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View Full Version : Fender Relic vs. Real Fender fretboard wear photo thread..


Smakutus
12-20-2006, 06:11 AM
The main thing I have always thought looked whack on Fender Relics is the fretboard wear. It's a lot easier to whaaaap a Strat or Tele body with a chain a few times then to use a power tool to get the perfect finger shapes on a fretboard. For the most part to me the Relics look like they have a dremel tool crater rather than a smooth feathered in worn spot. The blue Relic Strat thread has photos that also seem to show the Relic-ed Strat has most of the worn spots in the wrong place with craters between the strings, directly under them, and not quite under them.

So anyways.. If you have a Relic that you think was done right (Or wrong..) or if you have an old Fender with actual playing wear how about taking a good straight down photo of the fretboard wear and posting it here so we can all compare them?

Thanks,
Jeff

dkaplowitz
12-20-2006, 06:34 AM
So what's the point of the thread? To convince people not to buy a guitar they like because it's been relic'ed in a way that might not be 100% authentic looking? What if it's a good guitar regardless of that fact? Maybe a better question would be, can a guitar still be good despite relicing? Or can a guitar's feel and look be improved by relicing without losing or inhibiting its natural tone?

Smakutus
12-20-2006, 06:43 AM
No... The point of the thread is to compare the way Fender does the Relic fretboard wear to older Fenders with real fretboard wear. Are they doing it right? Can they do it right? I haven't seen one yet that has got it right but I bet there are some that were done right. I'd like to see it..

And of course a guitar can be good (and great..) even if it has been Relic-ed.. There's plenty of guys here that will say that. Unless I played each of those guitars I can't disagree with them there..

While I can say sanding (Or better yet steel wool-ing) the back of the neck and fretboard on a maple Fender to get rid of that sticky shine makes a guitar feel and play better. I don't think putting craters in the fretboard with a dremel tool does the same.

Your guitar looks cool..

Jeff

Luke V
12-20-2006, 06:54 AM
The reliced maple boards I've seen looked terrible, very obviously not natural wear. I've only seen Fender relics in person.

dkaplowitz
12-20-2006, 06:55 AM
Thanks for mentioning it. And thanks for saying so (after that guy posted the other pictures) in the sonic blue thread.

I was just clarifying the point of this thread. Don't know when the whole relicing thing even started myself, but I think Fender relicing has been guided by a number of different people, so Fender relics from the 5-6 years ago might be quite different from ones made this year. Apparently Cunetto did a good enough job on the ones his name was attached to -- so good in fact that those have increased in value (but not as much as Murphy-ized Lesters have). His would probably be a good place to start. He's making them on his own now as well, under his own name. Not sure how good the pics are on his site, but could be worth a look.

Anyway, good luck getting to the bottom of the question.

clothwiring
12-20-2006, 07:02 AM
Honestly if you don't play it for a long time with your sweaty hands wearing the finish away over time, it'll never be spot on. There are some doing terrible jobs at it. What bugs me most is the back of the neck, when it's just completely sanded back. I know my 1966 Stratocaster has some finish wear but it's not completely gone like I see on relics. I'm glad that the Cunetto's didn't have a ton of relicing on the back of the neck. Mine feels great and I wouldn't want it any more reliced than it is.

Droptop
12-20-2006, 07:11 AM
I've seen some good relicing and bad as most of us have. What I have noticed with many of the masterbuilt relics is that the wood selection is nicer than standard issue and that is what I look for when paying the extra coin. The other nice thing about relics is I don't have to worry about that first painful scar. My scars just improve it :)

onemind
12-20-2006, 07:15 AM
Rather than these perfect ovals, I think Rich Rice did an absolutely perfect job of emulating wear on this Blackguard Tele neck...
http://shim1.shutterfly.com/procgserv/47b6cc25b3127cce98548e41866d00000017102AaOG7Vw1bsa

fjs1962
12-20-2006, 07:22 AM
I think everyone has their own detail they nit-pick when looking at recreations of old guitars. Interestingly enough I have a buddy who gripes all the time about how he has never seen a Time Machine Strat headstock that is cut like a real old guitar. This same guy also says he thinks the fretboard wear on Relics is the one thing Fender gets right. And he's been a vintage Strat fanatic for probably 20 years and owns a real 58 Strat.

I think if a guitar turns you on you should enjoy it and not worry too much about what other people think. Opinions are, after all, like, well, you know.... ;)

All that said, lets get some pics of old Strat fretboards on this thread so we can start comparing! :D

Smakutus
12-20-2006, 03:28 PM
Rather than these perfect ovals, I think Rich Rice did an absolutely perfect job of emulating wear on this Blackguard Tele neck...
http://shim1.shutterfly.com/procgserv/47b6cc25b3127cce98548e41866d00000017102AaOG7Vw1bsa

Thanks for posting that one.. What is it? Can you post a photo of the whole thing?

Nobody else? Let's see a Fender Relic with good fret wear!

Thanks,
Jeff

michael.e
12-20-2006, 03:49 PM
I have played the H#!! out of this 1947 Strat!

Rosewood boards need love too!!

http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y175/M_E113123/m4448307-3012.jpg



M.E.

kev
12-20-2006, 04:26 PM
...i think their intent may have been to just break down the finish and let the player even it out over time.

I agree with you about that.

That said, this is one of those "VISUAL MOJO" type topics, so here it goes - this one appears to be the real deal although I cannot verify that (not mine - I WISH!):
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v62/kvoorhee/55strat90_5.jpg

ricoh
12-20-2006, 04:43 PM
http://i34.photobucket.com/albums/d127/Rico52/Telecasters/53400017.jpg

Here is a real "relic"

dhdfoster
12-20-2006, 05:34 PM
Real fretboard wear vs. fake fretboard wear???

