Relic’d Guitars, How They Age

Gurn

Member
Messages
1,758
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.
 

Chad

Member
Messages
853
If it's a good relic job, then it will age the same as a real guitar would with the same amount of natural relic-ing.
 

rabbuhl

Member
Messages
2,965
Relics are designed to unrelic themselves. Play them for 20 years and they look like new again.
 

RevDrucifer

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,233
Wow, I’ve never seen a higher case of people responding without reading the thread at all.

Let’s see how many more Benjamin Button/turning NOS as they get old jokes we can get! I think we’re at 2-3 per page.
 

Gus K

Member
Messages
2
I just bought my first relic’d guitar — a FCS Journeyman relic. I’ve owned poly finished guitars that have remained unchanged and sparkly for 30 years. Do relic’d guitars age faster than normal? I’d love to see your “before/after” pics, hear your personal feedback.
Im sorry but i really dont see taking a brand new guitar, having some tech beat on it, put burn marks on it, chip the paint, put belt buckle marks on it & paying twice the original price. I have a black Strat W/ a mirror pick guard & i bitch about a few finger prints. now if you buy a road worn guitar. I can see that.
 

relix63

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,297
Im sorry but i really dont see taking a brand new guitar, having some tech beat on it, put burn marks on it, chip the paint, put belt buckle marks on it & paying twice the original price. I have a black Strat W/ a mirror pick guard & i bitch about a few finger prints. now if you buy a road worn guitar. I can see that.

To be fair the Journeyman Relic is lightly aged and only a little higher in price than the NOS versions. The difference is $200 at davesguitar.com.
 

83lltunneL

Member
Messages
316
Wow, I’ve never seen a higher case of people responding without reading the thread at all.

Let’s see how many more Benjamin Button/turning NOS as they get old jokes we can get! I think we’re at 2-3 per page.

The Benjamin Button/guitar turning NOS jokes are the humor equivalent of a drunk dude yelling Free Bird at the band between songs. It’s to be expected, I guess. Literally the same joke in every relic thread.
 
Messages
155
I have the opposite question. Will my non-relic'd maple fretboard ever lose some of the "light" poly finish? Its an Am Std. from 2013. It'd be nice too feel a little wood grain under my fingers, probably should have bought a rosewood fretboard but I wanted something classic and new for me at the time. It has the vintage saddles, Fat 50's pickups that to me sound great, two point trem which I think holds tuning better. The neck has a satin finish on the back which is VERY light and smooth. I wonder why they didn't use that same finish on the maple fretboard?
 

Hugh Manitee

Member
Messages
1,098
I just bought my first relic’d guitar — a FCS Journeyman relic. I’ve owned poly finished guitars that have remained unchanged and sparkly for 30 years. Do relic’d guitars age faster than normal? I’d love to see your “before/after” pics, hear your personal feedback
Well, since they come pre-damaged, I would think they would at least appear to age slower than normal. Since the first damage that occurs to anything is also the most noticeable (to the owner), the significance of accumulating dents, dings, scratches, and oxidation has diminishing returns.
How would you tell? :D
Exactly - relics are always "mint", no matter how damaged they are. For sellers on the used market, it's a con's dream come true.
 
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budg

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,565
Well, since they come pre-damaged, I would think they would appear to age slower than normal.

Since the first damage that occurs to anything is also the most noticeable (to the owner), the significance of accumulating dents, dings, scratches, and oxidation has diminishing returns.

Exactly - relics are always "mint", no matter how damaged they are. For sellers on the used market, it's a con's dream come true.

Of course the low ballers hate the concept because they can’t jack the price down with every scratch and imperfection. Drives em nuts.
 
Messages
160
Here is some natural and artificial aging on my parts caster Strat. The body was somewhat beat up when i got it. I really like the birds eye quilt maple in the neck.:love:

fqTw2kD.jpg

kxuNRxe.jpg

u7IdGSk.jpg

XPRPqbJ.jpg

zD1s19q.jpg
 

Hugh Manitee

Member
Messages
1,098
Of course the low ballers hate the concept because they can’t jack the price down with every scratch and imperfection. Drives em nuts.
True, but I didn't really mean on the buyers end. I meant sellers won't be compelled to disclose actual damage since it's camouflaged by relic'ing, and they can be as deceptive as they please.

But, there's a simple solution buyers can promote: Don't buy relics.
 
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budg

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,565
True, but I didn't really mean on the buyers end. I meant sellers won't be compelled to disclose actual damage since it's camouflaged by relic'ing, and they can deceptive as they please.

I doubt anyone looking for a relic would seriously care about any extra scratch or ding. It misses the whole point.
 
Messages
139
If I ended up with a "relic"(have to be super cheap or free!) ,the first thing would be to strip it down and refinish it...new or 50 +years old.
 

budg

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,565
They would if it turned out to not just be superficial cosmetic damage down the road.
I mean that’s true of any guitar really, vintage included.You inspect it before you buy . If you buy from an individual there is always a risk. Knowing what your looking at is always a good plan. If it’s a journey relic and looks like a heavy relic, you have your answer. If you aren’t comfortable , then pass .
 

Voxshall

Member
Messages
1,433

I love journeyman's but I think that relic looks even better.


That's an interesting question..... It was intentionally damaged a little bit prior to purchase, to improve the feel and make it look vintage. Then it probably also has a vintage type of finish, that is much more prone to wear.

Some companies like Fender and MJT use lacquer that drys very hard sometimes called aeroplane lacquer to get the natural checking, I think this finish definitely ages much quicker than the more gloupy rubbery stuff. I had a guitar sprayed with nitro I sold to a mate who created checking with aerosol cans and the checking just disappeared again after a few minutes. Below is my MJT guitar all of the vertical checking and wear in the finish in this photo occured very quickly after I started playing it, within 6 months.

etirTKD.jpg


The type of finish also affects the wear on vintage guitars some of those early Telecasters have a very flaky finish before Fender came up with a finalised finish they ended up using.
 

nomadh

Member
Messages
1,298
Just wondering if people can tell whats relic and whats real in these pictures.






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IAE

Member
Messages
2,586
Playing style really matters too. So @Vanilla Latte rests his pinky in a very specific are and it wears there quickly. But my playing style I never rest my picking hand on the wood of the guitar, and very rarely on the bridge. So different results for very different playing styles.

Yep. I rest my fingers on the left bottom corner (players view) on the bridge pickup if they’re big like Dogear P-90s, Humbickers, and Jazzmaster pickups. Otherwise I rest it just below the pickups. My bridges get dirty from palm muting as well..the nickel tarnishes to grey very quickly. Chrome is virtually unaffected.
 




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