How often should I replace Music Sorb humidity control?

 

You should normally replace Music Sorb once a year to retain the effectiveness of the product. The product will never feel wet (although it does get heavier when it adsorbs humidity).

In extreme climates with extended dry or humid seasons, Music Sorb may need to be replaced more often and should be checked for effectiveness with a high quality hygrometer.

 

Can Music Sorb be harmful to my musical instrument or to the environment?

 

Music Sorb is an inert and solid silica bead product. It does NOT contain excess water or liquid gels that can damage your instruments, even in the unlikely event of the packaging getting damaged.

Music Sorb is nonreactive and gentle to the wood in your piano and/or stringed instruments. Unlike many of our competitors, Music Sorb is environmentally safe and does not contain any corrosive or toxic chemicals. Music Sorb, however, should still not be eaten and should be kept away from small children and small or large pets.

 

Note: We know a cat that eats baked potatoes and prefers them to meat, but we have never found any children or pets (large or small) that have even tried to eat Music Sorb.

 

You talk about pianos everywhere, but what about humidity control for guitar, violin or cello?

 

Music Sorb has units specifically for stringed instruments.  The advantages are several compared to anything else you can find on the market to protect the wood in your instrument from drying out or getting too damp.  The two most important reasons are:

  1. Simplicity: Place a few small units into your instrument case and forget about them.  Music Sorb will take care of your instrument.
  2. Economical: Keep your instrument case closed as much as reasonably possible and Music Sorb will last at least a year.  (We will remind you when a year has passed.)

The questions about preconditioning are essentially the same as with the piano, i.e. go take a shower.  Take a read of the FAQ concerning “Music Sorb is not increasing the humidity in my piano….”

Steam up Music Sorb

Steam up Music Sorb

For more details read Why Music Sorb is Different

 

How do you ship Music Sorb?

 

Basically, we ship Music Sorb via US Post Office Priority Mail Flat Rate boxes as they are the least expensive while still giving us a possibility to track the order to your door. If you want them faster, you can choose UPS on the drop down menu in the shopping cart.

If you are an international customer, we also offer US Post Office International Flat Rate boxes.  Ask us if you have any problem.

 

Why are there not more questions in FAQ?

 

Music Sorb is so elegantly simple that few questions arise. But we encourage you to ask us about Music Sorb and its effectiveness on your instrument in your specific situation.

 

What is Music Sorb made of?

 

Music Sorb made of Silica gel

Music Sorb is literally reconstructed sand (silica) so that it can adsorb and desorb within the correct specific humidity range for wood instruments. Music Sorb is all natural. Other versions of Music Sorb, under a different brand name, have other specific humidity ranges. For example, Art Sorb has an exact humidity range of 70% made for valuable art work such as the Mona Lisa in the Louvre.

If you have any additional questions, please contact us.

 

Any more question about Music Sorb?

If you have any other question about our products, please don’t hesitate to ask below and we will answer super fast.

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