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Old January 26th, 2010, 07:09 AM   #1 (permalink)
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SX Neck vs. Warmoth

I found this interesting... I have a cheap SX Tele, and am in the process of putting together a couple good teles... So, I have this Warmoth neck, and compared it to the SX... I noticed that the scale length from fret 1 to 21 was slightly shorter on the SX neck, BUT the distance from the nut to the first fret was slightly larger on the SX...

I haven't actually messed with intonating the SX neck, so I can't say how it tunes, but my guess is by standard intonating with the open/12 fret method, then the frets before the 12th would bet sharper as you approach the nut, and the notes would flatten as you go past the 12th fret...

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Old January 26th, 2010, 09:31 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I found this interesting... I have a cheap SX Tele, and am in the process of putting together a couple good teles... So, I have this Warmoth neck, and compared it to the SX... I noticed that the scale length from fret 1 to 21 was slightly shorter on the SX neck, BUT the distance from the nut to the first fret was slightly larger on the SX...

I haven't actually messed with intonating the SX neck, so I can't say how it tunes, but my guess is by standard intonating with the open/12 fret method, then the frets before the 12th would bet sharper as you approach the nut, and the notes would flatten as you go past the 12th fret...
That's kinda discouraging. One of them is wrong. You could try the Stewart MacDonald fret calculator to figure out which one it is, but I guess it would be the SX based on price:

http://www.stewmac.com/FretCalculator

It would be interesting to know whether it's only the first fret that is off, or all of them. Maybe there would be some way to move the nut if it's only the first fret, if you can't send it back. I think we would all like to know what you find out, because if the frets are not laid out right, that's a pretty serious quality control issue.
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Old January 26th, 2010, 09:51 AM   #3 (permalink)
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No idea,far too complicated for me to understand but both my SX necks work OK and the measurement from back of nut to first fret is same as on my Baja neck .One is on an SX SST strat ,the other ,of a Thinline on a parts caster and all is OK .I must confess that the necks are just perfect .no sprout ,no dodgy frets and no fret buzz .They are the only necks I have never had to adjust or fret dress.
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Old January 26th, 2010, 11:56 AM   #4 (permalink)
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No idea,far too complicated for me to understand but both my SX necks work OK and the measurement from back of nut to first fret is same as on my Baja neck .One is on an SX SST strat ,the other ,of a Thinline on a parts caster and all is OK .I must confess that the necks are just perfect .no sprout ,no dodgy frets and no fret buzz .They are the only necks I have never had to adjust or fret dress.
I think you would want to measure from the front of the nut to the crown of the fret; if the nut and frets are set up right this should be the critical measurement. On a 25.5 scale fretboard this measurement should always be exactly the same, and it's good that yours are, assuming that they are the exact same scale length, and nice to know that it is not a general SX problem. I'd think that the SX guitars are produced on CNC equipment that would make variance like this pretty improbable, so I wouldn't even assume that the problem is the SX and not the Warmoth. There is no way for both of the OP's necks to be right, even if they are different scales.
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Old January 26th, 2010, 01:38 PM   #5 (permalink)
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When I have access to a decent caliper, I will measure it... There is no doubt that that the lengths are off... And, yes, I measured to the center of the frets... I can actually see that the first space On the SX is out of proportion, which is what lead me to check it in the first place... all of the frets themselves appear to be OK, just the nut is spaced further... I will give more details when I can measure...
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Old January 26th, 2010, 01:46 PM   #6 (permalink)
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yikes.....let us know, this is interesting.
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Old January 26th, 2010, 02:02 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I measured from the front of the nut ,ie the face nearest the fret board and the centre of the fret using verniers .
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Old January 26th, 2010, 03:52 PM   #8 (permalink)
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That's kinda discouraging. One of them is wrong.

I love to constantly pick on Warmoth for their "unique" body shapes and resultant "problematic" pickguard fittings to conventional S and T style guitar bodies, but there is no way on this green earth that the typical Warmoth neck is anything but basically optimal when it comes to fret and nut slot placement.

There are admirable things about the SX line; it is better than the Xaviere line in a lot of ways that it should not be, comparing the price, but at some point the word gets out, you never get all that much more than what you paid for. Although we sometimes think we do when we go overseas. If the programming into the CNC machines in China was botched ( "pied type" or just poorly replicated when it was ripped off) then this is just a situation of Garbage In, Garbage Out. As pressure on Chinese wages builds, and the level of competition over there is excruciatingly high, you build only as good as will barely meet the buyer's initial expectations. Then the price starts cheap, but loss leaders have to be amortized eventually so they ease the price up to the point there's almost no cost savings left. Survival of the fittest. No time to fix a badly programmed machine.
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Old January 26th, 2010, 04:16 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I will await the price creep to get to about 800USD and then compare US-Chinese products .Until then I'll take the SX guitars and run,especially the euro version .Why are Warmoth necks iffy or optimal if they are produced to high US crafstman standards .Why are Chinese necks a rip off when these US made necks are not .I Dont get it .A product is good or bad on merit alone.
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Old January 26th, 2010, 04:24 PM   #10 (permalink)
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.Why are Warmoth necks iffy or optimal
They're not iffy.

