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Author Topic: Moisture King?  (Read 676 times)
derschoenebahnhof
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« on: November 04, 2016, 04:52:41 AM »

Hi,

I am planning installation of a Moisture King humidity control system (dehumidifier only, since my RH is most always above 50%). It seems much more affordable than Dampp Chaser, whose business practices are considered questionable by some.

I am getting very frustrated by the short time between tunings... The last tuning was performed end of September and the piano already went out of tune at the end of October (after a spike in R.H. from 60% to 70%). Normally a tuning won't last more than 3 months (piano is 2 years old). I hate the sound when not in tune!

A few questions:

- besides differences in construction (from what I read DC has glass tubes whereas Moisture King uses fiber glass), both work based on the same principle, is this correct?

- are humidistat + 2 bars (one 48" right behind the keybed, one 36" further back) enough for a 5'8" piano (Yamaha C2X) ?

- would installing the bars with screws void the piano warranty?

Thanks,
CG

Edit: changed to "end of October", not November ;-p
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derschoenebahnhof
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« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2016, 04:55:00 PM »

Alright, since no one replied, I will reply myself... Tongue

I bit the bullet and installed a Moisture King system:

- 1 48" 25W bar behind key bed
- 1 36" 25W bar in the back
- 1 moisture King Humidistat

For good measure, I added a Meade wireless hygrometer / thermometer sensor right next to the Humidistat. I also added a 0.3 W nightlight connected with the dehumidifier bars to a 3 outlet tap, so it lights up when the bars are turned on by the humidistat.

So for the dehumidifier, it works exactly like Dampp Chaser. Hot air rises and cold air sinks.

I managed a screw free installation by using velcro straps wrapped around the beams. They hold small blocks of wood onto which I screwed the tube holding clips.

Currently I set the humidistat to 50% but actual measured humidity remains between 53% and 57%. Maybe the numbers written around the humidistat knob are slightly off, but I can adjust the knob until I get the R.H. I want.

Time will tell about tuning stability. I will likely lower the required R.H. to 50% or 45% close to the next tuning.

Measured temperature increase right below the soundboard is about 1 to 2 degrees Celsius. Not exactly what will "cook" your piano like some Internet posts seem to claim. You can touch the bars and they will not burn your skin either.

Total cost of the system including the extra hygrometer sensor and various velcro straps was about $200. A typical piano tuner in my area would install a heating only Dampp Chaser for about $400 from what I gathered.

To conclude, the only differences between Moisture King and Dampp Chaser are:

- Moisture King does not provide a humidifier system
- Moisture King allows to control requested R.H. level while it is hard wired with Dampp Chaser at 42%
- Dampp Chaser requires installation by piano technician. Any handy person can install a Moisture King, following common sense (cords should not touch the bars, correct positioning of humidistat, etc.)

Best,
CG
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derschoenebahnhof
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« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2017, 04:28:55 AM »

Quick update about Moisture King.

It's been 2 months since the last tuning and there are no foul unisons so far - I find the piano still nicely playable  Cool (usually, last year 2 months after each tuning, unisons started to howl quite badly). Hard to say whether the piano is finally starting to stabilize in its 3rd year, or if the humidity control system played a role, or both.

For 2 heater bars and a humidistat it cost me $200 including extra velcro straps and some wooden blocks to avoid having to drill into the beams (and it allows me to move things around if needed). Installation by piano tuner would have been around $400 for a similar setup but with 3 heater bars.

Few things I learned about Moisture King:

- Their bars are underpowered compared to Dampp Chaser. Dampp Chaser has 50W bars, whereas Moisture King offers at most 25W per bar. In the drenched winter we had in Northern CA with relative humidity levels shooting above 70% in the house, with the relatively low wattage the system struggled to keep relative humidity under the middle of the sound board below 55% (as measured by a Mead wireless hygrometer installed next to the humidistat). During rainy periods the bars were on most of the time. I set the target at about 50% RH.

- Moisture King bars are fixed size (24", 36" or 48"), however Dampp Chaser has variable length bars which can be adjusted to fit the piano.

So in all, Dampp Chaser appears to be a superior product in terms of wattage and variable length bars (plus, they offer a humidifier), but since they force you to go through a technician to install it, cost is much higher.

CG
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