You finally pulled the trigger on that Rickenbacker 4003s you’ve wanted forever, and it arrives today! You haven’t felt this kind of excitement since you were a child, when only moments later you’re hit with the all too familiar disappointment of being an adult when you read, “Do not open for 24 hours, shipped from a very cold area! Store at room temperature for 24 hours before opening.”
Extreme weather changes can adversely impact many of the products we ship if not handled with carefully. We ask that you wait 24 hours before opening any package we send during the upcoming Fall and Winter season to avoid any mishaps with your new gear. Here are a few specific reasons why you should wait 24 hours before opening a package from Dave’s Guitar Shop.
If we’re shipping a guitar to you, it’s likely that you are from out of town, and you might not know a whole lot about Wisconsin. The important stuff to know is that we have a deep love for beer and cheese, we are home to the most dominant team in the NFC North (despite La Crosse’s proximity to Minnesota,) and it’s cold four to six months out of the year.
Extreme temperature changes can adversely impact wood instruments. Wood expands and contracts with the changing weather, and needs time to acclimate to the climate it is in. Not giving your guitar enough time to adjust to its environment can cause top cracks on acoustics, fret ends poking through finish, and weather checking.
Our showrooms are temperature and humidity controlled environments, but shipping trucks are not. In the 3-5 business days that a package is out for delivery, the guitar goes through many varying climates. So, it’s important to wait 24 hours before opening a package from Dave’s Guitar Shop to ensure the safety of your gear.
Dave has a ‘62 Strat in his personal collection, and if you look closely, there are small hair-sized lines throughout the finish of the body and neck. This phenomenon is called weather checking (see the example to the right of a Johnny A Standard we had in shop a few weeks back,) and occurs when a guitar with a lacquer finish experiences an extreme shift in temperature from hot and cold.
Like wood expands and contracts, so does lacquer paint. However, paint has a different rate of expansion and contraction than that of wood. Don’t open the box to play your guitar right as it arrives. The wood and paint need time acclimated to the environment. Opening and playing your guitar increases the probability of weather checking.
Dave’s strat is nearly 60 years old, and that type of wear is expected for an instrument of its age. Most folks don’t want a prematurely aged or “reliced” guitar, unless they’re paying for that esthetic. You can always relic your guitar to have that distressed look down the road, but you can’t easily go back.
Did you know that the Dave’s Guitar Shop Limited Run ’62 line of guitars from Fender are some of the few non-Custom Shop guitars they finish with lacquer and no polyurethane basecoat? While it is true that Polyurethane can weather check, lacquer is more susceptible to changing temperatures. So, if you order one of these, and don’t want to risk weather checking, wait 24 hours before opening the box.
What About Amplifiers?
Shipping amps in general is a more arduous process than shipping a guitar. Amplifiers are heavier, often times larger, and more expensive to ship. While amps tend to be structurally more durable than a guitar, their sophisticated electronics need time to adjust to the climate they’re played in. So, just like your guitars, it’s imperative that you wait 24 hours before opening the box.
Despite technological advances in amp technology, tube amplifiers are still many guitar players’ preference when it comes to achieving a specific tone. There is just something about the responsive feel of a Twin Reverb that is hard to replicate (but they’re dang close.)
Tube amplifiers are powered by vacuum sealed glass encasings (tubes) with a metal coil in the center that heats up when the amp is turned on. The heat from the coil causes a phenomenon called thermionic emission. The abridged explanation of thermionic emission is electrons being discharged from the heated metal coil inside the tube to power the rest of the amp.
Simply put, let your amp adjust to the temperature of the room. The tubes can crack or break if you don’t, literally making the amp nonfunctional. Replacing tubes isn’t difficult, but its’ avoidable if you wait 24 hours to plug in your amp.
Solid State Amplifiers
Solid state amps are the younger, more durable version of a tube amp. Instead of using old radio technology to power the amp, solid state amps use transistor circuits to convert electrical signals into sound waves.
Forgoing the use of glass tubes to power the amp, they are less temperamental but still susceptible to changing temperatures. Specifically, condensation can occur as a result of changing temperatures in shipping.
If water gets into the circuitry of the amp, it could render it nonfunctioning. Unlike tube amps, solid state amps are a lot more difficult to repair (but Todd can probably fix it,) and are often more costly. Even though they are more durable than some other gear we sell, please wait 24 hours before opening your package.
Opening Packages Before the 24 Hour Wait Period Voids our Return Policy
We understand that buying gear without trying it out can be nerve-racking. That’s why we take extra care to pack and handle your gear carefully and securely while packaging. Unfortunately, accidents can happen in shipping, and that’s why Dave’s Guitar Shop offers a 48 hour return period on all shipped packages, from when you open the box.
However, opening your package before the 24 hour wait period voids our return policy. We ship thousands of packages each year and rarely see them damaged in transit. Most of the damage claims we receive throughout the year occur from October to March, largely in relation to seasonal temperature change. It is imperative that you wait to open your package from Dave’s Guitar Shop for 24 hours to mitigate potential issues with your gear.
The 24 hour wait doesn’t infringe on your 48 hour return window. We recognize that you can’t make a decision on a piece of gear without getting your hand on it. That’s why the 48 hour return window doesn’t start until you open the box.
Sometimes accidents happen. When a package is in transit, guitars and amps can take bumps. Sometimes it doesn’t matter how well we pack a product, it can get damaged. That is why we implore you to wait 24 hours before opening your package from Dave’s Guitar Shop. Of all the things that can’t be controlled in shipping, waiting 24 hours to open your package is one thing you can control.