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captivate
d[-.-]b Asian Audiophile.
Join date: Apr 2007
1,602 IQ
#1
The winter season is soon approaching and the fiery furnaces are starting to be lit, one by one. Soon, a gust of dry air from the country of vents will come to pillage your village, rape your women, give you a bloody nose, and dry out your guitar(s).

Okay, well maybe my description is a bit over the top, but I just wanted to remind you all to be safe and break out those humidifiers as soon as your heating units come on! There's nothing worse than having to shell out $300 for a crack and lifted bridge repair on your brand new, less than 6 months old _________ guitar that you just spent $X on.


Some General Information.

How do you know if you need a humidifier?

If you have a guitar made of all(top, sides, and back) solid wood then you'll definitely need a humidifier. It's that simple. Just keep the humidifier and the guitar in its hard shell case throughout the period of time that you have your heater on.

If you have a soft case for acoustic then... you're kinda screwed.

If you have a solid top acoustic then it's not as vital that you have one, but it is much preferred. Humidity damage can still occur.

If you have a guitar made of all Laminate, then this announcement is not for you and I just wasted 2 minutes of your life making you read this.

What levels should my humidity be at?
The humidity should be between 40-60%. No higher, no lower.

What humidifier should I buy?
To be honest, any sound hole or case humidifier will do.

How often should I humidify?
As a general reference, just keep the guitar and the humidifier in a hard case at all times and you should be fine. Of course, there are some climates which are much more humid and do not require this much humidity, but as a general rule of thumb, just keep it in.

How can I tell the relative humidity of my house/apartment/living quarters?
You can buy an electronic device that measures relative humidity. It's called a Hygrometer and can be obtained for about $20-30(at least where I live, anyway). You can usually find it at your local hardware store.

What kind of water should I use?
Always use distilled water. You can buy it at most large grocery stores. Distilled water is just water without any minerals--pure water. It's important to use distilled water because certain humidifiers can grow mold.

Can I make my own humidifier?
Why yes. Yes you can. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XFmGcS5A4Ww
Just be sure to ring out the material you use to hold the water. You can cause water damage to your guitar if you let it drip. With this kind of home made humidifier, you'll also need to re-wet the material quite often(every day or two, whereas store bought humidifiers can last up to a week or so).

NOTE:
The most important thing about humidity care is to keep your guitar in the right humidity levels.(40-60%. Somewhere closer to 50% is better.) I wrote this article from my own perspective--I live in a climate that requires a humidifier. Some places may need a DEHUMIDIFIER because there is TOO much humidity(Normally in warmer coastal areas).


That's all for my proclamation. If you have any questions then please ask them in this thread.
Note: Yes, I do realize that I'm a complete nerd
Keep your guitars safe, people!


EDIT: Here's a few videos I found on the Taylor website that explains exactly what happens when you do not humidify a guitar.

http://www.taylorguitars.com/see-hear/
On the right, click on "Performance Tips/Maintenance"

The effects of a dry guitar can be quite devastating. Don't let it happen to you.
Equipment:
- Art & Lutherie Cedar CW (SOLD! )
- Martin D-16RGT w/ LR Baggs M1 Active Soundhole Pickup
- Seagull 25th Anniversary Flame Maple w/ LR Baggs Micro EQ

Have an acoustic guitar? Don't let your guitar dry out! Click here.
DEK431
Registered User
Join date: Apr 2007
27 IQ
#3
But mine is a high grade laminate Eastwood LA125 im confused lol.

What im kidding lol.
jclisenby
Registered User
Join date: Oct 2008
34 IQ
#4
Thanks for the reminder. I need to go get one of these.
captivate
d[-.-]b Asian Audiophile.
Join date: Apr 2007
1,602 IQ
#6
electric guitars? nahh.

EDIT: yes for electric-acoustic guitars though, if that's what you meant.
Equipment:
- Art & Lutherie Cedar CW (SOLD! )
- Martin D-16RGT w/ LR Baggs M1 Active Soundhole Pickup
- Seagull 25th Anniversary Flame Maple w/ LR Baggs Micro EQ

Have an acoustic guitar? Don't let your guitar dry out! Click here.
OddOneOut
UG's Essex Girl
Join date: Jan 2005
175 IQ
#7
Yay for laminate!


