Freshman Guitar Resources
Guitar Body Map & Woods
Care for your Freshman
Our tonewoods are from sustainable sources and we accept nothing less than A Grade for our Tops. Freshman only accept a certain standard and decline below. Our woods are kiln dried for up to three months and also stored in a humidity controlled environment. We source specific woods from specific regions of the world renowned for their exceptional sound properties. Wood is a natural product and as such is affected by its environment, especially temperature and humidity.
One of the most important things you can do to protect your guitar is to control the humidity in which it is stored. Acoustic guitars are best kept in a relative humidity (RH) around 40%. Freshman guitars are built within a relative humidity range of 45%-50%. The greatest danger to your guitar occurs during the autumn, winter and early spring. Centrally heated homes produce dry air. The humidity often drops to less than half of the RH of the factory in which your guitar was built which can result in movement of the wood causing damage to your instrument The best solution to this problem is to always store your guitar in its case when it is not in use and perhaps invest in a small humidity gauge and humidifier, to monitor the environment.
Tips from our Luthiers
* When resting your guitar on a stand, ensure the rubber parts of the stand on which the guitar rests are "finish friendly", as some rubbers can contaminate the finish of your guitar.
* Never leave your guitar near a radiator or heater or in direct sunshine as excessive heat can loosen glue and cause joint movement in your instrument. If your instrument is being transported during the winter and exposed to very low temperatures, it is highly advisable to let the instrument slowly warm up to room temperature in its case before removing it to reduce the risk of cracking and damage.
* Never leave your guitar in a car as the interior and boot space can produce extreme temperatures, which can damage your guitar. If travelling by air, firstly check with the airline if you are able to take your instrument as hand luggage, if not ask if you are able to take it to the boarding area where it can be tagged and hand carried to the airplane. If your instrument has to be stored in the hold, make sure you loosen the strings and use a well padded hard case, such as a Freshman SCD Padded Case, to decrease the chances of damage.
Cleaning your Freshman
GLOSS FINISH TOP, BACK & SIDES:
To clean the tops, back, sides and neck of your GLOSS finished guitar, use a silicone free guitar polish (available form any music store) on a dry lint free cloth. Polish gently to remove any marks.
SATIN / MATT FINISH
Important !! For a SATIN finish you must "NEVER" buff your guitar. Simply apply a small amount of guitar polish to your lint free dry cloth and wipe GENTLY in one direction. If you wipe your guitar too rigorously or buff it, a shine will appear on the finish!
It is important to ‘feed’ your fingerboard occasionally by sparingly applying a proprietary brand lemon oil with a lint free cloth. This prevents your fingerboard from drying out. After playing your instrument simply wipe down the strings and fingerboard with a dry cloth to remove any moisture or dirt from your fingers. Never put any other petroleum or oil based products near unfinished woods.
The enclosed machine heads on your Freshman have been lubricated during the building process and therefore do not require any regular maintenance.
Open type machine heads should be lubricated once a year which can be done by placing a small amount of petroleum jelly on the end of a fine piece of wood and apply into the gears. Be careful not to get any product on the wood.
"Never" use any chemical/abrasive products on plated hardware, remove any marks with a dry lint free cloth.
"Never" adjust the Truss Rod using the allen key provided "unless" you understand the method of adjustment and the consequences of making the adjustment. If you feel your neck is out in any way., we recommend seeking advice from a Luthier.
Strings for your Freshman Guitar
Strings should be changed when the tone quality is deemed to be poor.
Steel strings stretch and oxidise. Changing intervals depend very much on playing style, time played and playing conditions.
As a rough guide we would recommend:
0 - 5 hours playing per week – change strings every month
5 - 10 hours per week – every fortnight
Over 10 hours, or professional use – once a week or every 2nd gig
Care of your strings by cleaning both strings and fretboard thoroughly after each session will prolong the life and tone of any strings.
Changing the gauge and make of the strings will affect the guitar's sound and feel. If you change the gauge of your strings to a heavier or lighter set your guitar neck will require a small adjustment to create the correct amount of relief for buzz free playing. We recommend the instrument is taken to a qualified Luthier for this adjustment.
Your Freshman Guitar is strung at the factory with Freshman FAS 12s (12-53), D’Addario 12-53 Phosphor Bronze or Elixir Phosphor Bronze 12-53 strings depending on which model you have purchased. The 400 and 500 Series are all strung with Elixir.
D’Addario normal tension 80-20 strings are used on classical models.
D’Addario Phosphor Bronze 10-47 are used on our 12 String models.
Action (string height) should be adjusted by means of raising or lowering the saddle with shims and resetting the relief in the neck. This job should be left to an experienced Luthier especially if an onboard EQ and under-saddle pickup is installed.
Stringing Your Freshman
Replacing one string at a time keeps the neck under the correct tension and your guitar should not require a setting in period after a change of strings
Pull string to the appropriate tuning post and feed it through the hole in the post 4 (below). Leave enough slack in the string to allow 3-4 windings around the post 5 (below) The first winding is always done by hand over the TOP of the string as it emerges through the hole in the post.
Pull string to the appropriate tuning post and feed it through the hole in the post 4. Leave enough slack in the string to allow 3-4 windings around the post 5. The first winding is always done by hand over the TOP of the string as it emerges through the hole in the post.
This is a half-wind to enable subsequent windings, using the tuner button, to feed onto the post "below the string" 6 (see below). Cut excess string length using small end nippers or pliers 7. Tune string to pitch.
EQ Systems on your Freshman
Fishman Presys 301 Blend - For Engelmann wood guitars only.
Click through gallery (click to enlarge image) - Download Fishman EQ Manual here >>>>