My Tele needs a replacement neck, tips needed.

AKBluesDude

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I lived in Alaska most of my life and have owned literally hundreds of guitars. Once in awhile I would get a get a guitar with a wonky neck, that would require a slight truss rod adjustment almost every time I picked it up. All were new necks with I assume green wood. If I really liked the guitar I would just wait it out. Eventually the neck wood will dry and become stable. If you don't feel like waiting you can buy another neck. But if you buy a new neck from say Warmoth or Fender you run the risk of getting another green wood neck that might be wonky too, but it's pretty unlikely. I'm a fan of roasted necks. Stable and lighter weight. I even have a roasted neck on a tele that doesn't have a truss rod. For replacements, I usually go with Warmoth or USA Custom necks and don't put Fender decals on them. I use my own. If your not a professional builder it's pretty obvious a phony decal was used. So if you need or want to have Fender on the headstock, go with Fender made.
 

RnB

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Only one place to go: Cody Gleason at Deep Ellum Guitarworks (lookup his Reverb shop): great necks, good prices, super customer service !
Plus Cody is a real nice guy :) just ask him if you don't find what you're looking for in display
Looks like he just repackages Alparts & Mighty-Mite necks…?

Musikraft does a great neck…1/4 sawn 👍
I like the way they shape the heel. More Fender looking! A beefier neck will offer more stability than a thinner one.

As for a decal: use your own discretion!
Most shops will frown upon putting a Fender decal on an aftermarket neck…
 
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bertmanphx

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I had a bad neck on my Tele. A local shop replaced it for me with a Fender MIM neck.
It's never played better, and I am super happy with it.
 

Timbresmith1

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Quartersawn would be my preference. Also, I’ve seen far too many necks made with wood that has very wide summer rings, versus the hard rock maple from the northeast, which comes from short summer humid continental climes. I think this is what your tech may have been alluding to.
I can’t imagine how a neck made by a reputable company in a climate like So Cal would be any different between summer and winter.
I would look at Musikraft necks.
 

Boreas

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First of all, welcome aboard! We usually require guitar pix of new posters!;)

There are no two pieces of wood that are identical. My guess is most of your "wonky" neck issues are due to household relative humidity fluctuations. Until you provide a good home for the guitar (stable humidity), the neck will take decades to settle down - and perhaps never.

But "wonky" can have multiple meanings. Unless we know what you are talking about, we are all guessing. If the neck has a twist or faulty truss rod, it could be difficult and costly, if not impossible to fix.

Fender necks are made in fairly stable humidity because of the climate in the area as well as temp/humidity stability within the plants. But ANY manufacturer or luthier can choose a piece of wood with hidden wood sprites that don't get evicted first!:)
 

kilroy6262

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....
B. Having a Fender logo on the headstock. This matters to most Fender fans because it lends credibility to them as a player. They know guitarists are judgmental and form opinions about a person's skill based on the guitar they play...not the sounds they actually make with it.
....
Wow, that's painting with a broad brush.
 

wrangle

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I'm looking into necks with carbon fiber reinforcement to avoid frequent adjustments & dead spots. So far I haven't found anyone that makes basic Fender-style replacement necks with this feature, but I'm sure they must be out there. I'd be curious if anyone here has experience with carbon fiber or other kinds of non-traditional neck construction.
 

MickM

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I don't think thickness comes into play. I have an '06 51 NoCaster RI that no matter how many times was adjusted, would warp into a convex/back bow. After constant messing with it for years I contacted Fender and after their authorized service center looked it over it was returned and the neck replaced.
As far as I know those necks are some of the fattest installed on Telecasters.
 