Haha, if you'd have told Leo Fender about this 50 years ago, he would have thought you were nuts.

Guitar players have gone crazy and they don't even know it. :)

I wonder, in all seriousness, if gun makers offer reliced guns for the folks who can't afford a collector's piece. I don't know anyting about gun collecting, but it seems similar. The look of the gun has nothing to do with how it shoots, and the relicing has nothing to do with...well, you know.

Thwap
12-20-2006, 06:01 PM
Real fretboard wear vs. fake fretboard wear???

Haha, if you'd have told Leo Fender about this 50 years ago, he would have thought you were nuts.

Guitar players have gone crazy and they don't even know it. :)

I wonder, in all seriousness, if gun makers offer reliced guns for the folks who can't afford a collector's piece. I don't know anyting about gun collecting, but it seems similar. The look of the gun has nothing to do with how it shoots, and the relicing has nothing to do with...well, you know.

You're lucky you're not a critter someone was trying to trap. You take the bait EVERY TIME. :roll

You're way too easy.

rockinh
12-20-2006, 06:05 PM
Real fretboard wear vs. fake fretboard wear???

Haha, if you'd have told Leo Fender about this 50 years ago, he would have thought you were nuts.

Guitar players have gone crazy and they don't even know it. :)

I wonder, in all seriousness, if gun makers offer reliced guns for the folks who can't afford a collector's piece. I don't know anyting about gun collecting, but it seems similar. The look of the gun has nothing to do with how it shoots, and the relicing has nothing to do with...well, you know.

Great post!!

Yes, in fact, they do. A friend of mine is into Cowboy Shooting (not shooting actual cowboys, which many condone), but dressing up like they were in the 1880's (plus or minus a bit) and they have these pistols (rifles and shotguns too I guess) which look like they are 100 years old. I told him he should have a new looking gun, because all six-shooters looked new in the 1880's; basically, because they actually were new. He was having none of it. So now I'm the big spoil-sport.

I never looked close but does Fender or anyone else relic rosewood necks, I mean put troughs in them?

dhdfoster
12-20-2006, 06:10 PM
You're lucky you're not a critter someone was trying to trap. You take the bait EVERY TIME. :roll

You're way too easy.

How flattering. This thread was for me? I didn't get you anything. :)

For the record, this thread is new twist, so the bait looked slightly different. I was confused by the difference.

klatuu
12-20-2006, 07:06 PM
I'll chime in on this thread since I've owned relics and the "real deal".
I've owned:
1962 strat slab board surf green
1964 strat (refin) CA red
a '94 or so relic in a Mary Kaye config (unusual guitar....no trem backplate, nor were the screwholes ever drilled for it)

The '62 was dated 2 of '62 and the '64 was dated January 2nd, 1964
The '62 had significanly less wear, finish was not cracked, though had chips in several places, no upper bout wear at all. The color had darkened somewhat, but wasn't bad. No craters in the fretboard, a little fretboard shrinkage at the end adjacent to the pickguard, and minimal shrinkage around the fret slots. The pickguard had shrunk some but was not cracked.
The '64 had much more shrinkage along the heel edge of the fretboard and between the frets. Not so much wear, though there were low spots in between the frets, but more like the fretboard had shrunk some and the wood sloped up to the frets. Pickguard had shrunk to the point that it bound the pups from being level.
Neither had finish worn complete;y off the back of the neck though the '64 was getting close.
From what I saw from owning those two examples, how they were cared for determines how much actual wear you see, and if you see the wear then it ACTUALLY is wear, and compromises the playability of the guitar. I was forced to keep the action pretty high on the '64 due to the unevenness of the frets; the wood had shrunk and distorted their location some. The only cure would have been a re-leveling of the fretboard. The '62 with less wear was a much better player, though the frets were quite worn. Again, refretting would have required at least some fretboard re-leveling, so I just dealt with it. Maple would probably not distort as easily due to it's hardness, but the rosewood does shrink.
I think relic strats are a great idea to get the vibe and a vintage feel, without the compromises of a truly worn instrument.

K

buddastrat
12-20-2006, 09:48 PM
Honestly if you don't play it for a long time with your sweaty hands wearing the finish away over time, it'll never be spot on. There are some doing terrible jobs at it. What bugs me most is the back of the neck, when it's just completely sanded back. I know my 1966 Stratocaster has some finish wear but it's not completely gone like I see on relics. I'm glad that the Cunetto's didn't have a ton of relicing on the back of the neck. Mine feels great and I wouldn't want it any more reliced than it is.


Well the back of my '66 is completely worn off through years of playing. It looks and feels very much like my '69 relic. So there are REAL vintage guitars with the finish off all over the back of the neck. Maybe on some of them where guys would just cowboy chord it, the finish wouldn't wear all over. But I use the whole neck and it's all gone.

Besides, the back of the neck is about the feel. I could careless how authentic it is. NO ONE watches the back of your neck as you play!! It's about feel. To me anyhow.

DANOCASTER
12-20-2006, 10:57 PM
http://i34.photobucket.com/albums/d127/Rico52/Telecasters/53400017.jpg

Here is a real "relic"

That is a thing of beauty !! What year is that - late 50s ?

Smakutus
12-29-2006, 05:54 PM
Here's some fretboard wear from a 68 Tele:

http://www.snappymgr.com/images/items/new/250043681/250043681-16.jpg

Wonder how much of that would clean off? Maybe Fender needs to use more dirt on their relics?

Jeff

ricoh
12-29-2006, 07:26 PM
That is a thing of beauty !! What year is that - late 50s ?

It is a mutt............57 body..........59 neck and the rest from 1960.