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

Wow, what a huge difference a good neck makes!!!

Discussion in 'Other T-Types and Partscasters' started by timspong, May 5, 2017.

  1. timspong

    timspong Tele-Meister

    Apr 11, 2004
    Ashburn, Virginia
    I have a partscaster that came with a cheap mighty mite rosewood neck and it sounded okay but not great. I then ended up with another cheap used maple mighty mite neck to go on my custom shop tele while I sorted out the frets.

    Anyhow, the neck ruined the sound of my custom shop tele and I ended up putting the original neck on rather than waiting for a refret as the tone was awful. I then tried the maple neck on the partscaster and there was a clearly discernible improvement.

    Anyhow, I then thought if the neck makes such a difference then maybe I should buy a better neck for the partscaster. I was down at the local guitar shop yesterday and I saw a really nice Allparts maple neck that was nice and fat and finished in nitro. It transformed the partscaster into a real player and I haven't put it down since. Such a HUGE difference in tone:).

    Anyhow, I knew necks made a difference but I didn't realize how much of huge difference they make. I would guess that they probably make more difference to the tone than the actual body.

    It is quite a paradigm shift for me as I always thought of the body as being the main part of the guitar and thought in terms of building a guitar around that. However, it now seems to me that the neck is actually the main part of a guitar and one worth investing in to get something special.

  2. falcon5romeo

    falcon5romeo Tele-Holic

    Dec 15, 2015
    Lehigh Valley
    Yep. I believe one of the biggest tone differences is between rosewood and maple necks. Pickups, body, strings are secondary IMHO.

  3. Teleterr

    Teleterr Friend of Leo's

    Feb 7, 2011
    Lewes De.
    Having switched a lot of necks around a lot of bodys, I totally agree that the neck is the most important part of the two. Altho a really good body will sometimes, sometimes only , bring out tone that you didn't expect. Btw WD necks at ebays Stratosphere, $170, are a fantastic buy. They re very similar to the necks on the Fender '52 Pure Vintage reissue, big and beefy for great tone. I got a Bubinga, but they have Maple, Wenge, and more.
    Last edited: May 5, 2017
    timspong likes this.

  4. The Ballzz

    The Ballzz Tele-Afflicted

    Apr 11, 2016
    Las Vegas, NV
    I have a Warmoth neck on a cheesy XGP/GFS body with BWG pups and a Wilkinson bridge. The neck is Standard Thin, Maple shaft, Ebony fingerboard with 9.5" straight radius and SS6105 stainless frets. This crapcaster is the best "unplugged" sounding guitar I've ever owned in 40+ years of playing, sounds great plugged in and feels so nice that it won't let me put it down! I think I'm gonna try swapping it to one of my "OK" Fender Tele's and see how it goes!

    Yes, a neck can make a huge difference!

    Just Sayin'
    Metal Guru and RomanS like this.

  5. dkmw

    dkmw Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Mar 30, 2016
    Florida USA
    One of the best pieces of partscaster advice I've picked up on TDPRI was ''don't skimp on the neck''.

    Allparts necks are a great value.

  6. src9000

    src9000 Poster Extraordinaire

    A few years ago, I came to the conclusion that the neck is the guitar.
    emisilly and Sconnie like this.

  7. Teleterr

    Teleterr Friend of Leo's

    Feb 7, 2011
    Lewes De.
    Warmouth necks are excellent. I recommend buying one you see in the Gallery. Ebony is great as a fingerboard. Balanced tone , excellent sustain. Not for traditional tone enthusiasts.
    Metal Guru, 4pickupguy and RomanS like this.

  8. brenn

    brenn Tele-Afflicted

    Dec 8, 2013
    Agreed. A Warmoth "boat" neck with an ebony fretboard is hard to beat.

    Just don't make the mistake I made = bloodwood and ebony make a cool looking neck...until the bloodwood cracks because it's as brittle as glass.

  9. jpjr50

    jpjr50 Tele-Holic

    Sep 9, 2015
    South Florida
    I think the neck to me is the most important part. If it has the best pickups and wood on the planet it means nothing if I'm not comfortable.

    In fact I played a $3,500 Suhr with a 7.25 radius neck and my big hands stumbled, the owner thought I was noobie player (I would have adapted eventually).

    The same Suhr with a 9.5 radius neck played like butter and it was amazing.

    I'll walk if the neck doesn't feel right, don't care if the guitar is on my Holy Grail list.
    emisilly likes this.

  10. screamin eagle

    screamin eagle Friend of Leo's

    Oct 9, 2008
    S. CA
    While I agree that the next is a hugely important part of the guitar I noticed less of a difference when I swapped. I put on a MIM Classic 50's maple neck on a CV 50's tele mainly because I wore the frets out on the CV neck. The MIM C50's is chunkier and I like that, but I didn't notice much of a tone difference between the two necks. Maybe that suggests they're more similar than different--and that could be perceived as a good thing or bad thing.

  11. faasie85

    faasie85 Tele-Meister

    Jul 6, 2016
    I don't know if the neck makes much of a difference sound wise and I won't open up a can of worms. I do know that if the guitar doesn't feel right the cost of the components don't matter much anymore. And since the neck is the most important thing to feel it makes it the most important thing of a guitar to me.
    h2odog, John Owen and Ripradiant like this.

