Care and Warranty

Cleaning and maintenance

Our guitars do not require regular cleaning or polishing. The body and neck can be wiped clean of sweat and dirt with a dry or lightly damp cloth. Care should be taken not to get water on the face of the fingerboard or any of the other unfinished timber parts such as the bridge or tailpiece.

If the finish becomes slightly dull over time please bring the instrument to us for a light buff to remove oxidisation. This will be required every 3-10 years depending on the amount of use and environmental conditions.

We will treat the unfinished timber parts with a timber conditioner during servicing to keep the timber conditioned and polished.


It is recommended that restringing is performed one string at a time or at maximum three strings at a time. This is essential to keep the tension on the instrument and prevent the loose parts from moving.

We do not recommend using heavy gauge strings on any of our instruments. As standard we string our instruments with:

  • Classical – D’Addario EJ45 Normal tension
  • Steel string acoustic – D’Addario EJ16 Elixir 11052 Light gauge
  • Archtop jazz – D’Addario ECG25 Flat-wound light gauge
  • Electric – Elixir 12052 10-46

If the gauge or brand of strings is changed the setup of the guitar may need modifying depending whether the change in tension is significant.


Heat can be damaging to musical instruments and they should not be exposed to excessive heat. As a guide a guitar should not be left anywhere that would be uncomfortably hot for a person, for example in a locked car in the sun. Direct sun on the case for long periods should also be avoided as it can generate excessive heat.

Rapid changes in temperature should also be avoided as they can cause the finish to crack. For example do not take an instrument from a cold car into a hot room, or vice versa without letting it acclimatise in it’s case for enough time.


It is very important to keep a fine guitar in an environment with moderate humidity, which is 40%-60% relative humidity. The timber in a guitar is hydroscopic by nature, that means it will shrink or expand relative to the level of moisture in it’s environment.

Exposure to a dry environment for more than a couple of hours can easily cause the timber in a guitar to crack, especially in classical and acoustic guitars. Humidifiers, either those inside the guitar or case, or larger units which humidify a whole room, should be used to keep the humidity up in dry climates. If a small humidifier is used inside the instrument or its case the instrument should be kept inside the case when not in use.

Exposure to an environment with high humidity is not as problematic however too much moisture can lead to warping, bowing and in extreme cases failure of glue joints. A high-humidity environment can also make fine acoustic and classical guitars sound slightly lifeless as the timber is inhibited by excess moisture. It is advisable to use dehumidifiers in very damp climates however care should be taken not to dry the air out too much.


It is important that any guitar be serviced and set up regularly to maintain optimal condition and playability.

As a new guitar settles in it can move slightly and the setup and height of the strings can be affected. These changes happen constantly over the life of the guitar but are most significant in the first 12 months.

We offer a complementary setup service and check-up on every guitar we build at any time in the first 12 months after purchase. Normally at around 6 months is a good time to have this initial service performed but it may be done sooner or later depending on how the guitar feels and plays.

We can also personalise the action and other aspects of playability during a setup, lowering or raising the action (string height) to be more comfortable to play or alleviate any buzzing or other issues should they be present.

After the initial service and setup we recommend having any instrument serviced every 1-3 years depending on how much it is played and other environmental factors. Cleaning, polishing and conditioning of the timber fittings can be performed during servicing as required.


Every Hancock guitar or other instrument is guaranteed against faults in workmanship and materials for the life of the instrument. The warranty is only available to the original owner and is not transferrable if the instrument is sold or ownership is otherwise transferred.

The warranty does not cover the following:

  • Maintenance
  • Damage
  • Wear & tear
  • Issues caused by heat or humidity
  • Bending or bowing due to string tension
  • Electronic components after one year
  • Lacquer, French Polish or other finish
  • Cracking in timber
  • Oxidisation or degradation of plastic or metal parts
  • Issues caused by modification, repair or unauthorised maintenance