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'Worn' basses - hot or not?

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I'm not a fan of faked relic basses, but I was amused to see a 2nd hand Fender RW for sale "in mint condition".
Isn't that missing the point?

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I'm a bit ambivalent on this, I was quite against it (not that I mind if someone has a different taste though) but I'm coming around a little. I mean, I buy pre-washed jeans, right? Anyway, on instruments that could have been that much used, like a traditional four string P or J bass I don't think it looks out of place, but on a modern five string that can not have existed long enough to develop wear from use I think it looks a bit out of place. Having said that I have recently spent some time configuring my new (some day ... ) Sandberg five string bass, and I have tried out quite a few relic finishes ... hmm.

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[quote name='MB1' timestamp='1406733055' post='2514185']
'peteb'
I would say that the best analogy is probably that playing a relic’d bass is like making love to a beautiful woman – who has had a boob job!

You might prefer the idea of the real thing but when it actually comes down to it, does it really matter??

MB1.
You are Swiss Toni
and I claim my £50
[/quote]
At least somebody got the reference!

If it is a good bass and it looks ok (for whatever reason) does it really matter about what particular finish it has ; be it relic, natural, fancy 'expensive coffee table' type thing or a solid paint job? Things (and people for that matter) can be attractive for different reasons so why get hung up on it??

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I'm another one for the 'if I buy something new I want it to look new'. I wouldn't mind if I played a bass for years and years and it ended up worn out looking but I'd like to know that it was me that done it from years of loving the bass. Not someone in a workshop with some sanding paper. If it's your thing though then go for it.

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I have after playing many years, just got a TM 5 hard core aged in Sunburst and think its incredible, so much so you might see some basses appearing on here for sale! My band mates rip the piss saying it's fake blah blah. It's not really, ok I haven't done all my playing on one single bass but if I had, this is what it would look like. Most of us have bought and sold over the years, and there is very much a trend thing at the moment with Relics/Roadworn.

20 years ago I sold a road worn 76 Jazz because it looked tatty and I wanted 80's shiny!

Anyway, The Sandberg truly is a great bass with a serious palette of tones, don't knock them until you have one in your hands.

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[quote name='DaytonaRik' timestamp='1389271347' post='2332123']
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!
[/quote]

Agree with this 100%

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If it looks genuine/natural (nash, sandberg) and not naff and like a kid with a sander has attacked it (limelight) then i think they can look quite cool

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I used to be pretty ambivalent about them and I always treat my basses with care. However after acquiring a Fender RW Jazz recently, I have to say it's the nicest Jazz I've played. The finish is growing on me too.

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[quote name='machinehead' timestamp='1389292903' post='2332532']
I can take the relic look or leave the relic look but I do wonder how the f**£ some genuinely worn basses get into the state they're in.

Do the owners take them to gigs tied to a tow rope behind their car?

I own several guitars that I bought in the 70s, one is from the 60s. They were extensively gigged over the years and still look 9/10 condition today.

It makes me wonder what the fake worn basses are based on? Maybe it's ones that were accidently dropped off a ferry and were recovered in a trawlers net 30 years later? :D

Frank.
[/quote]
My 1980 Tokai Strat worked five to seven nights a week on the road for years. First blemishes were caused by the dodgy case the importer supplied which had a staple sticking through to the inside exactly in line with the lower horn!
Met him years later & he told me YES it was his fault, but that it was an easy way to authenticate one of HIS imported Tokai Springy Sounds!
The rest of the wear and tear - including the first twelve frets I replaced recently - came from sheer hard work, not careless handling.
I also have my regular working bass from about the same date, which has a thumb-sized dent in the wood (through the finish to bare wood) right up against the pickup cover, from years of me anchoring there. And the neck is now so worn the skunk stripe in the back has started breaking out of its slot! Time it went off to be fettled again I suppose....

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I can honestly say that in forty years of playing , buying, selling, meeting hundreds of other bass players, trying countless basses in shops, and viewing thousands on the net, I have never seen a naturally worn bass that comes even close to these road worn fakes.....(even the lightly distressed ones.) Whenever I see battered bass, which is very rarely, I just know its a fake, which seems to totally reverse the logic for buying one in the first place. To get them to the state that some of them are in, they would have to be hundreds of years old, used as targets at axe throwing competions, and dragged to gigs behind a motor bike..... All they have done is take away the credibility of naturally worn examples.. Hope the big car manufacturers don't pick up on this as a money spinning idea.

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I detest the very look of them.

But one man's sirloin baguette is another man's rycin muffin.

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