Fender Road Worn Pondering......

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Buzz, Jan 29, 2009.

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  1. TLW


    Dec 23, 2007
    St.Louis, MO area
    I thought they were charging pretty much the same price for a road worn MIM as a MIA?

    Maybe i'm wrong.
  2. Jeff K

    Jeff K Supporting Member

    Jul 9, 2005
    Memphis, TN
    You're right, TLW. The last time I was in G.C., the Road Worn (MIM) Strat was nine hundred something. The American Standard Strat was $999.00. I'm not sure how the basses compare because they didn't have any in stock.
  3. I've been at odds with myself these past few years over the relic fad. On one hand I find it pathetic that people would pay a premium for a new bass that appeared to have been gigged endlessly for decades... but I certainly cannot condemn a person for buying a true road-worn vintage bass just because it had a bunch of battle-scars. What I've finally come to recognize is that what I really loath is the people who buy reliced basses but justify their purchase by stating that their choice was made not for purely aesthetic reasons, but that their decision had more to do with some overly romanticized notion that the bass' body helped improve the overall tone of the bass because portions of it were exposed and therefore could 'breath' and 'resonate' better than if it had a complete and pristine finish.

    But then again who cares? If you have the money, buy what you want.
  4. I bolded what I changed. See how it reads the same though? Weird.

  5. "What I've finally come to recognize is that what I really loath is the people who buy vintage (reliced) basses but justify their purchase by stating that their choice was made not for purely aesthetic reasons, but that their decision had more to do with some overly romanticized notion that the bass' body helped improve the overall tone of the bass because portions of it were exposed and therefore could 'breath' and 'resonate' better than if it had a complete and pristine finish.

    Ha ha... creative for sure but I can't condemn those who strive to attain the 'holy grail' when I am to be counted as one of them.;)

    Actually no, it doesn't read the same because the people who buy vintage basses talk more about 'mojo' or how build quality or wood selection 'back in the day' was better or how the bass actually had a history. And that's cool.

    Smart buyers of reliced basses don't acknowledge the pretentions of owning a faux... most of them justify their purchase by quoting some inane 'Tone Quest' article that makes audacious claims that could only be verified by precision equipment... not by human ears.

    The ignorant buyers of reliced basses are under the impression that the people they are trying to impress are too stupid to know the difference.

    :p Oooh.... did I say that out loud?
  6. BTW - mike_v_s... can I use your signature? It's seems to be a subconscious mantra that I have yet to recognize on a conscious level?;)
  7. Ephminus


    Nov 6, 2008
    I hear ya, but these Fender "road worn" basses give's us the option of getting a bass that already has that "broken in" feeling for a moderate price. Opposed to the relic custom shop basses or an actual vintage bass, both costing thousands of dollars. It always bothered me that Fender was charging an arm and a leg for a bass that was artificially beaten up.

    My interest in the "road worn" basses has nothing to do with aesthetics. Anybody can take a brand new bass and sand wear marks into it, but that doesn't mean that it is going to feel like a bass that they have been playing for years.

    For some people time is more of a factor. If I pick up one of these "road worn" basses and it feels like I've been playing it for years then that's awesome and well worth the every penny.
    Now there is always the chance that these "road worn" basses still won't feel broken in, I have yet to try one. If they are only designed to look worn then I will lose all interest instantly.

    I have always looked at the used basses at the stores just for the simple fact that they usually have a worn in feel, but they are always sold "as is" and that is sometimes a major negative. For example, I bought a used Charvel that I had always wanted, it seemed great in the store except for the action being a little too high for my taste. When I got it home I realized that the truss rod was stripped and I couldn't make the proper adjustments. Guitar Center would only exchange it for another bass of equal value which is fine, except for the fact they didn't have anything else that I remotely liked for that price.
    With a brand new "relic" instrument you will have the benefit of a warranty against defects and so on.

    Currently I have a MM Stingray, Ibanez SR800, & a Schecter Devil/Tribal that I played on stage for years and years that are "broken in" and beat up, but the fact is that I spent years and years playing thoses basses to get them that way.

    I recently bought a brand new Fender "Geddy Lee" bass that I love, but the fact is that at this point of my life I just don't have the time to play it to the point of truly breaking it in the natural way, especially since I'm not in a band anymore.
    Nothing beats the feel of my Ibanez which I've played on stage for almost 17 years now.

