When is a relic’ed guitar no longer in “mint” condition?

Craig Encinitas

Gretschie
Gold Supporting Member
May 3, 2021
413
Encinitas, Ca
IMO, it's difficult to accept a distressed guitar as mint.

Generally speaking, you have to list your guitar in some kind of condition. I guess if you could prove that all the dents, dings, paint fade and scratches match the way it left the factory… Then it would be mint. Or maybe not, if the buyer doesn’t care.
But at what point would the condition change?

If the frets are worn down to nothing, it would not be mint. If there are added dings dents scratches, and more paint missing than brand new…but the frets are in perfect condition, would you list as fair?

I am all for discussions about this, and I’m no way bashing relic guitars. I wouldn’t mind one, because then I wouldn’t mind if it did get more marks on it or dings…



maybe. 🤓


Seriously, is there a guideline for the condition of relic’d guitars?


(I also replied to this thread without reading any previous replies.)

😉
 

afire

Friend of Fred
Feb 12, 2009
5,970
Where the action is!
"Mint" is as it left the factory, since guitar factories are to guitars as mints are to coins.
I guess if you could prove that all the dents,
dings, paint fade and scratches match the day left the factory… Then it would be mint.
Exactly what I was about to say. How exactly one would prove that I'm not sure. Record a very detailed unboxing video if you think you might want it in the future.
 

Emergence

Synchromatic
Gold Supporting Member
May 25, 2022
716
New York
There’s such an obvious answer to when a relic’d guitar is no longer mint. You can’t see the difference on mine but you can hear it. I switched positions between the neck and middle pickups to get the bridge and neck together. It still looks brand spankin’ new 🤣. Who’s to know? 81C9F253-6DC6-4948-85E3-EF07674C2D6E.jpeg
 

Runamok

Country Gent
This one just popped up in my Reverb notifications:


This artificially distressed guitar is listed in “mint” condition. Oxymoron much?
If this is an accurate assessment of condition will it ever not be in “mint” condition? If so, when does it cross the line?
Is it just me or does anyone else have questions/problems with this?
I’m surprised that I’ve never been confronted with this quandary.

View attachment 190004
I hope this is a figment of camera angle & wide lens not a glandular condition which this guitar exhibits.

I had a car like that.
Carfax calls it an accident, but I insist its been reliced.
 
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Runamok

Country Gent
"Mint" is as it left the factory, since guitar factories are to guitars as mints are to coins.

Exactly what I was about to say. How exactly one would prove that I'm not sure. Record a very detailed unboxing video if you think you might want it in the future.
Provenance for reliced guitars.
Take it on Antique Roadshow for assessment.

Googling GuitarFax now…
 

gretschiam

Gretschie
Jun 6, 2008
149
Chicago
Generally speaking, you have to list your guitar in some kind of condition. I guess if you could prove that all the dents, dings, paint fade and scratches match the way it left the factory… Then it would be mint. Or maybe not, if the buyer doesn’t care.
But at what point would the condition change?

If the frets are worn down to nothing, it would not be mint. If there are added dings dents scratches, and more paint missing than brand new…but the frets are in perfect condition, would you list as fair?

I am all for discussions about this, and I’m no way bashing relic guitars. I wouldn’t mind one, because then I wouldn’t mind if it did get more marks on it or dings…



maybe. 🤓


Seriously, is there a guideline for the condition of relic’d guitars?


(I also replied to this thread without reading any previous replies.)

😉
 

gretschiam

Gretschie
Jun 6, 2008
149
Chicago
Maybe it’s time to add relic’d as an accepted guitar condition. It’s more descriptive than “like new” or “mint”, and whether the stress is added in production or in touring, it looks about the same. If someone likes the relic’d look, using that as a description gives the buyer something he or she can understand. The year of the guitar might offer a clue about what you have, but it probably doesn’t matter. If I want a beat up guitar I don’t care how it got that way.
 

pblanton

Electromatic
May 12, 2021
17
Black Forest, Colorado
The word "mint" means something. It comes from coins that are freshly stamped, still shiny and free of blemishes, scratches or smudges. They have have never been in circulation and have come fresh from the "mint". If a guitar is not free of scratches, blemishes or smudges then it is by definition, not mint. Even if the scratching, blemishing and smudging was done by a professional guitar ruiner at the factory.

