FAQ / Care and Maintenance

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Understanding your instrument

Important features:

All Epoch instruments are –
• Designed to internationally recognised specifications and dimensions
• Manufactured and assembled using the latest technology with modern materials and glues
• Ultra robust and can be easily maintained by any player with no expert fitting required for the bridge or sound post
• With exception of the bridge and spider kit, Epoch instruments use all standard, interchangeable strings and accessories
• All electric models have specifically designed and purpose built electronics

What you need to know:

This Epoch instrument is designed as a ‘free floating’ system made in two parts – the neck assembly and the body.
The spar (the alloy tube which is an integral part of the neck assembly) absorbs and rechannels all the string stresses (traditionally absorbed into the body) which has allowed us to redesign the sound chamber (the body) and optimise the sound potential.
Movement between the two assemblies is a necessity to ensure the sound is not choked and remains clean and even. Please note that under normal playing conditions, the neck will not move while being played unless the instrument is not set up correctly.
Epoch bridges and spiders (the locating device that the bridge sits on) are manufactured and fitted to a specific design formula to achieve optimum performance. As the only unique Epoch parts, it is recommended that you keep a spare of each with your instrument at all times.
Epoch bridges are available in three heights (Low, Medium and High) and two profiles (Classical and Contemporary).
All instruments are delivered fully assembled and fitted with a Classical Medium bridge. On violins, the ‘E’ string must have a suitable sleeve where it crosses the bridge.

Assembly instructions...

1. The neck assembly fits into a slot in the body and is located by two dowels.
Clear this area of all dust and grime and push the neck firmly into place until it is fully seated.
2. The spar should be slightly proud of the end of the body and centrally located above the end pin.
Ensure the packing washer is under the tail of the spar. The tail wires sit within the groove on the end of the spar and slip over the end pin.
3. Loosely string the two “outside” strings then place the bridge on the spider (perpendicular in the locating groove).
While still under this minimum tension, place the two sound posts in position.
The spider sits on, and across, the top of both sound posts which must be perpendicular and fit squarely. Ensure it is not excessively bowed or touching the spar.
The short sound post (treble side) sits on the soundboard.
The long sound post (bass side) sits in an indent in the bass bar on the instrument back plate (this can be seen through the "F" hole). Regularly check that this post is clear of the hole through the soundboard.

4. The strings can now be brought up to tension beginning with the "outside" strings. Make sure that the bridge is kept upright and flat as you proceed and that the sound posts do not move out of position. If the bridge begins to warp, it is not centred properly on the spider or the tensioning of the strings has been uneven. Relax the tension and straighten the bridge again to its correct position - you may have to do this several times during the tensioning process.

Hint: when disassembling, secure the strings in place with strips of tape at the nut and tailpiece. Loosen the strings, lift the tail wire over the endpin and remove the neck assembly complete. To reassemble do the reverse (this will make it quicker and easier).

Electronic maintenance...

The pickup is embedded in the treble sound post. Ensure that the post is positioned correctly, sits square to the spider and that the contact surface remains free of dust, grit and sweat.
Use good quality jack leads and anchor them to avoid excessive movement in the socket. To maintain good contact, regularly clean the output socket with a cotton bud dipped in pure alcohol or contact cleaner.

For best results use Alkaline Batteries. Change every six
months, or on a more regular basis if subjected to heavy usage.
Hint: to maximise battery life, unplug the output jack when not in use.

Cleaning and Polishing...

Epoch musical instruments are protected by a modern 2-pack spray finish and are not easily damaged.
Clean with a damp soft cloth and a little detergent. Polish with a good quality musical instrument polish.
Brush off resin dust from the body and fingerboard after each use. If this builds up it can be difficult to remove without damage to the finish.
Remove surplus resin from the strings at frequent intervals. If left, this can build up with strings going out of round affecting tone and bowing.

Limited Lifetime Warranty...

All Epoch musical instruments carry a Limited Lifetime Warranty to the original registered owner.
This covers all defects in parts and manufacture excluding the bridge, the spider, the strings and any damage caused by abuse and normal ‘wear and tear’.
Warranty Claims Process:
Warranty is at the discretion of Epoch Musical Instruments or an authorised agent.
Instruments for warranty repair are to be shipped for assessment, securely and carefully packed, to Epoch Musical Instruments or their agent at the owners’ expense.
Warranty instruments will be repaired and returned to the owner at no further cost.
Shipping charges for destinations outside Australia may apply.

Questions & Answers

What does the ‘Spar’ across the top do?
ANSWER:
I explained in our Dec newsletter that this instrument is a ‘free floating’ system made in two parts – the neck assembly and the body. This spar is an integral part of the neck assembly. It absorbs and rechannels all the string stresses (in a traditional instrument these are absorbed into the body) which has allowed us to redesign the sound chamber (the body) and enhance the sound potential eg our instruments are louder and brighter than traditional models.

The neck moves.
ANSWER:
The instrument is designed as a ‘free floating’ system and made in two parts – the neck assembly and the body. Movement between the two assemblies is a necessity to ensure the sound is not choked and remains clean and even. Please note that the neck will not move while being played unless –
1. the instrument is not set up correctly
2. the instrument is being abused
3. the player is using a highly original (and probably unrecommended) technique

The bridge is ‘floppy’.
ANSWER:
Our wooden bridges are designed this way for specific acoustic reasons. Players must ensure that bridges are upright and correctly positioned prior to playing. This characteristic means that the ‘E’ string must have a suitable sleeve where it
crosses the bridge. Ensure the spider is not excessively bowed or touching the spar.

Do I have to use Epoch Strings and Accessories?
ANSWER:
With exception of the bridge and spider kit, the Epoch uses all standard, interchangeable strings and accessories.

What shoulder rest works best?
ANSWER:
The Epoch adjustable, folding foot model or the Wolf adjustable.

 

Epoch Musical Instruments Copyright 2014, Epoch Musical Instruments
14 Motorway Circuit, ORMEAU QLD 4208 Phone 07 5549 4055
  Australian Music Association