Actually, I don't have a clue what my guitar is made out of (definately nothing solid). I only know the fretboard and bridge. wood.
Quote by Renka
OddOneOut is an Essex S&M mistress and not a pirate or a computer program.

shampooboy37
Registered User
Join date: Jan 2008
1,239 IQ
#9
uuummm a few questions... what's distill was compared to still water i guess you would say?

and like what are all the tempuratures? like is there too much dehumidifying/humidifying whatever be the case? or is it just as simple as stick it in your case and your fine?
In your eyes I see the darkness that tourments you, and in your head where it dwells, I'll give you my hand if you reach out and grab it, let's walk away from this hell.
captivate
d[-.-]b Asian Audiophile.
Join date: Apr 2007
1,602 IQ
#10
Quote by shampooboy37
uuummm a few questions... what's distill was compared to still water i guess you would say?

and like what are all the tempuratures? like is there too much dehumidifying/humidifying whatever be the case? or is it just as simple as stick it in your case and your fine?


Distilled water is basically just pure water. No minerals, no anything else. Just water. Normal water(still water) has minerals in them. If you put normal water into your humidifier, minerals will build up over time and then ruin your humidifier. The planet wave humidifiers had a problem with mold when people used tap water in them.

In the winter time, just sticking it in your case at all times will be fine. Im assuming that you still play your guitar during the winter time, so it gets exposed to dry air as well as humidified air inside the case. It'll balance out.

As for temperature, do NOT leave your guitar in a cold car. Just as heat is bad for a guitar, so is the cold. Excessively cold temperatures will ruin the guitar because of the different materials that your guitar is made of. Each will shrink at different rates, which can cause brittleness in the glue. If you do leave your guitar in the cold for too long, take it inside to room temperature and leave it in your case to slowly adjust back to normality. The cold isn't as bad as the heat(on average), but damage to your guitar will cost you money to repair all the same.

Quote by Confusius
By friendly he means:


"Use a dehumidifier or die... twice!"

Only twice? Thats a bit too easy.
Equipment:
- Art & Lutherie Cedar CW (SOLD! )
- Martin D-16RGT w/ LR Baggs M1 Active Soundhole Pickup
- Seagull 25th Anniversary Flame Maple w/ LR Baggs Micro EQ

Have an acoustic guitar? Don't let your guitar dry out! Click here.
blynd_snyper
Grand
Join date: Mar 2005
584 IQ
#11
Quote by captivate
electric guitars? nahh.

EDIT: electric-acoustic guitars though, if that's what you meant.

Nah, I meant full blown electrics. I'm not too worried about by acoustic, it's got plastic back and sides. Yes, it makes me cry.
marchoso
Boom
Join date: Oct 2003
1,393 IQ
#12
Have you had any experience with the Kyser Lifeguard humidifier? I am getting it for free but I've been told that I shouldn't even bother with it.
Quote by wahappen


This is a guitar community not Romper Room.
A Tua Prima
Registered User
Join date: Jan 2008
772 IQ
#13
How cold are we talking to ruin a guitar or at least hurt?
willis4
Registered User
Join date: Jun 2008
67 IQ
#14
If you can't get distilled water, head down to your local hardware store. We sell it at work $4 for 4 litres.
I guess humidifiers, like acoustic guitars don't like heavy metals

Although I don't have an acoustic worthy of humidifying. And we are heading into summer down here, not winter.
captivate
d[-.-]b Asian Audiophile.
Join date: Apr 2007
1,602 IQ
#15
Quote by marchoso
Have you had any experience with the Kyser Lifeguard humidifier? I am getting it for free but I've been told that I shouldn't even bother with it.

No idea on this one marchoso. I use an Oasis case humidifier. I have experience with the Planet Waves humidifier as well. Everyone I know uses either one or the other.

Quote by A Tua Prima
How cold are we talking to ruin a guitar or at least hurt?

Any prolonged exposure can't be good. It's hard to tell what's going to damage your guitar. It's different for everyone. When I mean "cold", I'm talking about say... 0 degrees Celsius or under.

