Guitar Care

 

Schenk Guitars takes pride in providing master class instruments to discriminating players. Along with owning a fine solid wood instrument come special care and maintenance responsibilities. Schenk Guitars releases guitars for sale only after they have been through a detailed inspection. Defects in materials or craftsmanship are typically evident within the first two months of the guitars life. Therefore the condition of your guitar depends greatly on the proper care you provide.

All Schenk Guitars are constructed out of properly seasoned wood and in a climate controlled environment with the average temperature of 68°F and a relative humidity of 41 to 45%. This is the industry standard for climate control conditions for acoustic guitar manufacturing. Any exposure to extreme or long-term variations of this climate will most certainly cause the physical conditions of your guitar to change, often times damaging various components of the guitar. It is solely the responsibility of the owner to ensure proper environmental conditions are maintained. Some examples of damage caused by a guitar subject to dry conditions (less than 40% relative humidity) might include: soundboard deformations, sharp fret ends, finish cracking, bad action resulting in buzzing or poor playability. Schenk Guitars cannot stress enough how important it is for a guitar owner to understand the consequences of poor maintenance with respect to these issues. We encourage owners to thoroughly educate themselves on proper guitar maintenance.

A few specific notes to mention include: always keep your guitar in its case. If you live in a dry area or have a dry heat source in your home, utilize sound hole or guitar case humidifiers on a regular basis to replenish the moisture leaving your guitar. Never play guitar around a fire place. Use commonsense. Damage from dry environments can happen in only a few days and in some cases hours. Guitars lose moisture faster than theyy can absorb. An automatic room humidifier is highly recommended for your guitar storage or playing room. When shipping a guitar, ship overnight. Several days of extreme cold or hot conditions in shipping trucks greatly increases the risk of damage. Damage caused by these environmental conditions is the number one cause of induced defects.  These defects are certainly not covered under warranty.

Notes about Set-Up and Buzzing

“Set-up” refers to the configuration of the neck and frets with respect to the strings and is also referred to as “action.” Adjusting action may involve any of the following: nut string slot depth, saddle height, fret leveling or “dressing,” neck relief and truss rod adjustment. At Schenk Guitars we ship guitars with a “set-up“ of generally “low action.” We define “low action“ when there is .085 inch space between the bottom of the low E string and the top of the 12th fret and .070“ space between the bottom of the high E string and the top of the 12th fret. These dimensions are often referred to as “very low” or “crazy low“ but are attainable due to our engineered neck system. “Crazy low action“ will produce fret buzzing when played aggressively. The small amount of buzzing is usually acceptable as a trade-off for easier playability due to “low action.“ Really aggressive players or flat pickers require higher action to minimize the fret buzzing. Point to remember: an acoustic guitar will change size and move with climate change as a general response to the environment. With these changes comes changes in the set-up or action. It may be require that the action be adjusted by a trained guitar repairman. This is normal and routine activity necessary for keeping an acoustic guitar in proper playing condition. Adjustment of action is not the responsibility of the manufacture. 

If you purchase a new Ford car and drove it for a few years you would not expect Ford Motor Company to do a front and alignment for you. We all know that this is routine maintenance. On a guitar, “set-up “is also routine maintenance.

Another important point to note: just because there is buzzing, or high action, in no way means that the guitar is bad or has something wrong with it. Give the poor guitar a chance-most likely it just needs a tune-up.  Buzzing and readjusting the action is not a big deal and can be accomplished very easily and cost-effectively by a qualified guitar repair man.