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Are you careful with your relic'ed and worn basses?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by JimmyM, Mar 26, 2020.

  1. Yes

    56 vote(s)
  2. No

    109 vote(s)
  3. Sort of

    94 vote(s)
  1. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Boy, you can tell I have too much time on my hands asking this question!

    As for me, I sort of am. All of my basses have dings and worn areas on them somewhere. I don't baby any of them, yet it's never been my intention to ding up any of their finishes purposely. It just happened through normal usage and an occasional lapse of reason. The longest I went without dinging one up was 8 years on my 09 Longhorn, then last year I did an outside photo shoot and it fell over and dinged the body in a couple places. That stuff they use is pretty good at resisting wear but it's no match for a sidewalk.

    What about you? Does a relic finish make you less careful? Do you like to add your own flair to a new relic to individualize the wear pattern? Do you think dings look sexy? I think they look totally hot as long as they look natural, especially on black. I don't even like to polish black finishes.

    Let's go...tell us what's up with you.
  2. Ross W. Lovell

    Ross W. Lovell

    Oct 31, 2015

    I don't do relic'd!

    I do buy used because I have long pockets and short arms.

    I have bought very few new instruments, but the reason might be this........

    Like many, when I buy new, I wish to keep it that way as Looooooooooong as possible. I've a few guitars I bought new that have went many a year without a scratch. Putting a minor scratch the first year, can happen and doesn't freak me out.

    Putting that first scratch in after 5 years, sends me over the top based on the amount of time it went without a scratch.

    I'm careful with my used ones, I just don't have aneurism if I scratch it.

    Hence the reason most of my instruments are used.

    The used ones also feel better "broken in".
  3. 2saddleslab

    2saddleslab Supporting Member

    May 30, 2003
    I don't intentionally damage my relic basses but it sure takes the sting out when the inevitable does happen.

    I have other basses I try to keep blemish free, within reason. However, if they get wear due to use, I don't lose any sleep over it. If they get damaged due to irresponsibility, that hurts.
  4. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I can relate. I sure was pissed when I dinged the Longhorn after over 8 years. For about two days, then I got over it.

    See above :D
  5. dramatwist


    Sep 27, 2019
    ...never understood the "relic" thing, but my basses have unintentional scratches, bumps, bruises, etc... I consider those a life well-lived...
    frustum, nateh415, High Camp and 4 others like this.
  6. GIBrat51

    GIBrat51 Innocent as the day is long Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2013
    Lost Wages, Nevada
    '73 Ric 4001-2.JPG DC-59 1.JPG Kramer 1.JPG Kramer F3.2.JPG I'll admit, right off the bat, that yes, I'm pretty careful with my basses - and everything else I've paid (sometimes) several thousand dollars for. Also, that I don't own any "relic'd" basses. I've never understood the attraction, but... that's a whole herd of beat-to-death horses, so... 'nuff said. Out of 23 basses, these are the only ones that you could call "naturally relic'd". It's pretty obvious, if you're holding it, that the 4001 Rick had the snot played out of it for a long time; lots and lots of dings (how on Earth do you ding up the bridge p/u cover like that!?!), little chips, and just...wear. But it's in surprisingly nice shape, and I try to keep it that way. Not many of these around, any more... One of my 1st Gen Dano DC59 Pros is very clean; one has obviously been played a lot. But, nothing some new tape, some polish, and elbow grease wouldn't fix. But, the tape is just...spotty, not loose; as for the finish? I like it just the way it is... I got the Kramer 450B on consignment, but I also talked to the original owner. He'd gigged it all over the Southeastern US for 25 years; you'd never know it by looking at it. The light has to hit the body just right to see any wear - or any of the few scratches - at all. Since I'm not in a band any more, I doubt I'm going to make it any worse - unless I fall down on it... The Kramer Forum III? No real wear; hardly a ding or a chip on it. It was just a rusty mess when I got it, and... I don't think "Neglect" really counts as "relic'd"… As for the others? Not counting the handful of new ones, I don't know if I just got very, very lucky - or if it's a lefty thing, but... I have an awful lot of pristine basses that appear to have hardly ever been played - if they were even played at all... And, as for my 2 Thunderbirds? With that huge headstock stuck waay out there, you bet your tuchus I'm careful with them...:whistle:
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2020
    nateh415, teh-slb, dramatwist and 2 others like this.
  7. starjag

    starjag Supporting Member

    Dec 3, 2019
    I’m inclusive and treat my basses then same, relic or not :)
    Andre678 and JimmyM like this.
  8. rockdoc11


    Sep 2, 2000
    That's actually a great question, OP.

