Frequently asked questions

Here are a few common questions we get asked. If you don’t find what you need, please CONTACT US.

How can we help you?

At American Music Furniture we pride ourselves in customer service. Check out our FAQ’s and if you don’t find the answers you need, be sure to contact us and we will be happy to help you!

How can I see one of your cabinets before I buy?

We have a small number of  dealers that carry our cabinets along with great vintage and new instruments. They are listed on our Web site under Dealers on the home page. Before taking the time to visit a dealer, we recommend that you call to make sure they have one of our cabinets to view. The cabinets at the Dealers are not typically for sale, they are for display only. We occasionally swap one of them out for a newer model. When this happens, we will post it for sale on our Facebook site.

How much do your cabinets cost?

Cabinets vary in price depending on wood selection, size, and options that you select. The pricing details, along with size, approximate weight and options for each cabinet are on our Web site under each product type.

I have electric guitars. Do they really need to be humidified?

Yes they do. The damage from low humidity is more rapid and more apparent on acoustic guitars, but all guitars need to be kept at or near 50% relative humidity year round. If you’ve ever felt sharp fret wire ends on the neck of your electric guitar in the winter, that is a sign that it’s too dry.

How many guitars will your cabinets hold?

The number of guitars per cabinet depends on several factors. First is the size of your guitars. An 18” arch-top like a Gibson Super 400 will take a lot more space than a thin guitar like a Fender Stratocaster. It also depends on how you want to position the guitars in the cabinet. If the guitars go straight into the cabinet, it maximizes the number of guitars the cabinet will hold. If you angle the guitars so that the tops partly show from the front, or if you face the guitars straight out of the cabinet, it greatly reduces the number of guitars that the cabinet will hold. Rough estimates are that the 32” cabinet can hold 3-5 guitars, the 40” cabinet can hold 5-7 guitars, and the 63” cabinet can hold 9-10 guitars. These numbers assume you are putting the guitars straight in and not angling them.

How do I know if I need a humidifier or dehumidifier for my guitars.

There are locations that don’t need humidity control.  They are constantly close enough to 50% relative humidity that guitars will have no issues, but that’s not the case in most locations.  To find out what the humidity range is like in your area, you can check on line at http://www.shorstmeyer.com/wxfaqs/humidity/rh.html and see the morning and afternoon average relative humidity by city in the United States for each month of the year.   Your air conditioning and heating will impact the humidity level in your home.  The best way to check is to get a humidistat and check your relative humidity at home.  They are inexpensive and small enough to fit in a guitar case.   Most locations in the U.S. need humidification at some point during the year.  Florida, and some Southern states may need dehumidification.  Northern states may also need it if you live in the summer with windows open, or are near large bodies of water like the ocean or Great Lakes.

I have a whole house humidifier, so I don’t need a separate humidifier for my guitar do I?

Whole house humidifiers are great at making you comfortable, but unless you’re installing a commercial humidification system, they don’t get anywhere near 50% relative humidity in the winter. We recently delivered a cabinet to a studio that had a “whole house” humidifier. I took along our industrial humidistat and discovered his relative humidity was 29%. There are a few systems out there that will work. Make sure yours is working by monitoring it with a humidistat that is separate from your system. They are inexpensive and good to keep in your guitar cases.

Will the materials in your cabinet harm the finish of my guitar?

No, your guitars are safe in a Guitar Habitat™ cabinet. We use solid wood finished with French Polish, nitrocellulose lacquer or tung oil. The materials in the cabinet that touch your guitar are solid wood. In most cases, cork is the only material that touches your instruments.

Do you ship overseas?

We’d be happy to ship a cabinet to you outside the “lower 48” in the U.S. including Canada. Our experience is that international shipping can be expensive, and you’ll typically have to pay fees (duty, sales taxes, brokers fees, etc.) when the cabinet arrives in your country. Most of the cabinets too large to ship via DHL, FedEx or UPS. If you are interested in buying a cabinet and shipping it overseas, please contact us and we’ll get a shipping quote, and typically a Web site where you can check on your home country fees for clearing customs.

What does it cost to ship a cabinet?

It depends on your location, the size of the cabinet, and the level of delivery service you’d like to have. Cabinets are too big to ship via UPS, DHL or FedEx. We crate all cabinets that are shipped via a freight company. We’ve had damaged cabinets from those that only blanket wrap the cabinets, and have had no problems with our crated cabinets getting to you. We charge for the crate and pallet construction, and we custom build them ourselves specifically for your cabinet. Crating charges run from $125 to $250, but may be more for some custom cabinets. The freight company typically charges from $850-$1250 per cabinet in the lower 48 states in the US, around major metropolitan areas, but if you live in a remote area delivery charges may go up.

