Howell Guitar necks are a great value

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by Sequimite, Sep 16, 2020.

  1. Sequimite

    Sequimite Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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    I first bought a guitar body from their Reverb store and was so impressed with the quality and value I recently purchased two necks. A search of the forum turned up two others who were very happy with their Howell necks.

    If you like nitrocellulose you need to take a look at Howell guitar necks. The Warmouth neck, second from the top, has a nitro finish which is a $100 option ($130 for tinted). The Howell necks, bottom two, cost $75 each WITH tinted or clear nitro finishes.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    VARIETIES
    Howell has two varieties of tele and strat necks set up on his CNC: vintage and modern. There is also a fifth variety, a half paddle. All varieties have "C" profiles, bone nuts and medium jumbo frets. All are sometimes offered roasted.(half paddle seemingly always roasted) Lefties and flamed maple occasionally offered. Most are flat sawn. The two I bought were rift sawn. Be careful when you order as Curt sometimes cuts and pastes the wrong description.

    Howell has had between 5 and 15 necks on Reverb in the last few weeks. He adds necks to stock several times a week and more than one a day are usually purchased. The body I bought is the only one I've ever seen for sale but he has sold a half dozen strat bodies total and has some tele bodies in the works.

    The vintage tele or strat neck is a 1 5/8" nut "C" that is about .9" just above the 1st fret and .96" just above the 12th. There is a variance of + or - .02" which I presume is due to sanding and finishing. These are offered in one piece maple or with rosewood fretboard. Drilled for vintage tuners.

    The modern tele or strat neck is a 1 11/16" or 1 5/8" nut "C" that is about .83" just above the 1st fret and .9" just above the 12th. Not enough info to know median thicknesses. I presume variances are similar to vintage. Drilled 10mm

    The half paddle neck is a "C" that is roasted and .86" at 1st, .92" at 12th.

    FIT AND FINISH
    The nitro finish is indistinguishable from the Warmouth by sight or touch. The Warmout, Musikraft and Howell strat necks have identical heel widths and all are snug fits in my Howell strat body. the heels on both Howell necks show some overcutting and fill around the skunk stripe which will not be seen once attached. The tele neck is about a half mm wider and may need some sanding when I put it with a body. The frets on my Howell strat neck are dull. All frets smooth, don't appear to need any work.

    CONCLUSION
    EDIT OOPS, not made in USA - EDIT There is a quality difference between these $65 to $75 necks ($125 flamed) and the much more expensive competition but it is not much IMO. If either the vintage or the modern C profile works for you and you like nitro then you pretty much have to try one of these.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2020
  2. archetype

    archetype Fiend of Leo's

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    I'll definitely try one of his necks in the future. He can't be making much money per!
     
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  3. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    How do you know they are made in the USA? Wood, truss rod, and fretwire costs are probably 20-25 dollars by themselves. Rosewood fretboards are like 8-10 each now alone. Truss rods are 6-10 for import ones. Then there is sandpaper, lacquer, electricity. I can see a body, but not a neck for 70 dollars unless it is an import or the guy works for free. It also looks like he is also using copyrighted trademark pegheads.


    These are made in the US and actually look like they are boutique made...at least to me, with prices that are more in line with a small shop. Bargain basement prices are not helpful to people trying to stay in business. As always, YMMV.

    http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-5...0001&campid=5338148343&icep_item=233713678883
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2020
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  4. PhredE

    PhredE Tele-Holic

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    Thanks for the tip.

    Here's a link to the storefront on Reverb: https://reverb.com/shop/howell-guitar
    (If you plug in 'Howell Guitar' into Google, you 'll also uncover a builder in Australia [which is fine, and appears the guy makes good guitars].. but the correct link is via the one above).

    Following on guitarbuilder's question..
    I could uncover no country of origin info based on poking through a couple product description on Reverb.

