New neck that doesn't require fret level?

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by TX_Slinger, Feb 16, 2020.

  1. TX_Slinger

    TX_Slinger TDPRI Member

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    Okay, somebody must make a replacement neck that doesn't require fret leveling and is somewhere south of the cost of a Warmoth? If not, then why isn't this a "thing?"
     
  2. Switchy

    Switchy Tele-Holic

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    You're probably not going to get that cheap, because you're asking for somewhat of a "custom setup" neck.
    Factory built necks are subject to environmental conditions, that's why even new quality necks have fret sprout.
    New necks are probably pretty good off the assembly line, but they sit on the shelf for a while until they get to you.
    That's also one reason guitars don't come fully setup when you buy one new.

    Fret leveling is part of the ownership experience.

    IMO
     
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  3. jannodude

    jannodude Tele-Afflicted

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    ^Agreed!

    It will also make it expensive if they have to fret level each neck after leaving the assembly line..
     
  4. TX_Slinger

    TX_Slinger TDPRI Member

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    Been lucky enough to never need it but getting there. Guessing it might be best to pick up a new take off neck off reverb since I'm looking for something pretty common...
     
  5. dan40

    dan40 Tele-Afflicted

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    I have seen some sellers on Ebay that are selling Allparts necks that have been leveled, crowned and polished. It adds a few dollars to the cost but they are still reasonable. No experience with any of them though as I tend to do my own these days.
     
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  6. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Do you mean leveling now, or leveling ever? Stainless solves the latter problem, but it can be a bit harder to work with, especially in the larger sizes.

    If you mean leveling now, at build stage... who would you like to do it? It needs to be done by someone. PLEK is a possibility, though certainly not cheap, and not a guarantee it still won't need hands-on time.

    You essentially want to make a custom shop guitar, cheap, right? This is why they get pricey. All that hands-on luthier time so it plays like the proverbial oleomargarine...


    Your question implies that Warmoth does leveling? They didn't last time I looked, but it was a few years ago. If they imply theirs don't need leveling... Hah!
     
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  7. bondoman

    bondoman Tele-Meister

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    Unless you bought it local I think changes in region and climate make it a moot point.
     
  8. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Most come pretty good. Level enough. Otherwise, get your neck plek'd.
    Fender MIM aftermarket necks for $200-225 are darn good.
    A decent neck often runs $250 to your spec and come good.
    I have a WD neck I bought after searching for certain features and actually finding what I wanted! It's very good and was about $145. I think WD has come a long way from 10 years ago.
     
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  9. dreamingtele

    dreamingtele Friend of Leo's

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    I dont think you can find a neck that doesnt need any degree of fret levelling.. if you really want to play its best, you're just gonna have to cough up more money to get it done by someone who knows what they're doing..

    unless you can do it yourself..

    at the moment, I cant do anything on frets and nuts, so whatever guitar or neck I buy goes to my luthier for fret level, dress and crown, and have a new bone nut fitted to my preferred gauge of strings..
     
  10. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Doesn’t require a fret level for what purpose?

    A cheap new takeoff neck will not have gotten a fret level either.
    If you feel a need for the perfection you can get after a level and crown it will cost you no matter what you buy.

    If you want to go cheap and not pay or work for leveled frets then a new Allparts or Warmoth neck will play just as well as or better than, a new CV Squier, MIM or many USA Fender necks. Not all those price points have the same quality but any of them should be adequate to excellent with the cheaper getting less quality control.

    A level and crown is really only done to factory guitars in the upper price range and a decently made neck will have level enough frets to play within normal good setup range.

    Some of the cheap import necks may play very poorly without a fret leveling and really many Squiers might need it as well to play at some normal good action whatever that may be.
    Many better new guitars have frets that are more level because they were made better, not because the factory dressed the frets.

    The internet says you must get frets dressed and you can’t shim the neck.
    Caveat Emptor but recipient of free advice beware as well!
    Lotta opinions out there be careful kids!
     
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  11. davenumber2

    davenumber2 Friend of Leo's

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    I’d never even heard of fret leveling before I joined this board and I’d been playing for 15 years with no problem. They must’ve been level enough!
     
  12. TX_Slinger

    TX_Slinger TDPRI Member

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    I've never had fret issues with anything originally priced north of $500...LTD, Schecter, Ibanez, Washburn...but they were all neck thru or set neck and the first two were stainless frets. My cheap but good Tele is going to need a refret soon. I'll check out the ones offered with level and dress added..
     
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  13. urbandefault

    urbandefault Tele-Meister

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    Warmoth is as close to perfect out of the box as any I've seen. Usually you can find a great neck with the specs you need already made, starting at $157 + shipping.

    It doesn't get much better than that.
     
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  14. Old Deaf Roadie

    Old Deaf Roadie Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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  15. Matthias

    Matthias Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    I’ve found both the MiM Fender necks and Mighty Mite necks to be fine out of the box... As good as a mid-price mass-produced guitar hung in a store. So read that as fully playable but may improve with further work.
     
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  16. Teleterr

    Teleterr Friend of Leo's

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    Get a Fender. Often they re new or newish. If someone likes a V they ll sell the Modern C it came w and vice versa. I ve had perfect luck w them being level vs Warmoth , WD or Mighty Mite.
     
  17. bumnote

    bumnote Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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    I've bought three Musikraft necks, one didn't need a fret level, the other two did...but it was just one fret on each neck. The last neck I got was fine for several months. After a seasonal change and months of being under string tension, the high fret became evident. I've also had to do this on a couple of Fender necks once they were played in.

    It's not hard to do at all..and doesn't require expensive tools to do it.
    I bought this kit from Amazon for $10.

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07WP39RT9/?tag=tdpri-20

    Now if I did setups professionally...I'd spend some money on better tools. But to level a couple of frets every once in a while? Why bother, these did the job.
    Use the rocker to find the fret. Then take a marker to the high fret and slowly run the file across it until the ink is gone, use the rocker again and repeat if needed.
     
  18. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    I've never bothered to fret level any of my new Allparts necks and have no problem getting a low action and playing anything I want on them.

    I recently bought a $100 buck Artist guitars single hum strat and that plays fine without levelling it too. Necks today are a lot more consistent than they used to be.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2020
  19. ricardo1912

    ricardo1912 Tele-Afflicted

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    I've bought and played Ibanez, Fender, Epiphone and others and always got a decent action/string height without levelling.

    The only exceptions have been a couple of Squier that needed frets tapping down.
     
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  20. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    My CV 50s tele has atrocious looking frets, unevenly worn down from playing across the entire length of the neck. Some frets are like new while others are worn down beyond levelling yet it plays great with no issues and is capable of a action lower than I like.
     
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