A guitar should sound better as it is played in. Please don’t feel that you have to do anything special though, play as you want to play and don’t hold back from pushing the guitar as hard as you like, right from new.
To avoid problems you will need to keep your guitar as close as possible to the humidity in which the guitar was made. To this end I Stringing would recommend the use of a good quality hygrometer, kept in the case or close to the guitar. I also recommend the Planets Waves Humidipak, assuming that your guitar was built at around 45 to 50%, if you have problems controlling your environment. My guitars are built between 40 and 50% rh, unless built specifically for an extreme climate.
Most of my bridges have a 12 hole system. There is a specific way to tie the strings using both holes. Alternatively, you may tie them in the traditional way using only one hole. The hole to use is the TREBLE SIDE of the two. I have seen guitars strung using the wrong holes, and of course like this the strings are not placed correctly in line with the neck.
I would advise that the treble strings are knotted on the ends and melted with a flame. Assuming they are tucked into the loop of the next string along, it should be enough to just burn the ends of strings 2 and 3. This is a precaution, however it has been known for strings to slip and cause damage to the soundboard. Particular care is required when using carbon strings. They are much more slippery and what goes for caution with nylon, becomes necessity with these. I would even suggest a figure of eight knot in a carbon first string. The twin hole system is good in that the break angle between hole and saddle is not altered by the tying of the string.
Not all of my guitars are finished in the same way. In the case of traditionally French polished guitars, please accept that body contact marks are inevitable for some people. Most of my tops are traditionally French polished, also some recent backs and most backs of older guitars. Most guitars more recently made have a modified polish that is more resistant. In both cases, if you wish to do anything about greasy marks, beer stains, saliva etc., just rub in the direction of the grain with a dry, very soft cloth. For very stubborn marks, you can use a burnishing cream. Most necks are French polished. After some years, although this polish is very hard wearing for necks, it may become necessary to add some polish. This is a relatively easy job for me to do.
Some necks are oiled. There is no surface finish as such on these necks and you can rub in some oils, such as olive oil, from time to time, then burnish with a dry cloth.
Tops often get quite marked and dented with player’s nails. Personally I never consider this to be a problem, they add character and are a part of that guitar’s history. I never advise the refinishing of a top. Occasionally an area may be patched but in general I feel that it is important to retain the original finish no matter what condition it is in. Please, never allow your guitar to be finished in any other material.
A new case is generally quite a stiff fit for the guitar. Please do not attempt to push the guitar down by pushing on the top. Push it in firmly holding only the neck of the guitar and if it isn’t sitting completely down, apply pressure on the very edge of the body only. After a while the case will loosen up and this won’t be an issue.
It is difficult to get the action right for everybody. To ensure correct intonation please contact me to arrange for a new bridge saddle to be made if you wish for a different height. I think it is a good policy to always keep the original intact. Fitting is very precise and there may be minor differences between guitars so I would need the guitar here or the original saddle sending to me. Some guitars have a second saddle anyway and some have replicas waiting here.
I prefer to do all necessary work on my guitars myself, if at all possible, so if you have any problems please get in touch with me. I will not accept a guitar back under guarantee if it has been worked on by anyone else.