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Isn't it funny how some people (and companies) relic a guitar by taking a belt sander

Dr. Tweedbucket

Deluxe model available !!!11
Messages
47,994
..... to it and grind it up in all the wrong places?

.... or at least that's what it looks like... :messedup There are some ridiculous relic jobs out there that are kind of funny to look at and then scratch your head wondering what they were thinking? :confused:

If some of these relic people would take time to study vintage guitar pictures, and then carefully copy the typical wear patterns, add a few dings here and there with some very careful razor blading, it would help make a more realistic looking relic! :) Of course even a good relic'd guitar with improper hardware, a fretboard that still looks new, or even the wrong kind of, or new guitar case is useless.

Personally, I would rather find a guitar that I like and put my own natural wear and tear on it .... I'm pretty good at doing that.
 

HeeHaw

Member
Messages
4,960
I usually relic my acoustic guitars by dropping pedals onto the top by accident. After the initial thud, you get used to it.:messedup
 

GDking

Member
Messages
2,528
..... to it and grind it up in all the wrong places?

.... or at least that's what it looks like... :messedup There are some ridiculous relic jobs out there that are kind of funny to look at and then scratch your head wondering what they were thinking? :confused:

If some of these relic people would take time to study vintage guitar pictures, and then carefully copy the typical wear patterns, add a few dings here and there with some very careful razor blading, it would help make a more realistic looking relic! :) Of course even a good relic'd guitar with improper hardware, a fretboard that still looks new, or even the wrong kind of, or new guitar case is useless.

Personally, I would rather find a guitar that I like and put my own natural wear and tear on it .... I'm pretty good at doing that.

I played one guitar when I was younger and put thousands and thousands of hours over years on it. I had 2 fret jobs and I never wore through the finish where the right forearm rests and everyone sands it down (or anywhere for that matter). I mean is there some unknown race of people out there with sandpaper forearms or what? I put thousands of hours on that thing. The neck never looked liked it was sanded down nor did the body. I had a few dings at the bottom of the guitar where I carelessly put it down somewhere to lean it against something.

I mean I would wipe the fretboard off and strings with a cloth when I would put it away, and wipe down the body well every string change. Nothing major.

I think most all relics look fake besides the "light relics".. I mean how many 70 year old guitar players sell their guitar of 50 years that they played 6 hours a day? There are only so many that look like that.

I put mine in a case and it is sitting upstairs if one of my kids plays guitar. Maybe if they play it for 20 years for 2-3 hours a day, and then give it to their kid who does the same, it will approach some relic jobs I have seen.
 

Dr. Tweedbucket

Deluxe model available !!!11
Messages
47,994
I mean is there some unknown race of people out there with sandpaper forearms or what?
:D


I had a Les Paul Custom that I played and gigged with for 15 years. Despite my being careful with it, my Levis rivits eventually wore a small bit of paint off the back but no paint ever wore off any other part of the guitar. There were a few very minor nicks here and there, but nothing close to what some of these relic guitars look like.
 

gregc

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,924
I you play a poly finished guitar you can probably play it a lifetime without wearing through the finish. Old style nitro finishes are not in the same ballpark as far as toughness goes.
Still, I once owned a relic for a short while. It wigged me out. Nice guitar, but I couldn't mentally get comfy with the artificial beating it had taken.... so off it went. (not that there's anything wrong with that...:)
 

SGNick

Member
Messages
3,578
I think the overzealous sanding may have a logical reason behind it.

If you do the huge wear patterns, you can basically tell... it's a relic

If you do small realistic wear in places it would actually happen, you'll be accused of buying a new guitar and playing it, thus making it used, which would drive DOWN the price, instead of up!
 

sundaypunch

Member
Messages
2,615
What bugs me is when the relic people scribe a line around the "ashtray" bridge cover on a Tele relic. I have even seen otherwise accurately relic'ed GVCG's like this. Real ones don't look like this.
 

wrxplayer

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
7,481
>Isn't it funny how some people (and companies) relic a guitar by taking a belt sander<

I may get flamed for this, but isn't is really silly to nick up a brand new guitar at all? Paying more for a guitar because somebody built it to look old strikes me a kind of rediculous, unless you were buying to invest so some other silly guy would buy it from you at a later date.

The exception would be "relic maneuvers" that improve playability, like removing varnish from a neck (although perhaps not varnishing at all makes even better sense).
 

somedude

Member
Messages
7,603
40 years of being ridden hard and put away wet and it looks nothing like what these relic guys seem to think an old guitar should look like....
.
.
.
.
 

crosse79

Member
Messages
5,884
Mmmm... sweet. Did not know that in the process of of 40 years growing old - the guitar actually grows a new toggle switch. :) Haha.. sweet guitar nonetheless!
 

avincent52`

Member
Messages
223
There are good relics and bad relics, just like there are well finished shiny guitars and bad ones. We see plenty of guitars that have drippy, gloppy polyurethane in an attempt to replicate a "shiny" finish, right?

