Care & Feeding | Handling & Cleaning

Storing Your Instrument

Storing your instrument properly is necessary to maintain it in pristine condition. Improper storage may cause humidity-related problems and damage due to accidents. Store your instrument in the best environment possible. As our founder Hozen describes, “The best environment for a guitar is an environment you would be most comfortable in.”. Nobody likes being placed back in the car boot on a hot Sunday afternoon and neither does anyone like staying in a room that is freezing and bone dry.
• Do not store your instrument in a place with extreme temperatures.

• Do not store your instrument near wet areas such as bathroom, lavatories, and pipings.

• Do not store your instrument near windows or openings that may introduce moisture.

• Do not store your instrument under direct sunlight.

• You can opt to hang your instrument using properly installed guitar / ukulele hangers.

• If you need to place your instrument on a stand, use a stand that has neck support and make sure that it will not be an obstruction to walkways. Use stands that are stable enough and are not easily toppled.

• It is recommended that you keep your instrument inside a case if you will not use the instrument for an extended period of time.

• Even if it is inside the case, the instrument may not be able to withstand a strong impact in case of an accidental drop and falls. It is best to store the case horizontally to lessen impact due to drops and falls.
The best environment for a guitar is an environment you would be most comfortable in.

- Hozen


Handling Your Instrument

Improper handling of your instrument may cause regrettable damage to your instrument. Accidents do happen but it can be prevented when proper measures are taken. Here are some guidelines how to ensure the safety of your instrument:
• Do not subject your instrument to extreme force or weight.

• Even if it is stored in the case, do not drop your instrument. Excessive force may cause whiplash that may crack the neck or headstock of your instrument.

• When bringing out the instrument outside your case, place the case first on the floor before you take out your instrument.

• It is recommended that you carry your instrument at the middle of the neck when you are bringing your instrument outside the case. This will make you spatially aware that may prevent accidental bumps and dings.

• In case you are carrying your guitar using a backpack case, be mindful of vertical clearances such as door openings and ceilings.

• When playing the instrument, be mindful of long necklaces, belt buckles, buttons, or any hard material that may scratch or dent the finish the back of your instrument.

• Be mindful of your surroundings to prevent accidental bumps.

• If you are using a strap, make sure that the strap is completely fastened to the strap pins.

• In case you are carrying your case or bag, make sure that the latches are fastened / the zipper is completely zipped.

• In case you need to store accessories in your case with your instrument, make sure that you place it in the compartment areas and pockets. Loose objects may scratch your instrument while in transport.
Always be mindful of your surroundings when carrying your instrument to avoid accidents.

Cleaning Your Instrument

Your instrument requires special attention to maintain it to its top condition. As it is a delicate instrument, practice extra caution when introducing cleaning agents and chemicals for the instrument and its finish might have an unwanted reaction. Knowing the different types of finishes will help you identify how to properly maintain your instrument.
Open Pore Nitrocellulose Matte

This type of finish gives the guitar a raw look with open pore grains and is featured in some models such as the Custom Series Mahogany. Some players are of the opinion that it is the best finish for an instrument as it allows the wood to resonate more than a Polyurethane finish - which is typically thicker and harder when cured. However, the soft nature of Nitrocellulose finish makes the instrument more susceptible to scratches, especially in gloss finish. Nitrocellulose High Gloss is available through our Custom Build Program.

Polyurethane Super High Gloss

A standard in almost all of our instruments, especially our most exquisite high-end guitars and ukuleles. A Polyurethane Super High Gloss finish gives extra protection and is easier to maintain compared to other finishes. To ensure sound is not compromised by the quality of finish, we spray 4 coats of PU top coat before sanding down to 2 layers to achieve a mirror-like finish after buffing. The final thickness of our PU finish is approximately 4-5mils (0.10mm-0.11mm) which is not too far from a Nitrocellulose High Gloss finish
• Sweat and oil from your hands introduced to your instrument during play affect it in a number of ways - marks and stains are left on the finish in the long run, and the protective coating on strings can be corroded.

• Maintain the finish by wiping your instrument down with a Maestro DRI Microfiber Cloth after play. Use a silicone-free wax to remove stubborn dirt and marks (avoid using traditional wooden furniture polishes - certain brands contain chemicals that thin finish.

