Consistency of Relic Telecasters?

Discussion in 'Fender Custom Shop Tele Forum' started by Gannet, Jan 30, 2019.

  1. Gannet

    Gannet NEW MEMBER!

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    I've decided to get a Relic Telecaster (no anti-Relic rants, please, it's just a finish option). Wildwood is about 150 miles away, and I could go there and pick through a plethora of them, and it'll cost me $4-5k. Or, I can buy used off of Reverb and save $1-2k. That's a lot of money to me at this time of my life.

    It's my impression, from watching a zillion demo videos, that these things are pretty darn consistent. Some ring more than others, but not much. For those of you who have played a lot of Relic Telecasters, what's *your* experience? Are they very consistent, as per my uninformed impression, or do they vary widely enough that a personal inspection is paramount?

    To clarify, I am NOT talking about the finish. I'm talking about the guitar as a guitar.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2019
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  2. SixStringSlinger

    SixStringSlinger Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I mean, assuming that the relicing is meant to imitate the "natural" wear of older instruments, it makes sense that they'd all experience the same-ish wear in the same-ish places. Rubbing where your forearm rests and where the back of your guitar hits your leg. Buckle rash on the back. Dings in the "usual" places.

    Heh. Never thought of it that way, but it makes perfect sense.
     
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  3. Fiesta Red

    Fiesta Red Friend of Leo's

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    IMHO, Wildwood is very pricey.

    All the Custom Shop relics I’ve seen/played have been very well-made instruments*...and if you go cheaper, all the Roadworn Telecasters and Stratocasters have been excellent, lower price point or not.

    I’d take the chance on Reverb.com

    *also, IMHO, I’m not a fan of the recent “finish over finish” relics—I prefer the Roadworn finishes...just an opinion.
     
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  4. Buckaroo

    Buckaroo TDPRI Member

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    Go play the guitars. They are all well made but every sample of wood sounds different. And don't underestimate the preference of neck profile.
     
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  5. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Friend of Leo's

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    Save yourself more money buy putting your own together.
    You can choose everything yourself, tele's are so simple it's hard to get wrong.
    For the prices you mention you could end up with several guitars just about identical to the one you find.
     
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  6. Telepi

    Telepi Friend of Leo's

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    This is it. Tbe necks will vary based on what Fender wants to portray in that model. I had a 51 Relic Tele with a 1.00" thick neck at fret 1. I liked it for about a year. Then it became just too thick. I now have a 2017 NAMM Relic Nocaster that has a .95 inch at the first fret. This one is a keeper. It's less relic'd too and looks even better to me.

    The weights of both were real close at a little over 7 lbs. Pick ups between the two are tdifferent too. However, both are good.

    BTW- welcome and good luck in your search. That's half the fun.
     
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  7. Joe M

    Joe M Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I am a confessed relic junkie, Teles and Strats, from the first Cunetto models to one I just picked up a week ago. I don't even want to tell you how many I have/had in the 20+ years I have been collecting. The only reason I ever got rid of one in all those years is that I saw another I thought was "better". I never, and I mean NEVER, had one that wasn't one of the best guitars I have ever played in construction, playability and sound. Different, yes, top-notch, absolutely. To me, definitely worth every penny. Many of the ones I have/had were used, you can save a ton of money instead of buying new. In fact, the only new ones I have are some kind of limited edition models that would be hard to find used. Don't be afraid of getting a bad one, I don't think there is such a thing in a Custom Shop guitar, even though I have read from some that they have had a less-than-good model. Hasn't happened to me.

    That's my story and I'm sticking to it......:D
     
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  8. Gutterguy

    Gutterguy TDPRI Member

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    Pardon my ignorance. What is in Wildwood?
     
  9. gitarjoe

    gitarjoe Tele-Afflicted

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    I have an 06 nocaster relic that I bought from e-bay. I love it. I have another custom shop telecaster that is also a great guitar. I think custom shops are pretty consistent. the only thing is that they don't relic it the same. in other words, they don't put nics and dents in the same spot. go with reverb, but ask for a lot of pics and ask a lot of questions. people will mod guitars like crazy, so make sure you are getting what you want.
     
