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'Worn' basses - hot or not?

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I was thinking the other day about 'worn' basses and guitars - ones you buy off the shelf with a road-worn look already, like the Vintage V4 Icon and Fender Road Worn series - and I was thinking I can't decide if they are really cool or really uncool.

On the one hand, they do look amazing, but on the other I just also thing they are kind of mega try-hard.

End of the day I won't judge anyone on what gear they use, but I wondered what your opinions are?

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I'm going to say warm! I don't dislike the road-worn look, but I'd prefer it to do it naturally, every scuff tells a story sort of thing, so it seems a bit silly to scuff it up without the history if that makes any sense at all!

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Relicing is up there with gold hardware and the single cut on the list of things a bass guitar should never be subjected to...

Edited by CamdenRob

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[quote name='Si600' timestamp='1389256045' post='2331861']
I'm going to say warm! I don't dislike the road-worn look, but I'd prefer it to do it naturally, every scuff tells a story sort of thing, so it seems a bit silly to scuff it up without the history if that makes any sense at all!
[/quote]
[quote name='icastle' timestamp='1389256725' post='2331873']
IMO, they smack of fake 'look at me, I've been around'. Definitely uncool.
[/quote]
[quote name='HowieBass' timestamp='1389257191' post='2331880']
Not keen; it's a little like faking an antique. I prefer genuine patina.
[/quote]

These. I don't violently dislike these instruments, but I just don't really see the point.

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Terrible. Genuine selfworn guitars look so much better than these fakes that look like someones gone made with a sander.
I wonder who buys them? It must be younger folk who marvel at Rory Galleghers strat or other such beaten up guitars.
I prefer the sort of thing that makes the guitar eyecatching, like Paul Wellers Pop art Ric, or George Harrisos home painted strat.

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Doesn't take long to knock the edges off a new guitar. Play it.
Having said that, the necks on the roadworn jobs are immediately playable and nice. maybe keep doing that.
:)

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The Fender Roadworns I've played have been really nice instruments, and I don't mind dings (you can't gig a bass for very long without picking up something here or there), but the whole relicing thing leaves me cold - as said above, it's trying too hard wannabee stuff. It's also pretty obvious 99% of the time.

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I'm lukewarm with these. I love the look of a well worn Fender, but prefer it to be gained through years of gigging. That said, we all know how painful that first ding on our first decent bass was... May not be a bad thing for a younger player to have a 'pre-beaten' bass!

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That's why I don't mind buying second hand basses that have some dings and dongs on them. They may not be my dings and dongs, but I don't mind adding to them if there are already some there.

Ready-worn is not really my thing, although I did have a Vintage Jaco Fretless for a while.

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Waste of money in my opinion.................................well you DID ask!

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I love my Road Worn - it playes really well and the neck is lovely.

I do sometimes think about stripping the finish and refinishing in a nice custom colour nitro

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Having played a truly orrible, grungy, beat up 70's Jazz Bass recently, I much prefer the more hygienic modern fake versions without the grime. Not too keen on the sunburst ones but do like the Fender, Fiesta Red, Jazz Bass.

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Apart from their looks, the Fender Roadworns have a good rep for tone and playability, so are valid imho.

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I can't comment on the playability, but I find the whole relicing idea very silly.

I love the fact that on one of my older gigging basses, the finish is starting to go a little thin where my forearm rests on the top edge of the body- I bought this bass new, and every inch of wear has been through my playing, gigs and practices. Every ding, or scratch has been at my hands.

To go out and buy a faked, aged guitar makes no sense to me at all

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Reliced basses are expensive for what they are, and so are not cool in my book.

Get out there, gig a lot and relic your own bass for free.


I love that, after 3 years and hundreds of gigs, my Lull still looks new.

Edited by chris_b

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[quote name='discreet' timestamp='1389264807' post='2331993']
Apart from their looks, the Fender Roadworns have a good rep for tone and playability, so are valid imho.
[/quote]

True - but is that not "in spite of" their relicking rather than "because of" it? They are clearly well-made basses, but does the "damaged" finish add to their appeal? I would say not - but some people must like it or they wouldn't sell!

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Pretty much in agreement with everyone here. Really uncool. Could be better if it were more realistic. I've never seen a naturally worn bass anywhere near as bad as the roadworn ones, but I guess it's just fashion. I've often bought things to make me look like something I wasn't - I bought a leather jacket long before I got a bike, I bought Converse All-Stars and I don't play basketball and I buy stonewashed jeans, so maybe I'm being a bit hypocritical. :)

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Options are limited for buying nitro finished basses and the Road Worns tick this box.

My other option was an AVRI but they are a LOT more money.

For some reason poly finishes feel synthetic and nitro feels more organic to me. strange I know

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I prefer natural wear - it's trés cool, but there are risks (and expense) with buying a 30+ year old naturally worn high-end instrument! IMHO 'Relicing' allow you to own a modern bass with arguably better quality control and manufacturing techniques at a realistic price without fear of dinging your new pride and joy - any marks will contribute to it's worn appearance!

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[quote name='SteveO' timestamp='1389271019' post='2332112']
. I've often bought things to make me look like something I wasn't - I buy stonewashed jeans, so maybe I'm being a bit hypocritical. :)
[/quote]

Good example! :D Except that the problem is new jeans look crap, whereas a new bass looks lovely! :gas:

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[quote name='gjones' timestamp='1389264746' post='2331991']
Having played a truly orrible, grungy, beat up 70's Jazz Bass recently, I much prefer the more hygienic modern fake versions without the grime. Not too keen on the sunburst ones but do like the Fender, Fiesta Red, Jazz Bass.
[/quote]
I've never understood why 'grime' has to be associated with 'worn'. A lot of the relic'd guitars and basses i've seen have what seems to be grime, dirt or rust all over them. I have a 10 basses from the 60s and early 70s that have got a few chips, buckle rash, the finish worn away and dulled metalwork but definitely no dirt and grime. Why would there be? You clean a bass like everything else. All of the basses i have (some are 50 years old) are all grime free i can assure you.

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I think Sandberg do a good job but I was at a wedding once & the bassman in the band that were playing was using an aged california whilst wearing a suit. Not a good look.

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