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polara

How do you feel about buying a guitar that got its relic'ing the traditional way?

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8 hours ago, FGJ said:

As for relic'd guitars, I don't get it. It's like buying jeans with stains and holes already in it and then paying extra for it. I mean, I can see buying pre-washed jeans that feel broken in, and I understand living with a little wear from something pre-owned, but why pay extra for something new to look beat up? Why not just play it and create that wear and tear yourself?

Because the point isn't to buy a guitar that looks used. With Fender, I think the relics sound the best. I only became interested when they started offering modern specs on guitars and CBS era basses with modern specs. I love Fender that was my first bass, my first instrument but I spent almost 30 years chasing all kinds of different things usually with Kahler or Floyd Rose attached. So I missed out on all the deals and all the good instruments.   I remember many early 70s Jazz basses, black or pearl blocks $500-600 used.  Good ones command very high prices now and I've never seen one I could afford that didn't require refrets and the like. Same with the Precision. I think the FCS 70s basses, rare as they are, can hang with the best of the 70s and are likely better instrument overall.

Guitars are a different story I can't hang with 7.5" radius so vintage is mostly out for me. Wildwoods have a 10" radius, 6105 frets and Krause rounded the fretboard edges & filed a slight compound radius into that. The WW10 started the madness and solved my Strat problems at the same time. The ice pick Strat that never played right or stayed in tune now does. I've never needed to change any parts on FCS except for the badass bridges and hipshot extenders on the bass.

Over the last 5 years I've played over a 100 gigs and dozens of auditions and nobody has said anything about my relic other than close friends in the know. I used one bass primarily and it shows additional signs of wear and overall the finish is duller. It looks pretty awesome.  If that was regular USA production, that bass would still be as shiny as it was new.  I played a ton of hot, sweaty gigs on that bass in the Texas sun. Over time the oils & sweat combine into the exposed neck wood. Its created this hard finish - it's very smooth.

I've always tried to buy relics with the right specs and aging that looks mostly right.  As a bass player options are quite limited so I take what I can get. I just bought a heavy relic Tele, just insane aging including sandblasting. It looks silly in the rack with my other guitars. But other than the looks, it's everything I want in a Tele. This is one of the Strats a bit more conservative with the aging

ROHqtP4.jpg

 

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When I got my first guitar (a 1991 LP Studio Lite), I had no concern for resale value, I was 13 and going to a prep school with a dress code, so I had a button down and belt on every day. The guitar got used and worn heavily, travelling back and forth to school and being played in jazz ensemble as well as my first band. By the time I got a second guitar (my late '92 CS Edition LP Special) more than 2 years later, the Studio Lite was thoroughly "relic'd," though the industry hadn't adopted the nomenclature or practice of selling them new that way, yet. After a year of barely touching the Lite, I did a partial trade for my Kendrick 2410. I was 16, had only one electric, and was always in that dress code, so the Special got some serious wear on the back from button and belt rash over its first 3 years of service, and as it remained my only electric for almost 15 years, you can imagine how un-pristine it is now! I'd buy that guitar in the condition it's in now, 26 years later, for full price, because it's better than any other LP Special I've ever played (with the possible exception of one 1957 original that you could feel vibrating the frequencies of your voice while it was sitting on your lap - I've never found another piece of wood like that!).

I bought My Brown-Eyed Girl to be my wife, my partner, my inspiration and my better-half, with no intention of ever parting with it, and even though I spent an entire summer with layaway visitation only, as I brought in each paycheck and signed it over for another half hour of play, I wasn't even remotely worried about dinging it up once it was paid off and became my #1. It instantly felt (and still feels) like home, and sounded amazing, in spite of those horrible P100 stacked hum soapbars (replaced with proper P90 Fralins 15 years back).

A great guitar is about the feel and the sound. The aesthetics are just a bonus. Gimme a new guitar that speaks to me with a thin finish that feels warm and worn ("NOS" or maybe a light "closet classic" treatment with a little checking and crazing, but no gouges), and that's ok, but I have no interest in paying more for intentional damage. Gimme an old guitar that sings but has honest wear and tear, and I'll pony up the cash. These are, ultimately, MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS, not investments or wall art, and I'll pay for an exceptional instrument, no matter how beat it is.

