My instrument has small cracks in the finish – what causes this? Is it covered under the warranty?

This is known as “finish checking.” This is a result of the instrument being subjected to a rapid change in temperature or humidity. In most cases it happens in winter when a chilled instrument is exposed to warm air. The cracks are a result of the wood expanding faster than the lacquer. Since we have no control over the environmental conditions surrounding the use of the instrument, unfortunately we cannot cover this type of situation under our warranty.