How much relic is too much?

Intune

Senior Stratmaster
Jan 14, 2021
4,406
Edmonton, Alberta
I love these threads! It should be do you like relics then leave your comment with your age. Seems to get a lot of the old timers in a fit. I mean it must get boring shaking a stick at the same cloud over and over.

Do what you want, if it makes you happy. No point in seeking advice in relics with a site that filled with hatred towards them.
 

tubejockey

Strat-Talker
Dec 1, 2016
401
the Bozone
I purposely aged my pirate strat because i made it of paulownia with a thin poly finish. I knew it would naturally relic very quickly since it is very soft. I just gave the hardware a head start. It works very well with that particular aesthetic choice, but i am generally not a fan of the fake beat- up look.
 

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StratUp

Most Honored Senior Member
Sep 5, 2020
7,219
Altered States
I have issues with relics that take things too far and/or that put wear in locations where it's unlikely to occur in normal playing. The scratches behind the bridge in the black stripes have that feel for me. While I've certainly seen some pretty bashed-up guitars that had *real* wear on them, the aesthetic is usually lost on me; I actively hunt down the most pristine example of old guitars that I can find. Personal taste.

Other than that, looks like a fun project. Looking forward to seeing it completed!

I studied about 100 guitars before doing the relic thing on one of mine. Wanted it to look natural.

My goal was to have a guitar I didn't mind leaving out all the time in any ol' place around the house. A "grab and play" guitar. I'm too OCD to do that with a pristine guitar. So I bought a used one showing a little age, refin'ed it for kicks, and then aged it out.

It's a fun guitar and gets a lot of play.
 

ToneRanger

Most Honored Senior Member
Jun 8, 2009
8,412
Area 51
I don't understand this whole "relic" thing. A guitar is an instrument. Some might even say a "precision instrument." Guys who simply throw their git into the back of a truck and let it bounce around the truck bed either have way too much money or lack respect for it.

Yes, I know electric guitars aren't as sensitive to the elements as acoustic guitars, but while a ding on an electric may not cause one trauma, the same on an acoustic can be heart-rending.

It is not just abuse - although we owe a lot of that to SRV.
There grew a nostalgia regarding vintage instruments starting in the late 80's/early 90's, and many of those instruments (REAL ones,) would "relic" with just normal playing - the lacquer used was very fragile and susceptible to body chemistry and temperature.
Heck, one of the reasons that Fender switched to rosewood was because of all the complaints about the lacquer wearing off the maple fretboards after only a year or two - same with the switch from nitro lacquer to poly in the early/mid 70's.

So if you've got that nostalgia but can't drop 10's of thousands on the real thing - you get a "relic."

Personally, I think the best balance is the "relic ready" the Wildwood Guitars was selling - basically, everything is set up so that the guitar will "age" quickly, but you are the one creating the wear instead of it being manufactured.
 

revtime

Senior Stratmaster
Jun 17, 2014
1,167
kansas
Great discussion. I like the broken in feel and sometimes the look is really cool. Someone mentioned getting rid of a guitar if it got too beat up. That was what I was getting at with the question. It seems odd to me to get rid of a guitar that has aged with you just because it aged. If you play it, I mean really play it stuff is gonna happen. My number one is a forever and I treat it with the utmost respect but its got wear and scars n such just from being used for its intended purpose.
So even if you hate relics due to the "look" do you hate your used guitar?
 

Intune

Senior Stratmaster
Jan 14, 2021
4,406
Edmonton, Alberta
I feel the same way about my guitars and my dress shoes - they’re dress shoes for a reason.

I play guitar every day. My dress shoes I don’t wear every day unless I have a reason too. They will wear out much faster so it’s not really the same comparison. Unless you play guitar every 6 months and it’s stored away in a case. Guitars are tools and made to be played. They will get wear.
 

dspellman

Strat-O-Master
Mar 24, 2013
831
Los Angeles
I love these threads! It should be do you like relics then leave your comment with your age. Seems to get a lot of the old timers in a fit. I mean it must get boring shaking a stick at the same cloud over and over.

Do what you want, if it makes you happy. No point in seeking advice in relics with a site that filled with hatred towards them.
Seems to me that it would be the old timers who would actually own a real worn instrument.

Probably logical, then, that the "new timers" would want to pretend.
Like standing next to Mickey Mouse at Dismaland, the Tragic Kingdom.

Ultimately, it's just a fashion choice.
 

dspellman

Strat-O-Master
Mar 24, 2013
831
Los Angeles
I once got in a fight with a guy that tried to take one of my guitars. It was a Les Paul. I got it away from him and smacked Him in the mouth with the butt end of it. His Black Belt didn’t do him much good that night. He was arrested shortly after.

