Fender CS neck relic process :(

Today's Fender CS neck relics:

  • I love how they do it. Super authentic

    Votes: 11 16.2%
  • Neck relicing is a weak spot for Fender

    Votes: 28 41.2%
  • Play a guitar for 50yrs is the only acceptable way to relic a guitar and I want everyone to know it

    Votes: 29 42.6%

  • Total voters
    68

Butcher of Strats

Senior Stratmaster
Feb 28, 2022
4,338
Maine
I agree about the orange neck tint doesn’t really look great, neither does bone white. I r tried 100 times now to get a balance between bone white and amber but my necks always seem to turn out brown!! I need to find the right mix.

As far as the BSB tele, they were white but blond. Which has a yellow to it anyway. All the 50’s teles until they started doing a bright white blonde always had a yellow hue to them. Here’s my 20 year old CS tele, it’s slightly faded but I’d imagine a 20 year old tele in 1970 would look similar. So not sure they were ever white. View attachment 622031

Here’s my failed neck attempts. They just look brown. View attachment 622032 View attachment 622033 View attachment 622034
Yeah Fender using the word blond or blonde, the actual paint mix of "white" paint generally including non white pigments to warm it up yet still looking quite white, and the idea that in the 1950s, a Tele looked at all yellow?

I have not yet seen a 1950s pic of a yellow Tele and I commonly see pics from then of the blonde finish that look distinctly white, and nothing like BSB which is known to be due to the yellowing with age, and not the color sprayed on those guitars in the 1950s.
Check all the pics you can find of new Telecasters in the 1950s, I have never seen one that looked yellow.
And at the time we did have color photography, color video, color movies, and color TV, though 1950s color TV was limited in needing to own a color TV plus at first only a few shows aired in color.
Color was a bit off then too, but a Tele looked white while Marilyn who was a very white blonde did look a little bit yellow.

Also blond or blonde when Gentlemen Prefer Blondes was released in 1953, was as applied to hair color, a range from quite white to redder AKA strawberry blonde and yellower sometimes AKA dirty blonde depending on the season and the lighting.
Fender most certainly sprayed finishes that looked white, and called them blonde.
So the word blonde was not used to indicate yellow like butterscotch, and darker shades of blond hair had extra words in the names.

White as a pigment really doesnt look great without some other pigments to warm it up.
The chemical that made those old white looking Fender guitars look BSB was not a pigment!
 

Intune

Most Honored Senior Member
Jan 14, 2021
7,176
Edmonton, Alberta
Yeah Fender using the word blond or blonde, the actual paint mix of "white" paint generally including non white pigments to warm it up yet still looking quite white, and the idea that in the 1950s, a Tele looked at all yellow?

I have not yet seen a 1950s pic of a yellow Tele and I commonly see pics from then of the blonde finish that look distinctly white, and nothing like BSB which is known to be due to the yellowing with age, and not the color sprayed on those guitars in the 1950s.
Check all the pics you can find of new Telecasters in the 1950s, I have never seen one that looked yellow.
And at the time we did have color photography, color video, color movies, and color TV, though 1950s color TV was limited in needing to own a color TV plus at first only a few shows aired in color.
Color was a bit off then too, but a Tele looked white while Marilyn who was a very white blonde did look a little bit yellow.

Also blond or blonde when Gentlemen Prefer Blondes was released in 1953, was as applied to hair color, a range from quite white to redder AKA strawberry blonde and yellower sometimes AKA dirty blonde depending on the season and the lighting.
Fender most certainly sprayed finishes that looked white, and called them blonde.
So the word blonde was not used to indicate yellow like butterscotch, and darker shades of blond hair had extra words in the names.

White as a pigment really doesnt look great without some other pigments to warm it up.
The chemical that made those old white looking Fender guitars look BSB was not a pigment!

1952 tele, faded but definitely a yellow. That’s what fender called blond. 1456D42E-6D54-4F8C-B387-CC74F423BCC7.jpeg

1958 telecaster in white blond as fender called it. Definitely white 5357B6EC-E5BB-4876-B638-408AA71C5A51.jpeg

Butterscotch blond, was it called that by fender? I don’t know. Is it BSB due to the internet, marketing or someone just thought it sound better? No there’s actually a butter cream colour option.
 

Toppalini

Strat-Talker
Dec 16, 2022
491
Portland OR
I believe what they’re going for is more feel related and not look related as much. They want a smooth neck in the playing area and not sticky nitro. That’s what I’m assuming.

But it looks bad yes. However having the tinted nitro headstock looks great.
 

Butcher of Strats

Senior Stratmaster
Feb 28, 2022
4,338
Maine
1952 tele, faded but definitely a yellow. That’s what fender called blond. View attachment 622047

1958 telecaster in white blond as fender called it. Definitely white View attachment 622048

Butterscotch blond, was it called that by fender? I don’t know. Is it BSB due to the internet, marketing or someone just thought it sound better? No there’s actually a butter cream colour option.
IDK, too much details to argue over, colors both fade lighter and yellow darker, they do not all require sun to fade or to yellow or to change over the decades.
IDK what that clean looking "52" is or what the finish is.
All my info say that Fender did not sell yellow guitars in te 1950's, but Fender finishes from then did yellow with age.
Could be there is different info from that.
 

kelia

Strat-Talker
Nov 27, 2020
236
Canada
I'm just here to express frustration with the almost uniformly lazy neck relics coming out of the custom shop. "Sand all the finish off in a straight line from the 1st to 17th frets" Every time. Same look.

qnjxnkhf2ftynopxgbm5.jpg

vikrqfubayo0eo4hpov6.jpg


Very few old guitars look like this. I love the feel of an old neck - but these fel like "Larry had a Scotch Brite pad" pawnshop necks.

