Best After Market telecaster Neck

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by Jwalker99, Aug 20, 2019.

  1. Jwalker99

    Jwalker99 TDPRI Member

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    Hi,
    I have a late 50s vintage tele that is fine bit the neck will need a refin soon i i keep playing it.

    A guutar buddy suggested taking the neck off and storing away and then replacing w an after market neck, ie Waymouth, etc. like a relic looking, roasted , flamed, etc.

    Any and all suggestions appreciated.


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  2. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Just be aware that most aftermarket necks are not really "ready to use". Fret ends are not properly finished, nut not there or not adjusted (cant be really) etc. A MIM Fender neck is ready to use for roughly $200-$225
     
  3. wabashslim

    wabashslim Tele-Holic

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    Warmoth's are certainly usable right out of the box, but, as they tell you themselves, if you want them perfect, they'll need some work once installed. I have two and they're plenty good enough for me as-is.
     
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  4. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Your buddy thinks you should mod your vintage Tele with an aftermarket neck?

    Instead of presumably putting some protective finish on the bare wood portion of the original neck?

    Interesting how the internet spreads ideas....
     
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  5. EsquireBoy

    EsquireBoy Tele-Holic

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    There are plenty of vintage necks that have been worn out along years of playing, and that are still being played daily. Look at Jim Campilongo’s. A refret, yes, but I do not see why it would need a refin.
    Enjoy your vintage Fender in its original glory!
     
  6. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Poster Extraordinaire

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    You must be REALLY hard on a neck to actually wear it out! ;) Frets?....sure. Fingerboard "wear"?...OK.
    But I agree with others.....if you replace a neck it will almost always require some "finessing" by filing nut, smoothing fret ends, etc. But that isn't unreasonable. And I understand maybe not wanting to completely ruin a vintage neck.
    P.S. I like my Warmoth neck.
     
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  7. Jwalker99

    Jwalker99 TDPRI Member

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    Thks for the suggestions....here is a picture of this 57 tele. IMG_0205.jpg

    But Hold on there lets not get our panties in a bunch... Just to clarify my question. Its mostly about not sure i want to refret at this point.

    Local Guitar tech said a refret would require some over spray on neck and possibly sanding away some honest fret ware. I love the old wear. The suggestion was put on a different neck for a while and later could replace orig neck back on w no changes.


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  8. 8barlouie

    8barlouie Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Please don’t put an aftermarket neck on that fabulous instrument. If you do refret, make sure you have someone reputable who is experienced with vintage guitars do the work.
     
  9. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Yeah OK we get discussions about fear of refretting a vintage neck because it might hurt value and the tech might suck etc.

    A truly good tech can refret without altering the fingerboard finish, but you will pay good money for good work on a valuable guitar.
    Stay away from techs that can only refret by sanding down the board when getting a vintage guitar worked on!
    Sorry techs that insist on dead flat fresh wood!

    If you just need a playable neck until you're ready to pay for a good vintage pro to refret this one, maybe Musikraft could make a neck with your specs if you give them measurements and profile.
    Or you could buy an off the shelf neck cheaper, Allparts is the cheapest top quality at $109 or so and Warmoth is a little more expensive at $150 or so. Plus finishing and nut cutting.

    I have necks I don't play due to tiny frets and am holding off on refretting because they are not really worn out, just too low for my preference.
    If you just want bigger frets it would be a conundrum for sure.

    Is this a keeper guitar?
    An investment guitar?
    All original parts?
    Refin so not massive value, and in general I'm not sure a really good refret that saves the board finish will hurt the value, particularly if the frets really need replacing.

    Again though, lots of opinions on this stuff...
     
  10. Greggorios

    Greggorios Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    OK, so just to be clear, the question is to re-fret NOT to re-finish?

    I'd think that I'd want to get it to a someone with some genuine experience with vintage Fenders and tell 'em... "I've got a valuable vintage 57 telecaster that I love and cherish and want to play regularly. I think the frets need replacing. What do you suggest that won't risk the value of the guitar."

    I'd think there should be more than a few in Chi-town!
     
  11. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Just to get familiar with what can be done when refretting a valuable vintage neck, here's Dan refretting a very valuable and very abused Tele neck. Good stuff to know.
    Your '57 is probably not as messed up as the one in the video, but it shows what can be done and for example starting with a slightly taller but vintage like fret wire. Also points out the potential for back bowing by assuming off the shelf fret wire works out of the box.
    In the old days fret wire came in different tang widths as well as different crown heights and widths.
    Now the tangs are pretty standard, but there are ways to deal with that.

     
  12. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    That was confusing at first but the local tech said he would have to overspray and maybe sand off some original fingerboard wood and finish.
    I agree this is a job for a more experienced vintage guitar tech/ luthier, rather than even a qualified "local tech".