Great relicing--and I mean GVCG level--is an art form. It's much much harder than getting a nice shiny finish on a guitar.

If you got a job at Fender, within a month you'd be able to apply and buff a really good gloss finish.
You could spend a year apprenticing with Jonathan Wilson (if such a thing were possible) and your results wouldn't even approach the look of a real vintage piece.

That said, I do agree. Most relics are overdone, and give the whole concept a bad name. My Mark Jenny relics just have some light wear around the edges, a few chips here and there, and some lacquer checking.

best
Allen
 

JES1680

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,898
I'm not a huge fan of the relic look, as others have said most of them look fake. I'd never be able to put that much destruction onto any of my gutiars as I just take good care of my instruments.
That being said, I've owned a few reliced guitars because they were just amazing playing and sounding instruments. To me a good relic job is one that the instrument feels like it's been played alot regardless of how it looks. Comfortable, and worn in. My 1966 Tele feels like this.
Looks do play a part in a guitar for me, but I'd rather play an ugly guitar that feels and sounds right vs one that is pretty and sounds mediocre and plays poorly. I just hope I never find a Hot Pink guitar that "speaks" to me :)
 

scottlr

Member
Messages
23,676
I had one guitar that I actually wore finish off the forearm area. But it was not in the area the relics usually do it. It was much more forward than that. And oddly, it was a black guitar, and when the black wore off, there was a clear coat under it over ash. It was a G&L Skyhawk. I always figured it started out to be a natural finish, and something made them do black over the natural. Anyway, in 40 years that is the only guitar that ever wore like that. And it did it in 5 years of touring.
 

buddastrat

Member
Messages
14,690
I agree with ya all. Even the stuff Fender has been putting out is bad. Years ago, they did some nice work. But, there are very good relic guys. These guy think of it like art and it is in a way. Cunetto, RS relic, Murphy etc..
 

DGDGBD

Member
Messages
7,020
..... to it and grind it up in all the wrong places?

.... or at least that's what it looks like... :messedup There are some ridiculous relic jobs out there that are kind of funny to look at and then scratch your head wondering what they were thinking? :confused:
What? You don't wear your sandpaper shirt when you play?
 

JDJ

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,671
The perpetual relic discussion is always entertaining. That said, I have one and am not ashamed.

While it is clear (to me, at least) that the far majority of relics (and I mean factory Fender/Gibson relics -- not the hack jobs or the talents of a few craftsmen on either end of the spectrum) are good, they often do not seem totally realistic. I've owned a real 1959 Gibson and 1962 Gibson in the past, and certain details always seem missing on the relics. For example, I have yet to see a relic which mimics the way a worn rosewood fretboard looks. You know, with the denser portions of the grain being a little higher than the softer portions... those kind of details. Kind of like a handworn, wooden handrail at the local 50-year-old high school or courthouse.

Here's what I like about my relic Tele. The neck is right for me -- big. The guitar is light -- 6.95 lbs. The finish is nitro and feels great compared to poly. The tone is excellent due to a very-tight neck pocket and rift-sawn neck and body. And, with it being beat up, there is no worry about new dings.

Now the fretboard and pickguard wear both seem a little contrived, but it's easy enough to overlook that since it plays so well. I suppose that each guitar should be evaluated on it's own sonic and playability merits instead of whether it's a relic or not, IMO.
 

OldSchool

Senior Member
Messages
13,094
Keith Richards started the relic faze because he dug the worn in feel. Even EVH hinted to worn in guitars feeling so much better then new ones. He once stated he would hand neck out to friends and get them back 2-3 years later and just re-fret them. However SRV started a whole new faze. Suddenly it was cool to have your guitar worn to heck . It became sort of a color. I thought it was ridiculous to see players like John Mayer and KWS with guitars worn to hell being only 20 Yrs old. Most people have to realize that guitars with so much wear were the only instruments owned by the players. Yet they will add and relic-ed worn in guitar to their 30-40 guitar arsenal to look cool.

Me? I go for a nice perfect body but I do LOVE a relic-ed neck. Nothing like it. I have 2 guitars just like that . My Tele has real neck wear and I had the body refined to look new. Best of both worlds baby........
 

sleis

Member
Messages
99
I accidentally reliced a freshly finished copper metallic tele body the other night. I had just finished the final buffing on a build I was doing for a copper metallic blackguard tele. When working with nitro, you have that final 3-4 weeks of curing time before you do the final sand and buff. Kind of painful for someone like me who wants the guitar to be done NOW. I had just mounted the electronics, bridge, and pickguard and took it in to my office at home to take some pictures. It slid right off of the couch and bounced off of one dumbell on the floor and landed on another one. 3 chips in a painstakingly perfect finish. My wife heard the noise and came in and said, "Why did you do that?" Thinking I was trying to relic the guitar. I am not ashamed to admit that tears started to well up in my eyes. One chip is about the size of a thumbnail and down to the wood, and the clear coat cracked in one spot by the bottom strap button. The question is do I fix it or do I tastefully finish the beat up job?
 




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