#1
I saw John Mayer on some show playing that incredibaly beat up Strat of his. Yes it sounded great but I think it's because he plays well not because his guitar looks like it washed up on a beach somewhere. I have been playing guitar for close to 40 years now and still own two guitars that I bought in the 70's and took on many road trips with bands across the US clocking thousands of miles yet my guitars don't look anything near that. I understand things can happen when packing up at 2:00 am in the semi dark of a chug-and-puke bar and I have had guitars knocked over (and I have knocked them off stands more than once). Still none of my guitars look anything like some of guitars I see being played these days.
I am asking this seriously; Is this being done on purpose or is it some kind of guitar fashion thing that I just don't understand yet? I can understand the term "relic" to make a new guitar look older but some of these guitars are just plain destroyed. It seems a shame. So what am I not understanding? Thanks for your comments.
#2
The original 50s strats had a thin nitro finish on them. It wore and cracked easily, especially after marinading in bar smoke and poor climate control for decades.

The relics are made to look like those instruments after all the wear, because modern finishes do not wear anywhere near as fast. Modern nitro is much more stable, and modern poly finishes are practically bulletproof compared to those original Fender sprays. If your guitars have a poly finish, they're going to look pretty nice after a decent polish even if they've been beat up for 40 years. They'll look that good in another 40, too. It's just a much tougher, more durable finish.

So to answer the question in a sentence: Some guitars genuinely have that much wear, it's a popular look to recreate, but it's not always fake. Few if any of those 50s vintage strats have been relic'd on purpose. It's genuine play wear.
#3
Just set fire to it.

Nothing makes a guitar look old and crappy like a bit of fire damage lol
Last edited by arv1971 at Aug 20, 2014,
#4
I really don't have that much wear on my guitars, either, but some of the relic folks really kick the crap out of new guitars to make them look that way. I just put one of my guitars up on Craigslist here in LA, and it's a late '70's L5-S. It looks better than most of what I see on a GC wall these days.
#5
Quote by dspellman
I really don't have that much wear on my guitars, either, but some of the relic folks really kick the crap out of new guitars to make them look that way. I just put one of my guitars up on Craigslist here in LA, and it's a late '70's L5-S. It looks better than most of what I see on a GC wall these days.

I was GASing for that one, still am: http://losangeles.craigslist.org/sgv/msg/4625885872.html

#8
Can't really see the sense in it myself tbh. That's just as daft as buying jeans with holes in them.
#9
Quote by arv1971
Can't really see the sense in it myself tbh. That's just as daft as buying jeans with holes in them.

Drop those in acid too. Then, wear without washing.
#10
Mayer asked Fender Custom Shop to make it so the guitar had very little paint on it because he believed it would affect the tone in his favour.
#12
Quote by chrismendiola
Mayer asked Fender Custom Shop to make it so the guitar had very little paint on it because he believed it would affect the tone in his favour.


Chris has it right. He had Fender build it for him that way. This was before relic guitars were popular. I wanna say back in 2004. He explains the whole story in this video.

John Mayer strat story
08' Fender MiA Strat
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#13
That's what I enjoy about my Faded SG, I have only had it for maybe 6 or 7 years but it already has that "worn-in" feel, and after a polish or two it has that kind of vintage shine too it (not overly glossy or shiny like a new poly job, but sort of a dull shine, I love the look).

I realize that Gibson was just cutting costs, but I like the results that came out of it. I can't get on with the whole "road-worn" look, it just seems like it takes away from the point of having an old beat up guitar, but I think having a guitar with a light finish is a quicker way to get the same look yourself.
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#14
Generally they look overdone when purposefully sold like that.

I don't think you can really say too much about people who's guitars are a bit ****ed up when they're 50 years old.

What do you want him to do? Colour in the worn parts?
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#15
Quote by arv1971
Can't really see the sense in it myself tbh. That's just as daft as buying jeans with holes in them.


A guy once asked me if the holes in my pants were fashion.. I said yeah man, they are the latest thing, saying it ironically.

Apparently it came across as serious and he commented how cool it looked and asked where to buy them -_-

The pants off course had ****ing natural holes in them, due to me not caring much about clothing.

Another time, I Got a negative slur about looking scruffy and alternative (wearing black leather jacket, blue scruffy jeans and a hoodie vest under my coat). 2 years later a friend comes up saying they "Saw me" in a shop..

They saw a dressing doll in a (big name) shop window, and apparently the blue jeans, black jacket with hoodie vest was fashion that year, so suddenly I was looking fashionable.. like wtf is that shit.

I also like the comment about paint affecting sound, and wouldn't be surprised if there's some truth in there.

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#16
Quote by Mephaphil
Generally they look overdone when purposefully sold like that.

I don't think you can really say too much about people who's guitars are a bit ****ed up when they're 50 years old.

What do you want him to do? Colour in the worn parts?

Yes.

He can borrow these, but I'll want them back.

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#17
A built in sharpener? Where have these been all my life?
Quote by Shredwizard445
Go ahead and spend your money, I don't care. It won't make you sound better.


Quote by Shredwizard445
Sure upgrading your gear will make you sound better.


#18
Quote by Mephaphil
A built in sharpener? Where have these been all my life?

They've had those since I was 10. I'm 25. Where have you been all your life?
#19
I'll be 47 this year, and I had at least one box of crayolas with a sharpener as a young child.

Might only be in the 64 & 128 boxes.
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#20
^ yeah they had them in the Crayola 64 box when I was a kid
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#21
I'm looking to relic my face, so it has that Keith Richards road worn look.
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Seriously, I'm not a fan of iphones and guitars mixing.
#22
Thanks all for your comments. None of my guitars are actually from the 50's (I am, but not my guitars). I didn't realize that 50's finishes were that bad. Live and learn.