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11 hours ago, ARM OF HAMER said:

                                          1978 Gibson L-5S .............................all real wear.I don't know who played it or owned it. [Besides me that is] but I was told it was a one owner guitar before I bought it.wcWyWSC.jpgTrPSPUF.jpgDktugmX.jpgYqjkIFJ.jpg7P6n4Ft.jpgBAlHME0.jpgV8DQE9D.jpg

Oh, man, I've seen this posted here in the HFC before and it's gorgeous. It has all the right patina in all the right places in all the right way. Maybe I like it because it would already be a gorgeous guitar without the wear, but the mileage makes it that much more cool. I'd would rather buy something with real wear and tear like this than a new guitar. This has history behind it, and I wouldn't feel like I'd have to baby it because its already broken in. I hate that I feel like I have to baby my Newport. If I'm not playing it, nervously hoping I don't bang it or scratch it, it stays in the case. 

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21 hours ago, The Shark said:

I forgot one of my favorite "real" relics...

EvhEn2Y.jpg I remember when you got that guitar Dave! BEAUTIFUL!

 

 

Edited by ARM OF HAMER
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On 12/7/2019 at 6:06 PM, FGJ said:

Oh, man, I've seen this posted here in the HFC before and it's gorgeous. It has all the right patina in all the right places in all the right way. Maybe I like it because it would already be a gorgeous guitar without the wear, but the mileage makes it that much more cool. I'd would rather buy something with real wear and tear like this than a new guitar. This has history behind it, and I wouldn't feel like I'd have to baby it because its already broken in. I hate that I feel like I have to baby my Newport. If I'm not playing it, nervously hoping I don't bang it or scratch it, it stays in the case. 

One of my all-time favorites - wowzer.

Who is the lucky bastard who has it now?

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16 hours ago, Boomerang~Junkie said:

One of my all-time favorites - wowzer.

Who is the lucky bastard who has it now?

                                          A  Dr.Of Chemical Engineering and Directer of Diabetic Research now owns it...................no I'm not kidding. Quite a brilliant man who just happens to love guitars..

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Here's the F-100 I had for a while.  7.5 radius, well-loved.  Check out the 3 digit serial number on it!

IMG_1256.JPG

IMG_1258.JPG

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On 12/5/2019 at 11:34 AM, crunchee said:

I don't mind a guitar that has honest wear and tear, usually it's the sellers that I get wary of.  If a seller (including some dealers) ridiculously hypes up a guitar, and the superlatives considerably outnumber plain facts in the description, then I tend to look elsewhere.

My basses, on the other hand...I've got a '85 1st Gen Cruisebass in Factory Trans Cherry Nitro finish over Mahogany neck and body, the finish is original and has a good number of scuffs,, marks, chips, dings, and dents, but no real finish checking to speak of.  I love playing it, I only wish I could find another one in Trans Cherry!  Some doofus in the past removed (and lost) the pickguard, so I'm planning to eventually make a pickguard from clear acrylic sheet, to show off the finish in that area.

  I have an '82 1st generation Cruisebass with the transparent cherry nitro finish as well that I bought off of E-bay a number of years ago for the wonderful price of $350 plus shipping. 😃  I've never bought a bass so beat up with all the chips/scuff marks/dings/dents as this bass. After a good set up, I gigged it as I was playing bass at the local jam night for awhile and appreciated the feel & sound of my beater Cruisebass. It won't win any contest for being in mint condition or being displayed on a stand or glass case, but whoever owned it before me gave it a good thrashing for free! 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Guitar George

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3 hours ago, Toadroller said:

Here's the F-100 I had for a while.  7.5 radius, well-loved.  Check out the 3 digit serial number on it!

IMG_1256.JPG

IMG_1258.JPG

Love F100s. In the 90s I was "mister ambitious" musically, and ended up in a band that had gotten 3-1/2 stars in Rolling Stone and they named the band one of the Top Acts to Watch that year, or some such thing. I joined for the second album and hated it: constant fighting, pressure to sell more units, just miserable. I quit, sold my instruments and amps and didn't pick up an instrument for years, instead focusing on camping, backpacking, snowboarding and mountain biking. Then I ran into an old bandmate. He told me I needed music in my life, and asked me to come out to his car. He opened the trunk and handed me his G&L F100, the one he played in our band long ago. "It's yours. You need to play again," he told me. It was beat to bits: he'd replaced the pickups with EMGs and it had a pickguard and had been punk-rock refinished in brushed-on green. But I started playing again.

