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Oasis Guitar Humidifier Review

More of a Product WARNING than a Product Review

Oasis Acoustic Guitar Humidifier

 

Guitar Care Product Review
Guitar Care Product Review – Protecting Your Investment

 

 An appropriate level of  humidity is an important factor in caring for your acoustic guitar and there are many methods and products available to facilitate these conditions. The hyperbole on Oasis’s website addresses this quite eloquently…

As described by Oasis on their website:

Oasis® has solved these problems by using a completely different approachThe body of Oasis® is made from a specially designed fabric that allows water vapor (but not water) to pass through it. As the vapor transmission takes place, a vacuum is created and Oasis® shrinks to compensate for the loss of water. By watching the Oasis® shrink, you can determine when it is ready for refill. When refilling, you don’t have to guess when it is full. Simply unscrew the black cap, fill with water to the top of the container and replace the cap. Once sealed, the water tight container is your first line of defense against leaks. Humigel™, the super absorbent polymer crystals inside Oasis, are your second line of defense. Humigel captures up to 500 times its weight in water in an absorbent gel matrix.

However…

 

 The Oasis Humidifier in Action

Oasis guitar humidifier product review
Oasis Guitar Humidifier Product Warning

 

 This product’s design, at the core, has a high potential to leak liquid water into your guitar… Not a good thing… Not good at all.

Again from Oasis’s website:

 My name is Dave Hepple, and I am the inventor of the Oasis Guitar Humidifier. Since the age of 13, I have played either a nylon stringed classical or flat top steel stringed guitar. For 14 years, I was an active volunteer with the Baltimore Classical Guitar Society, serving as President from 1999 to 2003. For eight years, I booked the organization’s concert series. As a result, I met a number of outstanding guitarists and learned a great deal about very high quality guitars.

Well Dave, unfortunately, it would seem that your background and credentials gave you zero understanding of the high failure risk of your product’s design… And by the way… Your grammar is stranger than mine.

 

One Oasis® Guitar Humidifier users recent experience:

Faulty Oasis humidifier guitar damage
Martin D-35a Damaged by Oasis Humidifier

 Just a warning to those using or thinking about using this product.

Mine has developed a weeping leak from the side, no where near a seem, just started dripping from the side.

Unfortunately I didn’t realize this until I pulled the guitar out of the case and snagged my shirt on the cracked back seems of my guitar. I looked inside the sound hole and to my horror saw lifted and swollen braces, and large water stains. The leak starts shortly after the humidifier is filled.

So picture me filling it, week after week, throwing it in the case again, and it just sitting there emptying itself on the inside of my guitar.

My other fear is that its not just water damage, its a lubricated silicone type fluid that was diluted with the silica gel crystals inside the humidifier.

How bracing glue up and repair will go is a mystery. I really wish I would have stuck with the tried and true hose and foam type humidifiers.

I reached out to Oasis:

To whom it may concern,

I wanted to write and let you know that the Oasis humidifier that I own has ruined my prized Martin. Upon closer inspection I see that after a few minutes of holding water, it starts to weep droplets out of one side. Something I never would notice when refilling as it starts to drip after the case would be long closed, and something that would dry up when the time came to refill.
Well, yesterday I pulled my guitar out to play, and noticed that the back side snagged my shirt. There were two cracked seems (D-35 with 3 piece back). I flipped it over and looked in the sound hole and to my shock, saw swollen and broken bracing, and large water stains. I am  devastated. I write to ask you what you suggest I do now?

Attached are photos of said damage and humidifier.

Kind regards,

Leaky Oasis Guitar Humidifier

 

Damaged Martin Oasis Guitar Humidifier
Water Damaged Martin D-35a

 

MartinD-35a
MartinD-35a Damaged by Oasis Humidifier

 

… and their reply was:

  We make every effort possible to make sure that our humidifiers do not leak prior to shipment. Everyone is and tested by our quality control department. We do not warrantee our humidifiers for potential leaks.(…) We do not warrantee that our humidifiers will not leak and therefore will not pay for damage to your guitar.

Dave Hepple
Oasis, Inc

 

Thanks, Oasis. Way to stand by your product.

Don’t be victim to this like my poor guitar.

 Hard lesson learned for some, common sense for others.

I generally won’t speak out on a product that I have not used myself, however,  I have personally seen this same failure of an Oasis Humidifier on a friend’s Taylor that I spent a couple of days fixing for him… Since then I’ve seen this same situation with this one particular product quite a few times so I figured I’d blast them.

