Show off your REAL relics!

Discussion in 'Pak Rats Nest' started by Lanaka, Sep 17, 2021.

  1. Lanaka

    Lanaka Squier-holic

    Feb 11, 2020
    Honolulu, HI
    A recent thread inspired this: Show off your real relics, the ones that has earned it's wear n tear from actual use/abuse, not those factory imposters that comes new with faked relicing. Feel free to share any stories about those older axes! But pics are a must!

    To kick off things here are some of mine.

    Probably the worthiest for the title of real relics amongst my herd. An 80s Kingston Swinga that is on the queue for restomodding. It came to me as part of a lot of 2 basket cases for 30$.

    Left pair, the Kingston Swinga; right pair, the Artisan guitar.

    I still have its original metal pickguard, but eventually I will replace it with a new metal one with different pup/control cutouts. But for now I will use the existing pickguard and figure what pickup was supposed to be in here. Its too big to be a Strat type single coil, but too small to be a humbucker.

    The pickguard provides for 2 pots and a top mounted output jack. So going to put in 2 B330k pots, one a volume with vtreb and a tone with 0.015 caps. Pure Tone output jack in nickel. I'm thinking of using the Vintage Stack Tele neck for now with a Strat style hard tail.

    Later I'm looking at the possibly of installing a kahler bridge assembly which offers the most compact trem assembly then rout a bridge pup location similar to this one below, this will allow the possibility of swapping bridge pup between humbucker, tele bridge, strat bridge with a simple plate swap.


    Then later with a new pup plate, install a Hot Stack Tele bridge pup. With this bridge theres the possibility of having as many as 3-4 pups on this guitar. All accessable by switching pickguard and bridge plate. I think I will setup the new pickguard as an universal pickguard with 1 or 2 modular section(s) that can be bolted onto the pickguard to allow easy swapping of pup and controls with the strings still on and tuned.

    The Kingston BTW, I think I'll just leave the børked finish as is, maybe including the bondoed section! It will definitely cause second looks and questions by the onlookers!

    The Artisan seen above is the other half of the basket lot. I will just apply furniture wood clear to make it looking like those old style furnitures with dark clear coats. Perhaps creating a transparent burst by using a lighter tinted clear in center and a farker one on the perimeter and back. I will fab a custom metal pickguard after routing an universal rout (similar to the one on the Kingston) to allow future pup changes with a similar modular setup. This guitar also has enough room between the guard and bridge to use a bridge pup plate design too.

    When finished, both guitars will end up with a scale length considerably longer than a Fender 25.5", probably more closer to a baritone 26-27" scale length.

    Of the playables, the title goes to my 80s MIJ Jazzmaster copy, the "Concert," so naamed due to the name plate on the headstock. This guitar has that classical found story!


    The guitar was hanging in an open air beachside garage for over 30 years ever since the seller's uncle who owned it has passed away back in late 80s early 90s.

    Partial exposure to the elements over 30 years has degraded the white finish to point that the areas that had seen skin contact has started flaking off, exposing the white undercoat, the rest is a range from medium parchment to medium cream. EVERYONE who has subsequently seen it has told me to NOT refinish it and leave the old degraded finish on it. One has gone as far to threaten to skin me alive if I eliminate the original skin.

    The nephew seller also threw in the uncle's amp, an equally old 80s vintage silver Roland Cube-40 1x10 that still works (once I cleared out the mass of dead cockroaches and spiders out of the chassis). Turns out this little guy is now one of my favorite amps! So much so that when it's bigger brother, another 80s vintage Cube-60 showed up, I bought it!


    Arguably my favorite relic from the past is this 80s Stage CS-327 Strat. This one here was sold by a storage reseller.


    The original white finish has aged to a nice cream tone. Under the pickguard shows that perfect "bikini-lines!" This is one of my fave traditional Strats, that compares favorably to my '92 Fender Mexican Standard (CRM) and my '07 Fender Japanese Standard (Blk).

