Instructions of use and care for your new Stark guitar
For your better understanding, and to provide long life for your guitar and joy for you!
1. Your brand-new French-Polished guitar!
For the first few weeks be extremely careful with your new guitar as the shellac varnish needs time to get really hard. This may last up to 2-3 months. Use a soft cloth (microfiber or similar) under your right arm and legs when it is not covered by adequate clothing. Be careful when you are sweating. Be aware that knobs, zippers, belt buckles and rough clothes can make marks and scratches on the surface of the guitar.
2. Growing together
A guitar needs time to develop its full sound. Be patient with that and play it well 🙂 Especially the trebles sustain will grow with playing and the colours will develop together with you. You will notice big differences in the first months.
The neck and top will move a little due to the tension of the strings and find their balance. This may require some correction of the string heigth after ~ 6 months. Also some buzzing is possible, esp. for the 6th and 5th string. That should usually solve by itself after 2-3 weeks. I try to adjust the string height as low as possible for easier playing, but personal preference may be different. That can be adjusted by every good luthier or by myself with small effort.
3. Wood, part of nature and a “living” material
Store and play the guitar in a humidity controlled environment. Best caliber is between 40-60% rel.air humidity. Deviation for a short period may be tolerated but not for some weeks. It can occur cracks in the wood of your guitar. Use a hygrometer in the room or/and the guitar case, and moisturize when necessary! When you feel significantly the frets are coming out at the edge of the fingerboard it is definitely too dry.
4. Care and Maintenance
High temperatures (35 C or more) and direct sun can hurt your instrument, as well as liquids. Do not store it near a heater. To clean it, use a soft woolen cloth or a cleaner which is made exactly for this purpose. Don’t use ordinary polishes to clean the varnish! Once a year, while changing the strings, use 2-3 drops of oil (lemon or linseed) on your fingerboard to clean it and prevent from drying-out. Wipe away the excess.
5. The 12-hole bridge
At most of my guitars the bridge has two holes for each string. You can string up the guitar by using only one hole like the traditional way, or you can use both holes to produce a sharper angle and more pressure on the saddle. Some guitars sing nicer with a lower angle, others need the extra pressure. That depends also on the string tension you use, and the sound you might prefer. This needs to be tried out and experienced by yourself.
Make sure to use the right hole, otherwise strings will be not well centered on the fingerboard.
In case of problems do not hesitate to contact me. For most problems there is a logical reason and an easy solution.