Coquina012

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As above, some of what you are being told is just laughable. Cody Gleason is a great guy and has superb taste in musical instruments, also mentioned above. The phrase you are looking for is "cycling". Regardless of finish, or lack of, wood cycles with humidity and temperature changes--some finishes more than others. I lived in Minnesota for a couple of years and went back and forth between there and TN and Colorado, very extreme points between hot, cold, and dry and humid. That is certainly hard on an acoustic guitar, and I have two vintage Gibsons that developed pickguard cracks as a result. I had an 84 Fullerton strat that I lugged around, still own it, and it developed no bad habits. The problem is all of the above is "anecdotal evidence" (My uncle's three-legged dog's next door neighbor's cousin had one and you should have seen the hump it developed...). For some reason, and it is not because the neck was made in winter, or whatever that jackass told you, your neck is cycling with enough dynamics to make it really move (it is however, possible that growth rings, as mentioned by Timbresmith1 have created tension in the neck. A skilled luthier, would , in a hand-built guitar, avoid that. Fender mass production? Maybe they might not catch it). Most likely it is something like storing the guitar near a heater vent, or in a black case that gets hit at 3 pm by sunlight through a window when you are not there to see it. I fractured a USA Guild that way in California--I realized it when I got home early one day and the black case was getting pounded by the afternoon sun. It was in deep shade every morning when I left for work. Too late. I also have a collection of maybe 30 or 35 guitars, being a constant horse trader, and hadn't seen it for maybe a year. Either way, heat plus a rise and fall of humidity is going to make every neck move in small or large degree. Without exception. Most necks do not move enough to be a problem, or even to measure the changes. But every neck will move. The worst problem is if they twist. I have a solution for that and have repaired them but you have to plane and refret, and it is not pretty--it is a risk on a vintage guitar and may still move afterwards. If you want to replace, I personally look for a neck that is at least AVRI level, or Fender Custom Shop. I have found that if you ever sell the guitar, a neck from a cheaper model is going to diminish value. An upgraded neck might not ADD to the value, but at least you generally get out of it what you want. At the end of the day, I would carefully evaluate your storage practice with this guitar, stabilize humidity and heat fluctuation, and see if it "settles" enough to properly adjust and use. By the way--it is lots of fun to switch necks around and evaluate tonal and sonic change. I once switched 14 necks around on six bodies, over a period of about three months. It was fascinating. But that is another story. Best luck, Dave
 
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Jy999

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I live in Winnipeg, Canada, with an awful cold and really really dry climate in the winter, and a warm/hot humid climate in the summer. Most of my guitars have been fine. I had one JV strat with a wonky neck, and got it replaced with a warmoth neck. I now have two warmoth necks, and they're perfectly fine and aren't wonky.

I have one "roasted" neck and I don't find it any more stable than the others.

You just got bad luck. I'm sure any good neck will do you well.
 

RU Experienced

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Warmoth is good, other brands are good too.

Quartersawn may help, I would not choose roasted. Roasted means hard, but also brittle.

Fatter is more stable, generally. Warmoth has like a ‘59 Roundback contour that is nice.

Double action truss rod, as others have said.

Have a competent tech set it up, but also learn how to adjust a truss rod (strings loose, 1/4 turn max per day). Watch YouTube on it. If temp and humidity are changing, your guitar may need more frequent minor adjustments.
How would one determine if the neck has a double action truss rod? Specifically, for my '97 American Standard as well as my 2012 MIM?
 

threadedtime

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Hi, I see there are a couple really informative threads discussing neck replacements already, but seeing as my questions are slightly different I'll ask anyway. My US Telecaster's neck has been adjusted several times by good repair men, but every time the neck has gone wonky within weeks. I've been told that I should be looking for guitars and necks that were made in winter, as the Arctic climate is bad for guitar necks. Those of you who live in colder climes, do you have any tips for searching out a good replacement necks that can take the cold winters? Also, should I worry about getting a neck with the Fender logo?
Thanks in advance, Eilert
If you want stability...that would be a roasted Maple neck....I'm assuming they could do quartersawn roasted maple. Put Stainless Frets on it, have it Plek'd....That is a maintenance free neck that will last you a lifetime. It will not warp, shift and Plek'd Stainless you will probably never need a fret job again.
 

