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Is Relic’ing A Fad?

E.M.

Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2016
Messages
89
Not going to lie, I like a good relic job on a guitar. Nothing over the top, just some minor wear to make the guitar feel broken in. But I also love a brand new, untouched instrument like we used to buy back in the day. I predict that relic’ing demand as a practice of guitar finishing will diminish over time and most players will eventually revert back to gloss or VOS for new purchases. Save the wear for the actual playing and vintage instruments! Relic’ing is a fad - and like most fads, will fade into distant memory.

Fad: “an intense and widely shared enthusiasm for something, especially one that is short-lived and without basis in the object's qualities; a craze.”
 

KoP

Member
Joined
Jul 11, 2016
Messages
57
I don't think it will completely fade out. There will always be a segment of customers that prefer them.

I get it. Most of those relic'd guitars are to allow a person to feel like they own and are playing a 1950's guitar without paying $1,000,000 for an original one.

It's the same idea with homage watches, especially Rolex, Omega and Blancpain dive watches. Right now I'm wearing a 1950's Blancpain Fifty Fathoms homage by Maratac (CountyComm). An original would cost me around $75,000, if I could even find one for sale. Mine cost me $420.
 

jrgtr42

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 24, 2005
Messages
2,269
I'm not a fan, personally - |I prefer relicing my own the old fashioned way.
The only way i would consider it is if I was having a replica of one of my own made for touring, when i don't want to bring the original -
not that I have any that are particularly valuable other than sentimentality.
 

RocknRollShakeUp

Active member
Joined
Jul 7, 2006
Messages
732
My fave is a closet classic type of relic with checking and just a few dings. It’s practical too since I can be more relaxed about getting another ding.
 

deytookerjaabs

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 6, 2016
Messages
1,551
Yeah...first time I saw a relic was new guitars from Fender's Custom Shop line back in the 90's. It was then said that it was the "dumbest idea ever" by some folks yet here we are.
 

Norton

Active member
Joined
Jun 18, 2019
Messages
102
I've never been a fan but agree it's not going anywhere. The frist time I remember seeing them was at a NAMM show in 95 maybe? and I remember guys doing it to their own guitars once grunge got popular. When I first say them I thought to myself "this will be a go away in a few years" and I was definately wrong, probably not for the last time.
 

56lp

New member
Joined
Dec 2, 2021
Messages
14
IMO Relic'ing is not a fade, especially with Murphy Labs making a lot of "aged" guitars. Unless the heavy relic'ing is done really well, I also prefer the Closet Classic aging with lacquer checking and aged hardware.
 

Wilko

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Mar 11, 2002
Messages
20,377
almost 30 years. Fender started the craze at the NAMM show in 1995
 

goldtop0

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Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Messages
8,638
It's an affectation, a fad as you say, just like worn jeans, however I've not yet witnessed a newly made reliced car or motorbike........but there are bound to be some out there.
 

Dozer95662

Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2003
Messages
553
Not going to lie, I like a good relic job on a guitar. Nothing over the top, just some minor wear to make the guitar feel broken in. But I also love a brand new, untouched instrument like we used to buy back in the day. I predict that relic’ing demand as a practice of guitar finishing will diminish over time and most players will eventually revert back to gloss or VOS for new purchases. Save the wear for the actual playing and vintage instruments! Relic’ing is a fad - and like most fads, will fade into distant memory.

Fad: “an intense and widely shared enthusiasm for something, especially one that is short-lived and without basis in the object's qualities; a craze.”
people have been saying this for 25 years.

so.... no.

oh, I should have read the whole thread first my bad.
 

E.M.

Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2016
Messages
89
Looks like I’m out-voted on the “relic is a fad” argument. Totally cool. I just don’t remember seeing that many relic’d instruments in guitar shops 10 or 15 years ago. They are certainly more common now. To each is their own.
 

Bob Womack

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 8, 2002
Messages
2,088
I do wonder if one day when you unlatch the guitar to sell it, the prospective buyer will say, "I don't know, man, it's pretty beat."
madsmile.gif

Bob
 

goldtop0

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Messages
8,638
The irony is that here in NZ unless it looks 'as new' it's not a goer. It's hard to get your money back down the track if you bought new.
 

vanguardo

New member
Joined
Oct 18, 2022
Messages
8
I love the auctions that state it's mint and relic'd, meaning all wear is factory. Truly bizarre. I've got my own weirdnesses though, so I won't lose any sleep over it.

A fad? I imagine it will go out of fashion, but an ever decreasing sector will still want it. I say decreasing because I believe it's an older player interest.
 

brandtkronholm

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 3, 2006
Messages
2,473
Not going to lie, I like a good relic job on a guitar. Nothing over the top, just some minor wear to make the guitar feel broken in. But I also love a brand new, untouched instrument like we used to buy back in the day. I predict that relic’ing demand as a practice of guitar finishing will diminish over time and most players will eventually revert back to gloss or VOS for new purchases. Save the wear for the actual playing and vintage instruments! Relic’ing is a fad - and like most fads, will fade into distant memory.

Fad: “an intense and widely shared enthusiasm for something, especially one that is short-lived and without basis in the object's qualities; a craze.”
Not going to lie, I like a good relic job on a guitar. Nothing over the top, just some minor wear to make the guitar feel broken in. But I also love a brand new, untouched instrument like we used to buy back in the day. I predict that relic’ing demand as a practice of guitar finishing will diminish over time and most players will eventually revert back to gloss or VOS for new purchases. Save the wear for the actual playing and vintage instruments! Relic’ing is a fad - and like most fads, will fade into distant memory.

Fad: “an intense and widely shared enthusiasm for something, especially one that is short-lived and without basis in the object's qualities; a craze.”
The act of making an instrument look older than it actually is has been around fo decades, if nt centuries. Here’s an article from the violin magazine “The Strad” about aging that includes an excerpt from another article from 1920.

- So, to answer your question, it isn’t a fad. It’s been here for a very long time and won’t go away ever.

9 views on antiquing a modern violin​

The Strad.

(Anyone for ripped jeans?) ;)
 

E.M.

Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2016
Messages
89
The act of making an instrument look older than it actually is has been around fo decades, if nt centuries. Here’s an article from the violin magazine “The Strad” about aging that includes an excerpt from another article from 1920.

- So, to answer your question, it isn’t a fad. It’s been here for a very long time and won’t go away ever.

9 views on antiquing a modern violin​

The Strad.

(Anyone for ripped jeans?) ;)
Interesting piece about violin finishes. A certain aesthetic is associated with old wood it seems. I prefer my jeans intact when I buy them.
 

SpencerD

Active member
Joined
Mar 11, 2016
Messages
803
Yeah. The relic thing isn't going anywhere.
I worked in furniture factories for about a million years right? You've got to be extra careful during the manufacturing process to not scratch or ding the wood. Very important,like firing offense for repeat offenders.

Then! Customers saw what in furniture is called "distressed" ( same as relic)

I would actually beat the shit out of perfectly nice stuff with a chain sometimes. They would charge extra for that too. :D
 
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