Care for your Shaftesbury Acoustic Guitar:

It is important to note that your Shaftesbury solid top acoustic guitar- like all acoustic guitars – is made of wood and this has certain implications with regard to environmental factors, particularly in the case of solid wood instruments. A minimum of care and due attention to these factors should ensure that your guitar will last a lifetime. Wood changes according to its environment. In high humidity conditions, wood will absorb moisture and expand, while in dry conditions it will shed moisture and contract. Solid wood is especially vulnerable to changes in humidity as it gains and loses moisture more quickly than laminated wood and thus expands or contracts to a greater degree. Acoustic guitars are typically manufactured in an environment with a neutral humidity level of 45 to 55% relative humidity. Relative humidity or RH refers to the amount of moisture present in the air relative to the maximum amount of moisture the air can hold before saturation. The air’s maximum threshold for holding moisture will increase with the temperature. This is why when a room is artificially heated in winter time, the RH will drop dramatically as the air’s capacity for moisture retention is increased without an additional source of moisture being provided. In general terms, a guitar is at it’s most stable when in an environment that is most comfortable for humans, in other words where the RH is between 45 and 60%.

Low Humidity

If your guitar is exposed to an RH level of below 40%, the wood in your guitar will lose moisture, contract and become brittle. This can cause the top to become concave, the fret ends to feel sharp and the action to lower, causing buzzing when the guitar is played. If the guitar is stored for an extended period in a low RH environment, particularly if this is lower than 30%, glue joints may fail, notably causing the bridge to become unstuck from the guitar due to the top contracting. The top itself may develop cracks in the finish and in the wood itself. If you live in a dry area with low humidity levels, we would recommend that you keep your guitar in its case as much as possible whenever it is not in use. A case will insulate the instrument against changes in temperature and humidity. If you prefer to keep the guitar out of its case, we would recommend that you invest in a hygrometer to measure the RH level of the room where your guitar is kept. A humidifier is another useful tool to ensure that this RH level is kept at a safe reading of 47%. If you are subject to travelling/touring a lot with your guitar, a hygrometer and humidifier can be installed in the case with the guitar to keep the RH inside the case at an acceptable level. In such an instance, the hygrometer must be placed on the outside of the case’s inner accessories compartment on the side closest to the guitar’s body. The humidifier should be placed inside the accessories compartment itself.

High Humidity

Conditions of high humidity will have a less potentially devastating effect on your guitar, but are harder to effectively guard against. The maximum safe RH is 65%. Beyond this level, the guitar will expand as the wood absorbs moisture. This will manifest itself in the top and back becoming bloated and convex. With more prolonged or extreme exposure, the bloating will expand to the fretboard, further raising the action and drastically diminishing both playability and sound quality. The expansion of the wood can eventually cause the loosening of glue joints and the undoing of back braces and the bridge. However, glue joints are reparable and unlike with low humidity, there is little or no danger of structural damage. If you live in a humid climate, we would recommend that you keep your guitar in an air conditioned room during the summer months when the RH is naturally increased. In lowering the temperature, air conditioning also lowers the moisture saturation point of the air and the RH with it. Avoid using a swamp cooler in an already high humidity environment. This will only further increase the RH and will spell problems for your guitar. Avoid any rapid and immediate changes in humidity level, as this will cause the most damage to your instrument. Gradual changes, undergone with the guitar being kept in its case as much as possible, will greatly reduce the potential for damage being sustained by your guitar. By sticking to these safety guidelines, you will ensure that your guitar provides you with a lifetime of joy and inspiration!


Shaftesbury Guitars

10 Denmark St. London WC2H 8TD

Tel. 020 7836 0991

Email shaftesbury@rosemorris.com


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What this warranty covers:

This guitar is guaranteed to be free from defects in materials or workmanship from the original date of purchase. Shaftesbury will, at its discretion, replace or repair any Shaftesbury product or part thereof, which is found by us to be defective. Shaftesbury reserve the right to use materials that are readily available at the time of the repair.

Warranty limitations:

This warranty does not cover normal wear and tear, nor damages caused by an unqualified repair person, nor faults due to misuse, customization, accident or neglect, or resulting from changes in temperature or humidity, exposure to, or contact with sun, fire, moisture, body salts and acids, guitar straps and guitar stands. This warranty is not transferable. A warranty claim by anyone other than the original purchaser is not covered. Under the terms of this warranty Shaftesbury accepts no responsibility for incidental or consequential damages of any nature associated with the use of Shaftesbury products. Transportation costs are not included in this warranty.

To obtain warranty service:

The guitar must be returned to Shaftesbury through an authorised dealer, all freight and insurance being prepaid. The original invoice or sales receipt must accompany the defective item, along with a written statement detailing the fault. In the absence of this clear proof of purchase, Shaftesbury reserves the right to refuse to provide free of charge service. Once returned to Shaftesbury, a determination will be made as to whether the defect is covered under the terms of the warranty. If the repair is covered under the terms of the warranty, it will be repaired at no cost to the original purchaser including return shipping. If the repair is not covered under warranty, an estimate of the cost of the repair will be given to the original purchaser. This guarantee does not affect your statutory rights under applicable national laws in force.


To avoid damage to your Shaftesbury guitar the relative humidity (RH) level that the guitar is exposed to should ideally be between 45 and 55 percent. For a detailed explanation of why this is so important, we would recommend that you type “guitar wood humidity” into any internet search engine.


10 Denmark St. London WC2H 8TD
020 7836 0991

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