• Be mindful if your instrument sports nitrocellulose finish, as it is extremely delicate and requires extra care.

• Wipe your fretboard using a Maestro DRI Microfiber Cloth after play to alleviate rusting of the frets and strings. Your fretboard should be cleaned regularly as well - we recommend using lemon oil for the fretboard itself, and steel wool for the frets.

• The neck of Maestro instruments are in Nitrocellulse Matte finish, reducing drag and make the neck "faster". Do not use wax, polish or oils on the neck to avoid diminishing this benefit.

• Use a scratch free cloth dampened with warm water to clean the neck followed by a dry cloth.

• We recommend using micromesh sanding medium in 2400 grit and then 3200 grit to restore the finish of your neck. Please be advised that this should only be done by a professional for any damage resulting to improper procedure is not covered by warranty.
Wipe your instrument after every use to prevent oil and dirt deposits that may cause stains.

Transporting Your Instrument

The guitar and ukulele probably travels more than any other musical instrument and it will only be a matter of time before you take yours on its first trip. If you are going to take your instrument on the road with you, remember that it is not just another piece of baggage. You have to make an effort to ensure its safety.
• Keep your instrument inside the case or bag while transporting. We recommend that you use a hard case to transport your instrument. For convenience during shorter travels, you can consider using a padded bag or a foam case.

• When you are using a padded bag, be watchful of your surroundings, especially while walking/riding the bike to avoid knocking your instrument. If you are slinging your instrument on your back, be cautious of low ceiling to avoid knocking the protruding headstock.

• Avoid placing any loose objects inside the case that might scratch or dent the instrument. For hardcases, place those items in the compartment. If you are using a padded bag, place the accessories in the outside pocket except sharp objects that may scratch or dent the instrument.

• We recommend always resting your instrument horizontally, even if it is inside a hardcase. Resting it vertically will increase the force of the impact on instrument when it accidentally falls down.

• If you are travelling by car, avoid placing it in the trunk as much as possible. It is much safer in the back seat for most car trunks are neither heated nor ventilated which may extreme changes in temperature. Prolonged exposure to extreme temperature may cause the wood in your instrument to crack or warp. Subjecting you instrument to excessive heat may cause the glue adhesion to melt and become ineffective.
Do not leave your instrument in the car to avoid exposing it to extreme temperature.

Flying With Your Instrument

When you are travelling by air with your instrument, extra caution and protection is required to ensure your instrument’s safety. Airlines do not set out to damage your instrument intentionally, but a conveyor system can’t tell an instrument from the other baggages. Airlines may consider a guitar to be too fragile for their handling and may require you to accomplish a waiver which limits or remove their liability.

Even a hard case can’t always protect a guitar from damage caused by mishandling of individuals or commercial carriers. Occasionally, you can bypass the usual baggage handling system by asking to carry your instrument to the boarding area where it will be tagged and hand carried to the airplane. Upon arrival, you can ask the flight attend if it will be possible to retrieve your instrument at the gate rather than collecting it from the conveyor belt. Do take note that not all airlines give you this option.

If you wish to handcarry your instrument inside the plane, be advised that there are size restrictions on carry-on luggage. Some flight attendant may allow you to try the overhead bin, but if it will not fit, they might ask you to check in the instrument. Here are some guidelines how to prepare your instrument if you are to check it in:
• Loosen the strings to reduce the tension on the neck but not completely releasing the tensional pull of the strings as there is a chance that the neck angle may be affected. Loosening the string tension will prevent damage caused by a whiplash in case the instrument is dropped.

• Pack your instrument in a hard case that is a perfect fit. Make sure that the instrument is secured tightly in the case by using a soft cotton or foam to secure the gaps. Keeping the instrument tight in the case decreases the possibility of damage due to unnecessary movements while the instrument is in transit. Do keep in mind that no matter how good the hard case is, it may not protect your instrument from careless handling or accidents.

• If available, you can send send your instrument to be checked in to a wrapping service usually available in airports. The plastic cover will protect the hard case and at the same time lessen the effects of sudden changes in humidity.

• Check your instrument as soon as you retrieve your instrument from the baggage area. If you see any signs of damage due to mishandling or accidents, immediately report to the airport personnel.

Loosen the strings a step or two before checking in your instrument to protect the neck from sudden drops and impact.