Aria Pro II Strikin Sound Relic Project – Complete

It’s been a long time coming, but I finally have my Aria pro II Strikin Sound Relic Project to a point I can finally say it’s finished.

I know the guitar community stands divided when it comes to relicing a perfectly good guitar, but I must admit, I really enjoyed doing this project. There is something cool that happens with your bond to a specific guitar once you do your own little mods to it, like my recent Telecaster project, where I stripped off the poly coating and finished it with a clear lacquer. I found that with every guitar I have either re-painted, re-fretted, swapped the pups, or done some modification to it in some way, I have always found it really hard to part with. Whereas the guitars I buy and leave alone, I don’t seem to worry too much when it comes time to sell them. It’s kinda weird, but you just seem to bond with a guitar a lot more when you invest more than just play time into it.

Any ways, if you want to go back through the steps I took while doing this relic job check out all of the posts tagged with Relic Project. Unfortunately I didn’t get every single last detail along the way, especially the last few steps,  but you will get a pretty good idea of how this whole project got started and the initial steps involved.

So the guitar itself is an Aria Pro II Strikin Sounds 50s Stratocaster copy. When I bought this guitar I was so impressed with the body, weight, how the neck felt, the wood grain, etc… but there was something about how the guitar looked that was just wrong. Obviously the guitar just had a recent fret job, where the guy who replaced the frets striped all of the fretboard down, so the fret board was un-painted and the timber looked brand new and very light in color, whereas the rest of the guitar was pretty old and worn looking. To me it was just wrong, so I didn’t really bond much with the guitar initially. But, the reason I bought this particular guitar was that I really wanted a 50s style Strat, and at the time I was totally keen on the Road worn Strats Fender were making. So, I had two choices, try selling the Aria to buy the Fender or just relic the Aria. Hence the decision to do a relic project was made.

Aria Pro II Strikin Sounds 50s Stratocaster Copy Relic

L-5 ces Jazz guitar Aria Pro Pe180 Superb Japanese Vintage Lawsuit JVGuitars

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Relicing a Guitar Headstock – Aria Pro II Strikin Sounds Relic Project

Ok, so this attempt at relicing a guitar headstock will all but finish off the relicing of the neck.

So far I have finished sanding and staining the back of the neck, made the fingermarks on the fret board and all that’s left is to match the look of the headstock with the work I have done so far on the rest of the neck.

Here’s the video explaining how I went about relicing the headstock on my Aria Pro II Strikin Sounds Strat copy. I have to apologize, for the audio in the video, for some reason it’s not matching with the video frames and for the life on me I don’t know how to fix it.

Fender Vintage 50s RI Road Worn Strat NECK Guitar Stratocaster Maple Relic SALE*

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Relicing the Back of a Guitar Neck with Shoe Polish

Ok, so I thought while I was waiting for the PUP covers to age with my little UV experiment, I would try my hand at relicing the back of a guitar neck with shoe polish. I wanted that real aged look to the sanded parts, specifically on this post, the back of the neck, and the only thing I could think of that would do the job was shoe polish of all things.

Here’s a video explaining what I am doing and a small sample of the result. Sorry about the dodgy recording, I am filming straight from my laptop and I am finding it really hard to get a decent shot while I am working and filming at the same time….

Fender Vintage 50s RI Road Worn Strat NECK Guitar Stratocaster Maple Relic SALE*

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Aging Plastic Guitar Parts with UV Light – Day Three

Ok, so the aging plastic guitar parts with UV light experiment is now in its third day and I have to say that I am not liking the results at all.

I think the UV torch is grossly underpowered and not doing nearly the job I thought it would, I also think the batteries are running out of steam quicker than I would like

So I decided, instead of waiting for the end of the week to try plan B, as I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I would go to the next phase of my little experiment now, and go for the more powerful UV globe in the lamp.

Before I show you the video and pics of my little upgrade, here are the third day pics of the cover using the UV torch. I must admit, I am seeing some change, but only slight variations.

In this first pic the one that has had the little tanning session is on the top…

Aging Plastic Guitar Parts with UV Light – Day Three

Aging Plastic Guitar Parts with UV Light – Day Three


Genuine Fender Custom Aged Glass Stratocaster/Strat Pickguard 099-2173-000

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Aging Plastic Guitar Parts with UV Light – Day Two

Ok, so it’s the second day of my little experiment where I am trying my hand at aging plastic guitar parts using UV light, and to be honest folks, I am still not seeing any noticeable differences.

