Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

Neck + Body: how hard is it to find the right match?

Discussion in 'Other T-Types and Partscasters' started by RadioFM74, Sep 22, 2017.

Buying separate neck and/or body, is there a risk that you end up with a “dead" guitar?

  1. If you use the right specs (e.g. Leo’s early 50s specs), you’re good to go… you’re overthinking it!

  2. If you use the right specs you’re good to go, PROVIDED that body and neck fit perfectly

    0 vote(s)
  3. Even with perfect specs and perfect fit, that’s a possibility: each piece of wood is different

  4. Ah, but there is this other risk you have not considered! (Please explain)

    0 vote(s)
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. RadioFM74

    RadioFM74 Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter


    as some of you know from another thread, I am considering assembling a partscaster from MJT parts, or buying a used Fender and replacing its body with a MJT.

    My guess is that if you go with the right specs (e.g. Leo’s specs for a blackguard if that’s what you’re after) and order good quality parts, you can predict fairly well where you’re going tonally (not to mention that most of the tone will derive from factors independent from the wood: pickups, strings, bridge, amp, technique…)

    1) neck and body might not fit perfectly, and require work to be joined (sanding, shims)… do you think that would affect the tone of the guitar?
    2) I’ve often read statements to the effect that “you never know how this piece of wood is going to sound with that piece of wood”… if that is so, one might possibly order good quality parts, following Leo’s specs from the early 50s, but still end up with a dead guitar.

    Do these risks exist? I have no idea – I am a total noob to the world of partscasters! So please take the poll, and tell me about your experience!

    NB: I am talking specifically about effects on TONE. Of course, the choice of parts will determine weight, playability……

  2. RadioFM74

    RadioFM74 Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Come on people, help me out on this one! All I'm really asking is: as a prospective
    partscaster builder are there factors I should pay attention to in choosing neck and body, other than general specs and good fit at the pocket? Thx!

  3. jackal

    jackal Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Jun 14, 2010
    mojave desert
    I don't really know the answer, however I have built at least a dozen "parts casters" and I've never found the neck to cause tone problems. All that I have put together, the neck either required no modification, or at the most minor sanding, more to make me happy with the smoothness of the neck pocket than anything else. I have had a few that I tried several sets of pickups on before I was happy with the guitar. But that could be a personal preference more than anything else. Yes, you could wind up with a dog of a guitar, but with the quality of parts that are out there today, it's unlikely that a body and neck just won't work together. Luck to you!
    RadioFM74 likes this.

  4. John Owen

    John Owen Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Jan 29, 2010
    Seattle, WA
    My view on it is - you reduce your risk to near zero if you buy quality parts and you get both the neck and body from the same manufacturer. My choice on that has always been USACG. That being said, a lot of folks do just fine with mix and match body and neck combos. As long as you are buying both with the same specs from quality manufacturers, you should do fine. As you note, the plugged in tone of the guitar is affected mostly by pick ups, bridge, amp, strings, etc. As long as the neck fits reasonably well in the body, you should be good to go.
    RadioFM74 likes this.

  5. archtop_fjk

    archtop_fjk Tele-Meister

    Aug 4, 2009
    Lebanon, NH
    I've put together a couple of parts guitars, and usually the parts fit together OK but may need some adjustment (e.g. neck pocket shim, nut slots) to get it dialed in. This mainly affects playability (e.g. string action, buzzing, etc.) rather than tone.

    For my Telecaster Deluxe partscaster, I sourced a Fender body and compatible Fender neck, mainly because I wanted it to look correct with the large strat headstock and official Fender logo. Everything else (pickups, pots, wiring, bridge) was sourced from quality aftermarket non-Fender parts, such as Callaham for the vintage bridge, CTS pots, Brandonwound WRHBs. The resulting guitar is one of the finest I have in terms of playability and tone.
    RadioFM74 likes this.

  6. RadioFM74

    RadioFM74 Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Great gentlemen, thanks a lot for your answers.

    Needless say, you are fanning a potentially incontrollable fire… I am already starting to eye threads about soldering 101!:D

    Thanks to all who will contribute their experiences!

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