    If the new affordable Fender "road worn" basses can emulate this feeling then they are well worth it, but charging people thousands and thousands of dollars to beat up a bass seems silly to me, especially if it is all aesthetics.

    I think it is so funny/sad when I see someone on Talkbass that has taken a brand new expensive bass and they have sanded wear marks into it so it only appears that they have been playing it for years.
    They have missed the point entirely.
    It's not about appearance, it's all about feel.
  8. Feel free. I didn't write the gist of it...one of my "fans" here did.

  9. Jared92


    Nov 1, 2007
    Fairfax VA
    Yeah. I'd say like $700 would be reasonable. But seriously $1200 is to expensive.

    All they do is tape up all the same places. And drag them around town from the back of the fender truck. Thats why the are all relicd in the same spot.
  10. knumbskull


    Jul 28, 2007
    i understand people get a bee in their bonnet about these.

    BUT consider that there is no way to get the same look on a modern bass by playing it alone - today's finishes don't wear out.

    you could play a modern fender 8 hrs a day for 30 years and it wouldn't show *much* wear. at least not as much as a comparable bass from the 60s or 70s. no matter how sweaty you are!

    (someone - please correct me if i'm wrong!)

    and so if you want a worn looking bass - and FWIW i think they look great - your only option is a vintage big bucks bass, a home relic job or one of these road worn ones.

    and i guess only the most expensive of those would get the blessing of most folk on here. :)
  11. Ephminus


    Nov 6, 2008
    The price seems pretty reasonable to me.
    Sure $700 bucks would be incredible, but $1200 still seems reasonable if the bass actually performs and comes with a warranty.
  12. Toshiro


    Jul 21, 2004
    Hey! Look! A brand new topic we've never discussed before.
  13. Ephminus


    Nov 6, 2008
    I sense sarcasm.
  14. superfunk47


    Sep 9, 2007
    Holy balls...these threads won't ever end, will they? They're becoming more exhausting than the "What's the best bass for metal?" threads.

    If you think it's dishonest or dumb, go complain to ibanezcollector, the Fender Custom Shop, ESP, Nash, RS Guitars, and everybody else making them. This isn't the place to preach the nostalgic "You must EARN every wear mark your bass recieves!" high horse beliefs. Polluting the threads asking about the basses by talking about how you don't like relics gets real old real fast. Not only is it off topic, it's borderline trollish.

    If you really want to complain and talk about how much you dislike them, why don't you guys start your own thread? :rolleyes:
  15. I dunno, maybee it's me. but my basses, as well as all of my gear is personal. I buy it new, and if something happens to it it is MY fault. Incidentally, I do not buy used shot out underwear either, even if "that is what everyone is doing ".
  16. esmtll


    Jan 10, 2009
    Vermilion, OH, USA
    I stopped in to my local guitar shop the other day and saw a few of the Road Worn Teles and Strats sitting out on a display. Strange thing about them: they're Nitro finished but the nitro clear-coat is put on AFTER the "damage" has been done. To be honest, they didn't really feel broken in, the felt like a Highway 1 instrument! Just with missing color underneath. And that's how they can still charge so much for a Fender Custom Shop Relic--Relics really are broken in and you can touch and feel the grain of those worn down spots. Ironically.

    SO to answer the original question: you can pretty easily tell if there's a nick on the body: it'll be real.
  17. I wonder how Fender does it on a large scale. I suspect that they sand and ding first, and then put the bodies out in the sun for several months? Perhaps in a greenhouse type of deal so they don't get rained on? Is it possible?

    Fender ought'a open a plant in a desert [lots of sun and very low humidity]. Relic them by hand and then let mother nature do the rest for six months.
  18. They probably 'bake' this basses, to simulate the 'nature effect' :)
  19. pjmuck


    Feb 8, 2006
    New Joisey
    Food for thought:

    1. Buy a Fender Road Worn and a cheaper Fender standard MIM guitar/bass in the same finish from another dealer (or just grab one off ebay).
    2. Beat the crap out of the standard MIM, making wear consistent with wear on the Road Worn and return it to the retailer within the return period claiming, "This Road Worn Fender is just not for me".

    Viola! Free Road Worn! (less price for the MIM).
  20. I'm just waiting for the auto industry's marketing weasels to hook their claws into the 'Road Worn' gimmick:


    "'Fix it'? Are you nuts? I paid an extra $3K for the custom finish! Looks real, don't it?" :rolleyes:
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