Jump to content
Left leaderboard

Recommended Posts

First of all, let me beg this doesn't turn into an argument about who loves/hates roadworn instruments. I'm into spreading love and vegan butter not hate and hot collars. All I wonder, as I watch a bass being roadworn on Youtube, is if someone could point me to what they consider the most realistic relic job they've found or seen.

My interest piqued when the guy on YT said I want it to look like a forty year old instrument not a new one. I look at my 38 year old Aria, which has been worn by the passage of time and, none of the ones I've seen either in the flesh or online look anything like it.

I just wondered whether maybe relicing an instrument is actually an art form with its own rules and aims. The look isn't actually supposed to mimic reality as such, it's  more a take on it which has developed it's own reality. Look at Leland Sklar's old basses. they are subtly worn in places I would never have imagined. More like a well worn bannister in an ancient building.

I know Rory Gallagher's strat had it's own extreme mojo and I suspect that and others like it may be the template here, but no one in their right mind would taske a new bass and hack chunks out of it to match my Aria that's for sure!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
35 minutes ago, stewblack said:

My interest piqued when the guy on YT said I want it to look like a forty year old instrument not a new one. I look at my 38 year old Aria, which has been worn by the passage of time and, none of the ones I've seen either in the flesh or online look anything like it.

I just wondered whether maybe relicing an instrument is actually an art form with its own rules and aims.

I watched the talk that the guy from sandberg made about relics at one of the bass guitar shows. They have one guy who does the relics, and they are done individually by hand, and he is the only one who does them.

I am neither hot or cold on relics, but some of the sandberg relics look pretty amazing, shame they don't make necks that I can use or I would have one.

but yes, like anything, to do it properly is an art. Also working out a back story of why something is like it is, rather than just a copy.

One of the sadest relic finishes I find (and I think it is because they are mass production) is the flea jazz. First time you see one, it looks great, second time you see one, it looks exactly like the first. So much so you can look at a flea jazz and work out if its finish has been damaged or not!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've had a Limelight and a roadworn Mex Jazz (red).  I've currently got one of the relic JMJ mustangs and have to say that it's the most convincing roadworn I've had. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sandbergs.

I had an old shape TM5 (Jazz shape) in their heavy relic Roquefort blue and the relic job was amazing.

I only sold it due to the weight.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love a relic, cant understand the angst - it’s a finish option end of.

Sandberg over all probably do it better than anyone out there and have done consistently for a long period.

Having said that, I tried my own. I took time to work out the height I play my bass, where I play it, how I carry it, how I stash it etc, I even carried it around places with me to simulate wear etc. Then I did this - I quite like it (colour not to everyone’s taste I know!) So i can say this is Very personalised relic, and if I was doing it for someone else I would do the same.

717DF856-FB91-4F9C-8727-43A3A0E1490E.thumb.jpeg.e4369b2e5c6202ba1003ae0fc144a743.jpegFAAC4905-7A6A-4773-9978-73803C414C23.thumb.jpeg.0dcd621abd6e50396ca7fa4db6e2c94d.jpeg484F1985-D585-4D2A-B734-CF66E5D4F99E.thumb.jpeg.5f55d9795932989fc1a63a4832a9371b.jpeg67DE1117-7B69-419E-B909-4534FB76CA90.thumb.jpeg.d04f7d164a7525659cf753aaca8c39e1.jpegD2E54631-7FEB-4502-B6FE-6BFCE9E7FCBE.thumb.jpeg.9dfbabfb1583264aac17e8e707c595c5.jpeg

If anyone wants to try their own, happy to share any bits I have learnt.

 

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, martthebass said:

I've had a Limelight and a roadworn Mex Jazz (red).  I've currently got one of the relic JMJ mustangs and have to say that it's the most convincing roadworn I've had. 

I like limelights and the roadworn range. I feel the Fender road worns are a great starting point that feel and look played in, but it's easy to make your own mark too. 

The bass below isn't mine. But it shows you how these uniform, factory-worn basses can get their own character after time. 

bc8adabafe493dccecbee088165cb1ec.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

In my opinion, the most realistic distressing on a guitar finish I have handled is by Clive Brown.  To me, both neck and body indistinguishable from the real thing, of which I have several. His CAR reproduces the straightish parallel checking lines particular to this finish and LPB perfectly. A couple of examples below. I tried the 65, the finish was fantastic

https://guitar-auctions.co.uk/portfolio-post/lot-66-1960-fender-stratocaster-electric-guitar-made-in-usa/

https://guitar-auctions.co.uk/portfolio-post/lot-32-1965-fender-stratocaster-electric-guitar-made-in-usa/

Bravewood is also very good, particularly the neck finish, which is similar to Clive Brown's.