Am I alone here?
No wow factor for me and no for me ! It looks cheesy imo !
 

Mudman

Strat-Talker
Sep 29, 2019
176
Upstate NY
2059B5AB-1C80-4CF4-A2F6-ABD513FF3E63.jpeg I think they could have done the transition areas better on my CS ‘59, but the actual wear spots match up really well to where my hands actually land. I’m hoping that if I play it enough, those gentler wear spots will come together.

I do think they need to send the neck guys to study with the body guys. The body on mine is done to perfection.
 

Toppalini

Strat-Talker
Dec 16, 2022
491
Portland OR
View attachment 622114 I think they could have done the transition areas better on my CS ‘59, but the actual wear spots match up really well to where my hands actually land. I’m hoping that if I play it enough, those gentler wear spots will come together.

I do think they need to send the neck guys to study with the body guys. The body on mine is done to perfection.
Looks great. Maybe fender isn’t as worried about looks on the back of neck? More about feel, nobody likes a sticky nitro neck…
 

92 Fiesta Red 62

Senior Stratmaster
Apr 27, 2022
1,075
TEXAS
I knocked off the shine on the back of my Strat’s neck about 25 years ago (with Scotchbrite). I didn’t go down to the bare wood—but that guitar was my #1 for a large portion of that time and I played the holy hades out of it…

It still doesn’t look as “stripped” as many of the relics do.

I like relics—the Custom Shop jobs, the Road Worn series and natural relics…but dang if they don’t overdo it sometimes.
 

Arrested Dev

Strat-O-Master
Silver Member
Jan 18, 2022
658
Austin, TX
I agree about the orange neck tint doesn’t really look great, neither does bone white. I r tried 100 times now to get a balance between bone white and amber but my necks always seem to turn out brown!! I need to find the right mix.

As far as the BSB tele, they were white but blond. Which has a yellow to it anyway. All the 50’s teles until they started doing a bright white blonde always had a yellow hue to them. Here’s my 20 year old CS tele, it’s slightly faded but I’d imagine a 20 year old tele in 1970 would look similar. So not sure they were ever white. View attachment 622031

Here’s my failed neck attempts. They just look brown. View attachment 622032 View attachment 622033 View attachment 622034
I would take that "brown" in a heartbeat.
 

Scott Baxendale

Most Honored Senior Member
Silver Member
May 20, 2020
7,951
Sante Fe, NM
I'm just here to express frustration with the almost uniformly lazy neck relics coming out of the custom shop. "Sand all the finish off in a straight line from the 1st to 17th frets" Every time. Same look.

qnjxnkhf2ftynopxgbm5.jpg

vikrqfubayo0eo4hpov6.jpg


Very few old guitars look like this. I love the feel of an old neck - but these fel like "Larry had a Scotch Brite pad" pawnshop necks.

Am I alone here?
This is gross
 

NickVibrolux92

Strat-Talk Member
Feb 28, 2012
39
Upstate New York
T
I actually like the neck on the example you posted, though it's a little heavier wear than I'd prefer at least it doesn't look like it was masked off and just belt sanded. The body I'm not so keen on, but each to his own.

However, I disagree that the 'belt sander guitars' are known as heavy relics; look at the back of the neck in these 'Journeyman' examples (body shown for information). To me they look completely out of place relative to the body 'wear' and don't look anything like an aged guitar for sale on various vintage guitar websites.

View attachment 537615

View attachment 537616

Another:

View attachment 537617


For comparison, a picture of a 1962 Strat I found for sale that I used for a reference when building my own Strat (I didn't relic mine apart from dulling some of the metalwork slightly):

View attachment 537618

I have a 39 year old JV Squier Strat that I've played a lot. It is finished in poly (or at least the neck is, the body was refinished some years ago in nitro). The poly has worn down in places, but obviously won't wear like nitro. It does feel very comfortable though. I'll try to take some new photos of the back of the neck just for info, but it's more chips and dings, with just the finish worn off the edge of the fingerboard and some of the fingerboard itself at the lower frets as shown. This was after I had it refretted, but he managed to do it without having to refinish the fingerboard:

View attachment 537620
This is the neck on my early ‘83 Squier SQ. Trust me, this is real wear although it does look a bit odd. It is a very thin poly finish so the wear is different than nitro, but this much fingerboard/fretwear would surely constitute the finish worn off the back of the neck, right? Nope… the finish is all there. I have played several vintage 50’s and 60’s Fender guitars and the wear on the CS Relics is not at all consistent with the real deal. The finish on the back of the neck is worn off in areas of the old ones BUT in many places, the grime and hand oils have melded into the lacquer causing discoloration, but not fully worn to bare wood the entire length of the neck. A lot of string drag did the majority of the wear on my SQ. The fretboard edges are naturally rolled and feel great but the finish on the back of the neck is still there…
 

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SalmonToast

Strat-Talk Member
Nov 23, 2022
28
England
I think you've missed a fairly important point here.

A lot of players deliberately smoothed the back of the necks for playability. It doesn't look like natural wear because a lot the time, it wasn't.

In my opinion, this is what the CS is going for rather than recreating natural wear patterns. Perhaps not in every case but likely a factor in many design decisions. Heck, people do it with 'new' guitars all the time.

Just my opinion.
 


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