  10. Joe M

    Joe M Super Moderator Staff Member

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    It’s a shop in Colorado. Wildwoodguitars.com
     
  11. fenderchamp

    fenderchamp Tele-Holic

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    I don't own one, but I probably played a dozen CS nocaster relics, and they have all been great. I would buy a used one w/o hesitation, just know that you will get a huge neck.
     
  12. golfnut

    golfnut Friend of Leo's

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    I've played many relic Nocasters. I find them fairly consistent in weight, style of the relic and most of the necks have been big. I like the neck on my master built nocaster. Its .990 at the first and 12th. Not as big as the 1" necks. A perfect fit for me. I do like the bigger necks but as someone else said they can feel too big after a while.
    I gig every weekend with mine and one thing that makes me laugh is, I get someone from the audience during a break asking me what year my tele is. I simply reply "Its a 2007" without any more explanation. The incredulous look on their face is priceless. They must think I'm really hard on my guitar.
     
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  13. Gannet

    Gannet NEW MEMBER!

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    Thanks, all, for the replies.
     
  14. Morgenholz

    Morgenholz TDPRI Member

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    OP did say "Telecaster," which includes the non-Nocasters. I have one of each, a 2008 Nocaster relic and a 2014 '52 Tele relic HB, which has a Seymour-relic'd Antiquity humbucker at the neck. Both are so lovingly relic'd that without the CS decal on the headstock, they are indistinguishable from actuals I have seen/handled. However, OP wondered about consistency of playability.

    I must agree with the other responses in this thread-- the CS seems to build all of their blackguard relics with great respect, so there are really nearly zero quality issues. However, each one feels and sounds distinct from, say, five others in the same rack, especially if the neck is flat- or quarter-sawn. One was bought over several phone calls between the original owner and Wildwood, and they worked with him to pick the one that he thought would work out best, and for me, after a little pre-sale eBay correspondence, it IS best! The other was bought off Reverb following discussions regarding the neck profile, wiring, and pickup output with the seller. There can be a relationship-ending difference in 0.020 in a neck profile, but if you are tolerant of this, eBay/Reverb examples are good bets-- that said, the Nocaster neck is going to be close to 1" deep top to bottom, and the tele necks are really variable, but much closer to a profile that suits, say, people like me that play predominantly mid-sixties carves.

    There is really nothing else like a CS tele relic-- It might be worth a call to find out about stock and take the 150-mile drive.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2019
  15. Mayas caster

    Mayas caster Tele-Holic

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    I reliced my ‘52 RI four years ago and never looked back...
     

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  16. telex76

    telex76 Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I've had 3 Custom Shop Teles. One of them was a great guitar.
     
  17. Sol1

    Sol1 TDPRI Member

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    Well, I believe that you'll never know. Even if we all say that CS are consistent and even if we did feel so, it's still our feeling, and that thing can be pretty subjective.

    But still - I've played several CS relic Strats and they all have been great guitars. I've got a CS relic Tele without playing it first and it turned out to be great too.

    I believe that you can expect consistency at this level, at least in terms of quality. Whether the guitar will fit your taste, that's another story. There's no better way to find out than to try before buying. Or pay less and accept the risk.
     
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  18. Red Bread

    Red Bread Tele-Meister

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    Each guitar plays and sounds different nomatter the finish
    Always had a hard time buying an axe without fingering it first

    I recently picked up a road worn USA Teley,,,I wasn’t looking for a worn or relicrd guitar it just happened to be an option and it rings like a bell and has a very soft Vish neck so it came home and I’m really dig’n it

    I wouldn’t be afraid of the used market there’s a lot out there,,,especially tax time,,,,go see what ya can find locally
     

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  19. netgear69

    netgear69 Tele-Afflicted

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    If you are spending that kind of money check out Nachocaster he makes relic blackguards
     
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