Ohh yea, let me explain why you need to let your guitar rest in its case if you've left it in the cold by accident. You need to leave the guitar in it's case to SLOWLY return to room temperature. If you just open the case in room temperature while your case and guitar are much colder, your guitar could just instantly crack when you open it up. The temperature difference can do that. Also, the guitar, being much colder, can have condensation formed when you do that. Which could lead to electronics problems.
Equipment:
- Art & Lutherie Cedar CW (SOLD! )
- Martin D-16RGT w/ LR Baggs M1 Active Soundhole Pickup
- Seagull 25th Anniversary Flame Maple w/ LR Baggs Micro EQ

Have an acoustic guitar? Don't let your guitar dry out! Click here.
Nims
Disconnected
Join date: Jun 2008
522 IQ
#16
IMHO, it's worth spending $20 at radioshack to get something like this.


http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2049773&cp=&kw=humidity&parentPage=search

It's also worth spending about 5 minutes and reading this essay on humidity from Larrivee guitars.
http://www.larrivee.com/5_features/educationEssays/humidityWood_essay.html

If you're thinking tl:dr, then you probably don't care about your guitars, but the summary is somewhere around 40-55% relative humidity is a safe range.

Hopefully this is helpful. I use a Hygrometer and a humidifier since I have 8 guitars in the room mounted on the wall and it's more practical than keeping them all in cases. Then again I live in the most temperate place in the country so it's not as big a deal.

One last note from the Larrivee essay "Dehydration accounts for about 90% of climate based repairs." Don't be a statistic peoples. Love your guitars.

-J
GibsonRocker14
41rekcornosbig
Join date: Jun 2006
371 IQ
#17
wtf distilled water?

whats the difference between that and tap?
v CLICK v



Quote by musicjunkie207
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captivate
d[-.-]b Asian Audiophile.
Join date: Apr 2007
1,602 IQ
#19
Quote by GibsonRocker14
wtf distilled water?

whats the difference between that and tap?

I don't like quoting myself because it makes me look like a prick, but...
Quote by captivate
Distilled water is basically just pure water. No minerals, no anything else. Just water. Normal water(still water) has minerals in them. If you put normal water into your humidifier, minerals will build up over time and then ruin your humidifier. The planet wave humidifiers had a problem with mold when people used tap water in them.


As for the cost of a humidifier, it's under $20 normally. I got mine for $17. It'll basically last you forever so... it's worth investing in.
Equipment:
- Art & Lutherie Cedar CW (SOLD! )
- Martin D-16RGT w/ LR Baggs M1 Active Soundhole Pickup
- Seagull 25th Anniversary Flame Maple w/ LR Baggs Micro EQ

Have an acoustic guitar? Don't let your guitar dry out! Click here.
Jackolas
Banned
Join date: May 2004
225 IQ
#20
I asked about one of these (here in the UK) in a decent guitar shop in town and they told me I wouldn't need one for sure basically straight away? My taylor is a 314-ce, in a proper hardcase about 4 or 5 metres away from the radiator.

I've only had it a short time (picked it up 2nd hand for £200!) and it was living by the radiator with no case the whole time...
LeftyDave
It's time for a change...
Join date: Dec 2005
388 IQ
#21
Quote by blynd_snyper
Cheers, I'll keep an eye out for a humidifier. Do electrics need humidifiers as well?


They're made of wood right? And what else besides wood floats? "A duck"!
Wait, that's not right....had a flashback there for a sec...lol
Yes, electrics MIGHT need some humidity treatments during the winter months. I know first hand that my SG's neck is highly prone to changes in humidity, so I try to keep the whole house at 50%. It's healtier for the axes that way, plus I can leave them out of their cases and not worry so much about them.
captivate
d[-.-]b Asian Audiophile.
Join date: Apr 2007
1,602 IQ
#22
Quote by Jackolas
I asked about one of these (here in the UK) in a decent guitar shop in town and they told me I wouldn't need one for sure basically straight away? My taylor is a 314-ce, in a proper hardcase about 4 or 5 metres away from the radiator.

I've only had it a short time (picked it up 2nd hand for £200!) and it was living by the radiator with no case the whole time...


