How you care for and protect your instrument will greatly affect its appearance, tone and longevity. Too much or too little moisture can lead to problems which can be avoided or minimized with some attention and care.
Excessive moisture is a problem associated with summer while too little moisture or humidity is a winter problem. Your guitar will exhibit certain symptoms when exposed to major changes in humidity.
Becoming familiar with these symptoms will make it easier to take care of your guitar.
It is not necessary to apply any oil or wax product on the fingerboard. With regular playing, the oils from your fingers are sufficient to lubricate the board and prevent cracking.
When changing strings, it is wise to go over the fingerboard with 000 steel wool (But be careful not to scratch the finish on the top). This will remove all build-up of dirt and grime. The steel wool will also polish the fingerboard making it more slippery and improving playability.
To lengthen the life of your strings, wipe them with a soft dry cloth after you play. Occasionally, clean your instrument with a slightly damp cotton cloth. This will remove dirt and grime and improve the appearance of your guitar.
The winter months are associated with low relative humidity. Exposure to rates lower than 40% will result in changes to your instrument which are more serious than the problems associated with excessive humidity.
As moisture in the air decreases below the normal range, your guitar will begin to shrink.
Some symptoms of dryness are:
- A change in the contour of the back and top. The slight arch can become flat or even concave.
- A line may appear around the inlays, purfling and rosette.
- A shrinking fingerboard will lead to protruding frets.
- The finish will appear rough.
- Lowered action which may lead to buzzing.
- A common winter complaint is string buzz caused by very low action. This is the result of a combination of forces.
- A shrinking top and back plus a fingerboard will pull the neck backwards which leads to a low string height.
- The worst problem associated with excessive and prolonged dryness is cracks in the tops which can happen when humidity drops below 30 %. These cracks may appear along the center seam from the bridge to the binding and on either side of the fingerboard. This occurs only in extreme situations.
- Another problem is the lifting of the bridge. As the top shrinks, it becomes possible for the bridge to separate from the top with a shearing action.
A little common sense will help to avoid most winter problems:
- Humidify your house if possible. Ideal humidity should be kept at 45-50% Keep your guitar in a case when not playing and use a humidity device. These need to monitored regularly. Too much moisture will lead to summer-time problems.
- Allow your guitar time in the case to warm up slowly if it has been exposed to cold.
When any of the symptoms outlined above are noticed, it should be seen as a warning that the humidity is not optimal and precautions should be taken. A rule of thumb to remember is: Never leave your guitar anywhere that you would not be comfortable leaving yourself.
When the relative humidity increases beyond 55-60%, the guitar will begin to expand. Some symptoms of expansion are:
- The top and back will begin to swell and distort – all glued joints will appear corrugated and the finish on the back and sides will seem to sink into the wood pores.
- A rise in height of the action- a loss in tonal quality and a decrease in string life. A rise in action is one of the major problems observed in guitars exposed to excess humidity.
- The change in action is caused by a number of forces which include top and back swelling and the expansion of the fingerboard.These changes will push the neck forward and lead to higher string height.
All problems associated with exposure to short term high humidity should correct themselves when the instrument returns to the normal range of humidity 40-50% relative to room temperature. Most of the problems associated with excess humidity can be avoided with some simple precautions:
- Never keep your guitar in a basement during periods of high humidity.
- Leave your guitar out of the case. Using a stand allows the air to circulate freely.
- Never keep your guitar in the trunk of a parked car.
- Do not expose your instrument to direct sunlight for any length of time. A premature yellowing of the top will occur.
Morgan Guitars guarantees that this guitar shall be free from defects in materials and workmanship without time limit. This warranty applies to the original buyer and excludes wear from normal use or damage that results from exposure of the guitar to excessive or extreme temperature or humidity. Settling or cracking of the finish is considered normal use. This guarantee does not apply to accidental damage, misuse or shipping damages. We cannot be responsible for problems resulting from mistreatment or carelessness. Repairs must be authorized by the company before shipping the guitar prepaid to the workshop or an authorized repair shop. Unauthorized repairs or alterations may void this warranty.
What are my nut and saddle made from?
The nut and saddle are made from high quality aged bone.
Do you offer different types of tuner buttons? What are they?
Yes, we offer a variety of tuner buttons that include , the standard gun metal black buttons as well as silver chrome, ebony and gold.
What kinds of strings are used on Morgan Guitars?
We use elixir phosphor bronze nanoweb light gauge 12-53 strings on all models.
Am I able to use medium gauge strings on my Morgan Guitar?
Yes, all guitars are built to handle the tension from medium gauge strings.
Do you make left-handed models?
Yes, at no extra charge.
What kind of pickups do you recommend? Is a pickup an option?
We recommend BBand or L R Baggs and we install BBand pickups in all models upon request.
Why isn’t my guitar in your model list?
We often make very limited edition models when there is an opportunity to use new and interesting tone woods that are outside our standard lineup.
Where is the serial number?
The serial number is stamped on the neck block inside the body of your guitar.
Where is the truss rod nut?
The truss rod nut is located in the neck block and is accessed through the sound hole by using the special allen wrench that is included with every Morgan guitar
How do I use the truss rod?
Tightening the nut (turning clockwise) will flatten the fingerboard. Loosening the rod (turning counter clockwise) will put a bit of relief in the fingerboard. We strongly recommend that a qualified repairperson do this job.
How is the neck attached?
The neck is attached to the body using a traditional hand fitted dove tail neck joint.
What does the Morgan warranty cover?
Morgan Guitars guarantees that this guitar shall be free from defects in materials and workmanship without time limit. This warranty applies to the original buyer and excepts wear from normal use or damage that results from exposure of the guitar to excessive or extreme temperature or humidity. See warranty section for more details. Any damage resulting from work done by an outside repair person would not be covered under your warranty.
Will the installation of a strap button affect my “Limited Lifetime Warranty?”
How do I proceed if my guitar needs repair?
Phone or email for information on repairs.
I live in a very dry area. What can I do to keep my guitar from drying out?
Most problems can be prevented simply by leaving your guitar in its case. In very dry areas, you may need to use a soundhole humidifier or a room humidifier to keep the humidity at a good level.
I live in a very humid area. How do i protect my guitar from too much moisture?
Keep your guitars in the driest area of your house and in the case. If you live in an area of really high humidity, you may wish to consider a room dehumidifier.
What is a good way to keep my guitar looking good and clean?
We recommend using a slightly damp cloth to keep your guitar clean. Please see the care booklet for more information.
I recently noticed a buzzing sound coming from my strings. What does that mean?
Most likely, your guitar is drying out. In very dry and/or very cold areas, humidity can get very low. Most problems can be prevented by leaving your guitar in the case. Where humidity stays low for extended periods, you may need to use a soundhole humidifier which you can purchase at a music store.
How do I know if my guitar is drying out?
Some symptoms of dryness can include really low action which can lead to string buzz; a corrugated looking top; sharp fret ends caused by a shrinking fingerboard. See care page or booklet for more information.