  12. robt57

    robt57 Telefied Ad Free Member

    Feb 29, 2004
    Portland, OR
    Sometime two pieces of wood have natural resonance perpesities that cross cancel each other in non favorable ways. Sometimes a piece of wood just is a dud resonance wise. One case you might say bad neck when it is a resonance incompatibility...

    How many players used to buy several guitars to mix and match for the best matches? Before we all started building scratch gits..

    Eric Clapton is one such accounting of famous mix and match...

    I personally find the neck 'IS' the heart of the git followed closely by other main parts... but sum of the parts of course...

  13. bluesfordan

    bluesfordan Friend of Leo's

    Jun 1, 2006
    Nashua NH
    lack of funds to procure good necks is the main reason why I had to abandon my last two projects, plus I had to replace the neck on my avatar because the previous neck went bad. I have two crappy bass necks, a crappy tele neck and the very nice but worn frets original neck of the CV50 hanging around none doing me any good.

  14. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Friend of Leo's

    Feb 3, 2017
    Foat Wuth, Texas
    I have to say the "feel" of the neck will often inspire a player to play well, and in turn think it "sounds" better....however, when I bought and installed my Warmoth fatback Tele conversion neck (Gibson scale) of mahogany, it just SINGS unplugged, and sounds really good plugged others have said...the neck "makes" a guitar for me.
    Frito-Man and trouserpress like this.

  15. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Friend of Leo's

    Oct 21, 2014
    I have a partscaster tele I use for jazz that I bought that had an all-maple fat C neck (probably about 0.85" to just under an inch near the heel)...not sure the make, but it was headstock adjust. Replaced it with an Allparts TRO-FAT neck, heel adjust and wow! Huge difference!!! Warmer, fuller tone, nicer frets and better balanced. Easily the best improvement I've made to that guitar to date. Interestingly, I don't have the largest hands, but I find this baseball bat neck the most comfortable I've ever played, especially for barre chords and jazz. I like big necks and I can-not lie!
    songtalk likes this.

  16. Wicked-T

    Wicked-T Tele-Meister

    Apr 1, 2017
    Same thing happen to me with my tele build, I had a Rosewood tele neck (Mighty mite)
    and picked up a original Fender 94 Squier all maple neck and the guitar came to life!

  17. mad dog

    mad dog Friend of Leo's

    Jun 27, 2005
    Montclair, NJ
    One thing I've learned is that "best" and "good" are moving targets with tele necks. My alder body partscaster came to me with possibly the best quality neck I've ever seen, from USACG. Brazilian board, figured maple back. Beautiful. Looked and played so nice. Liked it so much I even had it refretted to my specs. But over time, something about that neck was not working. Feel, sound? Hard to say. I decided to experiment.

    Had a roasted maple warmoth neck here. A nice neck to be sure, not quite in the same league as the USACG neck in features, certainly not in price. So I swap that one on, and instantly the tele is perfect. The feel is different, also the sound. I had specifically wanted RW on that tele, thinking it would be best, yet this all maple board brought out something unexpected in the alder body.

    Live and learn. Apparently preferences and expectations are only a starting point. And "best" is not always better. Kinda like trying amp tubes. Start with what you know, then prepare to be surprised.
    RomanS likes this.

  18. filtersweep

    filtersweep Tele-Meister

    Jul 27, 2011
    Good? A neck out of spec will simply be a mess. I bought a partscaster with a Mity Mite that had uneven frets resulting in dead spots and buzz. A tech said it wasn't even worth fixing (labor exceeded its worth). But that alone kills tone.

  19. Mur

    Mur Tele-Afflicted

    Jun 30, 2004
    Neck plays the big role in tone and dynamic. And each is different.

  20. Teleposer

    Teleposer Tele-Holic

    Sep 28, 2016
    The reason I've been collecting the Aria Pro Teles recently is exactly because of the neck. Out of this world good. In fact, I get a whole guitar for that price (130 bucks), which is about as cheap as you can buy a third-party neck for anyway.

    The radius is perfect for me. The frets are well-finished and leveled pretty well. Even the nut is done decently. One nut was a bit high, as is to be expected, but I hacked it down. I'll put proper nuts on later.

    I also like to take a bit of wet and dry and sand off the satin finish. They are already pretty smooth, but rubbing off that extra layer just gives you an even faster smoother neck.

    Someone said in this thread 'the neck is the heart of the guitar' and that is what I was going to say, but got beaten to it.

    It's all about the feel and what fits your hands. If the frets are leveled just about perfectly (can always be corrected later), then what more do you want.

    I admit that the Aria Pro head stock is a little ugly. But I can go with that. Small price to pay.

    And as for those of you who think that a maple neck sounds different to a rosewood neck, sorry fretboard, sorry, fingerboard, well, I don't know what to say, apart from, No, you can't. It's all in your head. But then again, we all live in our heads, so don't feel too bad about it. Did I read also that the neck imparts more to the sound than the pickups? Man, I'm glad this forum is for entertainment only. But I won't argue with you about that.

    If you wanted an absolute killer neck, with just about perfect fretwork, out of the box, then you could do worse than source one of those Aria Pro Teles. But since I started promoting them everywhere (not a shill, don't get paid), even my man has had trouble sourcing them - they're hard to get hold of now. I've got another one on order and should be coming soon.

    My next Tele will have a Maple neck though. I may even consider swapping out a new third-party neck for one of my Arias, and putting the Aria neck on another build.

    God I love Telecasters. First, 30 years ago I discovered the guitar. Then 30 years later I discovered the Telecaster. My life is just about complete.

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