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Old 10-03-2005, 10:25 AM   #1
Krakatoa
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 162
My Experience with a 'Made in China' Large Humidor Cabinet

I recently purchased this large cabinet humidor from an online retailer for about $650.00 plus shipping:

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y28...emansopen1.jpg

In retrospect, I made the huge mistake of purchasing this unit as opposed to an Aristocrat or Avallo unit, and I'll explain why.

As with most products, you get what you pay for, and quality never comes cheap IMO. This 'Made in China' unit I purchased looked like it was a grade school woodshop project and also made from the very cheapest materials possible.

For starters, this cabinet was advertised as being "completely lined with premium Spanish Cedar" ha! what a joke. In reality, the inside is lined with a paper thin Spanish cedar veneer that is so chincy you can nearly see through it in spots. In addition, all of the shelf supports and inner panels are made of unfinished cheap pine, and the shelves themselves are also made of some cheap wood and also lined with a paper thin veneer of cedar that looked as if it was already worn away in spots.

The rear of the cabinet is a very cheap thin particle board that actually flexs in and out and doesn't even sit flush against the rear inside. All of the hardware appeared to be the cheapest possible plated junk, and the door hinges were already slightly bent and stressed from the weight of the large door. The door itself lined up poorly and sagged, and the glass panels were loose in the frame. The foam seal for the door was a complete joke and didn't even come close to sealing the unit, you could see right inside, LOL. The magnets that are supposed to hold the door shut didn't line up, and all the inside panels didn't have a straight angle between them.

Without listing all the numerous shortcomings of this unit, I will just say it looked like a piece of $39.00 furniture you'd buy from Walmart and assemble at home. Out of weighing nearly 200 lbs. I'd say it contained less than 2-3 lbs. of real Spanish cedar at best, with the rest being just cheap junk. The dark red mohagany stain on the oustside of the unit would also come right off on my hand if I rubbed vigorously with my fingers.

I spent nearly $250.00 and the better part of 3 months replacing parts and upgrading this unit before I deemed it ready to actually be used as a functioning humidor, and that certainly wasn't my plan when buying it. I replaced all the shelves and supports with custom made solid Spanish cedar, had to replace every last piece of hardware with top quality solid brass parts, completely relined the unit with quality heavy Spanish cedar veneer, installed new magnets, sealed the loose glass panels, replaced the cheap hygrometer, completely resealed the door gasket, and much more. I almost felt as if I had to rebuild it from the ground up.

After seeing the Aristocrat unit of similar size that a friend purchased, it was a 100% night and day difference in quality to what I bought. The Aristocrat had top quality solid Spanish cedar and hardwood construction, excellent fit and finish, top quality hardware, and looked like it was actually made by a professional woodworker, not some 12 yr. old sweatshop workers. After all the money and work I put into mine including having to buy a humidification unit, I could've bought the Aristocrat for about the same price and saved myself 2-3 months of work And although mine now works good, it's still not in the league with an Aristocrat or Avallo unit IMO.

I am not trying to slight any of the vendors who sell this unit I bought, or any other sellers of other humidors made in Asia or elsewhere nor be a promotor for Aristocrat humidors, but just trying to relay my experience buying a 'Made in China' large cabinet and how sorry I was for doing so. Next time I know better to just spend a little more and get something good to begin with.
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