    The fact that the local tech didn't even state clearly what he would have to do indicates he does not specialize in high dollar vintage repairs.
     
  13. bender66

    bender66 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Do you mean fretboard wear? The fret wear is what you're trying to get away from, correct?

    I like the idea of getting a decent aftermarket neck just to get by for now, but ultimately you're gonna need to decide what to do with the original (refret or not). I just got 2 Allparts Fat necks recently, a maple & RW. Nice necks for little money.

    We could always use more pics of that thing too, fyi. ;)
     
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  14. Nightclub Dwight

    Nightclub Dwight Tele-Afflicted

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    I don't see what the problem is. People regularly remove speakers from vintage amps so as to protect them in case they want to sell down the road in a few years. I agree with Telemnemonics that you need to go with a top notch luthier for the refret on such a unique piece. But I think getting a new neck until you do get that work done is a great idea. This way you'll be able to enjoy playing your guitar while you decide who to use for the refret.

    I have a Warmoth neck that I love. But it seems that Musikraft takes great pains to recreate specific vintage Tele necks to original spec. I'd probably go with one of those. And don't be dissuaded by the guys saying that aftermarket necks don't arrive ready to play. My Warmoth was just fine as it arrived, however it was improved with a fret level and a little tweaking. It won't take much to get a reputable aftermarket neck up to speed.

    Just don't let anything happen to the original.
     
  15. Telekarster

    Telekarster Tele-Meister

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    I would not think that a refinish would be required to replace the frets... seems a bit more like the tech is worried that should he pull the frets off, and wood comes with it, he'll have to repair the repair, or something like that. I'd go with what others suggest here - take it to a well experienced tele luthier who specializes in old tele repairs. If it were me, and I was that concerned about it, I'd put her away until I found such a person. I would also consider driving/flying as far as possible to get to the right person as well i.e. weekend trip. I would not put an aftermarket neck on that baby.

    However, to answer your question - I used an Allparts 7.25 V neck for my 51 nocaster build and I love it! I didn't go with a D because I was afraid my short-ish fingers would have issues playing that profile, so I made an exec decision to go with a soft vintage V profile instead. Did I have to work on it? Yes. But, for me that was 1/2 the point. I wanted to experience cutting the nut myself, working the frets, setup, etc. so I didn't mind the extra work. However, I will say this, it didn't take much to get it right. It was basically plug N play for the most part. At 120 bucks shipped, it was a no brainer for me.
     
  16. pbenn

    pbenn Tele-Afflicted

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    Yes, I would vote an "A" quality replacement neck, to your specs. Personally like my Warmoth boat neck. Have a compound Musickraft 1-11/16 that I like as well, but it has been fussier to keep set up than the Warmoth boat.
     
  17. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Allparts necks are superb quality and crazy cheap.
    Very close to vintage Fender spec as well, where Warmoth deviates.
    The Allparts necks run a tiny bit wide at the heel though, and don't fit right in to many body pockets.
    In case it needs to be sanded a little the OP would want to get it unfinished for fitting before finishing.
    I just tried an Allparts neck in the pile on a late '50s Esquire body in the pile and it fits but tightly.
    The body has been refin'd at least three times, so the pocket might have been sanded bigger, and is certainly not smaller than new.
    The Allparts has a very thin Tru Oil finish and has not been made bigger by layers of lacquer.
    Spray the body and neck and the clearance gets tighter.
     
  18. Hound Dog

    Hound Dog TDPRI Member

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    After reading your post and the reasoning behind your quest I offer this.
    First, the Chicagoland shop to work on your valuable vintage ‘57 Tele:
    https://www.thirdcoastguitar.com/#guitar-repair
    Please contact them and explain what you want done. Visit them. I think you will wind up using them.
    Second, I would order a Warmoth neck to your specification. They do play right out of the box. I have taken enough of them out of boxes to forget how many and they have all been fine necks that were immediately playable. I don’t think you can go wrong there.
    (Any neck that is fit to any guitar could be improved after several months of play. Any. neck. That does not mean you will feel it is necessary to do so.)
    Hope you enjoy that ‘57 for years to come. We all await future pics!
     
  19. MonkeyJefferson

    MonkeyJefferson Tele-Holic

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    I just got a Fender 50’s Reissue lacquer. It feels SO good to the hand. The frets are beyond the work of any MIM tele I’ve ever played. And it is orange. A weird, deep funk, orange marmalade kinda deal. It’s at my buddy’s shop or I’d try to post a picture. If you close your eyes and goose your volume, it feels like 1954 and you’re holding a new tele at the Western Auto for the first time. When you open your eyes, you’re in orange country. And you ain’t leavin’.
     
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