Relic Guitar, The DIY Art of Aging

Relic Guitar is an itch for guitar lovers. Guitar relicing idea is always contagious. Sometimes we just love to see an old guitar with fully working parts, decent actions and playability which are difficult to find. Or the vintage image on guitar is so sexy, so we feel good when we play it. The senses and vibrations from old wood are just irresistible and I fell for those reasons.


I bought an old-cheap guitar for this. It’s a strat branded “vantage” on its headstock.From what i’ve learned when i got it on my hands, this guitar actually has a decent neck profile, while its body is plywood. Yes, it’s a plywood body guitar. It came so dirty with motor oil smell on it.

I read some articles on the internet, saying this guitar is korean made  while it was on matsumoku (japan?) era. the headstock is similar to other matsumoku guitars product.

well, I’m not good at conclusions, here’s the pics when i first got it:

Vantage Stratocaster vie 10

My best guess for this guitar series is Vantage stratocaster vie 10. the body and neck were good, but not for the other parts. so i change them with new ones and did relicing the guitar. basically i just messed up with it 😀 so here the results:

relic guitar Vantage Stratocaster vie 10 before after
relic guitar Vantage Stratocaster vie 10, before and after


does it look good? well, for me it’s just an amateur job done by me for the sake of curiosity. The pickups were default and I’m so happy with the way this DIY relic guitar sounds.

I’m not interested explaining about how i done this project, but I DO have something to say after doing this.

here’s some thoughts on relic guitar :


  • The Art of Aging Guitars is NOT that easy. To make guitar looks old and worn is one thing which is different from destroying things. We need to research on how it’s made; the materials, the finishing types, then we do research on how make them look aged, not destroyed.
  • Guitar parts are NOT CHEAP. surely we can find cheap parts anywhere on the net, but the durability and low quality cheap parts are just making thing worse. Arrange your budget for DIY relic guitar project.
  • Do this project with proper amount of time. rushing it will make us loosing the learning moments. take some espresso and begin reading relic’d guitar stuff. it will help us to get exact image for the guitar.
  • Know our limits. if we just don’t get it about things, ask to a luthier and get educated. This is the real purpose of this project. knowing deeper and understand the closest real value of a guitar and compare it to the way it sounds and played. If we don’t get it, let other people educate us.

well, this relic guitar project is the most intensively fun, entertaining project I’ve done so far. I remembered when i wanted this project result would look like Steve Ray Vaughn relic SRV stratocaster guitar, but I’m glad i didn’t. this relic guitar design looks much lovely with my sweat on it

PRS SE Custom 22 Semi-Hollow Electric Guitar

I got a PRS SE guitar for this time review and, first thing I wanna tell you is, that we should give credit to PRS guitars for the hardworks. Paul Reed Smith has taken his guitars into world’s music library like a new vocabulary for distinctive sound and playability. This PRS SE Custom Semi-Hollow Electric Guitar is a wonderful balance between price, sound, action and finishing layout. yes, Paul Reed Smith did it..

PRS SE Custom 22 Semi-Hollow
PRS SE Custom 22 Semi-Hollow

lucky i got this guitar for my guitar review. At first I didn’t even know how to start, so i search on youtube about this guitar and I found few great things to make comparison. first interesting thing is, if we turn the volume down to about 80% we will get an acoustic-piezo-pickup-like sound. So tried it and it works as it said on the review. The warm, clean tone sound that came out from the middle switch position becomes very nice acoustic steel strings guitar sound if we turn down the volume knob a little. I guess this comes from the semi-hollow guitar body and the factory default PRS SE pickups for this guitar has succeeded in capturing the semi-hollow guitar body sound. Very good. The clean tone itself has a twang, although I can’t say it’s a tele twang. But it’s in between Fender and Gibson. It’s truly amazing. While I can’t say this is for my playing, but, definitely I’ll choose this guitar for recording purposes for its wide sound range.

>>  check my video review PRS SE Custom Semi-Hollow Electric Guitar <<

Next thing I wanna know about this guitar is, of course, how this guitar sound with overdrive and distortion effect. I have digital effects pedal and analog pedals for this, unfortunately my amp hasn’t come yet when i made this post, so i use Behringer ultra-G GI100 DIbox and an ordinary 1×10-inches speaker. The result is beyond expected. this guitar has warm overdrive and gritty distortion (I still can hear the note clarity in full distortion), while I can get a distinctive-fat and rich sound for lead guitar session as I use the booster. Overall, the sound is pretty amazing for medium grade PRS SE guitars.

PRS SE Custom 22 Semi-Hollow guitar
PRS SE Custom 22 Semi-Hollow guitar

If there is one thing that might people dislike about this guitar, my guess is only the matter of taste. there are few minors about the finishing layout, but definitely it isn’t about the playability and precisions. The neck is unique, it’s wide BUT THIN, perfect for shredders but it also give a secure and safe feeling when playing jazzy chords (yes, IT IS). the strings lay very low to the fretboard and no buzzed frets at all.  I guess the guitar neck is the thing which made PRS Guitars distinctive characteristics so bold.

I have Fender Special edition spalted maple and Gretsch electromatic for comparison, and i have to tell you PRS SE Custom Semi-Hollow Electric Guitar neck is very nicely different, yet you will get used to it quick and soon the fun begins. well, I did. 😀

this is a cliche but i got to tell you anyway,

“Semi-Hollow Electric Guitars are light-weighted and PRS SE Custom Semi-Hollow Electric Guitar IS NOT HEAVY AS IT SEEMS. not heavy at all”

about the price, unfortunately this guitar model is discontinued so the latest new price for this PRS SE Custom Semi-Hollow Electric Guitar model isn’t available, but, you might get lucky on eBay, and my suggestion is, take it. This guitar is the FIRST model for PRS SE custom semi-hollow, so consider if you have it, you got a historical stuff.

so far so good, if anyone have one, please share the information with me, thanks. have a good day 🙂