They're superb. I personally prefer USACG but the difference between USACG and Warmoth is tiny. The difference between Warmoth and SX is giant.

What are you trying to say?

I've got a bunch of $ 69 Squier 51s. I like cheap necks, when they intonate correctly. And Squier 51s necks are correct. Sounds like SX necks are not - if that's what you prefer to buy, fine. But those necks are worthless to me if the frets are in the wrong places. Totally worthless, no matter where they came from, really.
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Old January 26th, 2010, 04:36 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I love to constantly pick on Warmoth for their "unique" body shapes and resultant "problematic" pickguard fittings to conventional S and T style guitar bodies, but there is no way on this green earth that the typical Warmoth neck is anything but basically optimal when it comes to fret and nut slot placement.

There are admirable things about the SX line; it is better than the Xaviere line in a lot of ways that it should not be, comparing the price, but at some point the word gets out, you never get all that much more than what you paid for. Although we sometimes think we do when we go overseas. If the programming into the CNC machines in China was botched ( "pied type" or just poorly replicated when it was ripped off) then this is just a situation of Garbage In, Garbage Out. As pressure on Chinese wages builds, and the level of competition over there is excruciatingly high, you build only as good as will barely meet the buyer's initial expectations. Then the price starts cheap, but loss leaders have to be amortized eventually so they ease the price up to the point there's almost no cost savings left. Survival of the fittest. No time to fix a badly programmed machine.

There certainly have been stories of bad product instances coming out of the premier custom parts shops; conversely, there have been many reviews of SX guitars here and elsewhere, and you'd think that the problem would have shown up before. The thing about CNC programming is that if you put in garbage, you get a lot of garbage out, not just a single neck. It sounds like in this case the nut was put in the wrong place. Maybe the nut slot was cut in a different part of the process and the neck was not set properly before someone hit the switich.

You're right, you do get what you pay for, but sometimes what you pay for is Fender licensing, a certain headstock shape, or "Made in the USA". In general, SX necks seem to have a very good, above average reputation for a Chinese product; I'd rather have a Warmoth, but I don't think we should extrapolate too much about the quality of SX based on this one example. If we start seeing more of these things popping up, then we make a big deal out of it. It's good that we know about this, and keep it in mind as something to check if you buy an SX. For me, the new headstock was a deal breaker, anyway.

Edit: Just thought I should point out that one poster upthread compared his SX to his Fender and they measured the same. It sounds like we have one example of a misplaced nut, not frets in the wrong place.
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Old January 26th, 2010, 08:00 PM   #12 (permalink)
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SX NECK VS. WARMOTH..........WARMOTH by knockout 10 seconds into the st round.Warmoth is the real deal.USACG same deal never had any problem with anything i've got from either.
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Old January 26th, 2010, 08:31 PM   #13 (permalink)
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No doubt I didn't expect anything more than what I got with the SX... Yes, the bridge was on crooked, the electronics plate was on crooked, the neck mounting holes were drilled crooked, the neck pocket fit is poor, and some of the tuners are iffy...

I just caught the neck issue because it was obvious to my eye... Not a complaint, either, just observations to share, as I have heard people say they felt the neck was the best thing...

Honestly, I haven't messed with intonating it, because I am going to give it away, anyhow... So, maybe they are on to some secret...
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Old January 27th, 2010, 12:56 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Verses Yamaha, as well...

OK, I found that my Yamaha strat neck is laid out the same as the Warmoth... Further, I found the only distance in common between the SX and the two others is at the 12th fret... So, just as I thought... The SX is fretted as a slightly shorter scale length, but the nut is off...

I bought this SX to see for myself what a hundred dollar guitar is all about...

My conclusion: It is infinitely better than my first Taiwan made piece of crap seventy dollar guitar I got in 1981... No doubt, $100 gets you a lot better cheapy guitar... However, I have had a really nice guitar since 1985, and I am not fooled by the SX... I am spoiled...

I do like the body finish however, and the alder resonates well... So, the ONLY thing left of my SX is the body, pick guard, and electronics plate... The rest of the hardware will be donated to a friend...

No worries, as I will not be buying any more pre-made guitars again, regardless of price...
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Old January 27th, 2010, 01:35 PM   #15 (permalink)
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OK, I found that my Yamaha strat neck is laid out the same as the Warmoth... Further, I found the only distance in common between the SX and the two others is at the 12th fret... So, just as I thought... The SX is fretted as a slightly shorter scale length, but the nut is off...

I bought this SX to see for myself what a hundred dollar guitar is all about...

My conclusion: It is infinitely better than my first Taiwan made piece of crap seventy dollar guitar I got in 1981... No doubt, $100 gets you a lot better cheapy guitar... However, I have had a really nice guitar since 1985, and I am not fooled by the SX... I am spoiled...

I do like the body finish however, and the alder resonates well... So, the ONLY thing left of my SX is the body, pick guard, and electronics plate... The rest of the hardware will be donated to a friend...

No worries, as I will not be buying any more pre-made guitars again, regardless of price...
Ha! I'm in the same boat as you. I changed so many things on my Am. Std. Tele that I realized it is better to just buy quality bodies/necks and put whatever suits my fancy as far as bridges, pickups etc...
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