Oh and he did lose a couple of teeth.
I've occasionally needed to fend off (with a Les Paul) folks who were either involved in an ongoing altercation or who lost their balance due to ingestion of toxic substances. Really haven't needed (so far, knock on wood) to be particularly aggressive with it. Just needed to change their direction in a significant way.
 

Intune

Senior Stratmaster
Jan 14, 2021
4,406
Edmonton, Alberta
Seems to me that it would be the old timers who would actually own a real worn instrument.

Probably logical, then, that the "new timers" would want to pretend.
Like standing next to Mickey Mouse at Dismaland, the Tragic Kingdom.

Ultimately, it's just a fashion choice.

Call me a pretender all you want. I cannot afford and actually wouldn’t pay the ridiculous prices actual vintage fenders cost. So buying a relic or nitro guitar is my only option if I want the vintage vibe. That’s what the old timers can’t seem to grasp. I’m not interested in a 90’s plastic finish guitar looking brand spanking new until the end of time.
 

dspellman

Strat-O-Master
Mar 24, 2013
831
Los Angeles
Call me a pretender all you want. I cannot afford and actually wouldn’t pay the ridiculous prices actual vintage fenders cost. So buying a relic or nitro guitar is my only option if I want the vintage vibe. That’s what the old timers can’t seem to grasp. I’m not interested in a 90’s plastic finish guitar looking brand spanking new until the end of time.
I don't think it's only old timers that can't seem to grasp relicing. Probably 95% of entry level guitar players take really good care of their instruments. There's nothing wrong with you liking what you like. When I was playing sax there was a small contingent of players who wanted really worn-looking instruments that looked like 50 years of bar work, but who wanted perfect pads and hinges. I rebuilt some pretty nasty old horns for them (cleaning out the spit and gunk of the ages inside as well). I had a luggage repair shop almost on retainer to rebuild old cases to look worn on the outside, but to coddle those vintage-looking horns in new padding on the inside and perfect closures on the outside. *shrug* It's a thing...
 

Ronnie Fn D

Senior Stratmaster
Feb 1, 2022
1,107
Valrico FL
I love these threads! It should be do you like relics then leave your comment with your age. Seems to get a lot of the old timers in a fit. I mean it must get boring shaking a stick at the same cloud over and over.

Do what you want, if it makes you happy. No point in seeking advice in relics with a site that filled with hatred towards them.
You should definitely start that thread, it would actually be interesting to see if the opinions line up with age groups.
 

joebtone

Senior Stratmaster
Silver Member
Jan 26, 2022
1,498
Northwest US
I have a.....distessed strat body. It had a roasted warmoth neck but I found a maple, boatneck profile with 1 3/4 nut width. Had warmoth throw some SS frets and an earvana tusq nut on it, hold the finish.
Ima see if I can screw it up beyond all rreason. Lol.
Follow along as I show off my hack skill set.
View attachment 563251
This the roasted one and the maple virgin before I went after it.
View attachment 563252
So far. I have minwax wood stain in espresso 273. Sandpaper and minwax antique oil finish. Wish me luck. Lol
That is all ass-backwards from what I would do....but I have too much respect for the heart of my fellow believer in freedom to criticize it.... but....I lie...again...

Real simple...the dark stain would be on the wear section of the neck...not on the ding section...there.....
I said it....
Then I finish it in a aged clear.

But, do not look at the project I have going with the pale neck’d F holed pretty guitar...
I just love the art it it all...😍It’s all good.
I have a.....distessed strat body. It had a roasted warmoth neck but I found a maple, boatneck profile with 1 3/4 nut width. Had warmoth throw some SS frets and an earvana tusq nut on it, hold the finish.
Ima see if I can screw it up beyond all rreason. Lol.
Follow along as I show off my hack skill set.
View attachment 563251
This the roasted one and the maple virgin before I went after it.
View attachment 563252
So far. I have minwax wood stain in espresso 273. Sandpaper and minwax antique oil finish. Wish me luck. Lol
 

Neil.C

Most Honored Senior Member
Mar 3, 2012
8,601
Surrey, England
I would agree.

Everything looks unmarked and fairly new apart from the body.

Probably the look FZ was going for but it looks incongruous to me.
I would have thought somebody with your user icon would know whose guitar that used to be.

It's not Hendrix's guitar though is it?

It's just a burnt body with everything else added and there has always been a question mark over its origin.

Last I heard Dweezil was trying to sell it.
 


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