Neck pockets, schneck pockets....

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by DHart, May 11, 2019.

  1. DHart

    DHart Friend of Leo's

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    With all the current day obsession with tight neck pockets, and some bashing of older Fenders without tight neck pockets... one might wonder...

    How did players like Roy Buchannan, Jimi Hendrix, Jeff Beck, on and on, the great Fender players of the day... how did they EVER get by as serious, professional guitarists... without tight neck pockets???

    [​IMG]

    I'll admit that I, too, appreciate a nice, tight pocket. ;)

    But that said, my 1976 Strat, which doesn't have a tight neck pocket, is as solid and tone-rich as any fine Strat I've played from current production. I've had it since 1976. (The Shaller tuning machines on it are 1976 vintage, as well - all else is factory original.)

    [​IMG]

    I submit... neck pocket tightness is not an indicator of a worthy or unworthy Fender guitar.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2019
  2. monkeybanana

    monkeybanana Tele-Meister

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    It took me a while to get over this one on my parts guitar. Sorry if anyone had to puke.

    Beautiful Strat btw.

    IMG_6454.JPG

    IMG_3453.JPG
     
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  3. Treadplatedual

    Treadplatedual Tele-Holic

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    Tone gaps :)
     
  4. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Never mind hot pickups, four way Tele switching, no load pots, compensated saddles, nitro finish, pio caps, locking tuners and worst of all, perfect technique.
     
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  5. doolbon

    doolbon TDPRI Member

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    The tone jumps the gap like a spark on a sparkplug
     
  6. guitartwonk

    guitartwonk Tele-Meister

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    It's a ventilation gap for the magic to breathe.

    Sent from my Phone using Tapatalk
     
  7. Jupiter

    Jupiter Telefied Silver Supporter

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    if it lies flat against the bottom and bumps up snug to the end of the pocket yer good to go, I've always thought.
     
  8. felis

    felis Tele-Afflicted

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    No, just an indicator of sloppy finished product, which does tell me something about how a company approaches their product building process.
     
  9. richiek65

    richiek65 Tele-Afflicted

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    Tone on this partscaster is something to behold.. 15575561724899008071041162937080.jpg
     
  10. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    My last couple of partscasters have had to have the pockets sanded to enlarge them width ways to fit the necks and align them perfectly. I prefer to fit a neck like this. Screws are barely required and I have removed the screws while under string tension and everything stays put. That being said the main contact areas of concern are the base of neck and rear as mentioned above. After removing several times during final setup I still get that satisfying pop as the strings pull the neck back into the pocket before snugging up the screws. Makes for great sustain that is noticeable over a loose fit imo.

    Too loose on the sides and the neck can shift leaving the string alignment compromised.
    Nothing a cleverly concealed wedge of business card etc cant fix.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2019
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  11. DHart

    DHart Friend of Leo's

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    Interestingly, the neck pocket on my Strat, while not tight, only has a small gap on one side of the heel. And the precision of everything else on the guitar is great. So, I wouldn't be quite so certain of a less-than-tight neck pocket indicating a lack of build quality in other aspects of the guitar. Sometimes people get a little carried away with things and over dramatize their significance.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2019
  12. DHart

    DHart Friend of Leo's

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    Indeed... neither my '76 Strat, nor Roy Buchannan's Tele, exhibit much of a gap in the pocket... just a little.

    We all enjoy a very precise neck pocket fit, of course, but I agree that as long as the base of the neck heel and the end of the neck heel are in full contact with the guitar body, a little gap at the side has no tonal, nor performance, impact that could be of concern.
     
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  13. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have a strat with a less than perfect fit on the sides of pocket. The screw tension holds the neck alignment in place but you can't get too crazy with it when playing or it does tend to throw the stings off a small amount. One day I will shim the side but it's been ok if you don't throttle the hell out of it or knock it around too much while playing.
     
  14. viking

    viking Friend of Leo's

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    As long as the neck can't shift from side to side , every thing is fine

    If I am the assembler of anything , I prefer a nice snug fit , but not too tight
    Once I start playing it , I basically never look at it again.

    And , you are right 80% of what we discuss regarding guitars and gear doesn't mean one bit in the real world !
     
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  15. DHart

    DHart Friend of Leo's

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    I was just playing my '76 Strat tonight, back to back with a couple of my recent production Strats.

    I enjoyed how great the tone is on it and how perfectly it still plays after 43 years.

    And, noting the bit of gap on the side of the pocket, I thought it was great how the guitar sounds and how nothing about the guitar has changed over the last 43 years. Not one truss rod adjustment, nor a change to the bridge saddles needed. What amazing stability!

    I played it for about 4 hours a day in the seventies and early eighties, while I was teaching guitar, and then it went for a great many years stashed away in its case, with very little play. I still don't play it much, as I have so many other recent production guitars to play - so this old Strat will continue to be almost like new for a good number of decades past when it was made.
     
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  16. felis

    felis Tele-Afflicted

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    I hear you, still I also read a lot of threads here and on StratTalk about finish cracks (on thight neck pockets ;)), chipping, uneven and or sharp fret ends and all sorts of flaws and shortcomings.
    It seems 'more widely spread' hence my train of thought.

    I allso notice people accepting this as 'normal', while it can be done different (no to say better ;)).
     
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  17. DHart

    DHart Friend of Leo's

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    Yes. People do grumble and complain a lot, certainly warranted sometimes. Other times I think it's just a lot of anal nitpicking. (There's a weird visual for you! :lol:)

    I guess I've been really fortunate, as I've purchased more than 15 new Fenders over the last few years, many in the form of new take-off necks and take-off bodies - all Fender USA/MIM, and I'm not at all unhappy with any of the necks or bodies. I love 'em! There may be a couple of necks where the fret ends aren't quite as smoothly dressed as they might be, but that's never been any kind of bother or concern for me - I play and enjoy them just as much, without any problems.

    Pickups... yeah, I can be super picky about how those sound, so I've done a lot of pickup and electronics mods. Not because of any lack of quality, simply because I prefer different tones.
     
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  18. DHart

    DHart Friend of Leo's

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    I've never experienced a shift of the neck in the pocket with any of my guitars. But I will add that I don't thrash my guitars around at all. They're all pretty much gently handled. I tend to be really easy on all of my stuff - they rarely show much, if any, wear or damage of any kind. I'm just not hard on things.

    I suppose if I was highly physical with them, bumping and bashing them about, I might see some of what you've experienced.
     
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  19. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    :DI'm not doing windmills with them or beating on them but I do sometimes get a little vigorous with my grip on the neck when digging in on some lead or chord bending. The shift I have had on that neck seems to just fall back in place with a slight pull up on the neck. It just moves enough to change the angle on the high e enough to notice it. Hasn't happened since I last tightened the neck but I know it's an issue I will have to fix at some point.
     
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  20. DHart

    DHart Friend of Leo's

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    Gotcha. Sounds like just a little piece of hardwood shim would keep any shifting from happening?
     
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