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New and shiny or aged relic? Classic 50s vs Road Worn P Bass Poll

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Thom Fioriglio, Jan 18, 2021.


  1. Classic 50s Shiny and new

    256 vote(s)
    68.1%
  2. Road Worn 50s relic

    120 vote(s)
    31.9%
  1. Hi all, I love the look and tone of the 50s p bass. I did all my research, read the reviews, read the talkbass forums, and the conclusion was, for my price range, the best bang for the buck was the Road Worn 50s P bass with the Classic 50s P a close second. A few months ago I purchased a used 2016 Road Worn 50s P. It's a great bass, and I love a good looking relic, however part of me kept thinking shiny and new. A 2018 classic 50s P bass came up on Reverb and I jumped on it. Its in like new condition, not a ding or blemish. Both are fantastic basses and to my ears, I can't tell any difference in sound. Other than the coating and pickups, they are identical.

    I can't afford to keep both.

    The issue I have with the RW is that its not my wear and tear, and all other RW basses have the same wear and tear. Hmm, I thought I would love it but it just seems fake to me. And hasn't really felt like "my bass" if that makes sense. If I want a 50s replica, do I go with shiny and new or faked worn?

    So for anyone else who had both, what was your preference?

    IMG_7710.JPG IMG_7712.jpg IMG_7713.JPG IMG_7714.JPG
     
  2. B-Mac

    B-Mac Just like Aretha Sang... R-E-S-P-E-C-T Supporting Member

    Seems obvious to me as you only have complaints about the RW. You pretty much answered your own question. Keep the N & S :)
     
    Odys, JohnNash, Clark W and 13 others like this.
  3. Lagado

    Lagado Inactive

    Jan 6, 2020
    "The issue I have with the RW is that its not my wear and tear, and all other RW basses have the same wear and tear. Hmm, I thought I would love it but it just seems fake to me."

    I agree. It doesn't even look authentic. All the mojo I have on my basses, I put there myself through countless hours of playing. That's the way I like it.
     
    Odys, Whil57, JohnNash and 10 others like this.
  4. LOL, very perceptive That is what I think then I look at the RW and it's a gorgeous bass in its own right.
     
    DJ Bebop and B-Mac like this.
  5. New and shiny for me. One is made to look like it's been around since the 50's and the other is made to put YOU back in the 50's. I wasn't around then so I'd like to have the "time machine" like I'm about to play with Dion :laugh:
     
    Michael Bauer, lomo, DJ Bebop and 3 others like this.
  6. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY

    Yes, ditch the RW. Now all we have to do is arrive at an agreed price and figure out shipping to me in Canada.
     
  7. Yeah, I think that sums up my feelings. The RW is about appearance as if it was from the 50s. The Classic 50s is a reproduction of the 50s p bass, with all era correct specs (except of course for the pickups and coating.)

    An analogy I thought of, is with classic cars. Would I want a car from the 50s that is beat up and rusted or shiny and well maintained. Not sure if that holds up for basses as many loved the worn relic look of an old Fender, myself included.
     
    DJ Bebop and Pizza1988 like this.
  8. Lagado

    Lagado Inactive

    Jan 6, 2020
    RW is basically mimicking the wear and tear of years and years of playing and experience, that you haven't done...

    "Debord traces the development of a modern society in which authentic social life has been replaced with its representation: "All that once was directly lived has become mere representation." Debord argues that the history of social life can be understood as "the decline of being into having, and having into merely appearing."

    Guy Debord - The Society of the Spectacle.
     
  9. Throwing some philosophy out there! Awesome!
     
    Michael Bauer and DJ Bebop like this.
  10. Lagado

    Lagado Inactive

    Jan 6, 2020
    Ask any influencer, it's all about style over substance.
     
    96tbird, DJ Bebop and Thom Fioriglio like this.
  11. That's a good analogy, one I also use. The difference is no one (that I've ever heard of) purposely dings and rusts a classic car to look like it's been around :laugh: at least I hope not.

    However, the "patina" look has gained traction in the automotive restoration world.
     
    murphy, satjhmo and Thom Fioriglio like this.
  12. I hear ya. And I think that is the problem I have with the RW. Several months ago a friend's son bought a RW in fiesta and posted a picture. My first question was what year is it? I think part of me would be a bit embarrassed to say its only from 2016 but made to look like its been around since the 50s. At least with the Classic 50s, I have no issue saying its a 2018 50s reissue built from all the same specs of the original '57 or '58 P bass
     
    Rezdog, Michael Bauer and murphy like this.
  13. JeezyMcNuggles

    JeezyMcNuggles Inactive

    Feb 23, 2018
    Santa Maria, CA
    I suck, but nobody notices
    I like the shiny one. The color is more bold. But, thats me. Either one looks great.
     
  14. shoot-r

    shoot-r

    May 26, 2007
    Illinois

    Come on guys.....another "It's not my wear mark's so I can't like the instrument thread!" :smug:

    Keep the one that sounds best "to your ears" and feels the best "to your hands."

    As a high school graduation present in 1972 my folks got me a used and VERY abused, 8 year old Jazz, ( fast forward to today, ) I still gig with that bass and to date "No one" has ever commented on the finish of the bass.
     
  15. I've only seen the 'road worn' finish in person on a Strat and it was comically fake-looking. If I owned both and the RW played better, I would keep it. Then strip it, get it painted or cover it with stickers.:D
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2021
    porterbass and JRA like this.
  16. wraub

    wraub

    Apr 9, 2004
    ennui, az
    Personally, I like my basses with some wear on them, it's history on a small scale. That said, most RW instruments have a pattern that can look "off", but an easy solution is to play it a lot and make the wear yours. Play it hard, it'll look "authentic" soon enough. ;)
    Another concern for me is, with a N&S instrument I feel a responsibility to keep it that way, to some extent, while with an instrument that's already got some wear, what's a little more? A beat up instrument can offer a level of carefree use that can inspire new playing behaviors...
     
  17. bherman

    bherman Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2009
    Grand Junction, CO
    For many years I played a 59 P (like 40 yrs) and it never got that beat up. I always thought the RWs looked ridiculously fake, like from a blues man that toured every night but had no case. Some people like it but not me.
     
  18. SgtHulka

    SgtHulka

    Mar 29, 2019
    Playing fake relic basses = poser.
     
  19. David_70

    David_70 Supporting Member

    Mar 28, 2012
    The neck on the one to the right looks richer — that alone sold me.
     
    DJ Bebop likes this.
  20. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    Congrats on the pair.

    So which one sounds better?!?
     
    DJ Bebop, Florinda4 and BobDeRosa like this.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Mar 3, 2021

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