I eventually sold off the G&L, as I couldn't live with the EMGs and the frets were just GONE. But last week in NYC I spotted another one, cheap. That's the guitar in the new video we did, kind of a shout-out to the time I almost walked away from music forever. Nice and broken in, just the way I like.

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1 hour ago, polara said:

He opened the trunk and handed me his G&L F100, the one he played in our band long ago.

That is a friend indeed!

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The only thing I don't get is that if I ding up a guitar it's worth less, but if I want a guitar pre-dinged from the factory, I have to pay more. 

Makes 0 sense. 

Maybe instead of saying my guitars are in "good" or "players" condition, I should describe them as "slow relic'd" and charge more. 

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I've got a few MJT bodies that I got "closet clean", with none of the fake-looking wear that you can spot a mile away.  The nitro is pretty thin, so they'll wear and check more easily than a legit vintage piece.

The LP Blue Jazzmaster actually looks great in person.

My Spazzmaster body.jpg

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12 hours ago, LucSulla said:

The only thing I don't get is that if I ding up a guitar it's worth less, but if I want a guitar pre-dinged from the factory, I have to pay more. 

Makes 0 sense. 

Maybe instead of saying my guitars are in "good" or "players" condition, I should describe them as "slow relic'd" and charge more. 

There was a dealer or two on GBase a few years ago, that used the term 'Vintage Excellent' to describe some of their guitars.  <_< :rolleyes:   I haven't really been back since then to know if they're still doing that or not.  

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Well used but not abused is one of the best signs you're getting pretty damn nice guitar, imo.

 

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I bought this 1991 Les Paul Classic three years ago. Great Les Paul. Been troubled with some very light string buzz around the 12th fret. And the wire on the ABR bridge was buzzing on some notes.  Frets were pretty worn. There was a small unevenness on the fretboard. Small stuff. But it is what happens to a 28 year old guitar.

It's been played a lot, as it's "one of the good ones". But I left it to my guitar tech two weeks ago. Got it back yesterday. It feels like a totally new guitar. Frets are dressed, pro set up, everything done 100% top notch. 

A fret dressing, or plek, is not cheap. But a new guitar does not play this well, from a factory set up. Not even close.

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That’s a killer. My ‘95 Classic has new frets, a PLEK and Creamtone long bridge posts installed, picking it up on Sat.

I was hoping to keep the original frets, but a leveling/PLEK would have left the already low frets like a 70s LPC. 6150 Jescars, now. 

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Got no problem buying a "relic-ed" ax. I just mod and refin them. 😜  

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As long as there are  not dings on the neck that I can feel while playing. Could care less about the body dings, finish etc but if I can feel them as I play it tends to bug me some. That said I have one or two with that condition and I still use them. I just try to not add any new guitars with "feelable while playing" dings.

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4 hours ago, Hfan said:

As long as there are  not dings on the neck that I can feel while playing. Could care less about the body dings, finish etc but if I can feel them as I play it tends to bug me some. That said I have one or two with that condition and I still use them. I just try to not add any new guitars with "feelable while playing" dings.

I've had a couple of guitars over the years that have been in really good shape except for dings in the back of the neck. They ended up being the first ones I get rid of when something that's less annoying to play becomes available.

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I never bonded with nice guitars, I like beater looking but nice playing guitars. The first one is a naturally relic guitar. I bought this off a pawn shop down south, I think Alabama. Guy said it was played from new couple times a week for decades until I acquired in 2003-5ish. The other guitar is a retopped Hamer relic.

49714840-5304-4A0A-A2F9-CBADCB0C908B.jpeg

A18C3530-7170-4BBD-B287-277A39561FDC.jpeg

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almost as weather-checked as Uncle Rick's '59 LP but a little bit older lol

20130617_141427 s2.png

Edited by stonge
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