Inexpensive necks from Ebay?

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by trxx, Mar 24, 2020.

  1. trxx

    trxx Tele-Holic

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    Anyone bought an inexpensive neck from Ebay? There are a bunch of them available, but they are often listed without specs. I'm looking for a thick strat neck (so I can profile it myself) that is 43mm at the nut, and I don't mind having to give the frets and nut some attention.
     
  2. Telekarster

    Telekarster Tele-Meister

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    Yeah... I've seen them out there but personally I've not been brave enough to throw down on one. For the $$$, I'd rather pay a little more and stay with Allparts, Warmoth, etc. i.e. stuff I KNOW works. Maybe someone else out here can give some personal exp.
     
  3. Blue Bill

    Blue Bill Poster Extraordinaire

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    I got one for $30 or so, a few years ago. I was able to sand off the extra bump on the peghead, so it looks like a Fender. It has a big, plastic truss hole insert. It came unfinished, with a bound rosewood fretboard, with trapezoid (square?) fret markers, like a Les Paul. The biggest bummer is that it needs some serious leveling, and I'm such a chronic cheapskate, I can't get myself to pay more for the fret job than the neck cost. o_O

    SDC10075.JPG
     
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  4. Dismalhead

    Dismalhead Poster Extraordinaire

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    I've bought a few, and it's kinda hit and miss. I've got one hanging on the wall in my workshop because it was junk. Expect to maybe have to do some minor woodworking (shaving and shaping the heel) and watch out for necks with copper frets. You want nickel, nickel alloy, or steel or you'll be needing a refret real quick. Unless otherwise specified, the nut will be plastic. You can get a pre-cut bone nut for less than $10 though. Also, expect to have to do some fretwork, but at least on the ones I bought I just had to file down some rough fret ends. I've found the grind and polish to be no worse than you'd get on a Squier.

    Having said that, I've done three partscasters with cheap Chinese necks and they're all solid players that hold up against my MIM Fenders just fine. Not very different from buying a cheap body - just plan on putting in some work to get it right.
     
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  5. trxx

    trxx Tele-Holic

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    I don't mind paying a decent price for a quality neck, but the prices have went too far north for me. At those prices the frets often still need attention and any options send the price up fast. Might as well start looking at lower cost options.
     
  6. Binx

    Binx Tele-Meister

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    I have bought a few, and have always felt like for the money it was worth the risk (I cant even get maple, the truss rod and fretwire as cheap as some of them are...).
    All require some work, few have been not even usuable or worth the effort it would take to make them usable. I guess at with these quality can be all over, but I have been really lucky.
    Most I have are 42mm at the nut, but some are closer to 43.
    The biggest downside to me has been the lack of information/options on fretboard radius. Most are quite flat, between 12 and 15 I'd say. Though I have recently seen some aliexpress sellers specify the fretboard radius, and they have more traditional fender radius'.
     
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  7. Telekarster

    Telekarster Tele-Meister

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    I'm always up for saving $$$ ;) If you happen to try one out, let us know what you think of them! Would be a good review item!
     
  8. trxx

    trxx Tele-Holic

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    Copper frets has become a thing now? Crazy. I wouldn't even mind refretting a neck, as long as it has a thick profile that could be reshaped, 43mm at the nut, 9-9.5" radius fretboard.
     
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  9. LunarSlingShot

    LunarSlingShot Tele-Holic

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    My only experience buying an inexpensive neck on ebay was a J bass neck that was like $90-$100 but was bound in white, had pearloid block inlays and a gloss finish. Mounted great to the squier P Bass body I had and I couldn't find anything wrong with it.

    $100 might not be as cheap as others on eBay, but a neck from warmoth with the same features as this neck had cost $500 after built custom on their website.
     
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  10. trxx

    trxx Tele-Holic

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    Yep, Warmoth prices shoot up fast. And they aren't exact Fender copies, and might need some fretwork. Seems like not such good value to me.
     
  11. Binx

    Binx Tele-Meister

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    I've never run across copper frets, but could surely imagine it happening.
    If you are looking for 9.5 radius, aliexpress might be a better bet. I have found a lot more options and details on there, and if you find a supplier there that is a factory rather than a reseller, a lot of them can do small customizations for a decent price with good results. I have done that on 2 or 3 necks
     
  12. trxx

    trxx Tele-Holic

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    Thanks for the tip. Any recommended sellers there?
     
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  13. JuneauMike

    JuneauMike Friend of Leo's

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    Given how much of this stuff is made on a CNC machine anymore it seems like the cheap ebay necks ought to be a good deal (and that the Warmoth necks and others ought to be cheaper than they are). These things aren't made by craftsmen anymore. Once you've worked out all the kinks in the code, the machine should just do what its told.

    If I was in the market, I'd definitely take a chance.
     
  14. Binx

    Binx Tele-Meister

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    I haven't gotten one for about 2 years, and their seller names change pretty quickly, but usually I try to look for sellers with reviews that customers include photos with to get started
     
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  15. john_cribbin

    john_cribbin Tele-Afflicted

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    What we call nickel silver fret wire may well be 65% copper...
     
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  16. trxx

    trxx Tele-Holic

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    It might be a good idea to go in with the expectation of doing a refret off the bat.
     
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  17. Switchy

    Switchy Tele-Holic

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    I would recommend just looking for a real cheap Squier, Alvarez, etc Tele used for like $50.00 and you would be sure to get a quality neck that shouldn't need any finessing.
     
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  18. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    If you watch the warmoth ad, you'll see the handwork involved after it comes off the cnc. That overhead costs money. A cnc leaves toolmarks that have to be sanded off...then there is the fret installation....
     
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  19. mkdaws32

    mkdaws32 Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Exactly, the copper alloy they use looks very much like nickel. It's not pure copper and the blending process to produce the alloy eliminates the redness, but it's still softer and wears more quickly. It can be very difficult to know for sure what you are getting for frets on a lot cheap ebay necks. Having said that, I bought one at a staggeringly cheap $45 Canadian, delivered to my door. At first it looked excellent - perfectly straight, decently cut nut, superb satin unrethane finish. Nice looking piece if maple. Truss rod working. But then I discovered the nut slot was several millimeters closer to the headstock than it should have been, meaning it can never be intonated and open strings would always be horribly flat. I did some research and this is quite common on cheap necks. I can move the nut slot and fix it , but I haven't yet...
     
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  20. trxx

    trxx Tele-Holic

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    So far I'm seeing much the same on Aliexpress. Either no adequate specs or specs aren't what I'm looking for. But I suppose it might be worth trying to contact some of the sellers (maybe at Ebay too).
     
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