After a few years of others “cashing in” on the popularity of Fender designs being “relic’d” and offered at a much cheaper price than the Fender Custom Shop equivalents, Fender is now offering the Road Worn Series, a new 2009 series of relic’d guitars and basses made in Mexico that sell for $949 (basses start at $1200). Christened the “Road Worn” series, they sport a distressed look, Tex-Mex pickups, and a thin Nitrocellulose Lacquer finish, and they give the more expensive (by at least $500) Nash guitars a serious run for their money in terms of quality, playability, sound, and vibe.
However, as the saying goes, There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch. The only drawback to this slashing of price, is the slashing of options. Where for around $1500 one can purchase a number of Nash models with a plethora of available customizable options and aging levels, the Fender Road Worn series offers a straight up 50s Strat in two colors (Black and 2 Color Sunburst), a 60s Strat in two colors (3 Color Sunburst and Olympic White), and a 50s Tele in two colors (2 Color Sunburst and Blonde) with a relatively congruent ageing pattern throughout the different models.
In short, there is a warranted price disparity in regards to options and the Fender Road Worn series provides a relatively affordable, full sounding, nicely relic’d instrument for the guitar player with an eye on the past.