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Fender relic, master built, team built, custom shop, etc

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by IvanMike, Nov 24, 2004.

  1. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    I did a bit of a search before posting this. still, if it's a repeat i apologize.
    My guitar player is quite a fan of the fender custom shop relic strats and teles, and after shopping with him and helping him build his arsenal i have to agree with him. they are arguably the best fenders currently being made. Fender custom shop instruments are available in new old stock, closet classics, and relics. The closet classics and relics are aged artifically (the relics more so), and the NOS guitars look like they were just made. Both of us agree that for whatever reason, the relics are the better guitars, both playability and sound wise. At the most recent penn guitar show he picked up a master built esquire and that has to be one of the best axes he has. I've had no opportunity to play any relic, nos, closet classic or master built basses. has anyone tried them and what was your experience?
  2. pyrohr


    Aug 28, 2001
    Pakistani compound
    I got to try a 64 jazz relic from the custom shop and I must say it was one of the best sounding jazz I ever heard! The only problem with that particular bass was the dents (large) and abuse the bass had suffered while sitting on display (one of those stores where some bass knobs and even a whole tuner off a 75RI jazz was missing!) I offered them 2G cash and they said no. The bass is still there 2 years later!
  3. I have the Jaco relic. It's the best Fender fretless I have ever played. I'm not a fan of the "relic" look, but this bass has a fantastic tone and the best Fender neck I have ever played on. I couldn't pass it up.

  4. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    I own an Oly White 64 Relic Jazz (recently offered for sale in the classifieds) and it's a great bass. Tone, feel, you name it. Light, too.
  5. Dr. Funk

    Dr. Funk

    Oct 10, 2001
    The Jaco relic jazz is incredible. I hope nobody comes on here an interogates me on the meaning of incredible, that seems to be the thing lately.
  6. I played a relic jazz and a nos pbass from the custom shop. very nice compared to an of the shelf Fender but........ Maybe I'm spoiled, niether of them had the Mojo.

    I can't put my finger on it exactly, they were missing personallity. And I'm not just talking price, i.e. I've played some skylines that were just full of mojo at less than 1/3 the price.

    This was just my take on it, when I play a bass, I close my eyes and let it sing to me. I feel it and hear it in my guts.

    For the price of a Custom shop you can have your pick of Sadowsky, Suhr, Benavente, etc that of the ones I've played have got "IT"
  7. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    I tried a relic once and was impressed.

    Funny thing about the relic bass, the body was chipped up and beat to death like they dragged it around in the Fender parking lot tied to a truck. And the hardware was a little rusty like they left it out in the rain for a few weeks. But the playing part of the neck didn't have a scratch on it. :)
  8. Dr. Funk

    Dr. Funk

    Oct 10, 2001
    The Jaco jazz relic is incredible. I hope nobody comes on here an interogates me on the meaning of incredible. That seems to be the thing lately.
  9. Stevious G

    Stevious G

    May 5, 2003
    The relics, NOSs and closit clasics are all made using the same techniques and woods etc etc etc. It's just the finish and appointments that differ.

    The masterbuild, however, are all handmade, usually by just one guy. It's basically a custom bass, with Fender on the headstock.

    It'd not pay what it costs for any of them. I'd just as soon get an ACTUAL custom bass. But that's just me.
  10. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    like i said, i really haven thad the chance to play a relic jazz, (not so much talking about the jaco relic, more like the "standerd" relic basses offered by the custom shop). as i indicated before, all my experience has been with relic teles and strats, most of which have tons of "mojo". I'm assuming that fender makes no where near the amount of relic basses as they do guitars. THe only master built ive seen is the esquire my guitar player just picked up. he's gotten all of his used, so relics typically go for 1700-2300 that way, and he paid 2500 for the master built. From what he gathers the wood selection is a much bigger deal with the master built series, and of course, it depends on which "master builder" is making the axe. For the money, it's a good chance that i would go with a sadowsky or something similar, i was just curious to see how many of you had experience with the relic basses.
  11. Here are a few problems with the relic stuff. I have some sort of story for whatever nicks, dings or chunks of wood missing from my basses and guitars. Buying a sandpaper wear spot on the back of the neck just isn't as cool as the mark from leaving a coil cord in your case eating a hole into your finish- but just as silly. How on earth are you going to get a decent resale value on that?

    OTOH, I don't know if the NOS have that same dried nitro laquer feel that the Closet Classics or Relics have. That's something I like on an instrument!
  12. I've seen used Jaco relics sell for 80% of the new price I paid. That's pretty good resale.

  13. Mojo-Man

    Mojo-Man Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2003
    :cool: I agree I also own one.
    The best jazz neck I've ever played.
    Why can't fender make all there basses, at this quality???
  14. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    I have never played or even seen a custom shop Fender. I like the idea though. If I were going to pay boutique money for a Fender style passive bass, I might as well buy a real Fender. If I were going to go active, I would a Sadowsky, Lull, Valenti, Benavente, etc. I guess the exception would be a 35" scale P-bass by Lull or Celinder. If it were a four string Jazz or Precision, I would definitely check out a custom shop Fender.

    The only thing that doesn't make sense to me is to spend $2000+ for a bass with faux dents and dings! If I couldn't get a real '65 J or P, let me get a pristine new bass. If it's a real player, it will get bumps and dings over the course of time.
  15. But you can't very well say "mint condition relic" in an ad and expect anyone to take you seriously.
  16. Well, you got me there...

  17. Especially when they're just taking some sandpaper to the neck! :)
  18. pistoleroace


    Sep 13, 2002
    Sooo, by posting this twice does that mean that you really want someone to "interogate" you? ;)
  19. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    i personallywould like the bass to be nos or less "distressed". the only reason i mention the relics is that as far as the guitars go, they seem to be the players. i'm guessing the non pouplarity of the fender custom shop basses is due to the general diff between bass players and guitar players, where bass players are traditionally more open minded and dont care if their bass says sadowsky, mike lull, fender, or magic joe's, as long as it plays and sounds good.
  20. pistoleroace


    Sep 13, 2002
    The Suhr Jazz bass for sure will knock someone's socks off. I've had one now for about 9 months plus I've played two others that were nothing short of being incredible. The tone and playability are the best I have encountered yet. The back of the neck is very smooth (something you have to play to understand) and the frets John Suhr uses are the smoothest ever. Now, if only he would make a five string version.

    Anyone looking for a great Jazz bass should check out the Suhr's before making a purchase.