Heinrich Gill Care & Maintenance Tips
Heinrich Gill instruments are the perfect choice for today’s emerging talents. Our makers are highly skilled and experienced in the traditional art of violin making and modern manufacturing practices. The result are instruments that withstand the test of time and capable of creating beautiful music for years to come. Please remember to preserve the value of your instrument by learning about proper care and maintenance. A lovingly cared for instrument will stay in perfect condition and preserve its value for a lifetime of use. To ensure a lifetime of happiness with your instrument, here are some suggestions that will help keep you instrument at peak performance at all times.
PROTECTING YOUR HEINRICH GILL
Remember, your Heinrich Gill is made of wood, a natural material which is sensitive to changes in temperature and humidity. It should always be stored in its case or bag when not in use.
IMPORTANT! Keep your instrument away from heat, cold, and direct sunlight.
During the winter, heated buildings can drop humidity levels dangerously low (less than 20%). A dry environment can cause even properly aged wood to crack. Never store your instrument in an environment that has less than 35% humidity. Use a hygrometer and humidifier to control the humidity if it gets below 40% for an extended period of time. Never leave your instrument in a car or any location in direct sunlight. Heat can very easily damage the sensitive varnish of your instrument. Some types of strings can increase tension on the instrument when the temperature gets cold. If you must leave your instrument outside or in a cold place, make sure that the string tension is reduced by tuning down a half-step.
CARING FOR YOUR HEINRICH GILL INSTRUMENT
Always keep your instrument free from dust and rosin build-up. The strings and instrument body should be cleaned after every use. This prevents the dust of the rosin from sticking to the natural varnish of the instrument. Use a cotton cloth to remove the rosin from the fingerboard, strings, and instrument, especially near the bridge. Replace the cloth regularly. Rosin cannot be removed with water. Do not use any household cleaning agents including dish cleaner, alcohol or other aggressive solvents. Have your instrument professionally cleaned and inspected periodically.Use a microfiber dust-cloth to remove fingerprints and dust only. Do not use for rosin removal. Microfiber cloths can be washed at low temperatures.
Do not forget to clean your case or bag from time-to-time. The inside can be cleaned with a vacuum cleaner. To clean the outside/cover, please use a damp cloth and, if necessary, add a squirt of dish liquid.
A WORD ABOUT PERIODICALLY CHANGING STRINGS
Like tires on a car, strings eventually wear out. The time it takes for strings to wear out greatly depends on their age, condition of the instrument, frequency of use, and treatment (oils and perspiration can corrode delicate windings so wiping strings with a lint-free cloth after use will likely lengthen their playing life). As with maintaining the pegs, it is important to change strings one-at-a-time. Inspect the nut and bridge grooves when replacing strings to make sure that they are lubricated (graphite) and not worn to the point that the winding can be pinched. Always insert the string leader through the peg hole and wind the peg so that the string crosses the leader once in order to keep the string from slipping on the peg. Wind the excess string leader towards the peg wall. You should consult your local luthier for complete details.
By maintaining all parts of your instrument, you will enjoy the full potential of your Heinrich Gill for a lifetime. You can do minor adjustments on your own. For more advanced adjustments, technical advice and service and repair, please contact your local dealer, luthier, or violin shop.
PEG BOX WALL
The pegs of your Heinrich Gill are usually made of ebony, rosewood, or boxwood. They leave the workshop with a precise fitting. However, due to wear and changes in climate, it is expected that they will need to be adjusted over time. Note that if the pegs do not show equal and constant friction while turning, you should consult your local luthier. Pegs wear over time and your pegs may require professional maintenance. It is similar to getting the tires of your car balanced. In low humidity the pegs may lose friction. To fix this problem, please apply some peg compound (available at most violin shops) to the shank of the peg. Then fit the peg back into the peghole and tune the string. In high humidity, the pegs may stick hard in the peg box and become difficult to turn without jumping. To fix this problem, simply loosen the pegs by pulling them out very slightly while tuning the instrument. To ensure smooth operation of your pegs year round, apply peg compound every time you replace your strings. Do not loosen the tension of all four strings at once! Just prepare one peg at a time.
STEP 1: Loosen the tension of one peg and remove the string.
STEP 2: Take the peg out of the peg box and apply peg compound sparingly to all points of contact with the peg box wall.
STEP 3: Put the peg back into the peg box and turn it a few times to work in the peg compound. If you feel a good constant friction and everything turns smoothly, reinstall the string and tune it.
STEP 4: Keep an eye on the angle of the bridge while retuning the instrument! The bridge must remain completely upright and at the correct angle or it will warp or possibly break!
STEP 5: Repeat this procedure with the other three pegs.