NND - New Neck Day - 3rd time's a charm?

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by RaySachs, Aug 2, 2020.

  1. RaySachs

    RaySachs Senior Stratmaster Silver Member

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    So I've had this Robert Cray strat that keeps insisting it's my #1. I've brought in other, higher end, strats and strat-like guitars thinking maybe I'd like one more, but so far, they're all gone and this one keeps on keeping on. The only thing I've never quite loved about this guitar is the original neck, which I like a lot but not quite as much as I know I could. A soft V neck with a maple board has always been my holy grail neck. The original 60's C neck with rosewood is a great neck by any standard, and maybe my second favorite, but I keep trying to get a good maple V neck on this one.

    I tried a Jimmie Vaughan neck on it, but I don't think I ever got it set up quite right and, frankly, even though I tend to like a beefy neck, it was a little beefier than I liked. I was always aware I was playing a fat neck. That one didn't last long. Then, about a year ago I got a Roadworn 50's neck and I loved it. It slid right into place and I barely needed to touch it other than to adjust the saddles slightly for the tighter radius. I LOVED that neck but over time I found that keeping a 7.25 radius fretboard playing well is just a little bit beyond my meager set-up skills. And a few months ago I sold that one too.

    So, going for #3, I thought about a Clapton neck, but they're pretty pricy and I didn't really want such tiny frets. So I bought a Classic Player 50's neck, which Fender seems to sell as an aftermarket part even though the guitar has been discontinued (maybe they just had a surplus of them?). I had that guitar for a while when I first started playing again over three years ago and I really liked the neck. It's a little beefier than the Roadworn, not quite as much as the Vaughan, it's a 9.5" radius, and has medium jumbo frets. This one needed the nut filed and tuners installed from scratch (bushings and all), so I took it to a good local tech guy. Turns out it needed a shim too, so I'm glad I took it to him - some of the stuff with this neck was above my pay-grade. Anyway, he bolted it on, and set it up perfectly and I've been playing it for about a week. It plays great, feels great. This MAY be it. I can't say I like it more than the Roadworn neck, but I like it as much, and with the 9.5" radius, I suspect I'll like it longer because I can tweak stuff on a 9.5" board as needed and keep it playing well.

    Anyway, here's hoping the third time's a charm. And if not, I'll just stick the original Cray neck back on it. It LOOKS better with rosewood, but I just love the feel of a maple board and a soft-V. So hopefully, this is it's final configuration.

    -Ray

    [​IMG]unnamed by Ray, on Flickr
     
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  2. Dana Rudd

    Dana Rudd Strat-Talker

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    Good looking guitar. Hope that this neck will be the last one you need. Enjoy it.
     
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  3. soulman969

    soulman969 Strat-O-Master

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    Glad you found your way to a neck you really enjoy. Sometimes it does take awhile to sort through all of the choices.

    I'm a sucker for soft "V" necks as well. Three of my four Teles all have necks on them from 2006 Nashvilles which are somewhat of a soft "V" 'til around the 6th fret when they become more of a deeper "C". And my Nocaster has a CS made soft "V".

    They actually feel a whole lot like a Baja neck but not quite as deep so less chunky and that nice in between size that still makes them very comfortable for a thumb up player like me.
     
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  4. Nick-O

    Nick-O Senior Stratmaster

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    I hope it works out. I am the other way around and have always the same Warmoth neck, but it has been on multiple guitars...:)
     
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  5. RaySachs

    RaySachs Senior Stratmaster Silver Member

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    I'd pretty much figured I was gonna just stay with the Cray neck, which was NOT broke and didn't need fixing. But a few months ago I got a Martin CEO-7, my first acoustic with a V neck since my old '68 D-28 that I played as an only acoustic for 25 years. And the neck on that CEO-7 felt and feels so sublime compared to the other "good enough" MLO necks I'd played on other Martins, that I figured I had to revisit this strat one more time. I played a Baja enough to know that neck was a bit too chunky for me - and I had trouble finding any V in that profile. The Jimmie Vaughan was about as chunky but had a V. The Roadworn 50's was similar to the depth of the Cray's orignal neck, but with a great soft V and a really sublime satin finish - really sublime feeling neck. This Classic Player 50's neck is fatter than the Roadworn or Cray, but not near as fat as the Baja or Jimmie Vaughan, and it has a pretty obvious V until you get pretty far up the neck. I need to take some sandpaper to the back to de-gloss the poly finish. But I'm really liking this one a lot. Time will tell - I LOVED the Roadworn neck until I ran into setup issues I knew I was gonna have to always stay on top of - but I'm optimistic this could be a keeper.

    -Ray
     
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  6. Ruscio

    Ruscio Senior Stratmaster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Good luck with this one! If it's a no go and you still seek the soft V, Warmoth does a "Clapton" profile that's described as soft V. You could spec that out with any other neck options you like (radius, wood selection, fret material/size, etc.).
     
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  7. soulman969

    soulman969 Strat-O-Master

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    You and I must share a similar taste in guitars. We both have Robt. Cray Strats and I would love to have a Martin CEO-7 right now. A buddy of mine has one and after playing at length one day I knew I wanted one so it's just a matter of time.
     
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  8. cooltouch

    cooltouch Strat-Talker

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    Best of luck, Ray. The only "other than Fender" neck I've ever owned is a Warmoth I had built to order. It was expensive, but worth it. I prefer slim profile necks with a fairly flat radius and a wide nut, so my preferences are way different from yours. What matters most is what works best for you, though.
     
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  9. Groovey

    Groovey Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Fingers crossed for ya. Sounds like you may have found the one. The Goldielocks neck.
     
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