Relic'ing...

blueruins

Country Gent
May 28, 2013
4,805
Savannah, GA
Relic Strats (whether simulated or honest wear) are particularly puzzling to me. The typical wear pattern clearly shows that the bevel is in the wrong place. It was designed in the days of holding the body of the guitar up to the vocal/group mic, with the neck level or even pointing down. Leo himself saw this and improved the angle for the Jazzmaster. If Fender actually changed it on the Strat though, everybody would be up in arms.
For what it’s worth I reject the term ‘relic’ for a naturally worn finish.

A relic in guitar-speak is an artificially aged/damaged finish.

I do not consider thin skin, satin or tinted finishes to be relics either. Relic guitars are guitars which have chips, dings, spots worn through the finish etc. not from use but purposely as an aesthetic consideration.
 

oneforsorrow

Country Gent
May 15, 2020
1,079
Iowa
I never got relic’d guitars either. And then I attended a Fender Custom Shop Road Show event, the last stop on the tour in 2019 at The Music Zoo on Long Island. The process of creating a relic’d guitar was described in detail and various examples were shown. Master builders could identify each other’s styles. Some amazing non relic’d master built guitars were also shown. It was a great evening.

Everyone who attended signed in by computer. Fender raffled off custom shop pickups, loaded pickguards, hats, t-shirts, straps and other cool stuff. The last thing they raffled off was the heavy relic CS ‘69 Stratocaster that was used as the demonstration guitar for the Road Show. I could barely stand when my name was called.

I brought it home and put the case on the dining room table. My wife asked, “What’s that? Did you get it at the event?” I opened the case. She took one look and asked me, “We’re they throwing it out?” View attachment 186558 View attachment 186559 View attachment 186560 View attachment 186561
I love this story!
 

Bertotti

Friend of Fred
Jul 20, 2017
9,787
South Dakota
For what it’s worth I reject the term ‘relic’ for a naturally worn finish.

A relic in guitar-speak is an artificially aged/damaged finish.

I do not consider thin skin, satin or tinted finishes to be relics either. Relic guitars are guitars which have chips, dings, spots worn through the finish etc. not from use but purposely as an aesthetic consideration.
Yes, honest wear by use and accident is fine by me but the artificailly Induced does, those who like it can have it.
 

jvin248

Gretschie
May 16, 2017
202
Near Detroit
.

I didn't really get Relics either until I owned one. Then I understood, completely.

It's not about the looks, a relic is about the feel, playability, performance, and freedom. None of those features show up when people oggle guitars online or skim through relic threads. The freedome is you can dig in and not worry about scratching the guitar. Rolled fretboard edges, metal parts that are smooth and just stay out of your way, satin finish all over.

You'll never understand until you play one a while.

img_20170206_123137sm.jpg
 

Bertotti

Friend of Fred
Jul 20, 2017
9,787
South Dakota
.

I didn't really get Relics either until I owned one. Then I understood, completely.

It's not about the looks, a relic is about the feel, playability, performance, and freedom. None of those features show up when people oggle guitars online or skim through relic threads. The freedome is you can dig in and not worry about scratching the guitar. Rolled fretboard edges, metal parts that are smooth and just stay out of your way, satin finish all over.

You'll never understand until you play one a while.

img_20170206_123137sm.jpg
I have heard that argument before and it is perfectly valid for you but for me I never bought a guitar I worried about playing hard irregardless of Tue guitar new old or pristine I always though planting a finger to be lazy hitting the top with my fingers and picks to be sloppy so just try not to. I don’t worry about dings and scratches all that is irrelevant to me. So for me that line of reasoning has now validity. If my guitar looked like that one in the picture I would refinish it and if it was some kind of antique and it was mine it would get refinished.
 

Mogg

Electromatic
Apr 9, 2016
43
Scotland
I've never been one for relic'd guitars, but this poor wee Recording King spoke to me in the shop yesterday and I just had to bring it home.

It sounds and plays great, and I thought I could make peace with the relic finish. But I already feel the desire to sand off those fakey finger smudges on the cone cover :rolleyes:

IMG_6731.JPG
 

Ohthis

Electromatic
Jun 29, 2022
76
Netherlands
the only thing I like about fenders custom shop guitars is the non lacquered neck. It won’t ever become sticky. Apart from that, I don’t like a relic, though I did own one and my current guitar (white falcon) did get the CC treatment
 

Mr Swisher

Country Gent
Jun 12, 2012
1,308
England
.

I didn't really get Relics either until I owned one. Then I understood, completely.

It's not about the looks, a relic is about the feel, playability, performance, and freedom. None of those features show up when people oggle guitars online or skim through relic threads. The freedome is you can dig in and not worry about scratching the guitar. Rolled fretboard edges, metal parts that are smooth and just stay out of your way, satin finish all over.

You'll never understand until you play one a while.

img_20170206_123137sm.jpg

This.

Plus... when inflation makes people desperate, and the thieves break into my house, they are going to take all my pristine cheap guitars and leave all my "battered old" relics (worth thousands more money) behind ;):cool:
 

Bertotti

Friend of Fred
Jul 20, 2017
9,787
South Dakota
I've never been one for relic'd guitars, but this poor wee Recording King spoke to me in the shop yesterday and I just had to bring it home.

It sounds and plays great, and I thought I could make peace with the relic finish. But I already feel the desire to sand off those fakey finger smudges on the cone cover :rolleyes:

View attachment 187335
I don’t like relics but on this type of guitar I expect the metal to age like this. I think it look great but finger prints would drive me nuts!
 

MrWookiee

Country Gent
Jun 17, 2020
1,519
SoCal, USA
As the OP said, different strokes for different folks. I prefer honest wear but have seen relic'd jobs that looked terrific (I even own one). If I were looking for a new relic'd instrument I'd rather it be a one-off than a mass-produced "one of 500" units with identical relic treatments.
 

Maguchi

Electromatic
Aug 11, 2022
72
Lalaland
I just don't get it. 🤨

But, as always, different strokes for different folks.
Hmm, maybe on Teles and Strats if done to look like real playing wear. But not on a Gretsch...unless it's the Angus Young model, and even that one doesn't really float my boat.
 


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