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 Post subject: A BAD Mod/Relic Job
PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2018 7:10 pm 
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Cocobolo
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This came through the shop. I did not catch the name of the guy who did the "relic" work. It started as a new J45 standard, looking around inside there were just random cleats with glue smeared around to darken up the tone (I guess?). The full body shot is blurry (my fault, phone is getting old) but the real issue is the bridge.

What this guy did was remove the belly bridge and saw off the front portion to make it look like a pre-45' era bridge. The guitar intonates correctly but the bridge is eventually going to destroy itself. The saddle is in the correct location for a belly bridge but it is not in a good location for a flat cut bridge like this.

Image

Image

Apologies for the blur.
Image

In conversation with the client we agreed that he would get his money back. If the guy had just filled and recut the saddle with the bridge in the correct spot there wouldn't be a problem. It looked like he had refin'd the top so he would've have the easiest time to relocate the bridge to a better spot and then fill/recut the slot, so I'm convinced he really just didn't think this part of it through.

Just thought you guys might enjoy seeing it. Buyer beware


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 Post subject: Re: A BAD Mod/Relic Job
PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2018 7:37 pm 
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Bad falls just short of describing what was done to this guitar. I cant even imagine what the customer was hoping for when he gave the ok to do the relic job.

Was the serial number or paper tag modified?

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 Post subject: Re: A BAD Mod/Relic Job
PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2018 8:16 pm 
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Crazy.

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These users thanked the author Chris Pile for the post: AndyB (Wed Jul 11, 2018 9:01 am)
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 Post subject: Re: A BAD Mod/Relic Job
PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2018 8:42 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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The bridge might hold up for awhile. Some of the old guitars didn't have too much wood in front of the saddle. Am I seeing it right - are there cracks in the top and are they part of the relicing?
If the client wanted his guitar reliced it looks like he got his monies worth, and I'm not sure he should get it back.


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 Post subject: Re: A BAD Mod/Relic Job
PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2018 6:06 am 
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Someone did that to a new guitar??? Why??


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 Post subject: Re: A BAD Mod/Relic Job
PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2018 8:36 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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That bridge aint gonna last long. But over all if that is your thing the guy did a pretty good job of making it look old. HE should of just built a new bridge. I like to wear the holes out in my own jeans but to each their own I guess.


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 Post subject: Re: A BAD Mod/Relic Job
PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2018 9:37 am 
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Cocobolo
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Clay S. wrote:
The bridge might hold up for awhile. Some of the old guitars didn't have too much wood in front of the saddle. Am I seeing it right - are there cracks in the top and are they part of the relicing?
If the client wanted his guitar reliced it looks like he got his monies worth, and I'm not sure he should get it back.


If we look at the 43' era of J45s that he was shooting for, the bridge has a decent chunk of rosewood in front of the high E. Sure it's close but on the relic job there's barely a 16th of wood there.

Image

Jfmckenna yes he actually did a decent job on the relic. And I agree he should've just made a new bridge. When it first came in I thought "oh! A vintage J forty--- wait..."


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 Post subject: Re: A BAD Mod/Relic Job
PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2018 10:13 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Why would anybody intentionally crack and reglue a top? I can understand scratching one up... Dings are part of vintage mojo.. But intentional damage?

Did he give it a new Car Keys crack on the side and some belt buckle rash on the back while he was at it? Maybe let the cat p!$$ in it and use it as an ashtray for 3 months to round out the whole "vintage abuse" deal....

The trouble with getting your money back on something like this that it's basically "Art".. And there's not a well defined specification for art... The client paid the person to "Relic" it and he did.... It sounds more like a client whining because they got buyers remorse.... Sorry - but what's done is done....

Thanks


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 Post subject: Re: A BAD Mod/Relic Job
PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2018 10:30 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Hi Dan,
I'm not saying the bridge is original looking, I'm saying I've seen bridges with very little wood in front of the saddle that have not failed. If the saddle is glued in ( gaah ) they stand an even better chance of surviving. To me, the guitar doesn't look like it has had 75 years of honest wear. It looks like a Willy Nelson wannabe decided to hack up a new guitar. They should at least rub some dirt on the shiny white raw wood.


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 Post subject: Re: A BAD Mod/Relic Job
PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2018 10:54 am 
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Clay S. wrote:
Hi Dan,
I'm not saying the bridge is original looking, I'm saying I've seen bridges with very little wood in front of the saddle that have not failed. If the saddle is glued in ( gaah ) they stand an even better chance of surviving. To me, the guitar doesn't look like it has had 75 years of honest wear. It looks like a Willy Nelson wannabe decided to hack up a new guitar. They should at least rub some dirt on the shiny white raw wood.


