There’s just something cool about a guitar or bass that has been played – and that wears its dings, bumps, scratches, cracks, and checking proudly. Not only is the appearance enticing, the feel of a “broken-in” guitar is completely comfortable. There are two ways to get a broken-in guitar: gig one constantly for 20 or 30 years or purchase a “relic” – a guitar that has been “aged” to look and feel as if it had traveled thousands of road miles. Unfortunately, using a guitar for 30 years takes, well, 30 years. And most “relic” guitars are custom-shop models with custom-shop price tags. Not all of us have the time or the budget for those options.
Now Fender has another option with the new Road Worn series of guitars and basses. The five Road Worn models are production instruments, which means the price is highly affordable, yet the look and feel is true custom-shop relic. The five new instruments include:
- ’50s Tele (2-color Sunburst or Blonde)
- ’50s Strat (2-color Sunburst or Black)
- ’60s Strat (3-color Sunburst or Olympic White)
- ’50s Precision Bass (2-color Sunburst or Fiesta Red)
- ’60s Jazz Bass (3-color Sunburst or Fiesta Red)
Each features a distressed nitrocellulose lacquer finish and worn hardware, along with period-correct features and details. The guitars feature Tex-Mex pickups, while the basses use P-bass and vintage alnico J-bass pickups. Our own editorial director, Mitch Gallagher, had a chance to preview these guitars and basses, and to sum up his comments: “These are astounding instruments, regardless of the price. But for what they go for, the biggest problem is going to be making them fast enough to fill the demand!” (Read Mitch’s complete Hands On preview of the Road Worn instruments in the Winter issue of our SweetNotes newsletter.)