The UK is much more humid. It's pretty much a BIG island surrounded by water, haha. You should consider getting one, still. But humidity won't be as big of an issue for you than me in Toronto.
Equipment:
- Art & Lutherie Cedar CW (SOLD! )
- Martin D-16RGT w/ LR Baggs M1 Active Soundhole Pickup
- Seagull 25th Anniversary Flame Maple w/ LR Baggs Micro EQ

Have an acoustic guitar? Don't let your guitar dry out! Click here.
Baby Joel
Join date: May 2008
6,273 IQ
#23
Since I'm stupid,
I've got a guitar with solid back and top, but mahogany ply for the sides. Still need a humidifier?
Also, I live in London, where it rains every day. Still need a humidifier?

I just don't want to break my guitar.
Silverstein14
Call me Keenan!
Join date: Dec 2005
1,179 IQ
#24
The owner of a local music shop here said for a makeshift humidifyer you can take a sponge or cloth and soak it in water, ring it out so its just damp, put it in a ziplock baggy and close it but leave it open a bit. The water evaporates and works. He says it usually gets up to 50%. Pretty cool
captivate
d[-.-]b Asian Audiophile.
Join date: Apr 2007
1,602 IQ
#25
Quote by Baby Joel
Since I'm stupid,
I've got a guitar with solid back and top, but mahogany ply for the sides. Still need a humidifier?
Also, I live in London, where it rains every day. Still need a humidifier?

I just don't want to break my guitar.


If you turn on your heater when it gets cold, then yes.

Any guitar with solid wood will usually need a humidifier.
Equipment:
- Art & Lutherie Cedar CW (SOLD! )
- Martin D-16RGT w/ LR Baggs M1 Active Soundhole Pickup
- Seagull 25th Anniversary Flame Maple w/ LR Baggs Micro EQ

Have an acoustic guitar? Don't let your guitar dry out! Click here.
st.stephen
has a job
Join date: May 2006
219 IQ
#26
Anyone from Canada (I'm on Vancouver Island, very temperate and regular 5-20 degree weather) know where I could pick some humidifiers up?
captivate
d[-.-]b Asian Audiophile.
Join date: Apr 2007
1,602 IQ
#27
Quote by st.stephen
Anyone from Canada (I'm on Vancouver Island, very temperate and regular 5-20 degree weather) know where I could pick some humidifiers up?

Any shop that sells acoustic guitars should have some humidifiers. Long & McQuade will have them. I'm not sure if there's a L&M on Vancouver Island though, but yea...
Equipment:
- Art & Lutherie Cedar CW (SOLD! )
- Martin D-16RGT w/ LR Baggs M1 Active Soundhole Pickup
- Seagull 25th Anniversary Flame Maple w/ LR Baggs Micro EQ

Have an acoustic guitar? Don't let your guitar dry out! Click here.
michaelscofield
Jimi Ray Clapton
Join date: Nov 2007
1,329 IQ
#28
This is something I've worried about, great thread. My acoustic (http://www.takamine.com/?fa=detail&mid=2003&sid=524) is usually kept on a 3-way stand along w/my electric, and we have the heat on moderately in the winter. I have a soundhole humidifier similar to the Planet Waves one and I put water from a water filter into it, and I have noticed some little mold growing I thought our fridge's water filter was enough

What would you recommend: http://www.musiciansfriend.com/navigation?q=humidifier&st= Oh and my acoustic has a gig bag :/
LeftyDave
It's time for a change...
Join date: Dec 2005
388 IQ
#29
Quote by michaelscofield
This is something I've worried about, great thread. My acoustic (http://www.takamine.com/?fa=detail&mid=2003&sid=524) is usually kept on a 3-way stand along w/my electric, and we have the heat on moderately in the winter. I have a soundhole humidifier similar to the Planet Waves one and I put water from a water filter into it, and I have noticed some little mold growing I thought our fridge's water filter was enough

What would you recommend: http://www.musiciansfriend.com/navigation?q=humidifier&st= Oh and my acoustic has a gig bag :/


