Maintenance Tips

Setup

Key to good setup is understanding of how intonation on guitar works and following right order of setup steps.

  1. When installing new strings on locking tuners pull them to slight tension, firmly lock the tuner and cut away excess string. There’s no need to wrap strings around tuner post.
  2. Tune your guitar to correct pitch.
  3. It’s good idea to start with stretching all strings by pulling them with finger somewhere around the fretboard and tuning again.
  4. If you have floating tremolo bridge adjust spring and string tension if necessary so the bridge plate stays parallel to guitar body.
  5. Check neck bow by pressing lowest string on first and last fret. There should be very small gap between string and frets on the middle of fretboard. If truss rod requires adjusting use supplied 4 mm allen wrench and insert it into truss rod socket (on headstock under truss rod cover). If there’s no gap apply less tension to truss rod (turn clockwise looking from headstock side), if there’s too much relief apply more tension by turning counterclockwise. In general neck should be almost straight with very little relief – this is best for intonation along frets.
  6. Now set string height to your liking with supplied tools – depending on bridge you must set height of saddles individually (Hipshot hardtail, Evertune, Hipshot solo, Schaller Hannes), move whole baseplate (Floyd Rose) or both (Hipshot tremolo). Simplest way is to set it too low and than raise to the point when there is no excessive string buzz (remember to loosen string first).
  7. Now set your intonation. First tune your guitar again and compare pitch on 12th fret with pitch on open string. If pitch on 12th fret is too high you must move saddles further away from the neck, if it’s to low you must move it closer to neck. If it’s not possible to set up intonation for given tuning you should consider changing string gauge.
  8. Tune your guitar again and have fun playing.

General care

Do not store guitars in direct sunlight, extremely high or low temperature. Recommended humidity level in room is 40 to 50%. Lower values are bad for wood, higher are bad for hardware. During winter time when temperature goes below 0 Celsius and central heating is on, humidity level in room can get below 20%. This is really bad for wood and will cause shrinking of fretboard, sharp frets and cracks in wood.  Please use appropriate devices to maintain correct humidity level in room where you store guitars, it is good for your health too!

We use polyester and acrylic finishes that are safe to use with rubber on guitar stands.

In general it’s good idea to store guitar in supplied hardcase.

Cleaning – general notes

Do not use stuff dedicated to furniture – Pronto, Pledge etc.

Cleaning satin finishes

Clean dry cloth. If it doesn’t work you can try a little bit of water. If there’s just too much grime, fingerprints and butter from sandwiches you can carefuly try some mild, alcohol-free window cleaner, cheap stuff with no nano-particles, glossing effect etc is best. Spray cleaner on paper towel and wipe it, then wipe with another dry towel and hopefuly guitar is clean now. Do not rub it like crazy because you will remove satin effect and make it glossy.

Cleaning high gloss finishes

Wet (with water) and then dry cloth or any good guitar finish polish liquid (Dunlop, Planet Waves etc). Make sure that you use cloth that will not make scratches all over the finish. Soft paper towels are ok.

Cleaning and care of finished fretboards

We spray finish on some fretboard woods – all kinds of maple, zebrawood, padouk, purpleheart. These fretboards should never be oiled and cleaning is same as all other satin finished parts.

Cleaning and care of non-finished fretboards

This applies to ebony, pau ferro, wenge, ziricote – we seal these with tung oil and clean mineral oil. We recommend cleaning alcohol to remove grime and clean mineral oil to condition the fretboard afterwards. We use clean mineral oil for kitchen cutting boards – you’ll find it in Ikea, Home Depot etc. “Lemon oil” from music shops is basically same thing – mineral oil + drop of lemon extract. In general you should put thin layer layer of oil on all frets and remove excess after few minutes with paper towel.