    The original 1ply pickguard has aged to a light parchment (altho the undersides shows the original white). It has a mild ripple in the center. I'm going to swap out the mismatched pup covers for a set of white aged to creamish covers from a scrapped '88 Epiphone S400. Also gonna compare the pups from the Epi with those on the Stage, and pick the best of the lots. The current neck pup is a 52mm bridge pup! The other two are the original middle and bridge pup.

    I have a few others but will post them later.

    Enjoy and post yer "authentic" relics!
  2. Slacker G

    Slacker G Squier-Meister

    Sep 6, 2021
    I'm the only real relic at my house.
    Ladeeh, jnz84, metalmerchant and 10 others like this.
  3. grizzlewulf

    grizzlewulf Squier-holic

    Dec 11, 2020
    Lucerne, California
    Wish I had a picture of my drum kit from the punk band days. The most abused equipment I've ever owned
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2021
  4. dtsreiuqs

    dtsreiuqs Squier-Nut

    Oct 18, 2015
    not here anymore
    This is my sole relic, my 1st guitar, bought 2nd hand in late 1980 : a Gibson ES335-TD LH from June 1980 (81700034) and still with me after 41 years.

    Sorry it's not a damaged by negligence instrument, but a carefully treated one :


    I personally wouldn't intentionally relic any guitar, or have it relic'ed, in that "Faux-Old Imitation" way, if I can say so.

    Of course, It doesn't mean that I wouldn't consider buying a true relic guitar, but the fact is that these are extremely rare to find in LH...

    Conversely, I'm more inclined to restore or rebuilt leftover and derelict instruments, in order to "give them a new life", like my Orange Blossom Special below :

    Before - as is :

    After - LH-ized :

  5. brians

    brians Squier-holic

    Oct 1, 2017
    South Africa
    I can't play here, even my 46 year old Epiphone is not reliced but it has a lot of wear. IMG_20210319_154443.jpg
    Squittolo, rbh32, RoyalWe and 12 others like this.
  6. miket1117

    miket1117 Squier-holic Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2018
    Kansas City
    my oldest guitar is a '75 Gibson Dove i bought in '05.. it has the usual Gibson acoustic finish cracks/checking and the binding has yellowed nicely, but there's not much wear and tear beyond that... except close-up you can see where i gouged out a divot from my aggressive strumming. this is the only picture i have right now... it's currently with a luthier who is repairing some minor cracks inside, and making a custom-made bone nut and some ebony bridge pins. (shameless plug... it will be up for sale shortly after i get it back, get photos taken.)

  7. Lanaka

    Lanaka Squier-holic

    Feb 11, 2020
    Honolulu, HI
    Ok, here's three more old guitars thats bung up enuff to be called relics.

    80s-90s Memphis LP.
    Memphis CC (1440x1564).jpg

    I saw this one on the local Craigslist and was intrigued by this LP's gorgeous deep red burst that hardly have any yellow center. It was listed as a fixer-upper/parts guitar so was going for cheap. So I went and bought it for 45$.

    This guitar has an ODD neck/body alignment issue. Thankfully its a bolt-on neck so much easier to fix. The problem is that its LOOSE in the neck pocket, raising the question on whether they originally came together or not. The
    wibbly-wobbly neck suggests no. But the near identical match in the red finish suggest yes. I found that particularly odd since Memphis as a brand operating outta Japan is supposed to have a good rep for quality. Even Ibanez Japan can (rarely) have a lemon or two. Time to make lemonade, LOL!

    Tis not the first time I had to shim a neck into alignment. After getting the neck aligned I'll have to check the state of the wiring and parts...whoa, whatta mess, I think I am not the first one to mess with this LP's guts. There's tons of wires in there. Either someone was trying to make a Page wiring...and failed abysmally or something else, I dunno what tho...

    Ah heck with it. Yank em all out and start with a clean slate. Those pups tho. I'm gonna have to see what they are and how good they are. The Sperzel tuners are all ok aside the missing nut washer on the A post. I probably will go and replace all of them to ensure they look the same...or more likely, install a new set of gold locking tuners. Ditto the saddle and stop bars..incoming gold versions. The mismatched knobs will be swapped for a set of large black witch hats. The switch to gold with black tip.