    Example:

    https://reverb.com/item/35752755-guitar-neck-one-piece-maple-bone-nut-9-5-radius-fits-tele
    About This Listing
    The picture shown is the actual neck you will receive.
    Our necks are finished in vintage satin nitrocellulose lacquer for that classic feel.
    SPECS:
    One piece Canadian Maple neck with skunk stripe
    9.5" Radius Fingerboard
    C-Profile
    7mm tuner holes for vintage size tuners. Tapered ream may be used to enlarge for bushings.
    Jumbo Frets
    1 5/8" Bone Nut
    .89" at the first fret, .95" at the 12th fret
    Heel width 2 3/16" 5/8" Deep Fits standard neck pocket
    Heel adjustment double expanding truss rod
    This is a beautiful neck at a reasonable price! Please bid with confidence and check out our feedback.
    SHIPPING DISCOUNTS ON ADDITIONAL ITEMS, JUST ASK
    *We are NOT affiliated with Fender Musical Instrument Corporation or any other musical instrument manufacturer IN ANY WAY. Fender, Stratocaster®, Relic®, and Telecaster® are registered trademarks of Fender Musical Instruments Corp. We DO NOT sell FENDER® GUITARS. This is NOT a Fender® guitar body / neck or a Fender® finish, this is a replacement guitar part.
    40
    6
     
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  5. gregulator450

    gregulator450 Tele-Afflicted

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    wow, this is an excellent find! Thanks for sharing! At these prices and the quality you claim, we need to make this guy's wallet a little fatter. :)
     
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  6. jguitarman

    jguitarman Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Good to know. I've been wanting to build a Strat and was not settled on a supplier. I will check him out.
     
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  7. Sequimite

    Sequimite Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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    I can't know for sure that these are made in USA but everything points to that conclusion IMO. We have talked about necks and bodies in process before they appear on the Reverb store; the long WIP is consistent with nitro curing. He is in Michigan. The imperfections, especially the skunk stripe behind the heel, show individual fitting. He has 100% good feedback so if he is fooling me he is also fooling everybody else.

    I have posed the question directly and will report the answer. I may have come to the wrong conclusion.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2020
  8. archetype

    archetype Fiend of Leo's

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    Even if they are reworked necks from another supplier, that's not an unheard of business model. There have been folks on eBay reselling Allparts and Mighty Mite necks with the reseller's finish, level, and crown.
     
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  9. radiocaster

    radiocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    So what's the glossy one at the very top? That's the one I like.
     
  10. Sequimite

    Sequimite Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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    OK, seller reworks some components, makes others. We can assume that the necks I bought were from Asia since the ambiguity seems deliberate. In his history he had some custom orders. That and the variety of necks and the fact that just a few were added at a time fooled me into making an assumption which was not warranted. My apologies for spreading misinformation.

    That said the quality is good, price is low and the ability to see lots of photos of the individual neck you are buying makes it unlike most Asian neck sellers.

    radiocaster, that poly roasted neck is Chinese. I had thought it was the only Chinese neck I owned.
     
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  11. branbolio

    branbolio Tele-Meister

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    I’m curious how the actual weight vary on each of these necks. I’ve seen some that are 1lb and other that are over 2lbs. That makes a big difference if you don’t want a neck heavy guitar. Can you give any weight details for those curious?
     
  12. branbolio

    branbolio Tele-Meister

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  13. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    No, I prefer to make my own or use allparts when I don't.
     
  14. mkdaws32

    mkdaws32 Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Do you know what the frets are made of? A lot of the cheaper Asian necks used a fret wire with a high copper content. They still look silver, but they are very soft and wear quickly. I got a “great deal” on such a neck and only go with a reputable source now. Too bad, because otherwise, that neck was really good. Solo Music Gear sells some decent necks here starting at $79 CDN with good wire. Certainly Asian, but to Solo’s specs.
     
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  15. Slowtwitch

    Slowtwitch Tele-Meister

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  16. Slowtwitch

    Slowtwitch Tele-Meister

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    Yip top supplier, see post above

    I do however deal with them through Aliexpress, not the links/ website Guitarbuilder posted
     
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  17. mkdaws32

    mkdaws32 Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Tail between my legs - gotta 'fess up. I "assumed" the solo necks had standard fretwire, and this was bugging me, so I reached out and they confirmed it is indeed softer than standard Dunlop fretwire. I'll have to see how mine hold up. They are still great necks at a great price, though, IMHO.
     
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