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What kind of finish is on my Fender J?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by sickest beast, Mar 15, 2009.

  1. Hey guys. I've been reading lately about the Fender "relic" series of guitars and basses. You know, the brand new, but worn and torn looking Fenders.

    Anyways, I know that most modern Fenders, MIM and a lot of MIA guitars and basses have super thick poly-something-or-other finishes. It's a fact that a lot of modern Fenders will just never, EVER have that vintage look. These finishes last forever.

    Now my Fender MIA Jazz was built in 2003. I traded one of the ex-bassists from my old band an old Tama Rockstar drumset for it, and quite frankly, he never took care of this bass. I was with him when he bought it, and it was brand new, beautiful finish. When I traded for it, it was missing 2 screws from one of the tuning pegs (don't ask me how those screws just vanished within less than 2 years use) and the finish is all dinged, scratched, and ultimately quite a bit of paint has been rubbed off and some very beautiful natural wood grain can be seen. The finish is a kind of see-through red, and it never really had a high-gloss finish.

    Don't get me wrong, I love the worn look of this bass. If I had bought it brand new, it would certainly not look the way it does now. I take very good care of my instruments. That said, one of the main reasons I wanted to trade for this bass was because of how worn, used and abused it looks.

    And now to the point. What kind of finish is this? Why was it so quick to become worn and basically come to look like a "relic" bass?
  2. Sounds like it's probably one of the Highway One (1) basses. They're finished with a thin coat of nitrocellulose, which is what the old basses were finished with. They're made to be able to wear like yours is.
  3. bongomania

    bongomania Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    IIRC back around 2000-02 Fender started putting a very thin finish on, I still see advertisements for that on the Highway One instruments. I don''t know if they're still doing it, or to the same thinness, or which other years/models have that thinner finish.
  4. Ahh... That makes perfect sense.

    Are there any other differences between the Highway One and a regular MIA Jazz?

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