    The gold pups if measures up will stay, or if no measures up will be replaced by something suitably hot n versatile. Methinks a gold set of double bridge JB (A5 16.6κΩ)/Custom Custom (A2 14.1κΩ) should do the trick.

    Regardless the golden pup choices, I'll use a black set of Triple-Shots and use a set of B500k pots with vtreb on volumes and 0.015μF caps on tone.

    1989 Ibanez RG565R (Red Metallic)

    This is perhaps among the rarest relic (or of any type in my collection) guitar I have. Most estimates less than 200 of this 1989 guitar was made and surely over time this number has been whittled down even more. This guitar is what Ibanez calls a Spot Model, a low production run of an experimental release of an upcoming new model (in this case, the 1990-up RG565). The purpose is to gauge the potential popularity of the new model and get feedback on the guitar for possible incorporation of changes and fixes in the regular production model.

    This guitar, unlike the production model, has sharktooth inlays (similar to the Jackson sharktooth) vs the production color matched dots. The fretboard is rosewood vs production maple. The switch is a simple 3way for Tele like pup operation. The pup configuration is a HS with an unspecified set of humbucker bridge and single-coil neck vs production INF pups.

    This rare bird's red metallic finish is in excellent condition which is amazing considering the original first owner had gigged with it as his #1 up and down the East Coast for nearly 30 years before retiring to Hawai'i a few years ago. Theres a small dent that broke the finish surface, numerous scratches and minor dings, the headstock has some edge wear and tuner marks. The worst damage aside from a dead bridge pup (which has been narrowed down to a bad switch), is the severely worn frets. The lowest 5 frets are worn down to the fretboard, same for the frets around the octave 5 frets (#16-08) and the second octave (#24-20). The original owner did LOTS of string bendings, especially on the D & B strings! Many other frets shows deep wear elsewhere. Obviously this guitar is prime candidate for Stainless 6100 frets.

    The pups may not need replacing, but will be subject for a listening test after the refret and electrical redo. If I like the pups, I'll keep them, otherwise a set of either JB/Hot Stack Strat or more likely a set of Custom Custom/Vintage Stack Tele. Im leaning more towards the Custom² soon as SD catches up and start making TBs again.

    Next is another guitar I'm keen on getting back on the road...

    1986 Charvel Model 4 (White Pearl)

    This is a MIJ guitar that has seen better days, electrically wise. The body sports what used to be White Pearl finish. But 35 years has aged the white into this gorgeous Cream Pearl! Which has fared fairly well, despite the fact that when I first got this guitar, it was covered in this layer of brownish sticky mess that I suspect is dried coka cola. Even the pups are saturated with this gunk!

    When I first saw the Craigslist listing ("Broken Sharvell"), it was on verge of being automatically age expired by Craigslist. The asking price was $135. An 80s Charvel that cheap on an ad that's almost 6 months old? Naah, probably already sold and seller never bothered deleting the ad. Happens a LOT on Craigslist, OfferUp and LetGo.

    But what the heck, I sent an inquiry on whether it's still available and that I'm interested. Months later, by which time I had assumed it was sold, and quite frankly, had forgotten about this guitar, the seller texted me. She claimed she was off island for the past 8 months and was too busy to stay on top of her listings. She said that she still had the guitar and asked whether I was still interested in the guitar. OF COURSE I am, LOL! So I texted back telling her that I'm still interested and asked where/when to meet. THEN she mention that she is STILL off island and she won't be back for another two months. If I'm willing to wait longer then can meet thence. I was like HUH, WTF? Oh well, texted back saying that I can wait, just txt me when she gets back and ready to meet. She said ok wilco.

    Four months passes, again I assumed that she either forgot or sold it from under my feet. This has happened before and I warrant will happen again (aaand this happened again...but with another seller with a red 94 Fender MIM Strat :mad:). She finally texted me back saying she finally back on island and still have the guitar for sale.