I took a couple of pics under different lighting to try to get a good perspective and see if the angle of the light hitting the pick-up covers made a difference, but honestly, if there is a difference I can’t see it.

Aging Plastic Guitar Parts with UV Light Day Two

Aging Plastic Guitar Parts with UV Light Day Two


Custom Vintage aged Guitar body strat style - great looking relic body NEW

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Aging Plastic Guitar Parts with UV Light

In my last Relic Project post where I tried for the third time to relic a maple fretboard, I mentioned I was going to try aging plastic guitar parts, more specifically, some spare pick up covers I had lying around, using a UV light.

About 16 hours has passed since starting my little experiment so I thought I would check to see; 1: If the batteries were still working, and 2: If there was any noticeable change in the color of the plastic cover.

So on first inspection I noticed that the batteries were all but dead, they had a little bit of life left in them but I doubt whether they were being at all effective.

and to be honest, I couldn’t really see by my eyes any real noticeable difference. I think (I say that reservedly) there might be the slightest of coloring but I can’t honestly give a conclusive answer just yet.

Here’s the pics…

The cover on the right is the one that has been exposed to the UV light for the past 16 hours or so.

UV Aging My Pickup Covers, First check

UV Aging My Pickup Covers, First check

Stratocaster Pickup Covers Aged Relic 50's Style

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My Third Attempt at Relicing a Maple Fretboard

Ok, so I managed to get a spare ten minutes today to have another go at relicing a maple fretboard, hopefully this is a case of third time lucky.

On this third attempt to relic the fret board of my Aria pro II Strikin sounds, I decided to persist with using the acetone solvent to remove the stained lacquer, which will ultimately make the wear marks on the fretboard, but this time I went a step further than my last effort when I tried using the Rag dipped in acetone to using some cotton buds dipped in Acetone.

I found the cotton buds gave me more control over where I could apply the acetone, therefor helping to shape the wear marks more effectively.

Here’s the video… Oh, but before you watch the video I also mention in the video that I am trying a little experiment, which is using a UV light to help age the plastic parts. There are some pics below the video that will show you my little experiment.

Fender® Classic Series '70s Strat 1 Piece Maple Neck~"U"~3 Bolt~Bullet~Brand New

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My Second Attempt at Relicing a Maple Fretboard

Ok, so my first attempt at Relicing a Maple Fretboard on my Aria Pro II Strikin Sounds using the Dremel tool didn’t work out as good as I had hoped it would.

So I decided to take an entirely different approach, which is to remove the stained lacquer finish from the fretboard which will create the finger marks by using a solvent.

Here’s the video I made that will show you what I did this time around, remember these videos are taken for every step of the way, If I make a mistake on this project your going to see me make it.

Fender® Classic Series '70s Strat 1 Piece Maple Neck~"U"~3 Bolt~Bullet~Brand New

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My First Attempt at Relicing a Maple Fretboard

So I finally got a chance to start relicing the fret board on my Aria Pro II Strikin Sounds.

This first attempt at relicing a maple fretboard, I am sorry to say, failed miserably. You can see in this video every step and detail of my first ever attempt at making relic style fingermarks on a maple neck.

Fender® USA One Piece Maple Strat Neck~’70s-style~9.5” Radius~22 Frets~Brand New

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Sanding the Back of the Neck – My Relic Project Part 2

Here’s the next step in my little Relic Project that I am currently undertaking. In this video I share how I am going to sand the poly finish off the back of the neck of my Aria Pro II Strikin Sounds, which is a 1980ish made in Japan copy of a 1954 Fender Stratocaster.

Fender® USA One Piece Maple Strat Neck~’70s-style~9.5” Radius~22 Frets~Brand New

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A New Relic Project on my Aria Pro II Strikin Sounds

Doing a Relic on a guitar is something I have been wanting to do for some time, I have finally bit the bullet and decided the Ari Pro II Striking Sounds is going to be my guinea pig.

Here’s a short video I did this morning while at work, explaining why I decided to use this guitar for this particular relic project.

I know a lot of these relics you see can look either really good or really, really bad, I am hoping that I can do a half decent job on his one so I don’t have to hang my head in shame every time some one asks about the guitar in question. Continue reading