We can’t get a firm quote on shipping until we’re with 30 days of scheduling the shipment. At the time you order, we’ll do the best we can to give you an estimate that is roughly what it will cost.

What woods do you recommend?

We prefer not to stain wood. So we recommend maple for a very light color cabinet, cherry for a medium color cabinet and walnut for a dark cabinet. We will use other woods, and will stain or dye wood for a customer, but our best results are typically from the natural color of the wood with a clear finish on top.

Are all your woods the same price?

No. maple, walnut and sapele are a 10% up charge on our pricing. Flame maple is even more.  Cherry and oak are the same price, and are included in the basic cabinet prices shown on our Web site. Wood markets fluctuate and we occasionally have to make price adjustments to take wood price changes into account. We can also obtain exotics and highly flamed woods at an extra cost.

Will you do custom cabinets?

We build all cabinets to customer specification, and start with raw lumber.  We’ve developed most of our features working with customers, so if you have something unique in mind, call us to discuss.  Our standard cabinet measurements are all 21” deep and 63” high (with gallery top). Cabinet widths are 32” for the small cabinet, 40” for the medium and 63” For the large cabinet. Changes in width are always charged at the next cabinet size up. Example, a 45” wide cabinet is the same price as the 63” wide cabinet.

I have a LOT of guitars. How big can you build a cabinet?

Building a cabinet any larger than 63″ wide creates some serious challenges for delivery and installation. Even at 63″ wide, it’s not always possible to put one of our big cabinets on a second floor or in a basement due to clearance issues around staircases. We have a modular cabinet that holds approximately 5 guitars per section. We can build as many sections as you need, and expand your capacity in 5 guitar increments. We show pricing on our Web site for modular cabinets designed for up to 25 guitars, but can build any capacity you need by adding on additional units and humidification equipment.

I live near your shop in Perkasie, PA. Can I pick up my cabinet instead of shipping?

Absolutely.  Pennsylvania sales tax will apply, but the is less than a delivery charge.  We’re happy to work with you to schedule a shop pick up.

How often do I need to refill the water in your humidifier?

It depends on the size of the cabinet, the size of the humidifier, and the ambient humidity in your home.   The Nashville and Small cabinets with smaller humidifiers need to be refilled about once every two to three weeks.  The larger cabinets (or small cabinet with 1 gallon humidifier upgrade) will need to be refilled about every six to eight weeks.

How much maintenance is required for your humidifier?

The only maintenance required is to empty the water in the reservoir in the spring and replace the wick if needed (they often go for several years between replacements).  It should take about five minutes a year to keep your humidifier maintained properly.

Do you require distilled water?

Distilled water is recommended, or with auto-fill humidifiers use a reverse osmosis water filter on your water line.  Other than that, simply put in a few drops of bacteriostat in the water and it will remain clean and clear, and prolong the life of your wick.

Does the temperature in my room matter?

Generally guitars are comfortable at the same temperatures you are, so from 60 degrees to 80 degrees you don’t need to worry.  The “ideal setting” is 45% relative humidity at 70 degrees.  Cold water holds less water suspended in the air than warm water, so if you’re at 60 degrees, you might want to increase the relative humidity to around 48%, and if you’re at 80 degrees, drop it to around 42%.

We strongly recommend that you do not keep your guitars, or your Guitar Habitat® in a hot room without air conditioning in the summer, or a cold room with no heat in the winter.  Guitars should not be stored at 100 degrees in summer or 40 degrees or less in the winter.

I'd like to build my own cabinet or convert an armoire. Can I buy your humidifiers?

No, our equipment is designed specifically to fit in the available space in our cabinet, and we don’t sell them separately.  We specifically advise against converting normal furniture or building your own cabinet as the humidity difference between the inside and outside of the cabinet will result in breaking the cabinet apart, and warping.  There is more to building a humidified cabinet than simply putting a humidifier in a wooden box. We’ve been called in several times to “fix” non-functioning cabinets made by local carpenters and cabinet makers.  If you have doubts I’m happy to provide you with references where we’ve had to provide these solutions.

How long does it take to get a cabinet after I place my order?

We have a backlog of cabinets that varies from 4 to 6 months. Depending on the load in the shop we can guess at a delivery date, but it’s only a guest. Wood has a mind of it’s own, and we often get custom requests that take longer than usual. Our company has fewer than 10 employees, so we can’t usually commit to faster dates. If you have a requirement that’s closer in, call us and we’ll try to move things accomodate you.

I'd like to put my Guitar Habitat® upstairs (or downstairs). Will it fit?

Generally our Medium-Large and Large cabinets will NOT fit up or down stairs. We offer a modular cabinet with 32″ or 40″ sections that can go in most locations. It’s best to discuss dimensions and delivery before we build your cabinet.