    I immediately texted back saying ok, can meet later that day, where when? She replied saying she cannot meet that day but can meet in 2 days and mentioned where she has the guitar.

    I winced at her location, it was nearly halfway around the island and means most of the day will be consumed by bus and walking alone (bus don't go all the way there and I'll have to walk the rest of way). Luckily that day was on one of my days off so I can do it. So I texted back saying can do and bus + walk timing means I can get there in the afternoon at 3pm. She wrote saying it's cool with her and will expect me thence.

    Two days later, I grabbed my gigbag (she said she didn't have one) and went there. She showed me the guitar and examinations confirmed my research on guitar's identity. But also noted that the wiring is FUBAR and pups looked caked in brown mess. She "claimed" that she knows nothing about guitars and the guitars listed were part of her ex-boyfriend's pile of "junk" guitars left at her place. To test this I said the guitar will need lots of work but am willing to buy it as parts guitar and offered even 100$. She accepted it and I walked away with the guitar. Before we parted, she mentioned that the front door security guard had expressed interest in the guitar but he had to wait in line after me. LOL cockblocked!

    On getting home... finally. I had forgotten that return trip would miss the last bus into my valley so had to walk the last half mile. I'm just glad this trip was NOT for an amp. :eek:

    Anyway, on getting home first thing I did was plug the guitar into a cheap amp (if guitar blows an amp it gonna be a cheap disposable one, LOL). Right away noticed lots of RFI noise, pup sounded really weak...if they even sounded anything over the noise, and most of the controls didnt do anything...if I even could turn the knobs...some were frozen solid. Only thing that seemed to work was the 3 pup on/off switches. On, more noise, off, less noise.

    Following the wires confirmed that most of the solder connections was bad, and whomever did last wiring job made lots of erroneous connections. Jeez! :mad: Like hot OR ground on both side of a connection, or wires soldered on backwards, or wires coming off a solder but disappears into the jumbled mess but is not connected to anything else. It was a horrible hot ass mess.

    Because I didn't have the schematics for this guitar, the only option was to pull everything and install a new set of electronics that was functionally similar/better.

    The Model 4 is a HSS guitar with 3x on/off 2way microtoggles for pup on/off. theres 3 pots, master volume, a master "presence" pot and a master tone pot. The presence pot varies the freq response of the pup(s) by boosting the overall gain and losing some of the high end.

    Ok that means I need a master volume, with EMG's SPC pot (which does the exact same thing as the OE Presence pot*), but instead of a master tone, I opted to upgrade to EMG's EXG pot which boosts the lows and highs but drops the mids. Incidentally, Gilmour has famously used the SPC & EXG in his candy apple red V57 Strat (aka Red #1) along with ENG SAs.

    ...hmm (turns to eye my crimson red metallic 92 Mex Standard then turns to look at my black 07 Jpn Standard) I'm already slowly turning my white -> cream Stage CS-327 into an inspired Gilmour #0001. Gilmour V57 Red #1 and THE Black one. Hmmm, I have a feeling I may have 2 new projects coming my way, LOL!

    *Betcha that either someone copied someone with the Presence pot OR EMG supplied Charvel the SPC pot for their guitars!*

    Anyway I digress. The exact master volume pit used will depend on the pup set used.

    If active, perhaps with an 81TWX+SAX+SX, then I will use the p/p volume pot included with the 81TWX for master volume and toggling between the 81TWX's humbucker and stacked single-coil Modes.

    If passive, then a p/p B375k pot with vtreb will be used as master volume and split the Parallel Axis Distortion bridge humbucker and the Parallel Axis Stack Strats. Altho IF I go this route I will order a SD Custom Shop Parallel Axis Stack Strat built RWRP for the middle.

    Of course, I will use a Pure Tone output jack in black with a black jack plate.


    Oddly the only thing that's still intact and in fairly good shape (aside the need to clean that brown gunk out) is the original black Kahler trem WITH the trem bar still with the guitar!