Yea, I had the same thing happen to mine. I couldn't be bothered to keep buying distilled water a couple winters ago, so used tap water in it's place. Not too long after mold started growing out of the little holes of the humidifier. Case in point, it's just gotta be distilled. There's no minerals, bacteria, metals and so on to get in there to start growing in the first place. I'm not saying that it can't pick it up from the air, but it sure will be lessened by using distilled water.
As for the gig bag, your sorta fubar there. For humidifiers to work well, you pretty much need a hard case, but it's better than nothing. Or just do what I do and humidify the whole house. Your sinuses will benefit as well as your guitars. Oh, I live in Minnesota BTW, so our winters get pretty harsh and dry.
captivate
d[-.-]b Asian Audiophile.
Join date: Apr 2007
1,602 IQ
#30
Quote by michaelscofield
This is something I've worried about, great thread. My acoustic (http://www.takamine.com/?fa=detail&mid=2003&sid=524) is usually kept on a 3-way stand along w/my electric, and we have the heat on moderately in the winter. I have a soundhole humidifier similar to the Planet Waves one and I put water from a water filter into it, and I have noticed some little mold growing I thought our fridge's water filter was enough

What would you recommend: http://www.musiciansfriend.com/navigation?q=humidifier&st= Oh and my acoustic has a gig bag :/


Is the little sponge removable? If it is, take it out and soak it in some bleach to clean the mold off. Clean the other part of the humidifier as well.
Equipment:
- Art & Lutherie Cedar CW (SOLD! )
- Martin D-16RGT w/ LR Baggs M1 Active Soundhole Pickup
- Seagull 25th Anniversary Flame Maple w/ LR Baggs Micro EQ

Have an acoustic guitar? Don't let your guitar dry out! Click here.
michaelscofield
Jimi Ray Clapton
Join date: Nov 2007
1,329 IQ
#31
Don't think it's removable, I will check when I get home.

I usually leave my acoustic on the stand w/humidifier in the sound hole, is that not enough? Hate to have to shell out for a hard case, unless it's the only route
captivate
d[-.-]b Asian Audiophile.
Join date: Apr 2007
1,602 IQ
#32
Quote by michaelscofield
Don't think it's removable, I will check when I get home.

I usually leave my acoustic on the stand w/humidifier in the sound hole, is that not enough? Hate to have to shell out for a hard case, unless it's the only route


You're going to need a hard case in order for it to be useful. The water would just go into the environment otherwise.
Equipment:
- Art & Lutherie Cedar CW (SOLD! )
- Martin D-16RGT w/ LR Baggs M1 Active Soundhole Pickup
- Seagull 25th Anniversary Flame Maple w/ LR Baggs Micro EQ

Have an acoustic guitar? Don't let your guitar dry out! Click here.
michaelscofield
Jimi Ray Clapton
Join date: Nov 2007
1,329 IQ
#33
Damn, well which case would you recommend? I'll swing by L&M's some time this week and get one. Preferrably a pretty inexpensive one if possible lol.

Why is a gig bag insufficient?

Oh also, just to get an idea of timing here, what's a generally okay amount of time to leave the acoustic on the stand if I'm playing it at random points of the day, and how long is maybe "too long" and I should put it in the case? (I do put it in the gig bag overnight always).
captivate
d[-.-]b Asian Audiophile.
Join date: Apr 2007
1,602 IQ
#34
Any hard shell case that fits your guitar will be fine.

A gig bag isn't sufficient because moisture can pass right through cloth without any problems. A hard case, on the other hand, is an enclosed space where it is much harder for moisture to get out.

As for leaving your guitar out... I leave mine out on the stand for a day or two sometimes. As long as moisture level is kept right most of the time, i'll be fine.

Just as a side note to anyone... like Silverstein14 said, if you don't want to buy a humidifier then get a zip lock bag and poke some holes in it and then just stick a damp sponge inside(make sure you ring out as much water as possible). It should keep the humidity at about the right level. You will probably need to re-wet it more often than a humidifier, but it should be sufficient.
Equipment:
- Art & Lutherie Cedar CW (SOLD! )
- Martin D-16RGT w/ LR Baggs M1 Active Soundhole Pickup
- Seagull 25th Anniversary Flame Maple w/ LR Baggs Micro EQ