I had a conversation with one of my favorite professional guitar luthiers about this situation just before going to press, and this is what he had to say:

 

  I discourage people from putting any kind of humidifier in the guitar! (…)  Anything that could potentially leak should never go inside of a guitar (see: Murphy’s Law).  Also (…) a case humidifier distributes moisture more evenly throughout the entire case. Therefore the whole guitar gets a more even environment of humidity. The type of humidifier that goes in the soundbox does not distrubute moisture as evenly to the whole instrument. The box gets a super dose of moisture while the neck and fretboard get a little short-changed. And it’s important for the neck and fret board to have a consistent humidity not only to prevent ebony boards (prime candidates) from shrinking and cracking, but also to stabilize the set-up. The neck relief is directly affected by humidity.

Regards,
Freddy Gabrsek
Niagara-on-the-Lake
Ontario, Canada
www.freddysfrets.com

 

I encourage you to heed Freddy’s advice.

11 thoughts on “Oasis Guitar Humidifier Review

  1. Thanks for the warning. I just removed the Oasis humidifiers from my Taylor guitars and will not be putting them back.

  2. I’ve had an Oasis humidifier start to leak on my as well. i had just filled it up with water and was about to place it in the sound hole of my guitar when all of a sudden i saw water dropping through the wall of the oasis . i checked for cuts but could not find any so I threw it out. I will only place a humidifier in the case from now on and not in the sand hole I’m sorry to read about the person who had his martin guitar damaged by the leaking Oasis humidifier

  3. I’ve bought 2 of these in the last year. The one I had been using with my D28 started leaking, so I Google searched the issue and found your review/warning. Yikes! No more Oasis for the Martin. The old and not-improved Dampit I bought in the 70’s still works fine, even if I have to add water more often. If it ain’t broke…

  4. Quick update: I just inspected the interior of my D28 and sure enough, the Oasis has previously leaked inside the guitar. Dang! Some water staining is visible but thankfully there does not appear to be any structural damage. Glad I found this article.

  5. With the continuous succession of dried-out guitars that come in to my shop, many repairs start with re-humidification. I currently have 22 Oasis humidifiers in use, some of which have been around for seven years. Proper care and use of these units takes very little effort, and the rewards are huge. Handle an OH-1 only by the coloured ends, not by the fabric. When it shrinks up from drying, don’t pull on the sides… add a little water, put on the cap and shake it around, add some more water. Use the syringe to fill it, so you don’t wash out the silica gel crystals. Buy the refill kit ($6.50 CDN, enough for many refills) and wash out the crystals yearly, replacing them with the measured amount. If you are afraid of dangling the device in the soundhole, keep it at the heel (with a cloth), or in the case pocket. A humidified case will, in turn, humidify the guitar that lives in it. Most importantly, buy a digital hygrometer to keep an eye on Relative Humidity levels in your cases, and in the room where they rest. At typical room temperature, around 21C, wood is happy at 45-55% Relative Humidity.

  6. In addition to my previous comment, I need to mention that my observations relate directly to the climate of Eastern Ontario, where we heat our buildings from September/October to April/May. AN OASIS HUMIDIFIER SHOULD NEVER BE ALLOWED TO DRY OUT COMPLETELY IN A CASE. The silica gel crystals act as a desiccant when they are dry, removing moisture from the air, or de-humidifying. This danger is easily overcome by monitoring water and Relative Humidity levels. Adding a Herco-360 clay puck-style humidifier ($5)to the case will extend the safety margin.

  7. I bought and used two oasis humidifiers for about two years.worked great till noticing the same problem they start to leak water into guitar!I stopped using them as well!

  8. I have been using the OH-5 soundhole and the Plus+ OH-14 for 3-4 years without a problem but wonder when “my number will be up” What alternatives have you guys found?
    Based on the claim on Oasis website- “Unlike water, the jelly is semi-solid and will contain the water should the humidifier become damaged. With the crystals present, a damaged humidifier will become damp or have water spots but will not leak into your instrument. ” I would think you could file a claim for the guitar with a small claims court. He is telling you it “will not leak” even if somewhere they have a “disclaimer”

  9. You’re not supposed to clip them to the guitar anyways. You’re supposed to clip them to the inner wall of the case…. Also the contents expand when the crystals absorb water. So over filling would cause a leak. In any case I just got one of these. I’ll have to keep and eye on it.

    1. When this was originally published in early 2012 the Oasis humidifier was advertised as a unit to be placed in the sound hole of the guitar; apparently the company has changed the instructions for use since this story/review… Good… That will cirtainly save many from some rather expensive heartache.

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