    Another surprise: The headstock is not painted, it has a plastic plate covering the entire top of the headstock with the old Charvel logo. This by itself is unusual and uncommon. Even more uncommon, it has survived with only a TINY piece chipped off the very tip!

    The black sealed tuners are Jackson units. I may just leave them on for now, but eventually will swap them out for black locking Hipshot tuners and put the originals in storage.
  8. beagle

    beagle Squier-holic

    Nov 19, 2017
  9. Lanaka

    Lanaka Squier-holic

    Feb 11, 2020
    Honolulu, HI
    LOL, I know the feeling. I just ignored my 50th birthday last year. Perhaps that's why I liked 80s guitars so much, they're made during my teens when I first started payin attention to what's playing on the radio. :)

    LOL, never played in a punk band, but know friends who used to (or STILL) play punk rock and/or metal. They surely are ROUGH with their gear.

    I once winced when one group was bashin away and maybe got dizzy from the head thrashing that they started stumblin around the stage like drunkards, knocking things over: guitars on stands, amp stacks, drum set, jeez the whole nine yards. To this day they wouldn't tell me straight whether that was an accident or deliberate. Dizzy, sane (?) or drugged. (shrugs)

    The Gibson ES335-TD LH qualifies! Relic encompasses the full spectrum of lightly worn from light careful use (or just sitting in the case and seeing an occasional strum) to something thats been to hell and back. I also include basket cases that has been rebuilt back to playable condition. I've listed my guitars in the worst condition and being so slowly restored to playing condition. Note I specified playing condition, not necessarily back to original like new condition. NOS stuff is a whole different category as that implies show case queens that don't get played on. I wanna see those old guitars that actually sees use. And old doesnt have to be antiques. Anything that is not currently available/made anymore is fair game, for example the Contemporary Telecaster HH that was discontinued last year qualifies, but I like see older stuffs too!

    It qualifies, I have a '91 Epi PR-200. Not the most glorious model, but it IS 30 years old! Hmm mebbe I'll root around in my closet and try find it... it's here somewhere, LOL! I currently have it stripped down cuz the metal hardwares has corroded in Hawai'i's caustic climate, but the Korean's wood is still in great condition!

    Here's an older pic I took when I pulled it outta storage.

    1991 Epiphone PR-200 (Korea)
    EpiphonePR-200 Cover2 (1564²).jpg

    The wear is in the fretboard, and methinks most is just dirty, what threw me for a curveball is that this guitar has a distinctively v-shaped neck. I bought it from this lady for 25$. It was dusty AF and the tuners, frets & string was badly corroded. Luckily the frets' corrosion was more tarnish than rust. Aside from a few light scratches and dings, there's no noticable cracks nor breaks. I've picked up a set of ebony string pegs and end peg. I'm still looking for the correct style of paired inline-3 tuners. Bought one online but had to return it cuz it didn't fit and haven't as yet found a locally sourced far.

    '05 is old enough, I have an '05 Epiphone DR-200S-NA, my first dreadnought and second guitar I ever got. My very first guitar was stolen, so this one is the third member of my collection, an acoustic concert ukulele was purchased before the DR.

    2005 Epiphone DR-200S-NA (China) KIMG0051.141.jpg

    Unfortunately, it currently needs repair to the neck. The headstock had snapped off cleanly at the truss rod adjustment hole in base of headstock. :( I really wanna get this one fixed, love to hear it's solid spruce top sing again.
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2021
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  10. dtsreiuqs

    dtsreiuqs Squier-Nut

    Oct 18, 2015
    not here anymore
    Well, she doesn't have to be reli'ced : SHE IS a relic ! :cool:

    miket1117 and brians like this.
  11. dtsreiuqs

    dtsreiuqs Squier-Nut

    Oct 18, 2015
    not here anymore
    Ah, if the Archtops can apply, then I'll add this one : my Gretsch G400 from 1991 - not very old and well treated, but...


