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Discussion in 'Fender Custom Shop Tele Forum' started by warrent, Sep 23, 2019.
Nice backstory on Fender's relicing. Thanks for sharing.
The opening claim is not right in my view. Take the violin in the photo below...
It looks old...well, it is. It was made in 1756 by Testore.
But the thing is, when he made it, he, his brothers, father (also violin makers) would have definitly seen the instruments of an earlier maker, Gaspar da Salo...and from Amati, which were by then over 150 years old, and seen how age and wear had added charm.
That is probably why they built their new instruments with an old look to them.. adding, as they did, a patina to the grain lines and deliberately visable tool markings.
And instrument makers have been doing this ever since.....it is not just trying to "fake" the age or origin.
I imagine that da Salo and others, back in the C.16th were looking at gambas that where over 100 years old, and mimicing the aging.
So, a bit of fake news about fakes, but otherwise an interesting read;
"The notion of ageing, antiquing, or distressing an instrument has existed for decades. But the Relic wasn’t really a ‘thing’ until the Fender Custom Shop made it one. Prior to the introduction of the Relic Series in 1995, fake ageing and playing wear was applied to guitars either to help repairs made to valuable old instruments match the look of the rest of the original, or to create forgeries. You could say that Fender’s famed Relics came about as a merger of these two rather contrary concepts."
By the 1880's, Saxony's factories where turning out tens of thousands of imitation old instruments each year. Plenty of wear and scrathes, many highly sophisticated varnish techniques, with craqueleur ranging from hardly visible, to rampant crocodile lumps.
Nothing Fender achieves with varnish, was not done over 120 years ago.
The several million instruments made in this style, will never be matched by Fender.
Star players, such as Ole Bull, who traveled the world giving packed concerts back in the 1850's. Set off a craze of people wanting a copie of his instrument.
These instruments were never "Fakes" and they where never called relics either. They were the norm for most players, and just called "model"...Strad model, Amati model, Guarnerri model. And yes, they had a label inside saying "Antonius Stradivariuos Fecit Cremonese 1715" or something like that, but no-one ever thought they where real, or fakes.
But......"worn fingerboards"....no, they never did that. That would be plain stupid and ugly. Like putting old strings on them, and replacing broken strings with rusty pre-aged ones.
Do reproduction amplifiers have capacitors in them that are worn and stressed ? Of course not.
Pre-wearing a fingerboad, along with adding crud to places that any self-respecting vintage instrument owner would have cleaned it off, is entering the realms of FAKERY.
Fakes, in my mind, should be treated as a customs controler would treat it - destroy it!
I freely admit that I have no idea why it bothers me so much. But to me it's in the same category as breast implants and liposuction. For some reason a 20 or 30 year old mint condition guitar is more valuable to me than a brand new relic'd guitar. That being said, the finest playing and sounding new guitar I have ever played in our local family owned store here was a relic'd Telecaster. The sound and playability (it was a rare one that had a great setup from the factory) was off the charts, and it was "only" a thousand bucks. If it had not been relic'd I probably would have bought it. Beyond that I cannot explain it......
What I like about buying a moderately reliced guitar is that my wife thinks that it's a used, worn guitar and therefore not an expensive purchase! I have had a few Nash guitars and bases that are moderately reliced and I like the feel of the necks like that.
Fender relic guitars have worn out electronics inside? Pretty sure its just the outside looks of the guitar. So your analogy is flawed. If they were to reproduce a relic amp it would most likely be just a finish appearance and not anything inside the amp. Just like a guitar that wouldn't be worn or aged under the control plate.
I don't think they make a relic amp. Most likely cause it wouldn't sell for what ever reason. But they do make lots of relic guitars which sell like hotcakes. Which for some reason bother a lot of people. And thats what I don't understand. Why waste time being upset about what a manufacturer makes. Just be happy about the ones that make what you like.
I know the inside electronics are not worn...I never claimed the contrary.
That they make them because they sell, I can understand.
What upsets me is that people want to buy them. Yet those very same owners would probably be realy upset if they got a big new scratch on thier relic
I don't need a distressed guitar. When I listen to myself play i am distressed enough.
It doesn't bother you that they sell them. It bothers you that people buy them
I used to own a very nice Master built heavy relic Nocaster. A bit too over done for my tastes but my gawd did it feel sooo good in the hands. The one thing I never worried about is getting a ding. And I think you're being presumptious in thinking that relic owners are worried about dings the way these OCD owners of shiny new looking guitars are.
As a profesional builder and repairer of instruments with over 35 years of experience, who has been asked about repairing and retouching dings and scratches many, many times - also on reliced instruments, I make no presumtions about it.
Now they do:
And you are right, no aging inside the chassis:
Ok, like I was afraid of happening, some of you have turned this into a "love/hate relic" thread....too bad.