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how to achieve this look

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by tiefling, Jun 30, 2005.

  1. tiefling


    Aug 19, 2003
    Washington DC
    Hello. For some reason am really drawn to the worn and dirty look of this guitar by Spalt. Can anyone explain how you might be able to achieve a similar effect? I know it’s probably not a widely popular “finish” which is what I like.

  2. nateo

    nateo Schubie Fan #1

    Mar 2, 2003
    Ottawa, Ontario
    1) Paint it with housepaint.
    2) Let it sit in the rain and snow in the back yard for a few years.
    3) Repeat with a different colour.

    It looks a lot like most of the fences I've had to repaint in my day. To duplicate it without the help of nature I'd say you should replace the "Let it sit in the rain and snow in the back yard for a few years." bit with "Beat the hell out of it with whatever's handy." I saw a program on "antiquing" furniture once where they dragged a handful of chain over a nice little end table to give it some "character marks".

    You could also try sanding back or scraping back, depending on just how rough you want it to look. And if you're feeling really adventurous, bury it in the garden and leave it for a day or two.

    Of course these are all just suggestions, and I'd never do any of them to one of my basses. I just don't understand the need for relic'd instruments.

  3. JSPguitars


    Jan 12, 2004
    Grass Valley
    Sometimes if you e-mail the company asking very nicely, they will tell you.
    It's worth the 5 minutes.
  4. LajoieT

    LajoieT I won't let your shadow be my shade...

    Oct 7, 2003
    Western Massachusetts
    I agree, it's a GREAT look!!! I'd say go out to some old farm and offer the farmer $20 for the worst boards on the side of his barn, and use it as the top wood.
  5. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
  6. Bassic83


    Jul 26, 2004
    Texas, USSA
    OMG! The fabled "Foto-Aged" finish! Is that from the Fender Custom Shop???? :eek: :D
  7. I'd guess, staining, sanding, painting, scraping/sanding, staining, then more sanding.
  8. tiefling


    Aug 19, 2003
    Washington DC
  9. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    I think your best bet is to go looking for some barn wood or real weathered wood from an abandoned building. The trick is going to be finding a piece that looks beat to hell but is reasonably sound. Watch out for nails and other hidden treats in the wood. Any cracks, voids, or rotted/punky spots you will have to fill, stabilize, and finish unless you want the guitar to fall to pieces.
  10. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    I think most of their bodies look like they're 'found objects mounted to distressed wood, then sealed with copious quantities of very clear epoxy resin.

    Check it:

  11. Zebra


    Jun 26, 2005
    Whoa, I think those things are pretty awesome. They remind me of some trippy rendition of Alice in Wonderland I saw a long time ago.
  12. Fancy airbrushing???

  13. Kelly Lee

    Kelly Lee Yeah, I'm a guy! Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2004
    Marana, AZ, USA
    Did you guys look at the "hybrid" line on their site? :eek: http://www.spaltinstruments.com/hybridshome.html
    Those are some far out and trippy basses! I don't know if I like them or hate them but the are definately different.
  14. ArtisFallen


    Jul 21, 2004
    Holy Mother load of crap!

    that's amazing!

    ... do i see a project bass in the making? :ninja:
  15. LajoieT

    LajoieT I won't let your shadow be my shade...

    Oct 7, 2003
    Western Massachusetts
    Those were the only Spalt's I HAD seen before, I didn't know he was doing any of that other stuff. I know BassNW has had a few of the Spalt Hybrids, and I agree they look "interesting". They look cool, and I like them, but I would never buy them.

    Ed Roman had some pretty bad things to say about them, consider the source and give that the weight you think it deserves.
  16. parttimeluthier


    May 7, 2005
    I was at a local guitar show here in Las Vegas about four years ago
    where Spalt Guitars had a booth. I spent a good half hour or so looking at and playing their guitars.
    here's what I remember about them.

    1. Their "found objects" that are placed on the guitar and then encapsulated with a thick poly or epoxy resin makes for a very unusual and unique instrument. Looks wise they are great!

    2. as far as playability goes I found the necks chunky and cumbersome, Hardware like bridges and pickups were installed poorly, routing for pickups and neck pockets were sloppy. Some of the hardware that was used gave me a "use whatever we have on hand" impression(i.e. cheap stuff)

    3. They were heavy as hell and not very comfortable to play.

    I did not plug one in so I don't know what amplified tone they had.
    In short they look cool but play like a beat up Tiesco del Ray!
    And No, even though I live in Las Vegas I don't work for Ed Roman.( although his huge guitar store is fun to walk around in!)
  17. And that's ALL he'll let you do in there!! :rolleyes:
  18. andvari7


    Aug 28, 2004
    And what's really sad is that this is no joke. He's not a very desirable person to work with, and if I ever go full-time with the building, you can rest assured that I will never, and I repeat, NEVER sell my basses/guitars/violins/firstborn infant children through Ed Roman (since he eats the babies, criticizes the instruments as being inferior to vintage Fenders and steals money from you).

    Heck, I'd buy a Wish bass before going to Ed Roman (actually, I have a lot of respect for Wishnevsky, even if his product isn't particularly good; some of his reasoning is really solid).
  19. parttimeluthier


    May 7, 2005
    Ya know I have heard sooo many bad things about Ed Roman that I have come to the conclusion that if only even 10% of the horror stories are true, then he must be the worst A--h--- to ever have been in the guitar biz.
    Some of the stories are: That his business is a money laundering front, That he has made fake models of other guitars such as PRS leftys when PRS dosent even make lefty guitars in that model, That
    he buys factory 2nds and sells them as firsts, Warranty issues, Bait and switch, etc,etc etc.
    Do any of you have any personal horror stories concerning Ed Roman Guitars? I don't know what is acceptable banter in this forum but I am just curious.
  20. LajoieT

    LajoieT I won't let your shadow be my shade...

    Oct 7, 2003
    Western Massachusetts
    Yea, I was hesitant to mention Ed for fear of starting up the rantings (which I have to agree with from the volume of things I've heard from himself and others) but since I'm responsible for the topic I'll help you find some info...















    Sorry for the derailment... Please return to talking about Spalt's cool stuff!!!!

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