    ... But it was far from that when I bought it (for cheap) : multiple scuffs and scratches, tarnished gold hardware, questionable replacement tuners, missing pickguard, worn frets and nut, plus a crack in the neck-headstock junction :


    To sum up, she was approaching the derelict condition... :(

    Now, my G400 is a Mint Relic, if I can say so - converted to LH :





    And she even has all the attributes to be... A Mint Case Queen ! o_O:D


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  12. beagle

    beagle Squier-holic

    Nov 19, 2017
    Mine were both inherited from my Dad and Uncle. they're both just a little bit older then me, from the mid 50s.
    Lanaka and dtsreiuqs like this.
  13. Lanaka

    Lanaka Squier-holic

    Feb 11, 2020
    Honolulu, HI
    LOL, that's true too!

    Here's my relic relic. It's totally unplayable, but then, I have no idea how to play one! It's so ugly that it's cool! :D


    I'm making a display case for it and will hang it on wall or set it on a shelf as a décor.
    it's so butt ugly that it's cool. :cool::D
  14. grizzlewulf

    grizzlewulf Squier-holic

    Dec 11, 2020
    Lucerne, California
    Btw @Lanaka that "Concert" Jazzmaster-style is one of my favorite guitars I've seen posted on this forum. Love those old Japanese guitars from that era. You usually see them in burst or sometimes red, but seeing the aged cream and the way it's worn, that's just awesome.
  15. guitalias

    guitalias Squier-Meister

    Apr 21, 2020
    brians likes this.
  16. Lanaka

    Lanaka Squier-holic

    Feb 11, 2020
    Honolulu, HI

    Glad ye like it, I have to admit that the bust up look of this guitar has kinda grown onto me so much so that I shant do anything to it insofar as refinishing is concerned. However, I will still go ahead and clean off the dirt and crud on the surface. I suspect that I shouldnt use anything stronger than 5% vinager to avoid the risk of damaging the finish as much as possible.

    I will replace the tuners and trem system, the tuners are bent and the trem is missing some internal parts. You may notice in above pics that I've already have removed the useless/incomplete saddles and trem assemblies. I'm measuring them so I have the numbers when I go replacement parts hunting.

    Interesting feature of the "Concert" Jazzmaster: The neck AND head is made of many thin wood laminates, initially I thought it was quarter sawn wood, but when I got a good look at it under better lighting thats when I realized it's of laminate construction which is extremely similar to the neck of the Little Martin LX1.

    The two headstocks' backsides.
    "Concert" top, Martin bottom.

    The two neck heels
    "Concert" left, Martin right.

    The only concern I have is this crack or split in the neck running parallel to the laminate grain, it's about 2.5" long.

    I may have to have a luthier look at it and decide whether this merits a fix or just keep an eye on it and perhaps only use lighter strings on this guitar.
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  17. grizzlewulf

    grizzlewulf Squier-holic

    Dec 11, 2020
    Lucerne, California
    That laminate neck is super interesting! Neat. Good luck in the restoration project!
    miket1117 and Lanaka like this.
  18. Lanaka

    Lanaka Squier-holic

    Feb 11, 2020
    Honolulu, HI
    Yeah, that's why I decided to keep it for long term, I'm just gonna clean the outsides. Replace trem & saddles. Check under the pickguard to determine the source of the intermittent pup operation issue, probably a bad connection or rusted component. I will, if possible, keep the OE pups and simple control layout (two 2way ON/OFF pup switches, master tone, master volume). I also want to retain the original knobs, but upgrade the pots to modern ones, but need figure out what resistance they should be & what size shaft they are (probably 6mm).
    grizzlewulf likes this.
  19. Eddd

    Eddd Squier-holic

    Nov 20, 2019
    I bet that crack has been there for a long time,probably won’t get any worse.
    Lanaka likes this.
  20. wickedtools

    wickedtools Dr. Squier

    May 16, 2010
    west texas
    Not mine, my wife’s inheritance from her Dad ‘56 Tele and Vibrolux. I do get to play it every once in a while.;)
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