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Fender Flea Jazz basses... identical relicing

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Brad Johnson, Dec 24, 2016.


  1. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    Checked one out today and noticed that the relicing is identical to the one on the Fender poster. I didn't think they'd go to that detail to reproduce a bass.
     
    seang15 likes this.
  2. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    The CNC is probably programmed to put the same nicks in every bass.
     
  3. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    Are they using CNC in Mexico for finishing?
     
    Flaked Beans likes this.
  4. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    Just saw this on a for sale ad elsewhere...

    BRAND NEW CONDITION, ABSOLUTELY NO DINGS, NO SCRATCHES
    NO FRET WEAR WHATSOEVER


    :D
     
  5. JIO

    JIO Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 30, 2010
    Oceana (Pacifica) CA
    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
    Anything's possible but using CNC for this seems like a stretch - I know from a friend who worked for Levis's that people (in Asia) effected their jeans manually with sandpaper etc to make them look 'distressed' and charge big bucks for them in the US etc.
     
  6. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    The CNC could do the scratches as a guide for the finish.
     
    seang15 likes this.
  7. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    The scratches are through the finish. I wouldn't think they'd be done beforehand... but I don't know the exact process is.
     
  8. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    That's my thinking too. When I worked at Brubaker Guitars it was funny how often people thought the import models were CNC'd. They were hand made because thar cost less.
     
    seang15 likes this.
  9. superdick2112

    superdick2112 Mile High Bassist Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2010
    The Centennial State
    All of the Classic 50's Road-Worn P-Basses feature identical relicing as well.
    This consistency makes me think the process is automated, as opposed to being done by hand.

    EDIT;
    After seeing the Sweetwater pics, I say the wear is hand applied.
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2016
    jp58 likes this.
  10. taylor16

    taylor16

    Dec 25, 2012
    USA
    From looking at pics of multiple copies of the "same" bass on the Sweetwater site, the relic'ing is all in the same type of pattern but not identical.
     
    JIO likes this.
  11. seang15

    seang15

    Aug 28, 2008
    Cary NC
    "When you" worked there? You left Brubaker, Brad? That's gotta be fairly recent, I saw you at Veasley 's Bootcamp....
     
  12. SpasticTastic

    SpasticTastic

    Dec 22, 2012
    Louisiana
    I doubt it's CNC.

    They're probably all done by hand, but follow a template/pattern to make them as alike as possible. Which is why the distress marks are all the same place, but aren't all alike.

    As taylor16 said; if you look on SW, you can see they all have the same pattern, but subtle differences.

    Look near the upper horn and the arm contour.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  13. moonshinegtrs

    moonshinegtrs Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 28, 2009
    White Bluff,Tn.
    Owner: Moonshine Custom Guitars
    I would think it would be difficult to automate... I could be totally full of cr*p too. ;)

    I'm thinking it could be some type template.



    Moonshine :bassist:
     
    FunkHead likes this.
  14. superdick2112

    superdick2112 Mile High Bassist Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2010
    The Centennial State
    The pics say it all.
    It looks like they are done by hand, probably using a simple overlay template to show the craftsman where the wear is to be applied.
     
  15. antonspon

    antonspon

    Mar 27, 2013
    It takes a "craftsman" to unevenly sand paint off?
     
    TrustRod and JJR58 like this.
  16. However it's done, the consistency of relic'ing from one bass to the next is impressive.

    Aside: Is there no grounding strap on Flea's actual bass?
     
  17. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    Over a year ago.
     
    seang15 likes this.
  18. JIO

    JIO Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 30, 2010
    Oceana (Pacifica) CA
    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
    It is food for thought exactly how it's done considering those examples are really close to being identical. I for one would be very interested to know it is done. I could take a guess with them using an automated printing process that applies masks (of the 'wear spots/areas) on the bare bodies like how they coat cars & buses with images that later wash off. They shoot the lacquer, use whatever solvent to remove the masks, and buff the body matte which smooths out the edges of all the 'wear' spots/areas. It has to be something like that because the craggy edges are the same - with the slightest of variation. Not possible by hand.
     
    BeeTL likes this.
  19. superdick2112

    superdick2112 Mile High Bassist Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2010
    The Centennial State
    To put it simply, yes.
    It takes the human touch to have such a noticeable variance between basses.
    A CNC job would look exactly the same on each instrument.
     
  20. moonshinegtrs

    moonshinegtrs Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 28, 2009
    White Bluff,Tn.
    Owner: Moonshine Custom Guitars
    Yes.

    Like anything else, anyone can do it. However making it look right and doing it consistently is a whole nother story.



    Moonshine :bassist:
     
    seang15 likes this.

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