Arfage

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Hi, I see there are a couple really informative threads discussing neck replacements already, but seeing as my questions are slightly different I'll ask anyway. My US Telecaster's neck has been adjusted several times by good repair men, but every time the neck has gone wonky within weeks. I've been told that I should be looking for guitars and necks that were made in winter, as the Arctic climate is bad for guitar necks. Those of you who live in colder climes, do you have any tips for searching out a good replacement necks that can take the cold winters? Also, should I worry about getting a neck with the Fender logo?
Thanks in advance, Eilert
Musikraft or Allparts have never done me wrong. Warmoth seems to have run out of decent wood - unless you want to pile on hundreds of dollars worth of options. For a good proper working class neck with nothing fancy I'd stay away from them.
 

IllinoisFitz

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I’ll echo the Warmoth recommendation others have made. I’ve used both those, Mighty Mite, and Fender replacements with good success for all 3. I like Warmoth because of how much you can customize and their two way truss rod system is very hearty and helps for easy adjustments with temp/climate changes (including lots of touring/traveling). As far as the logo goes, that’s a personal choice and don’t let anybody tell you there’s a right answer on this. While it won’t make it sound any better, if it’s something important to you, go for it! It’s ok to care about aesthetics in your gear. Most people who say it doesn’t matter at all to them might be exaggerating a tad. In any case, just make sure you spend some time figuring out what you really like in terms of material, nut width, tuning machines, etc before pulling the trigger. It’s always cheaper to make the choices before you buy as opposed to after! Best of luck!
 

RichCuellarPDX

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Musikraft or Allparts have never done me wrong. Warmoth seems to have run out of decent wood - unless you want to pile on hundreds of dollars worth of options. For a good proper working class neck with nothing fancy I'd stay away from them.
Thats not true. I got a Warmoth quartersawn maple neck last year with no "fancy" options and its the best quality neck Ive played so far. Cost me around $300.
 

NikkiM

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I'm looking into necks with carbon fiber reinforcement to avoid frequent adjustments & dead spots. So far I haven't found anyone that makes basic Fender-style replacement necks with this feature, but I'm sure they must be out there. I'd be curious if anyone here has experience with carbon fiber or other kinds of non-traditional neck construction.
 

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Frisco 57

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I just learned something about necks that I can add.

I'm using a MusiKraft maple/rosewood neck that's been "rift sawn" on my latest build. I had to look that term up too but "rift sawn" has a steeper grain angle than "quarter sawn." It's more select and apparently stronger.

Edit:
rift-cut-oak-comparison.png
 
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itstooloudMike

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I got a Warmoth roasted maple neck just this year for my American Tele. It’s amazing, and so much better than the original Fender neck. The unfinished roasted maple feels wonderful and looks great. I got the Clapton V-carve, with narrow-tall frets and a 10-14” compound radius. It was only about $325 all-in. It turned a good Tele into a fantastic boutique level Tele. The improvement was well worth the cost.
 

bluesmain

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love warmoth love the cutaway truss rod adjust have a warmoth tele with 24.75
scale '59 profile 10'' to 14'' compound radius duncan '59 and pearly gates p/u's
the fretwork on warmoth is best i have seen you can get special options that are
nearly endless bought my first warmoth neck in 1990 its amazing and i still have the guitar. i now have several warmoth strats and teles . custom orders have made
warmoth the best in the business..compound radius asymetrical neck profiles have made fender and gibson offer these options. easy to work with warmoth builds what you want.
 

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BostonTeleGuy

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I would probably spring for a another neck. It sounds to me like you got a not great one. I have a 80s fender with a real skinny neck that has a similar problem ( although I don't know if being skinny has anything to do with it warping). For me I would get a Fender for the decal even though Warmouth etc. are probably just as good if not better. Its like that hood ornament on a nice car. When they are missing the car just doesn't quite look right to me.
 




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