This Washburn acoustic guitar was brought in to me with low string action, causing bad string buzz, sharp fret ends, and a crack in the top.
When this guitar was purchased the customer was never informed about the importance of humidifying it. Sadly this is very common, and I see these problems all the time. Here in Utah we experience very dry winters which can lead to these and many other problems.
This picture shows the top being very dry. What I like to see is a gentle arch to the top and the ends of my straightedge should not touch at the same time. This top is somewhat concaved and pretty much opposite of what it should look like.
Here you can see how far the strings have dropped. The strings are laying right on the frets. That is where a lot of the string buzz is coming from. Too low and the strings want to vibrate on the frets.
All these problems could have been avoided by simply using a guitar humidifier. Once the instrument was re-humdified, the top came back up into the arch I like to see. In the picture above you can see that my straight edge is now riding on the top and not touching the edges of the guitar.
Once I re-humidified the guitar, the crack closed up and I was able to repair it. It took some gluing, then a little finish touchup.
After it was all said and done, the customer walked away with a great playing guitar, and well informed about humidity control.... As a repair tech I feel it is my job to inform each customer about the importance of proper care. I wish all the sales guys out there would do the same. Afterall, the most important thing is that the customer has an instrument that they can enjoy playing for many years. A little maintenance here and there goes a long ways.....