Fender relics are OK. The body wear is reasonably convincing, albeit the checking usually exaggerated. The simulated neck wear is generally poor, with the unrealistic belt-sander look with definite pronounced edges that I have never seen on genuine examples. 

The OP's 38 year old Aria, like my 38 year old jv squier, has a poly finish which is much tougher than the nitro finishes most relic finishes are trying to simulate. It will probably never look remotely like a relic. 

Re the Rory Gallagher guitar,  my strong expectation is that most of the finish came off when the guitar was being cleaned over the years. You would never get significant wear where on that guitar the finish is completely gone.

If the finish on a genuine nitro fender gets dirty and gunky, the finish softens and the gunk becomes part of the finish. Any attempt to clean it after that can result in the top layers of lacquer and some of the colour coat coming off, exposing the base coat. I have a 64 I have gently tried to clean, using nothing more aggressive than a soft duster and spit and a patch of the red in the sunburst came straight off. I smile when I see old guitars and basses where this has obviously happened and it is presented or discussed as play-wear.

Edited by GuyR
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, GuyR said:

Re the Rory Gallagher guitar,  my strong expectation is that most of the finish came off when the guitar was being cleaned over the years. You would never get significant wear where on that guitar the finish is completely gone.

It was once stolen and left in a ditch. Also he supposedly had unusually acidic sweat. Both probably contributed. Incidentally the worst relic job, if you can even call it that, I've ever seen, is the Rory Gallagher custom shop strat where it looks like they've just masked off and applied finish in the appropriate areas, rather than finishing the whole thing and then sanding it off. Only three grand to you sir.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Rexel Matador said:

It was once stolen and left in a ditch. Also he supposedly had unusually acidic sweat. Both probably contributed. Incidentally the worst relic job, if you can even call it that, I've ever seen, is the Rory Gallagher custom shop strat where it looks like they've just masked off and applied finish in the appropriate areas, rather than finishing the whole thing and then sanding it off. Only three grand to you sir.

That is the story often quoted, but I doubt his sweat was ever PH tested. Leaving it in a ditch would not have helped. Definitely human gunk has softened the finish on my bass.

Agreed re the Gallagher CS Strat. It is not to my taste, but if it gives pleasure to others, it can't be a bad thing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My car's starting to look roadworn...I think I'll charge more for it when I sell it.

  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, GuyR said:

Agreed re the Gallagher CS Strat. It is not to my taste, but if it gives pleasure to others, it can't be a bad thing.

Absolutely. There are many hugely popular design choices out there that I find bewildering. Horses for courses.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know much about basses. For Les Pauls, a guy called Tom Murphy worked in the Gibson Custom Shop and guitars 'aged' by him to look like an original 'burst' are very highly saught after and command a strong price (like £10k), even for guitars less than 20-years old. He did/does the lacquer cracks one at a time with a scalpel.

A company in the US called Historic Makeovers, will take your new, shiny £5k Custom Shop reissue Les Paul and a few thousand dollars, and tastefully scratch it, dent it, etc to make it look like an old 50's Les Paul.

Fender Custom Shop 'Relic Strats' look and feel like old Strats and from what I gather are quite individual unless they are a signature 'replica' model. Quite remarkable really. They have to carve a 'V' in the body under the pickguard to stop people passing them off as being originals.

The Fender Road Worn series are (I think) made in Mexico and the 'wear' is applied to a template, so they all look very similar.

If you like the look and feel of an old guitar like a Strat or a Les Paul, this route is way cheaper than the real thing.

Not quite my thing personally, but I get it if it's done well. If it's not done well, it's either sad or hilarious depending on your point of view.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is mine 

 

A5E35259-7B9B-487C-A2D1-D595AFEC79E1.png

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a 66J which is very mature. I had a Bravewood P. If I could get on with a P nut I would still own it. It ticked all the same boxes as my J does. All of them. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Thing is, with a Roadworn or similar, the finish is thin enough that after a while playing & gigging they start to take on their own personality. 
 

Here’s a Nate Mendel I nearly bought before I found out it weighed over 10lbs.

 

 

 

23CBE393-F301-4871-B4D7-3989D8788EC5.jpeg

93CE7B9E-60C6-400D-AF36-87DA37650BC3.jpeg

Edited by 4000

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, 4000 said:

Thing is, with a Roadworn or similar, the finish is thin enough that after a while playing & gigging they start to take on their own personality. 
 