Yeah, add some dirt and use some potassium permanganate.

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 Post subject: Re: A BAD Mod/Relic Job
PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2018 11:29 am 
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Every time I see a "relic'd" guitar I wonder if they set the neck angle really bad, put divots in the fretboard, grooves in the frets. Maybe crack the nut and rub a little sand in the tuner gears. I mean if you are going to make a fake POS why not make it play like a POS too.


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 Post subject: Re: A BAD Mod/Relic Job
PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2018 11:46 am 
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I've never seen an intentionally relic'd acoustic guitar!?! The thought never even occurred to me.

I don't get it. I love beat up old Gibson acoustics, a quick peruse of reverb and I find a really beat up 1955 J-45 for $2900 (canadian), musicians friend has brand new J-45's listed for almost $3800 (canadian). Couldn't you buy the old one and do any necessary work to make it playable and come out around the same price probably cheaper? Not to mention you'd have the real deal.


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 Post subject: Re: A BAD Mod/Relic Job
PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2018 12:00 pm 
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Welcome to the new age, Mr Searl: https://www.pre-warguitars.com/distress-levels/

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 Post subject: Re: A BAD Mod/Relic Job
PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2018 12:28 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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That and Fender already proved people were willing to pay real money for their factory "Distressed" Road Worn series.... You pay MORE than new regular to have your tremolo cover lost and boogered screws put on your pickups.... ;)


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 Post subject: Re: A BAD Mod/Relic Job
PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2018 1:45 pm 
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Cocobolo
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Clay S. wrote:
Hi Dan,
I'm not saying the bridge is original looking, I'm saying I've seen bridges with very little wood in front of the saddle that have not failed. If the saddle is glued in ( gaah ) they stand an even better chance of surviving. To me, the guitar doesn't look like it has had 75 years of honest wear. It looks like a Willy Nelson wannabe decided to hack up a new guitar. They should at least rub some dirt on the shiny white raw wood.


Ah gotcha. Yes this is not a glue in bridge, it is tilted if you look at the photos.

It's just one of those "things" that happens and we are left to ask "why" after the fact. I don't know what this will end up becoming but time will tell. I just wonder how much tone is added by the scratches and dings...


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 Post subject: Re: A BAD Mod/Relic Job
PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2018 3:00 pm 
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Reliced the hell out of it, but put the shiny tusq saddle back in! It's all in the details.

Funny. I just had a J45 in the shop on Friday. The owner asked me to take a look at a "new" one in the shop because he felt it played better. His was only 4 or 5 years old, and he's a lefty, so he's drawn towards any shiny thing that's backwards. Indeed, the new one played better, but sounded worse. And had a hideous blond looking IRW fingerboard! I looked at his setup and said, "let's go back to my shop". Dropped a new bone saddle in to replace the tusq, cut the nut a touch deeper and he walked away with a guitar that he loved. And saved him a few grand!

But I digress. Just funny to see a trashed new guitar to contrast the ones I was just working with!

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 Post subject: Re: A BAD Mod/Relic Job
PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 9:39 am 
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I dont get the desire for relic-ing a guitar ...... like buying a trophy !!!!!! get a guitar and play it , sooner or later it will show YOUR wear and tear. Thats a Trophy to be proud of !

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 Post subject: Re: A BAD Mod/Relic Job
PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 11:54 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Other than worn out fingerboards, extensive "play wear" is generally due to carelessness and poor technique. I know a woman who was digging a hole in the upper side of the top of her mandolin. I asked her if she would like me to put a thin plastic pick guard over that area. She asked me if it would change the sound. I told her "probably not as much as adding another soundhole". When she bought another old mandolin that was in fine condition she changed her technique to avoid "relic-ing" it like the last one. I have played some beat up instruments that sounded good in spite of the cracks and dings, but just because an instrument was abused doesn't mean it was so fantastic sounding that the player couldn't put it down. The old English adage "a woman, a dog, and a walnut tree, the harder you beat them the better they be" doesn't apply to guitars. gaah #guitars too laughing6-hehe


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 Post subject: Re: A BAD Mod/Relic Job
PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 5:13 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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That's a hack job, not a relic job. Be pretty hard to have that kind of wear pattern around the back of the pickguard, especially since it's practically under the first string.
Not really too many guitar players care to have their guitar "Triggered" since most all are into shiny. One of the most popular forum questions on guitar "player" sites "What kind of polish do you use."...
Mandolins and violins are a different story because the players realize that most of the really good ones are very thin varnish and old. Still, distressing a violin or mandolin takes one thing. Finesse. It's not how much distressing you do, it's how "little" you do and how much you have thought about every little ding you put into it.

