740.622.4224

Wildwood Music is in the Lockeeper's House at Historic Roscoe Village
672 N. Whitewoman Street Coshocton, Ohio 43812
Email us at friends@wildwoodmusic.com. We read all emails daily!

740.622.4224

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is it so important to keep a stringed instrument properly humidified? What is the optimum level of humidity?

The fine new instruments we have here at Wildwood are made of premium tone woods, which are cut and planed quite thin to achieve optimum sound and resonance. These woods are sensitive to changes in temperature and humidity, and expand and contract as seasons change. At Wildwood, we work to keep humidity and temperature at ideal levels year round.

Low humidity is the most likely environmental condition that could cause damage to your instrument. The top can contract and sink, thereby pushing the 14th fret up to cause a buzz from your strings being too close to the fingerboard. Or, the fingerboard might shrink; and you will feel sharp fret edges, as you move up and down the fingerboard. In very dry conditions, the backs, sides, and tops all could experience cracks in the wood. This usually occurs in the winter months, when the heat dries the air in your home.

Some folks believe that their furnace humidifiers are sufficient to solve this issue; but this is rarely the case. Frequently, your house will be a “comfortable” 30% or 35%; but your instrument must have 45% or higher moisture during the colder months.

It is possible to over-humidify an instrument, but this is very rare.

We recommend that you use a digital hygrometer, to measure humidity levels in the room where you keep your instrument. Also, some humidifying device to release moisture inside your instrument is very important.

Once I have chosen an instrument to purchase, can you ship it to me?
Will it be safe?

We are pleased to ship your new instrument to you. Each shipment is carefully packed so that it is secure and stationary inside the case and packing carton. We have only had three guitars damaged in the past 30 years. If breakage does occur, you may have your funds returned or have your instrument replaced. We charge shipping costs, and base charges on how far each instrument is traveling. And, we always insure for the full purchase price.

When I buy a guitar, what is the best body size to choose?

We like you to experience playing several guitars at Wildwood, in order that you can discover which model is “right.” Sometimes, a fingerstylist will choose the largest guitar we have; and, a strummer will be quite pleased with a smaller instrument. While the size is important in making this judgment (since it affects how the guitar will feel and sound) many other considerations will factor in to your choice.

Focusing on how playable and comfortable the neck is, you will want to easily make chords and run scales. A primary consideration, of course, is how the guitar sounds when it is played. Another factor is that the guitar is visually pleasing; because if you do not like something about the appearance, you will never get over it! And, this will prevent you from fully enjoying your special selection!

Finally, as you play the guitar, your body gets a “sense” about the instrument—based upon your hearing and seeing and holding it. This sense may say that you don’t like it; or, it will tell you the guitar is just “OK,” or it is “Pretty nice,” or that “This is the ONE!” It is a very subjective call; but you now will have enough knowledge—after playing several guitars—to authoritatively say “Yea” or “Nay!” You will make the right choice!

Do wood types make a difference with respect to choosing a guitar?
What woods produce the best tone?

The overwhelming choice of acoustic guitar players here at Wildwood has been the combination of Rosewood for the back and sides, and Spruce for the top. This union seems to produce a richness and depth of tone, and provide the most resonance. Customers frequently tell us this Rosewood/Spruce combination provides the most complex and versatile tones.

Perhaps the second most popular choice would be Mahogany and Spruce. Mahogany is not quite as dense as Rosewood, and seems to have a “bouncier”, “sweeter” response.

Less frequently, Maple and Spruce are selected. Marty and I both own Martin Maple models, and love the brighter, clearer tones we seem to get from them.

Koa wood, from Hawaii, has been used for many years to build guitars; it has a certain “warmth” in its tone, and is so very beautiful and pleasing to the artistic eye!

Bob Taylor has also built fine-sounding guitars with Imbuia, Ovengkol, Walnut, and Sapele, in making some of his regular series guitars and limited editions.

Chris Martin has established the Martin Certified Woods program, using domestic Cherry, Maple, and Walnut; and, he has also chosen to certify Mahogany from Central America. He feels that Martin Guitar Company’s commitment to preserving our forests by careful management of the renewable wood supplies is vital to our continuing to have quality resources with which to build guitars.

Are all guitars made basically the same?

No! Each guitar maker is essentially an artist, and creates an instrument based upon a unique concept or idea. While each maker “borrows” ideas from others, the final result of a gifted luthier becomes a very precious and special “work of art.”

Bracings of tops and backs vary, as do neck joins. Use of cantilevered fingerboards and off-center sound holes have been used to try and improve sound, over the past century. Narrow necks, wide necks, thick necks, and skinny necks all provide more or less sustain, and more or less clarity to the tone of a guitar.

Even with a single maker, various models will differ from one another in the way each is designed! Different body sizes, various string spacings and neck scale lengths, wood combinations selected, all contribute to how a guitar plays, sounds, and appears!

As you play a variety of instruments, you will soon notice and sense that each is a special treasure, and a musical “miracle” in its own right!

Why do you list some discount prices for instruments on your Website,
but not for all?

Our wonderful luthiers have requested that we not publish our very low prices, since they are below the established Minimum Advertised Prices. On Custom instruments, and some Limited Editions no longer being made, the makers have told us they do not mind at all that we publish our Wildwood prices; these are the prices you view on our Web pages.