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i have one of these that I bought in spite if the relic—I really like it and even though I’m not really a relic guy, it does photograph and video well due to the matte finish. I also have a glossy AJL, too. He makes some very fine instruments
Maybe some players buy reliced guitars cos they like fooling punters that they are hardened pro players who’s amount of hours playing is reflected in the appearance of the guitar. That’s the image they want to portray and it works. My brother plays a heavy relic tele and often gets audience comments that support this. Someone once offered him money to buy a new guitar. True story honest!
Look at the players who are seen using heavy reliced guitars. SRV, Django etc. These guys are our idols. Is it any wonder we want to create a bit of their mojo for ourselves.
I think that my original post was a bit snarky and I apologize for that. Likewise I meant no offense towards those makers like AJL who make distressed guitars. He wouldn't make them if people did not want them. Every AJL I played was a fine guitar. And SRV and Django did not play relic guitars. The mojo in those guitars was their own.
And it's quite true that as the cost of genuine artifacts goes ever more stratospheric, and technology allows easier replication, better replicas will be made. Who knows how many fake '59 Les Pauls are floating around? We may soon need a Voight-Kampff test for guitars...
I bought a relic Cach guitar last year and I told him to over relic it. Guitar plays and sounds great, he is just a very good builder. This is my go out and gig and jam guitar, and the more dings I put in it the better. I don't worry about the instrument (it's built like a tank anyway). I have normal high end guitars and I hate dinging them which if I use them I inevitably do. I doubt it makes much difference if a guitar is relic'd or not as far as sound, playability no issue. Personally I think it looks cool, to each their own.
I played Win's Berault guitar and the relic process looks like a real art form (it is a beautiful guitar from my vantage point). I am sure it did not change the sound of that guitar much and if so maybe to the better, who knows?
He wouldn't make them if people did not want them.
Agreed. I can remember when Leo Eimers first brought an "antique finish" guitar to Samois in ~2004/5. It was all the rage because I don't think many people had done this sort of thing.
And SRV and Django did not play relic guitars
Nope! To paraphrase the old Smith Barney ad: They got their scars the old fashioned way....they EARRRRNED them.
the relic process looks like a real art form
It really can be if done well. I like the 503 replicas that try to look exactly like the original, right down to drilled holes, oxidized metals, etc. As a form of art, they can be neat to look at or imagine that you are holding the real thing. When they play well too, I can see how people attach some form of mojo to them. This strive for "authenticity" has produced some cool replicas such as cigarette burns on EVH's Frankenstrat, a worn hole on Willie's Trigger, and of course Django's Selmer.
@scot I didn't mean these players had put an order in with the custom shop. The point I was making is the images we often see are of them playing beat up guitars and this influences us. Look at Selmer 503 or Jaco's Fender Jazz!
I have friends who look down on Relic guitars. I would question this attitude because if you like the look then buying a professionally reliced instrument is the only sensible option. You could buy it new and play it for fifty years hmmm. Try relicing it yourself and risk wrecking a perfectly good guitar or buy an old beat up vintage guitar that will come with a thousand issues and pay over the odds for the privelidge.
I'd go to AJL or Barault every time.
The relic look is used by violin luthiers. It's hard to tell if you're playing a new (uggh!) violin or one by one of the centuries-old old masters.
It all comes down to feel, sound, and if the guitar excites you. I had my doubts about the concept until I played a really nice relic. It is very difficult to do well, and is an endorsement of the maker’s skill. Some do sound better than their unreliced counterparts- the National Replicons would be one example.
Good luck to the seller, I have been admiring this guitar.
One of the guys in my Djamming group has an “aged” AJL, that thing looks cool and sounds absolutely great.