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 Post subject: Re: A BAD Mod/Relic Job
PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2018 7:31 am 
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We've seen a few guitars where the wear beneath the strings is close to the Pre War Guitars Level 4 guitar below. One of the owners is a very energetic Irish artist that comes in every year for a rebuild of his workhorse Taylors (copious amounts of medium viscosity Fill' N' Finish to forestall damage to the X braces under his paper-thin top), while the other is a former member of a regionally well know CA-based 1980's punk band that still has the same technique used as a 17 year old, despite a transition to acoustics. We find splinters in their guitar cases...seriously...splinters of top wood. wow7-eyes

Relicked acoustics are definitely a 'thing' - as we've seen with Pre War Guitar products (http://www.pre-warguitars.com), which are offered in four levels of distress:

Level 1: New old stock

Attachment:
PreWarDLevel1.jpg


Level 2: Well loved, well played

Attachment:
PreWarJ45Level2.jpg


Level 3: The Road Warrior

Attachment:
PreWarDLevel3.jpg


Level 4: Awesome

Attachment:
PreWar000Level4.jpg


We have had a few of these in for setup work, and they were seemingly closer to vintage Martins in tone and vibe than any of the Authentics that we've seen over the past several years. Whatever the wisdom of aging a new guitar, there is certainly a market niche for these instruments, and it appears to be brand fanboys that prefer not to drag their late 1930's and 1940's Martins and Gibsons to yet another VA-MD-DC summer music festival in what is effectively an out-of-doors sweat lodge between mid-June and early October.

In addition to the bridge integrity issue mentioned by the OP, I would hope that the cracks suggested by the sunburst discontinuities are just that - faux repaired damage versus actual cracks generated in the aging process. While cracked tops are not uncommon on older instruments, there are plenty of well-loved, well-worn vintage instruments with structurally intact tops.

And just because there can never be a sufficient number of bridge pin, string, hide glue, and grammar-related threads on OLF, UMGF, AGF, and other enthusiast sites...

I am torn between 'reliced' and 'relicked' in usage - the rule is to replace the -c with -ck when tacking on an -ed or -ing, but both spellings look a bit questionable, although the second is correct according to the OED's usage guide. I've also seen 'relic'd' which at least has the virtue of not suggesting the need for a second delousing or reminding me of a family dog we had that cleaned himself quite thoroughly before offering us his affections.

The boss refers to the practice as 'stupiding' a guitar (there is no OED guidance on spelling made-up words, so I did the best I could here...bear with me), which usually prompts a reminder from Mr. Morelli that relicking is an established practice for which a truly obscene amount of money may be charged, and to which the boss habitually replies with something along the lines of 'that being sadly true, we should spell it R-E-A-L H-A-C-K-I-N-G on your web site.'


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 Post subject: Re: A BAD Mod/Relic Job
PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2018 9:37 am 
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All of this discussion on relic'ing reminded me of the movie recently where Kurt Russel smashed a real pre-20th century Martin to pieces. I think a reproduction with some relic'ing would've been highly appropriate given the circumstances. Even if they had one they should've insisted on using the relic'd repro.

I think one thing we should look at with this kind of thing is the presentation aspect. Let's say you're asked to play music for a scene in a film (it can happen) and the film is set in the 1940s. You're role is to be a hard playing/travelling musician in the background and the director wants you to be as authentic as possible and this includes your instrument you're playing in the scene.

So what do you do? Buy an actual pre-1940s Martin/Gibson for a huge number or spend a tiny bit on something that looks just as authentic and your average movie goer won't know the difference?

I think instead of just looking at how stupid it is let's try to find some ways to apply the idea tastefully.

I'm not justifying what was done to the J45 that came through. But I can see a few limited circumstances where a relic'd old looking instrument would be appropriate to achieve a certain appeal.


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 Post subject: Re: A BAD Mod/Relic Job
PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2018 10:19 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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"All of this discussion on relic'ing reminded me of the movie recently where Kurt Russel smashed a real pre-20th century Martin to pieces. I think a reproduction with some relic'ing would've been highly appropriate given the circumstances. Even if they had one they should've insisted on using the relic'd repro."

They didn't have one. They borrowed one from the Martin museum, and were supposed to smash a "stand in" guitar but Tarantino used the real one. He should be given a lickin' for it. And then a re-lickin' for good measure. gaah



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