Here’s a Nate Mendel I nearly bought before I found out it weighed over 10lbs.

 

 

 

23CBE393-F301-4871-B4D7-3989D8788EC5.jpeg

93CE7B9E-60C6-400D-AF36-87DA37650BC3.jpeg

They're great basses. That's heavy though. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Limelight made me a great copy (imho, ymmv etc.) of Geddy's famous Jazz bass.

874937969_LLGL01.thumb.jpg.354a8d596d8273bfca6496df96f7689b.jpg

GeddyLee.thumb.JPG.56450eebfe7b044c74911f251cb15972.JPG

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
34 minutes ago, owen said:

I have a 66J which is very mature. I had a Bravewood P. If I could get on with a P nut I would still own it. It ticked all the same boxes as my J does. All of them. 

My Bravewood J didn't equal any of my pre-cbs Jazzes. My Bravewood Strat is spectacularly good. Sadly I don't have a pre cbs Strat yet to compare it with.

Agreed a good Bravewood is a formidable thing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a couple pre-CBS Precisions, Bravewood did their restorations and they are simply incredible. I have also owned a couple of his reliced replicas, and they are indistinguishable from good examples of the real thing. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, stewblack said:

First of all, let me beg this doesn't turn into an argument about who loves/hates roadworn instruments. I'm into spreading love and vegan butter not hate and hot collars. All I wonder, as I watch a bass being roadworn on Youtube, is if someone could point me to what they consider the most realistic relic job they've found or seen.

My interest piqued when the guy on YT said I want it to look like a forty year old instrument not a new one. I look at my 38 year old Aria, which has been worn by the passage of time and, none of the ones I've seen either in the flesh or online look anything like it.

I just wondered whether maybe relicing an instrument is actually an art form with its own rules and aims. The look isn't actually supposed to mimic reality as such, it's  more a take on it which has developed it's own reality. Look at Leland Sklar's old basses. they are subtly worn in places I would never have imagined. More like a well worn bannister in an ancient building.

I know Rory Gallagher's strat had it's own extreme mojo and I suspect that and others like it may be the template here, but no one in their right mind would taske a new bass and hack chunks out of it to match my Aria that's for sure!

For me (and as you say this always descends in to an argument so it’s hard to present an objective argument without people taking it personally etc) but I think a lot of it comes down to the fact that a large majority of bass players don’t really understand the specifications of a bass (and therefore the reasons wear that produces this type of finish happens at different rates).

Nitro finishes are expensive. As such, earlier Fender copies (such as Arias etc) avoided using nitro to keep costs low. If you use a cheap alternative like gloss polyurethane, ‘natural wear’ from playing is more likely to be the odd chip out of the paint but the gradual erosion of the finish simply doesn’t happen at the same rate (maybe over a few hundred years rather than decades) or in the same way as softer nitro will (the look or a soft finish that has gradually worn down compared to a hard finish that’s been aggressively sanded back look very different!).

So, in Fender’s current range a model like the American Original 60s Precision will wear and carry a more traditional worn look after 38 years of playing than a MIM Player series bass would (or your Aria). Also, nickel tarnishes and ages much quicker than chrome 🙂

Obviously that also means that relic techniques do not work in the same way for modern poly body/neck finishes and chrome hardware to produce a ‘relic’ finish on instruments using etc

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mine was poly and I think it came out okay 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

My Bravewood.

Convinces most people that it is an original. I always tell them it is a replica of Sting's battered bass.

I also have a Flea jazz bass. I gigged it exclusively for a couple of years. Probably did 60-80 2 hour gigs with it.

The finish has started to rub off where my wrist rests and where my forearm rests. I haven't got any pics of this to hand. The white primer is showing through. It looks great

Sting bass 3.jpg

Sting bass 5.jpg

no pickguard 2.jpg

20190606_144209.jpg

Edited by police squad
Found a pic of the flea bass
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A few people have mentioned how aging differs between poly and nitro finishing - with that in mind how are the Limelight basses finished? I've been thinking of getting a black jazz with light relicing. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, GuyR said:

That is the story often quoted, but I doubt his sweat was ever PH tested.

Sometimes it is what people say. My wife absolutely destroys laptop keyboards, you can see the more common keys on her laptops because they have no letters any more. 

Her latest macbook (underlit) has survived better than most but it is still 2 years newer than mine. Mine looks like new, hers looks like a relic.

I always assumed that is because basically women have acid for blood but maybe that is not true?

  • Like 1
  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.



×
×
  • Create New...