I suppose that if it came from the factory "pre-distressed" like that, then it could be called "new" but definitely not "mint".

Since they are all pre-distressed by hand by professionals in the factory, how would a buyer of a used guitar know if a scratch was "professionally" applied by a qualified, certified guitar ruiner, or done by a careless owner who is most definitely NOT qualified to scratch a guitar properly?

I would never advertise a distressed guitar as "mint" even if it was still new in the case. The whole point of distressing a guitar is to cause it to be not-mint.
 

fleetwoodPC

Electromatic
Nov 20, 2020
83
Phila
why is this an issue?

I went to the jeweler and said why are you charging me a new price for these clearly used stones?

I said to the grocer why are you charging me this new price for all these apples that have been grown from recycled and digested materials?

I said to reverb why are you not letting me list this guitar as new… I bought it new from a dealer, never took it out of the box, and now decided I don’t want it… It’s an exactly the same condition as when it was new yet you want me to call mint?

The point is that something can only be sold as new, once, and the word new does not have to mean anything about the condition. What happens if I bought a new guitar from a store and later discover it has a blemish? I tell you that’s how it came from the store and you say it doesn’t matter it’s not meant anymore.

same for the relic. You have no idea if any particular imperfection is from the factory or not so it’s clearly mental masturbation.
 

Ted Keane

Electromatic
Mar 19, 2016
98
Ft Collins,Colorado
Every guitar I have is reliced in mint condition.It might have been a natural relic,or someone at a shop did it before I got it free.Fingerprints on the guitar-very light relic,pick scratches-light relic.Some dings and chips and scratches and belt buckle rash-natural medium relic.I really wouldn't mind this relic stuff,but offer the guitar with or without relic.There are a bunch of guitars that I won't buy because they only come relic.And I can't figure out how to clean and polish the reliced guitar .
 

XrelishX

Electromatic
Sep 14, 2022
9
Davenport Iowa
My question has been, and I have not heard this discussed anywhere; what happens when guitars that have been artificially checked start to develop real finsh checking?
 

XrelishX

Electromatic
Sep 14, 2022
9
Davenport Iowa
You are asking how to detect real wear & damage?
The difference between real wear and damage is part of my concern, although I believe that may be easy to distinguish in a lot of cases. My real concern is flaking paint and clear coat. There is also the fact that we just don't have experience and one thing I am very sure of at 57 years old is that there is always gonna be a surprise somewhere.
 

Runamok

Country Gent
The difference between real wear and damage is part of my concern, although I believe that may be easy to distinguish in a lot of cases. My real concern is flaking paint and clear coat. There is also the fact that we just don't have experience and one thing I am very sure of at 57 years old is that there is always gonna be a surprise somewhere.
Any damage, real or fake, should be fair game. It won’t matter when you put a real ding in. But yeah, we have no way to grade the condition.

Is the bare wood where the finish is ostensibly worn through—ever clear-coated? Doesn’t that void your warranty or something?

There’s always discussing whether or not its acceptable to wear a hat on stage.
 
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alaskabobc

Electromatic
Dec 11, 2012
16
Bellingham
We had a Gretsch 6120 in our family for years, 1958 version. Brother traveled with it for close to 50 years, all over the Nation. Nothing but honest wear. THAT, my friends WAS a relic, but a new relic was valued higher, makes no sense to me? I did get a fair price for it but it took a long time.
 

GenghisBomb

Electromatic
Sep 26, 2021
89
Canada
When it has been damaged beyond the relic'ing done from the factory. IE, the same as any other guitar. If it's still in the same state as it was when it left the factory, it's mint. If it has any other wear or damage, it's not. One big factor as others have mentioned is the clearcoat. Even a relic'd guitar has to have a clearcoat to protect the wood. So if you have a relic'd guitar that was damaged afterwards, the new wear spots will likely entail exposed wood.

Obviously, in the case of a pre-relic'd guitar, it's hard to tell what wear is natural as opposed to wear done before the instrument was sold. I always joked that buying "roadworn" guitars was great, because if you damaged it, you were just making it more of itself!
 
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