How to pick a new neck? Shapes/profiles/frets etc

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by alex1fly, May 22, 2020.

  1. alex1fly

    alex1fly Strat-Talk Member

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    Hey everyone, I have a decision coming up. If you saw my other post a few months ago, I'd been wrestling with my 2001 MIA Strat neck. The guitar has been my #1 all those years and I've just demolished the frets. Got 'er crowned and setup, but it isn't doing it for me anymore. I've been going back and forth on selling it or getting a new neck, and now I'm leaning again towards getting a new neck. My left hand seems to enjoy a thinner and wider neck than what's currently on there, as well.

    It's a bit overwhelming. I'll lay out the considerations below - any of you with experience swapping necks, please chime in on best practices!!

    # of frets - do I need to match the number of frets between the old neck and the new neck?
    Tuners - how do I know whether my current tuners will fit the new neck?
    Shape - wow. Modern C, D, V, Oval, Thin U... this is crazy. Can you measure shapes of guitars that you already have? How do you know what shape to get without trying them first? Do certain shapes match particular playing styles?
    Brand/make - do I need to get an American Strat neck? What about Licensed necks,

    I think that's enough to get started. For reference I'm looking at Stratosphere Parts for necks.
     
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  2. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Go out and play guitars until you find a neck that you do like. Then you have something to go on, nobody else knows what you will like.
     
  3. Ebidis

    Ebidis Providing the world with flat bends since 1985 Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Number of frets doesn't matter (21 or 22) as long as it's 25.5 inch scale.

    Licenced necks will work just fine.

    As far as tuners, what type do you have?.

    as far as shape, it is totally personal preference.
     
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  4. snoopdoug

    snoopdoug Strat-Talker

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  5. amstratnut

    amstratnut Peace thru Music. Strat-Talk Supporter

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    I have a 2007 anerican deluxe with a fairly thin neck. Id shop for necks from 2005-2010. Why not just get a refret?
     
  6. RockinProf

    RockinProf Strat-Talk Member

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    Avoid Stratosphere like Covid and you live in a nursing home!! The pictures they put up are photoshopped to minimize damage. I bought a neck that was listed and shown as nicked on the back of the neck. Picture looked like a tiny discolouration. It arrived and the spot was a dime sized crush to the point where it screwed up the fretwork. Had to fight it though PayPal to get a refund. Sales manager there was totally dismissive ever after having a Fender authorized gold level tech verify the extent of the damage.
     
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  7. DeeTee

    DeeTee New Member!

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    One small note re licensed necks - the overhang on a 22 fret Mighty Mite can be so thick as to foul on the pickguard. To swap my pickguard, I had to take the whole neck off. It's fine, just very tight. I'll sand it down next time I take it off.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2020
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  8. RockinProf

    RockinProf Strat-Talk Member

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    Me again, I honestly find the profile way behind radius and fret dimensions. I have big hands and get along with any neck carve as long as it’s a flat radius (I like 14”) and the frets keep my fingers from rubbing the fingerboard (I like 6105). I also like Jescar Evo Gold frets, they last forever and I find with a really good polish they have just the right feel with a wide and fast vibrato. A good tech can do a radius and refret for not much more than a straight refret.
     
  9. Groovey

    Groovey Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

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  10. musicalmartin

    musicalmartin Strat-Talker

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    IMG_2448.JPG For me it was process using quite a few guitars over the years.First a JV strat years ago .Nice guitar but something didnt gel and I had to sell it any way .Jump 30 or so guitarless years in the wilderness to 2005 when I bought a Fender Japan aerodyne tele with 7.5 radius .Nice guitar ...but.... not so great for me ..Eureka moment I bought a Squier 51 9.5 neck ..Immediate improvement in playing .Something was happening .Then a Baja ..nice guitar but thick paint and heavy .Then I just made a partscaster out of the Bajas neck and a cheap unknown body .It all played nicely ...Then after a few Strats and very nice Joe Trohmann tele along the way .I bought a Gibson midtown ...perfect but not a Tele..Preferred the flatter radius .To cut a long story short ,my favorite neck that I know suits me more than any other a Fender replacement roast maple jumbo frets 12 inch radius strat neck , shallow U shape which is so good its on my tele instead.My SE strat now has a Joe Trohmann neck which is as good as the Fender neck and similar spec but needed some seriuos sorting out vis truss rod as it had seized
     
  11. fenderkev

    fenderkev Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

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    If I were you I'd look at Warmoth necks. They're easily as good quality as Fender USA, and you can choose neck size, the number of frets, neck finish or not, fretboard radius, tuner hole size, they'll fit a nut of your choice, and what type of frets you want. With you living in the US they'll be a heck of a lot cheaper than a Fender neck too. A modern thin vintage modern sounds right up your street, and I'd 100% go for Stainless Steel frets too. Nothing to stop you putting a Fender decal on there too if you so wish, as Warmoth pay Fender to let them use their headstock shape. I had Warmoth decals on the ones I had btw. Not having Fender on the headstock didn't bother me, although I know some absolutely have to have it no matter what ;)
    https://www.warmoth.com/pages/guitarnecks.aspx
     
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  12. ido1957

    ido1957 Senior Stratmaster

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    All the music stores are still curb side pickup only here. Tough to go try out guitars just yet. But TBH that is the very best method of finding a neck you like.
     
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  13. Bladesg

    Bladesg Funk Meister Strat-Talk Supporter

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    ^This
     
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  14. WilseyFanPDX

    WilseyFanPDX Strat-Talker

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    In case you want to know, I just installed a MIM Fender Classic 50s Laquer neck on my American Special and its pretty kick ass. Guitar Center $349.
     
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  15. alex1fly

    alex1fly Strat-Talk Member

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    Thanks everyone for the replies. We'll see what happens as things open back up. I'm not too keen on ordering something without feeling it first. If the neck ain't right, the guitar ain't right!
     
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  16. RL21980

    RL21980 Strat-Talker

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    EXACTLY THIS!
     
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