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FDP Forum / Fender Custom Shop / What has happened to Relics?

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MrP22

United Kingdom

Oct 31st, 2014 10:51 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I've not done a Relic browse for 6 months or so. When I looked today I was shocked. I've been a Fender man for 20 years now and cherish my 3 Relics. If I had to replace one, after my viewing today, I think I'd go with copy. Has the quality control for recent Relics quit his post? I was embarrassed to look through what is available. It doesn't seem important to Fender for relic-ing to look realistic anymore. The crude over worked arm wear jobs that look run over with an industrial sander. There's wear marks in places you don't get them; overly dark decals on pristine headstocks matched with grossly battered bodies; paint removed in random places to show off the colour underneath to such a strange extent that any hint of realism is long gone. They look rushed, amatuer- like the homejob Relics we used to scoff at. They are paradies of themselves. I write this with the hope that Fender can hear some feedback (if they even look here anymore) as they are turning Relics into a joke. Old guitars don't look that way. These rush jobs discredit an icon brand.

mirrorboy

Yorkshire, England

Nov 1st, 2014 05:53 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Given that Custom Shop relic jobs are now more of an industrial process rather than an art form, one would think that FMIC would have nailed the standard operating procedure for what is essentially a luxury product.

urby
Contributing Member
*******

Seattle, Wa

Nov 1st, 2014 05:38 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I agree with your assessment. Plus, prices keep going up. I have heard that there has been major changes at Fender recently. I don't think Eldred is manager anymore. I may be wrong. From the outside things sure appear different.

Stratolux

Canada

Dec 15th, 2014 11:23 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

It would seem that in viewing the website, and in cunjuntion with the revised American Vintage line (inlcuding much higher pricing), the Custom Shop appears to be scaling back production to yearly limited runs, along with select dealer runs. It's possible Mike Eldred didn't agree with, or maybe didn't fit, that new operating model.

I had suspected that the heavily revised American Vintage line-up was somehow shifting the myriad reissue guitars from the Custom Shop to the American line. That's probably the way it should be, but good luck marketing those guitars after years of making it seem like the American Vintage line was "lesser".



Pinetree
Moderator Emeritus
(with many stars)

NW Pennsylvania

Dec 15th, 2014 11:30 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Mike Eldred and Jack Schwartz were let go early this year, along with other management changes.



Stratolux

Canada

Dec 18th, 2014 08:38 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I should add that from the ones I've seen, the American Vintage line guitars are very nice.

Maybe the Custom Shop idea and scale was getting too far from its original intent. No reason why an American made Fender without a custom shop sticker can't be considered top-tier, pro-level gear. Of course the quality has to be there to back that up.

Peegoo
Contributing Member
**********
**********
***

The band is awful

and so are the tunes
Dec 20th, 2014 09:39 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I've noticed that too. The relicking really appears overdone lately. It's more cartoony than it need to be.

littleuch
Contributing Member
**********
**

Ocala, Fla

Dec 20th, 2014 10:25 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I like certain aspects of relics. On a sunburst Strat light checking, even some realistic fretboard wear will do. I don't mind a hacked blackguard Tele because it lends itself to the utilitarian aspect of the instrument. But ya know what I hate? A solid color like sonic blue with sunburst showing through. For some reason that evokes a response not far removed from the general Nazi relic haters sentiment.

LeftRightOut
Contributing Member
***

Australia

too many guitars and not enough hands
Dec 21st, 2014 05:38 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Relics are a thing of the past.

bring back the bowling ball strat

Peegoo
Contributing Member
**********
**********
***

The band is awful

and so are the tunes
Dec 21st, 2014 09:31 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

No! The Splatter

Caster!

supersonik

Germany

Dec 21st, 2014 02:44 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

There must be a demand for the heavy relic finish, I think? To people who have seen real vintage guitars this "ultra worn" version of the CS must look quite funny. They did much nicer soft relics in the past.

LeftRightOut
Contributing Member
***

Australia

too many guitars and not enough hands
Dec 21st, 2014 02:48 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Peegoo,

the splatters pale in comparison as opposed

Lets go bowling

Tyrone Shuz

USA

I'm all in!
Dec 22nd, 2014 11:45 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

They were called bowling ball strats because they weighed 12 to 16 lbs!

Chris Greene
FDP Host

Idaho, USA

Frogs, the other white meat
Dec 22nd, 2014 12:22 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I never liked the Relics. I don't like beat up looking guitars whether artificial like the Relics were or just old beat up guitars. I had a Closet Classic Nocaster that didn't look too bad but when I got my '56 Strat, I chose NOS.

Frus500

USA

Jan 10th, 2015 08:24 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I use to be a relic nut.... but I'm over it. I'll take a closet or NOS any day... or a very light relic Fender.

I agree that Fender seems to have overdone them. How many real vintage Fenders do you see in such bad condition?

I have a sunburst custom shop 60's relic from 2007 and it's nicely done... checking and dents but nicely done. But it seems like nowadays you have chunks of paint taken off.

Peegoo
Contributing Member
**********
**********
***

The band is awful

and so are the tunes
Jan 10th, 2015 08:41 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I blame Rory Gallagher. The relic job he performed on his guitar drove the market in that direction.

But he took 30 years to do it :o)

The relic job on the front of Stevie Vaughan's iconic "Number 1" was already about 95% complete by the time he got his hands on the guitar. Prior to that, the famous Strat belonged to Christopher Cross. Go figure.

Tyrone Shuz

USA

I'm all in!
Jan 10th, 2015 09:30 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I snickered at the relics when they first came out, then I played some.

They are, as a group, better than NOS and CC's. I have a theory on why, and without going into it, I believe the better wood goes on the Relics. The only TM's I've played that floored me were relics, especially my Nocaster.

Not all relics I've played have been "all that", far from it, but I've yet to play a CC or NOS that is "all that". I'm sure they're out there. A great guitar is a great guitar, no matter the condition. Both of my old strats are very beat up, who can afford a new-looking one?

So looks have always been secondary to me.

Frus500

USA

Jan 11th, 2015 07:40 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Relics to me are great... it's just the overdone ones that are ridiculous for me. I have a relic, the relicing on it is done well, scratches, wear, and dents. It's only the ones that are crazy reliced that, for me, are pointless.

BTW.. I've heard that before about relics sounding better than the other custom shop models.... how many others here agree with that? There was even a guitarist in some magazine (I forget who) who said that the relics sounded better.

What do you all think?

Peegoo
Contributing Member
**********
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***

The band is awful

and so are the tunes
Jan 11th, 2015 07:47 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I tend to believe there are gems and there are dawgs in any model line.

ninworks
Contributing Member
*

Arizona

Too Much GAS
Jan 11th, 2015 09:24 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I never got the relic thing. I never could understand why anybody would pay more for a beat-up looking guitar. I have my thoughts about "why" people would want one but, that would probably get me banished from the site for being a jerk.

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FDP Forum / Fender Custom Shop / What has happened to Relics?




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