Roadworn 60's series - I like 'em

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by Axis29, Jan 16, 2009.

  1. Axis29

    Axis29 Strat-O-Master

    Mar 9, 2007
    Beaumont. California
    Please, this isn't an I love/hate relic guitars thread. I know a lot of you guys don't like 'em. These are just my first hand observations... (it's also a direct copy of a post over at the TDPRI, so don't read it twice if you don't have too! :D )


    I tried a 60's 3-tone and a 60's white. I like the Rosewood fretboard (but then I've been on a bit of a quest lately). Both of these guitars played fantastically and sounded very sweet. I have been on a search for a creamier sounding strat and I think one of these might be the ticket.

    The rosewood boards are not really relic'd other than coloring of the fret markers. Which I appreciated. The edges are very nicely rounded and devoid of finish (as would be the case with a worn in instrument). While the relicing may not be the best I've ever seen, it's certainly good enough for me. They feel nice and soft, velvety on the finish. Although I found the raw wood could have been a tad smoother to be realistic. However, a few months from now, I doubt I’d even notice… It wasn’t that rough! As I played, I would occasionally look down at my thumb on the back of the neck and it fell on the wear spots more often than not… Interesting, I guess there’s a lot of songs in E and A?

    The necks were nice and full. Not huge, but filled the hand nicely. Thicker between 5 and 12 than a MIM standard neck. I have medium large hands and like a thick neck, but not baseball bat thick. These were right in that thicker C shape. I am also a V neck guy, but these filled my hands enough that I liked them.
    The Sunburst model ’s body looked better. It was worn, but didn’t look like someone had been beating it to death with an awl or screwdriver. But the white one was a little overdone, too many peck marks.
    These two 60’s models didn’t sound like MIM standards. I found the pickups creamier and sweeter, especially in the bridge position. The MIM standard I tried for comparison was bright and sharp, not thin, but sharper. The standards pickups also seemed a little less dynamic. Not horrible, but noticeably less smooth. I see that the Roadworn’s have Tex-Mex pickups in them (I just skipped over to research it real quick). I found them a good departure from my 57/62’s. In the long run I might eventually replace them with full CS Texas Specials. But I wouldn’t be rushing to do it right away.
    I liked the 7.25 vintage radius. Fretwork was nice on both. Narrow jumbos were a new thing for me. I found them comfortable and easy to play. I am also a huge fan of Vintage tuners… so I was happy with these. They operated smoothly (which I have not always found with relic’d guitars). I did find the nuts probably needed a little fine tuning (they seemed a little tight), so before using the trem, that would have to be taken care of.

    I will say I was disappointed with the maple fingerboard relicing. I thought it was very unrealistic. IT almost looked like the finish was just falling off. I did glance at a Tele or two, but couldn’t get over the fretboard . I was tempted to try them, but I can’t afford two new guitars just yet… at 950, I did think they were a bit expensive, but I have a 10% off coupon and will probably put it to good use next week some time. If I can control myself that long…
  2. CandyAppleHead

    CandyAppleHead Strat-O-Master

    Apr 28, 2008
    Cambridge, England
    I was in my local music shop today and spotted a three Road Worn Strats - probably amongst the first in the UK - a 50s "Blackie", a 60s in sunburst and a 60s in Oly White.

    I tried out the sunburst 60s with a Super Champ XD. It sounded pretty good, quite creamy as you say, although the bridge pickup wasn't wired to the tone control. There was plenty of spank 'n' quack in the right places too.

    Playing wise it felt good, although the one I played had a airly high action. The neck was nice, not too thin.

    As for looks, I thought the relicing was quite convincing, a huge improvement over the MIM Joe Strummer, which IMHO looks like a dodgy ebay belt sander job. I liked the finish checking on the body, and the hardware looked very realistic. I wasn'tsure about the neck - the back seemed a bit overdone and both it and the fretboard felt very "dry". The fretboard would likely come up nice with some oil though. Although I didn't play the particular guitar, the Oly White Strat looked fantastic. The 50s looked less authentic, especially the fretboard.

    The tag price was an eye-watering £895, but the guy did tell me he'd sell for less. Even then, I couldn't justify spending big sums of money on a MIM Strat. A better option to me would be a 60s Classic with a pickup and bridge upgrade and a diy relic.

    Still, that Olympic White did look absolutely killer..