Have an acoustic guitar? Don't let your guitar dry out! Click here.
Natrone
UG's Festive Brad Paisley
Join date: May 2008
3,126 IQ
#35
Hey, right now I have no need for a humidifyer, but I wanted some info for future reference. How would I go about just humidifying my bedroom? Once my room is repainted I plan on hanging all of my guitars on one of the walls.
Quote by necrosis1193
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Quote by Silverstein14
man, Natrone you're some kind of ninja I swear


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plexi


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Rest In Peace Stevie Ray
captivate
d[-.-]b Asian Audiophile.
Join date: Apr 2007
1,602 IQ
#36
I'm actually not too sure. You can buy the room humidifiers, but the amount of water vapour coming out of those is a lot more than any case humidifier. I'm also not sure that those would be appropriate to use. You'll definitely need to buy a hygrometer though.

Also, on the subject of hanging guitars on walls... There's another risk that comes with hanging guitars on walls. If it gets cold and your guitar's back touches the wall, you could be in trouble. The temperature of the air hitting the face of the guitar will be warmer than the wall, which will tend to retain a colder temperature. This can cause cracks because of the temperature difference from either side. That's one thing to watch out for.
Equipment:
- Art & Lutherie Cedar CW (SOLD! )
- Martin D-16RGT w/ LR Baggs M1 Active Soundhole Pickup
- Seagull 25th Anniversary Flame Maple w/ LR Baggs Micro EQ

Have an acoustic guitar? Don't let your guitar dry out! Click here.
lbj273
UG God
Join date: Dec 2007
3,003 IQ
#37
I keep my acoustic hanging on the wall in my room, will it be ok? also would it be bad to keep my electric on its stand near the heat vent? i live in minnesota if thats any help
Call me Dom
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{Pedalboard Thread Native: The Muffin Man}
captivate
d[-.-]b Asian Audiophile.
Join date: Apr 2007
1,602 IQ
#38
If your guitar is solid wood then take it down and put it in its case for the winter. It would also be better to keep your electric guitar away from the vents. Even an electric guitar can go wonky if it's too close to a heat vent.
Equipment:
- Art & Lutherie Cedar CW (SOLD! )
- Martin D-16RGT w/ LR Baggs M1 Active Soundhole Pickup
- Seagull 25th Anniversary Flame Maple w/ LR Baggs Micro EQ

Have an acoustic guitar? Don't let your guitar dry out! Click here.
BloodMoon666
Inabandsinging
Join date: Jan 2008
174 IQ
#39
So let me get this straight...

# Stagg Music SW-201 BLS Steel String Acoustic Guitar - These guitars have steel strings, which provide a thick, rich, vibration-y Sound and are very popular in pop and blues music. Beginners are sometimes warned that Steel Strings are more difficult to play because they can hurt your fingers. That's just a temporary point. If you like that folksy sound, the steel string acoustic guitar is for you. Full Black Finish
# All wood construction for full sound
# Chrome Covered Tuning Gears
# Solid Maple Fingerboard and Bridge
# Metal strap button and protective pick-guard
# Stagg Lifetime Warranty


I need to put a humidifier INTO my soft guitar case BECAUSE it wouldn't get too hot and dry(and/or cold and moist)?

I'm a 99% noob in guitar accessories and welfare management, so sorry in advance.
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...and midgets ended up f*cking her. I got the pie.


captivate
d[-.-]b Asian Audiophile.
Join date: Apr 2007
1,602 IQ
#40
Quote by BloodMoon666
So let me get this straight...


I need to put a humidifier INTO my soft guitar case BECAUSE it wouldn't get too hot and dry(and/or cold and moist)?

I'm a 99% noob in guitar accessories and welfare management, so sorry in advance.

You won't need one because your guitar isn't made of solid wood.

How do you know if a guitar is made of solid wood? The specs will always say "solid" somewhere in there.

If you had a solid wood guitar, you would need a hard case because any water vapour that the humidifier would release would just equalize with the dry air outside. Soft cases aren't enclosed environments, unlike hard cases.
Equipment:
- Art & Lutherie Cedar CW (SOLD! )
- Martin D-16RGT w/ LR Baggs M1 Active Soundhole Pickup
- Seagull 25th Anniversary Flame Maple w/ LR Baggs Micro EQ

Have an acoustic guitar? Don't let your guitar dry out! Click here.