More of a Product WARNING than a Product Review
Oasis Acoustic Guitar Humidifier
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 approach. The 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.
The Oasis Humidifier in Action
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:
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.
… 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.
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.
I encourage you to heed Freddy’s advice.