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When did NOS become bad?

Discussion in 'Fender Custom Shop Tele Forum' started by arlum, Oct 22, 2020.

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  1. arlum

    arlum Tele-Meister Platinum Supporter

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    I think I'm on the outside looking in. I like to buy new guitars that look new. I don't mind if my guitars get scratched up by me because every scratch is a reminder of where and when I was when it occurred. All the good times.. The guitarists history.
    When I go to any of the excellent online guitar dealer sites I've saved and made purchases from and select Fender Custom shop I find anywhere from 20 to 50+ Fender Custom shop guitars. Relic, Heavy Relic, Journeyman Relic, Relic Ready, whatever Relic. If I'm lucky ..... out of maybe 50 available Fender Custom shop guitars I'll find one or two NOS and one or two Closet Classics. 45+ Relic types.
    I'm not complaining. I'm asking. When did guitarists start wanting non-vintage guitars that look worse than many vintage guitars you can still come by that are still in better shape than the Fender Custom shop offering?
    If this has already been covered I'm sorry. When I saw a forum section dedicated to Fender Custom shop Tele owners it just riled me up inside. I've searched and searched. I don't mind the Fender Custom shop discovering a prospective group of buyers and creating product to bring them to the fold. That's just excellent research by the Fender sales department. When Relic guitars started appearing I thought they would be for a small group of players who wanted to present the appearance of a "been working the road forever" vibe even if they've only been playing five or ten years. Similar to tattoos and piercings. As part of an image. (I have multiple tattoos so that wasn't meant to be negative). I own Gibson Custom shop guitars and many boutique builder guitars in this same price range. I've gone through the "order and wait" procedure and really don't like it. I'd rather find an NOS Fender Custom shop offering in a color and configuration where I can just press the purchase option, pay for it and await it's delivery. Surely others besides myself must feel this way.
    Are there certain Fender online dealers that specialize in or at least offer a real selection of NOS models? Not two or three. Maybe 20 to 30 NOS and another 20 "Closet Classics". A realistic selection to choose from?
     
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  2. Veitchy

    Veitchy Tele-Afflicted

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    Speculation, but at that price point I think relics are just more popular. There are some notable stories (some true/some apocryphal) about artists and performers wanting relics as an aesthetic thing, but most relics are likely being sold to hobbyists, amateurs, or part time musicians. These folks want that look and the Custom Shop is happy to cater to that. Furthermore, outside of the CS and FSRs you're looking at the road worn series if you want that looks, which may not have the specs or the cachet that certain consumers are after. The sometimes bewildering range of relic options must have come about (I assume) because of customers wanting certain degrees of aging and the Custom Shop categorizing that to streamline production.

    Personally, if I had that sort of cash I'd be getting a guitar with a pretty thin finish, and maybe little-no grain fill so it sinks a bit. I'd be lying if I didn't like the look, but I'd rather put it there myself, so I'm only a couple of degrees away myself. This brings me to the other factor, which is that once you're talking custom shop guitars, if you want one but with a NOS finish all you have to do is ask.
     
  3. Skydog1010

    Skydog1010 Tele-Afflicted Platinum Supporter

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    Lost me before paragraph 4.

    NOS is not really NOS if not MINT, IMHO.

    if it stinks or is rusted or sun burnt or bleached or co habituated with killer mice or hamsters, sorry not NOS, more like POS.

    My two pieces of copper.
     
  4. ReverendRevolver

    ReverendRevolver Tele-Afflicted

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    Speculation:

    Maybe a the relic'd ones are more likely to get sold after initial purchase than the non relic ones?
     
  5. Mr. Lumbergh

    Mr. Lumbergh Poster Extraordinaire

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    It did?
    I didn't get that memo.
     
  6. LOSTVENTURE

    LOSTVENTURE Tele-Afflicted

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    Actually, NOS or vintage re-issue, is the only way I'll go. Leave the rest for the kids.
     
  7. tfarny

    tfarny Friend of Leo's

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    I don't think NOS means what you think it means? I thought it meant old, but unused. It seems like you're using to mean actually new, but looking like it's old but unplayed. Right?

