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Road Worn Owners - Lets talk

Tonealicious

Member
Messages
695
Right. Lets all take a deep breath.

I love the sound and feel of my RW 50's maple sunburst. These guitars punch well above their weight.

However, there are a few cosmetic issues that give me pause. All of these are in my humble opinion, of course.

1. The neck relicing is overcooked. Apparently the "original owner" never played from B to E. I just don't think the fretboards of these maple necks are done that well.

I'd be happy with an all over "no finish" look. With these tall frets my fingers only graze the board so as it is, so it ain't going anywhere. Don Mare reckons a razor blade scraped of the un-reliced finish on his fretboard. I am willing to give this a go. Any other ideas?

2. The bare wood rubaway on the top bout. To me it looks too light - hell I don't even rest my arm there. Maybe Buddy Holly did.

As mine is a sunburst, and the sanded part is entirely within the black, I reckon I can darken this area significantly to make it blend in with the rest, but it seems to have a slight sealant or finish on it already.

Any ideas guys? Shoe polish? Coffee grounds? Dirt?

What I want to end up with is a slightly used looking guitar, not a relic and with these tweaks I reckon it'll get close. It's not the end of the world if it stays as is though, as most of that stuff turns invisible 10 or 20 feet away. It's just for me really.

While I'm at it, any other mods you recommend, I'm all ears! I'm already going to wire the tone to the bridge cos that's an easy one.

RW haters, we already know how you feel, please don't use this thread as fuel for your fire.
 

benjammin420

Member
Messages
1,564
Im not trying to sound like a hater, but in time it will wear more 'naturally' Before long youll forget it never was shiny and brand-new
 

robelinda2

Member
Messages
2,648
I think it looks ok, but I dont really care. The way it feels in my hands and the tone is what matters, I dont know why I like them so much, its just right. The one thing which is obvious to me is the neck shape, not skinny or fat, a slight V, so comfortable.
 

Tonealicious

Member
Messages
695
There he is! Thanks Don. Re the neck, was that just a razor blade used to scrape of the finish and did you then leave it bare?

IMHO this is pretty cool, as the black wears it'll show burst a la Joe Strummers Tele. There was one of them in the music store the other day. OO-Wee did they get that job wrong. I know its all about feel but the finish looked like a sticker.
 

buddastrat

Member
Messages
14,690
If I had a maple one, I'd definitely strip the neck finish off. I was going to get a black RW, and strip the neck and paint the bare areas with a flat black paint. I own some relics so I'm cool with the idea but the RW's are a little, as you say overcooked. I've just grown real tired of the relic look, even on real vintages. But I love a raw, unfinished maple neck, it's all about feel for me. The frets are nice and tall, an my finger tips wouldn't touch the fretboard to wear away that poly on a RW. It'd still look that way years from now for me.
 

m@2

Member
Messages
5,071
I have the olympic white RW strat, so the color difference is not much of an issue, but I hear yah on the black/sunburst arm wear, it's a bit too bright. You could probably use some wood stain? or shoe polish to mellow out the color. I have the Rosewood neck, so not overdone on those, but I also agree they got a bit carried away on the maple necks.

Overall, I am TOTALLY happy with the RW strat, the best $$ value I've had in a guitar. (I got mine for just under 800)
 

rhinocaster

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
23,367
I'd just play the thing.

At a tone party last weekend, I had the opportunity to see several other people playing my '50s Roadworn. This may sound odd, but the finish didn't call attention to itself. I love relics but I actually don't find myself thinking about the finish much at all.

At most I would say that you can use Don's scraping method to remove some of the finish on the fingerboard between the 9th and 12th fret. Then just play the snot out of it. The board is going to darken and just look better and better.
 
Last edited:

m@2

Member
Messages
5,071
It may sound odd, but the finish didn't call attention to itself.
I totally agree. My RW oly strat is the most understated guitar I own. Just looks like a white strat with a few dings. It's all about how great these are to play.
 

ESPLTD200FM

Member
Messages
353
I totally agree. My RW oly strat is the most understated guitar I own. Just looks like a white strat with a few dings. It's all about how great these are to play.

Yep, I agree too.....I think my Oly White looks great, and then you play it and it is amazing!
 

rhinocaster

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
23,367
I totally agree. My RW oly strat is the most understated guitar I own. Just looks like a white strat with a few dings. It's all about how great these are to play.
I actually think that this is something that doesn't get discussed much when people want to talk about relics. Sure, relics are worked over and in the case of the Roadworn it's supposed to look like a guitar that has just been HAMMERED. It's not just a relic or lightly worn guitar, it's supposed to look like a guitar that hasn't had a night off in 50 years.

OK, so that's the visual part that's supposed to appeal to those that enjoy the look of a heavily worn guitar. The thing is, when you play the guitar, you only feel a great neck and the way the nitro feels under your forearm on the body. You don't notice the relic finish any more than you notice any other finish once the guitar is strapped on.

I found it very interesting that I didn't think about the finish at all when other people were playing my Roadworn. They didn't mention it, I didn't notice it. We talked about the tone of the pickups and the effect of the trem block change. We talked about amps and effects. We talked about lots of things. We didn't talk about the finish.
 

DonM

Member
Messages
1,099
BTW... out of 5 pretty good - Parts0casters I own - the RW took the #1 lead spot - theres just something about a FENDER! - sure ya heard that before if yer' my age.. ~he~he~ my other LOVE is a Squire!=
 

DonM

Member
Messages
1,099



right above is my RW before pic... Then Up above that is my first "Tele Love" 2000 squire affinity !!! - and they call it Tele-> LLLLoooooooooohveEEE............................................................................................................................................
 

rhinocaster

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
23,367
Thanks for the perspective guys. I think I'll focus on playing it, not studying it from a coupla inches away!
Good for you!

Immersion in TGP will make you think that the world looks at relics a certain way. That's just not the case.

Even now, most players don't even know what a relic is.
 




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