Kepma Guitar Maintenance Guide
CARE AND MAINTENANCE GUIDE
Made from the highest quality materials and using a perfect blend of computer-assisted manufacturing and skilled hand craftsmanship, your Kepma guitar will provide you a lifetime of personal enjoyment and musical satisfaction. To keep your guitar performing to its original showroom condition, we recommend performing routine maintenance to your instrument.
Your Kepma guitar’s main component is wood, and wood has natural tendencies that, over time, are affected by moisture, temperature, general exposure to elements including sunlight and interaction with other materials (such as body oils, guitar straps, case linings, etc.).
To improve tonal response, each Kepma top is skillfully carved to make it as thin yet durable as possible. To provide greater playability, Kepma necks are sculpted to be slim while remaining straight and rigid.
Kepma’s selection, aging and processing of premium woods coupled with proprietary construction and design characteristics minimize any negative movement of the woods on the top, body and necks. However, common sense care will further prevent issues that may affect the playability and cosmetics of your guitar.
HUMIDITY AND TEMPERATURE
Properly storing your guitar in an environment that minimizes exposure to natures elements is the single most important action you can do to prolong the life of the guitar. Because of the nature of wood, changes in humidity can cause the guitar to absorb moisture or to dehydrate. Too much humidity can cause the wood to swell which can have affects on anything from the neck angle to the overall tone. Excessively dry environments can cause the woods to crack or even cause to top and bridge to “sink”.
If your guitar is slightly affected by these conditions such as a rapid or excessive change in its environment, simple exposure to the opposite condition will normally correct any slight movement. For example, if the guitar is exposed for a short period of time to a moist environment, simply returning it to a dryer condition will rectify the wood shift. However, if the guitar is not recovering back to its normal playing condition, we recommend taking it to a Kepma authorized service center for adjustment and correction.
To prevent these more extreme issues, it is recommended to keep your guitar stored in an environment with relatively constant temperature (between 70-78 degrees F / 21-25 C) and in relative humidity between 45%-55%. The Kepma factory’s climate-controlled environment ensures the product is never exposed outside this range during the manufacture of the product and gives the product a good base range of moisture content to be able to deviate from.
We recommend storing the guitar in the case/bag in which it comes as it is easier to control humidity and temperature in smaller, confined spaces. There are many third-party products that can assist you in understanding and controlling your instrument’s environment such as hygrometers, humidifiers, thermometers and more.
MAINTAINING THE APPEARANCE
The wood on the guitar is protected with a durable yet thinly coated finish that provides protection while still allowing for loud projection of sound. The best method of keeping this finish clean and bright is to use the included Kepma microfiber polishing cloth that can restore a shine to the original factory finish. It will remove any dust and fingerprints. For difficult spots, use a damp cloth and wipe to remove the smudges before buffing with the Kepma microfiber cloth.
There are also many cleaners available that are designed specifically to add luster to your guitar. However, make sure these cleaners never contain any type of strong solvents like alcohol or citric acid. Third-party polishes can also be applied to the body but are not recommended to use where a waxy build up can occur like the fingerboard and bridge, especially on ebony equipped models.
To clean and condition ebony, use a quality lemon oil. Apply to the surface and rub it in with a clean, lint-free cloth. Wipe off any excess. This process should be performed on a semi-regular basis. We recommend every six months or as needed.
Be aware of anything that may cause any marring of the surface of the instrument. When putting the guitar in its case, make sure that no area of the guitar comes in contact with foreign objects. Ensure the body and neck are resting on the padding and support areas of the case/bag. Check for potential scratching or rubbing from guitar related items like straps, guitar stands and wall hangers. Also, be cognizant of your playing environment like armchairs and vinyl upholstery.
ADJUSTING THE ACTION
Your Kepma guitar’s neck is equipped with a steel truss rod and is additionally supported by twin carbon steel rods to reinforce the wood. This adds stability in keeping the playability or action of the instrument maximized. This action can change over time from being subject to string tension, changes in string gauge and variations in the environment. This change can be rectified by adjustments of the truss rod, bridge saddle and nut.
Your Kepma guitar comes with an adjustment tool in the accessory kit. However, we strongly urge you to take your instrument to an authorized Kepma service center as Kepma cannot be held responsible for damage and other user modifications resulting from unauthorized service.
Your Kepma is equipped with USA Elixir® light gauge Strings. They feature Nanoweb coating to provide extended tone life and provide a smooth feel with less finger squeak. We recommend replacing them with genuine Elixir Phosphor Bronze light gauge strings. If you desire to change the gauge or make of strings, we recommend you visit the Changing Your String Gauge section of the Elixir website.