We just noticed that you can get “relic” effects pedals now. Fender, at the recent winter NAMM show, announced a new line up of “Road Worn” Strats, Teles and bass guitars for the masses. For years the Fender Custom Shop has offered pricey relic’d models. A man named Tom Murphy, who works with Gibson, has perfected a technique to make your brand new guitar look 20 years old and it only costs an extra grand. If you’re the DIY-type, just search the web and you’ll find tons of tips, suggestions and techniques to age your guitar. Full Story.
With the price of original 1950′s and 1960′s Fender and Gibson guitars now reaching stratospheric proportions, most of us are left to either wait the 20 or so years it takes for that worn, faded and “yellowed” look to happen on it’s own, or to jump start that process by “aging” or relic’ing our gear.
The process of creating a relic guitar on your own isn’t really all that new. People have been working on techniques using lacquer thinner, sand paper and acid stains for years now. There are even services, like RelicGuitars.com, that you can send a guitar to and get the relic job done by a professional. But it’s not cheap given the labor involved and the results can be a bit of a crap shoot – just read the many disclaimers by anyone who does relic jobs.
But the cost of getting that “worn-in” look from the manufacturer can feel a little incongruous with product you’re getting at the end of the transaction. The Fender Road Worn is a Made-In-Mexico (MIM) guitar going for about $950.00. Historically the Fender MIM Standard Strats and Teles have cost about $400.00. Some of the price difference comes from the Road Worn having better slightly better pups and better necks but what portion of that $500 difference is the “relic” work?
So what do you think about the “relic” look for a guitar? Let’s put it to a vote:
Photo Credit: Dirty Old Man’s Studio