    While I'm not a relic'ed fan, I have to confess that every Fender "Road Worn" bass I've played has been great. If a used one came along in my neck of the woods at a reasonable price, I'd probably buy it.

    But ever since the relic-ing thing began, I wondered how one would describe the instrument when putting it up for sale. And is there any difference in value due to "real" relic-ing vs. "factory-installed" relic-ing?
    Low84 and Helix like this.
  9. jbd5015


    Nov 23, 2009
    Boalsburg, PA
    Careful with all my gear. The only bass i own that wasnt either new or a refinish is my '78 4001. Its definitely been through the ringer. Couple gouges, nicks and chips on every surface. I havent added any that Im aware of, and I keep it polished and wiped down best I can.

    All the P's and J's are getting worn in the usual spots. Im proud of the wear from use, not abuse.
    imabuddha likes this.
  10. Playbyear


    Nov 20, 2019
    I have two that are naturally worn, somewhat distressed basses. One was my main gig bass for a long time.
    I’m reasonably careful with them, but if another scratch or ding happens, it’s not a big deal.
    imabuddha likes this.
  11. StevieMac


    Mar 17, 2005
    Vancouver, BC
    All of my gear is treated with equal respect but if my relic'd Bluesman bass had a big chuck of paint chip off by accident I wouldn't bother me in the least whereas the same thing happening to an instrument with a pristine finish would bother me a lot.

    bebi, Microbass, jeff62 and 3 others like this.
  12. mattj1stc

    mattj1stc Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 13, 2009
    Dallas, TX USA
    I've owned a Bluesman Vintage, which came already reliced. It was a good bass and I treated as well as any bass I own. The relicing was more or less cosmetic only, not functional and a Bluesman bass is not cheap, so I tool care of it.
  13. 1bassplayinfool

    1bassplayinfool -Nowhere Man- Gold Supporting Member

    I'm in the sort of camp. Another dent or scratch ain't gonna hurt it none. :D
    gebass6, dr doofie and Helix like this.
  14. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY
    Careful with all my gear although it all gets gigged. Crapshoot when you take it out of the house
  15. jthisdell


    Jun 12, 2014
    Roanoke, VA
    I'm of the opinion that you just play it.
    Matty Koff, Crispus, JRA and 3 others like this.
  16. Leonid Nidis

    Leonid Nidis

    Jan 1, 2018
    For me the whole point of a reliced bass is that I can forget about wear,life is too short to worry about dings and I do worry if the instrument is prestine.
    iammr2, Hambone70 and imabuddha like this.
  17. kevinpmajka

    kevinpmajka Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2013
    Scottsdale, AZ
    I baby my stuff anyways in terms keeping an eye on them, but if it gets dinged - I'm not upset on a roadworn. And dude - just get the JMJ already! It's killer!
    JimmyM and imabuddha like this.
  18. 4001

    4001 SUSPENDED

    Same here... kind of reminds me of blue jeans that are pre faded, "worn" and ripped... for three times the cost.
  19. Neon Scribe

    Neon Scribe Supporting Member

    I didn't intend to buy a relic'ed instrument, but I love my Bluesman Vintage. It's quite unnerving when I observe the high quality of everything about it except for the finish. It gives me cognitive dissonance. I feel like I should be babying it, but it's already trashed, so, I'm confused.
    JRA, teh-slb, Need Gigs and 2 others like this.
  20. 2112


    Apr 30, 2005
    Personally, I think the idea of marketing basses that are "relic'ed" was a brilliant strategy to mitigate against losses due to new painters in the finishing room or when a warehouse brah goes down like the "10 chocolate layer cakes" guy on Sesame Street.


    Relic'ed basses really ain't my bag. I'm not overly careful with my stage basses in general, they're tools. In other words, If I get a nick or a mark... that's mojo, baby!

    At the same time, I'm not swinging them around like some furious gibbon, either. I don't want to be like a friend of mine that played in a punk band who once snapped the neck of his P-bass during a gig when he was spanking one of his bandmates with it.
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2020

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