    I would feel so dumb strapping on a guitar that looked like Bonnie Raitt's or Joe Strummer's, because it's just so obvious that I, a middle aged suburban dude who stares at a computer screen all day, did NOT cause that wear by myself to a guitar only to play it at a show for 23 people on a Wednesday night. Who would I be trying to fool, exactly, and why would I bother?
    In fact I really really don't want to think about "wear" affecting my guitar's looks. At all. It's a musical instrument for playing music. If it gets a little dinged up, cest la vie but it's neither the point nor a problem....
     
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  8. srblue5

    srblue5 Tele-Meister

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    I previously had a NOS version of a CS Strat for a few years. Although initially I thought it looked cool, I soon realized it looked too new and shiny to me. After a while, it felt like I was playing a museum piece. (As an aside, it was also one of the worst guitars I have ever played in terms of feel and sound.) That being said, I don't particularly like the relic aesthetic myself (to each their own). For me, the perfect middle ground for my level of playing and interest was the tinting/aging present on the older American Vintage '57/'62 reissues (roughly 1998-2012 or so) and the Classic/Vintera series. I imagine I would have liked the Closet Classic versions too.

    I guess it depends on what sort of look/vibe you dig. Maybe more people seem to like/want the relic look?
     
  9. MLHull

    MLHull TDPRI Member

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    I thought NOS meant "new old stock" as in it is new, but left over from a old product run.
     
  10. VillainSean

    VillainSean Tele-Meister Gold Supporter

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    I got to attend one of the Fender Custom Shop Road Shows last year here in Seattle, and someone basically asked this same question.
    The answer from the FCS rep was "Give the people what they want".

    For me, I like the relics (maybe not the "Super/Heavy Relics") because I don't have to worry about any dings/marks, which also means maybe I don't "baby" them as much as I do my Gibsons. Lord knows a Gibson with a flaw knocks 30%+ off the resale value.
     
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  11. dickey

    dickey Friend of Leo's

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    I think that by making relics, Fender is saying "We have so little respect for our loyal following that we're gonna take a brand new shiny guitar & beat it up, so we can sell phony mojo & paid dues to pretentious players, who we think are phony enough to fall for it".
    Anyone who pays more $$ for something beat up than it would cost new is in serious need of therapy.
     
  12. Pips

    Pips Tele-Holic

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    Simple imop, ding it, don't care, ding a perfect finish and I can't keep my eyes off the blemish, I also think they look great - heavy relic for me every time.
     
  13. burntfrijoles

    burntfrijoles Poster Extraordinaire

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    I agree. I own a relic CS and it’s great but I don’t want another. Dealer’s inventories are heavily (extremely) weighted towards relics.
    Not only that but many are heavy relics which are frequently over-the-top IMO. I don’t mind some of the light body wear but the severe finish checking is too much. I like Gibson’s VOS approach with dulled finish as an aging option.
    That must be what the market is demanding.
     
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  14. scottser

    scottser Friend of Leo's

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    i like all of my instruments to be well kept and if they get dings and scrapes i'll try to fix them as best I can. they get cleaned and polished regularly too.
    i was always brought up to take care of my stuff and if i ever sell anything on, the new owner can see it was well taken care of. i have seen guitars for sale that were obviously kicked around and unloved but are offered for sale as 'reliced'. its ********, just another untruth being sold as 'authenticity'. there should be a law against it in my book.
     
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  15. Musekatcher

    Musekatcher Friend of Leo's

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    New old stock is unused, unsold old stock, that is owned by a non-dealer. This can only happen when a manufacturer goes out of business and liquidates, or a dealer goes out of business and liquidates. The maker will usually intervene if the latter, because they don't want their product being sold as used.

    New stock that is from prior years is still new stock. A few years back, Jeep had 3 model years of Wranglers on lots at the same time. All were new stock. In 2018, I bought a brand new 2013 Gibson, with lifetime warranty, from Sam Ash. I don't know why it hadn't sold before, but I know it was heavily discounted, and I couldn't pass it up. That's how prior years are usually moved - heavily discounted. I confirmed and registered it with Gibson. Rare occurrence.

