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Have you played an instrument into “relic” condition naturally?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by ThinCrappyTone, May 29, 2020.


  1. ThinCrappyTone

    ThinCrappyTone Mostly harmless Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2011
    Massachusetts, USA
    I have one nitrocellulose finished instrument that’s about six years old. The sun caught it just right the other day, and I noticed there is lots of wear going on. Finish is getting shiny, wearing down, coming off.

    Irrationally, I thought, “awesome! natural relicing is beginning to happen!”. Of course, the more rational side of me is thinking, “wow, what a cheap finish”. LOL

    Anyway… It just got me to wondering, who has an instrument that they have played into relic shape? Not something you bought used in that condition, or had treated to look relic. Those are also cool. But who has an instrument that is super worn down from your hands? Something that tells your musical history? Would love to see, if anyone is game.
     
  2. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Connecticut
    No. I played one instrument for 35 years, another 16, and both still look good - from more than a few feet away, you won't see any wear.
     
    murphy, imabuddha, emoterply and 11 others like this.
  3. ThinCrappyTone

    ThinCrappyTone Mostly harmless Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2011
    Massachusetts, USA
    Those poly finishes are made to last!
     
  4. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Connecticut
    Even nitro finishes can be protected better than most people do. I have a friend with '58 Strat. He has played it regularly for two decades. It still looks better than many relics I've seen.
     
  5. msb

    msb

    Jul 3, 2002
    Halifax,N,S. Canada
    View attachment 3847758 Yup , a tv logo Pbass with a poly finish too . My one and only for many , many years . Went through three hardshell cases and a couple of gig bags getting tossed in and out of trucks . Looks like it went through the Boer War . It's instantly obvious it's honest wear and tear , it doesn't look like a relic job ...
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2020
    gozbass, ajkula66 and ThinCrappyTone like this.
  6. ThinCrappyTone

    ThinCrappyTone Mostly harmless Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2011
    Massachusetts, USA
    would love to see a pic if you have one handy!
     
  7. heatheroo1

    heatheroo1

    Dec 14, 2009
    Ephrata, PA
    40+ years on my T-Bird: where my thumb rests over the neck pickup has worn completely through the finish to bare wood. Where my sweaty arm sits on top of the body has worn through the black sunburst layer, to the finish underneath. The finish is completely gone from most of the neck. Buckle rash has chewed through the finish on the back where the lower wing attaches to the body. Various dings on the end of the head stock from bashing into things (but the head stock is still intact!). So....yea, I've relic'ed a bass naturally.
     
    gozbass, Garret Graves, Engle and 2 others like this.
  8. Bass V

    Bass V

    Dec 11, 2008
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    no pics ...no fair!

    no, I haven't
     
  9. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Nope. Only just now getting to the point where minor dings don't cause me a mental breakdown lol.
     
  10. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    i played one ax into a 'mild relic' condition, years ago, but i have no pics. i doubt if anyone who likes the 'pre-fab mojo' look would have seen my ax as anything but "used," however. it was gnarly enough that i had to consider a better-looking instrument for the gigs i was getting at the time.

    :D but i'm ready for these pics........
     
  11. ThinCrappyTone

    ThinCrappyTone Mostly harmless Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2011
    Massachusetts, USA
    nice!
     
  12. fretno

    fretno Supporting Member

    May 10, 2009
    Los Angeles
    I once put a little dent on a headstock. Well I didn’t do it the guitar player ran into it while i was holding it.
     
  13. Rabidhamster

    Rabidhamster

    Jan 15, 2014
    No but I have worn divots into quite a few computer keyboards.

    giphy.gif?cid=ecf05e476c80338da33ae1e3d2631713f198820e12b3fb2f&rid=giphy.gif
     
  14. ThinCrappyTone

    ThinCrappyTone Mostly harmless Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2011
    Massachusetts, USA
    So, basically... you relic'd your guitar player? :)
     
  15. ThinCrappyTone

    ThinCrappyTone Mostly harmless Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2011
    Massachusetts, USA
    Realizing now that people who play their instruments into oblivion are too busy playing to take pictures :)
     
  16. fretno

    fretno Supporting Member

    May 10, 2009
    Los Angeles
    Lol yeah .. but with a lacquer finish those will “relic” just over time by itself. The finish will crack and yellow or change hue. I absolutely love that on some instruments. Probably wouldn’t be a good look for a Fodera but looks fantastic on a Fender
     
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  17. lug

    lug Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2005
    League City, Tx
    I have a 67 EBO that was reliced by my son's dog. (it was propped in a corner and the dog's ball rolled behind it. The dog decided to "dig" it out)
    v4srb68pv8.jpg

    Note: In a great display of self restraint, I shot neither the dog nor the son.
     
  18. ThinCrappyTone

    ThinCrappyTone Mostly harmless Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2011
    Massachusetts, USA
    I hope he got the ball at least!
     
  19. Spidey2112

    Spidey2112

    Aug 3, 2016
    My thinking is the fewer instruments you have, the easier it is to authentically relic, just by playing.

    Thanks alot, TB Classified!

    I have an '80 Ric 4001 which shows some wear, but still looks great. I have an '06 Highway One Jazz that is shining up in all the right places, as it gets played frequently. My Ibanez SR805 will show the sheen by just breathing on it.
     
    Jefenator and ThinCrappyTone like this.
  20. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    Philadelphia
    Yes, but it was a guitar, not a bass. It was an Ibanez Studio set neck HH guitar I got new in 1981, and was my only electric until 2004. Even when I played bass in bands, the guitarists sometimes used it for shows because it stayed in tune. This caused some of the wear. (I forced one guitarist to use it, because he had no clue how to keep his Floyd Rose-equipped guitar in tune. That was a nightmare.)

    I traded it toward a new G&L USA SB-2 in 2007. By then, the lower frets were worn, it had dings all over the body and headstock, the jack was damaged and required a plate, etc. Nevertheless, the neck was in great shape and the overall structure was rock solid. Thing was built like a tank.
     
    ThinCrappyTone likes this.

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