I service instruments for a living...someone once brought in a fairly expensive custom built Telecaster that was heavily reliced and distressed...complete with serious rust on the hardware. It needed to be setup so that it could play in tune....but the saddle screws were rusted and seized in place to the point where I had to replace the saddles entirely before I could do the normally simple job. Just a STUPID trend. A great vintage guitar probably has some signs of use, aging, etc. But likely hasn't been ABUSED AND NEGLECTED...which is what a lot of this "relicing " seems to want to simulate. I have 50 year old guitars that have been professionally played for decades, but there's no crusty RUST anywhere. They have worn areas of note to be sure, but are in very good condition. If there is fretwear you replace them...why would anyone want to simulate worn out frets...rusted hardware etc. I personally don't like the feel of a finished neck, so I typically remove it and then treat the bare wood with some tung oil, but that's not trying to fake "wear ". Save your money and buy a decent guitar, used or otherwise, but don't give in to the nonsense of aging the guitar artificially.
I would not have bought my Road-worn Jazzmaster except
for 2 reasons:
1. It’s a GREAT guitar
2. Sweetwater discounted it 25+% or so. $750 from $1049.*
I didn’t know why I got such a great deal for 2 months - then I saw
the 2018 50th Anniversary JM’s on sale. That’s why Sweetwater was clearing out my model - to make room for a new line.
I am not a fan of the relic trend but if you can get a deal - take it.