    NOS is not "mint", or "as new". Its a legal corporate term, that's incorrectly used by individuals and folk marketeers to get more money for their gear. You won't see any NOS Fenders, Gibson, etc. You might see some NOS Guilds and Gretsches, that escaped during the takeovers, confusion, and store failures. I think I saw a few on Ebay? That was very rare.

    Back to the OP, relic = used look. I think he's bemoaning the trend of purchasing new models that have been relic'd, instead of used gear? I'm not a fan, but I see the value: its still new, unused, warranty, and has a full life expectancy with new pickups, features, and lots of choices and instant availability. Finding an honest wear used guitar with the features you want, takes effort and time. And, there's financing. I find that a lot of stuff that's selling new, sells because it can, thanks to credit cards, to folks that don't have the cash to buy used.
     
  16. Murphcaster

    Murphcaster Tele-Meister

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    I think you're reasoning in this regard is a little off...or a better way of explaining what I mean is using a pie chart analogy. In my personal experience and that of knowing other folks who have purchased distressed/relic guitars, If the reason for wanting/buying one is laid out on a pie chart then a very small percentage decided to buy one because of the "image" it portrays. Every person I know, myself included, have purchased relic guitars for the feel. I didn't buy it for the image. I didn't buy it because I want others to think I have a vintage guitar. Far from it.
    When I first started noticing relics, i told myself I would never buy one. But after having the opportunity to finally play one, i was hooked. I loved the feel. I think too many people (and I'm not accusing you, just speaking generally) convince themselves people buy relics to portray that so-called image you spoke of. Again, i can only speak for myself and the friends of mine who have them...it's definitely not an image thing. Too many folks who don't get on with relics want to pigeon-hole folks who do by claiming they're only doing it for the image. Not so. What kind of "image" would well known/famous guitar players who play relics be trying to portray? That's another thing that too many folks don't consider. Their preconceptions (dare I say misconceptions) with relics seem to only apply to your "average joe" guitar player, yet there are a plethora of famous musician's who play them. Countless even. Anti relic folks want to look at the relic landscape in a vacuum or myopic point of view that matches their bias.

    Apologies for the tangent. Steering this back on topic, I see many NOS (finish type, not an old guitar that never sold) finishes available...but definitely not near the amount of relic guitars, and the reason is simple. Demand.
     
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  17. GuitarGeorge

    GuitarGeorge Tele-Meister

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    Why are the ladies buying (and wearing) brand new jeans with holes in the knees?
     
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  18. JL_LI

    JL_LI Friend of Leo's

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    0BFBEF7E-BB72-4B7A-9C3D-AD716C38D020.jpeg 4557537B-8914-4019-ACBC-92669E3ED59A.jpeg I don’t have an answer to NOS versus pre-aged but having worked as an engineer in a marketing department, I have an idea. FCS makes guitars that sell for $4000 and up. Purchasers at that price want a guitar instantly recognizable as not bought off the wall at GC. FCS has raised the levels of relicing to an art form. I was at a FCS Road Show event last year where three different master built heavy relic Stratocasters were presented and the subtle differences between builders’ styles pointed out and discussed. These guitars will never be mistaken for MIM, or even for MIA production guitars. Are FCS guitars better? Are heavy relic guitars worth more than NOS? I think yes on both counts. Better because of attention to detail that is impossible in a production guitar and heavy relic takes many more hours to finish and then relic so it looks like natural, even if exaggerated, wear. The picture is mine from the last pre-Covid Road Show event at Music Zoo. That provenance alone is worth something.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2020
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  19. swervinbob

    swervinbob Tele-Holic

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    My buddy’s wife came home one day.
    Her “Why the **** is there a ####ing $5000 guitar on the front porch?”
    Him “I’m trying to age it.”
    Her “You’re a....”
    I’m grabbing the remote to turn the TV up so I could drown them out.
     
  20. WalthamMoosical

    WalthamMoosical Tele-Holic Ad Free Member

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    The lads, too. It comes and goes. It was happening in the 80's. Insecurity?
     
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