How much relic is too much?


Senior Stratmaster
Jun 17, 2014
Well it was a mixed bag but I learned some stuff. I think it matches the theme of the guitar and its a very thin finish so it should age quickly.
I think I will pick up a cheapie sunburst and practice more on that.
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Most Honored Senior Member
Jan 10, 2014

If using black stain to relic with, often it can appear gray and bland. A little red stain done subtly before/after can warm the black up and make it look a lot more vibrant.

A few years back I went through all the Fender Custom Shop 'heavy relic' models and overlaid their damage on these images. These are the typical locations for 'actual wear', they presumably looked at old original guitars, but their wear patterns have become the 'realistic wear patterns' most players recognize as 'authentic'. However, players are unique in their playing styles and do wear guitars differently.

Strats seem to get more abuse than Teles, and also played higher on the neck.

Keys to a great relic guitar:
-Perfect playability, high performance. The guitar is easy to play with a great fret level, setup.
-Smooth/satin all over from the wood, metal, finishes. No sharp paint chips, no metal burrs, no wood splinters. Rolled/eased fretboard edges and rounded fret ends.

With a relic comes freedom to dig in with your playing, letting the guitar become an extension of you and no worries about 'scratches'. Freedom.

I've found the relic-haters have never owned a good relic guitar, so pay them no heed.

I used to hate relics too as I did not understand them. After I got my first relic I finally understood the attraction. I noticed how the guitars I bought new and pristine tended to stay in the cases while my used/abused/neglected finds bought cheap and fixed up got all the play time. I also found a new burst in playing skills with that first relic guitar -- in the end it made me a better player.



Nov 28, 2016
Virginia, USA
This Stratocaster was given to Frank Zappa by Howard Parker – Hendrix’s roadie, at the 1968 Miami Pop Festival. The history of the guitar is however far from established, and some even doubt its legitimacy since until just recently there’s been proof of Jimi only ever burning two guitars in his life – both of which are accounted for.

Well, there was this guy named Howard Parker – they called him ‘H’ – who was Hendrix’s roadie, gofer and general assistant. He stayed at our house for a couple of months in the late ’60s, and he had this guitar which Hendrix had given to him – I thought it was from the Miami concert. The Famous Zappa/Hendrix Burnt Guitar – FeelNumb

Read more at Ground Guitar



Providing the world with flat bends since 1985
Nov 14, 2013
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.
Same sh** different day.

I don't consider myself an old timer, and I really don't think age has anything to do with it at all. I don't happen to gravitate toward guitars that look like they've been dragged behind someone's car, but I also couldn't care less if someone else does.

I'm fine with my "plastic coated" guitars, just as you are fine with your nitro coated guitars.

Play what ya wanna play, buy what ya wanna buy.


Senior Stratmaster
Jun 17, 2014
Some have strong feelings. Some guys still have their balls attached and want to tussle. Cool. As long as the no weapons rule is in effect Im down.
Its not gonna change anyones mind though.
I like my pristine NJ Schecter and I am having a freakin ball with the orange n black bastard. Soon to have a purple pickguard LOL.
So get wbat ya like and play it to death.