NND (New Neck Day) - Fender American Channel Bound Telecaster neck

jondom22

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Continuing on my journey with my first tele, I have been generally loving the sound, but not the neck I previously had. I think all of my years growing up playing Fenders with medium-jumbos just got me used to being able to dig in. Long story short, I swapped out my Musikraft roasted maple with ziricote fretboard and 6105 frets for the Fender American Channel Bound Tele neck (pics below).

Overall liking it a lot better just from the medium-jumbos and standard maple instead of the roasted maple and 6105s, and even without properly slotting the nuts or fret level, it plays 20 times better for my style. Got the action down to 4/32 overall and with less tension over the saddles using 11s than before, so I'm pretty stoked to eventually take to a tech to file the nut and do a minor amount of fret leveling so I can get it down just a bit more. Overall fretwork and finish I would say is excellent for a mass production neck. Tuner holes were perfect fit for my Schaller locking tuners and didn't need to use any force to push in. Fit right into the guitars neck pocket as well. Rolled edges are nice and comfy, obv no fret sprout on this bc channel binding. Neck was a bit dry but hopefully over time it will regain some moisture on the fingerboard.

The cons for me is that I'm not into the channel bound look (at least with this tele finish), and would rather have a normal rosewood top or a regular white/cream binding. The neck also feels a bit big and wide which is probably due to the nut being 1.685, the fatter U or D shape with the wide shoulders, and prob the compound radius, but I feel like I'll be able to adjust.

I really wish Fender offered a more American Standard neck with 21 frets,1.650 nut, medium-jumbo frets, standard C, headstock adjust, with the light amber finish (+ satin finish with rolled edges) in both maple and and rosewood fingerboards, which was basically their de facto standard for years. For some reason, they don't seem to offer that which makes no sense to me.

Anyways, here's pics:

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Matthias

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Sweet Tele!

I got a US Am Special neck recently. Fantastic quality. Frets are great and the nut needs no more work than a factory set-up guitar. Worth the premium IMHO.
 

AAT65

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Beautiful looking guitar!
Those channel bound necks look fantastic. That includes the better visibility of the side markers compared to a standard rosewood fingerboard where the markers are half on maple and half on rosewood.
As far as I can see the only channel-bound necks Fender offer as parts just now are 9.5-14” compound radius — nothing really wrong with that, but it would be nice to see them offer a straight 9.5” radius too.
 

jondom22

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So I was playing the crap out of the guitar over the weekend, but started to get some significant pain on the main knuckle below my index finger. Gave it a few days rest and was playing for about 5-10 minutes and found it to be causing pain again. Not something I experienced before with the same guitar as well as any other guitar ive owned.

Could the 1.685 nut width really be contributing that much of an effect? It's also labeled as a Modern C profile, but if feels a bit wide with larger shoulders. The strat neck I have on my jazzmaster is also a modern C (and MIM Fender Deluxe from 2007) feels much smaller. The strat neck is 1.650" nut and 12" radius, and Im pretty sure is smaller profile even though its supposed to be the same (I measured the American Channel bound neck with calipers at the 1st and 12th fret as both approx 0.87").

The old neck on it was a musikraft medium chunky C, and ive also felt comfortable on a player tele that was also a bit chunkier, but both of these guitars again had 1.650" nuts.

I also don't have a problem with my 1996 ES-335 dot reissue at all, nor do i rememeber having a problem with my 2000 American Deluxe Strat that I had until 2007 which did have a 1.685 nut.

Curious if others have experienced something similar, where a specific nut width or neck profile caused a noticeable pain in your fretting hand?

If this does seem to be an issue, I'd debate whether I should take to a tech to possibly slim down the shoulders a bit, or return to Fender and ask them since the profile is measured pretty big compared to the specs on their website, and either exchange for a different one, or find something else.

EDIT: One other thing I forgot to mention is that I have not taken it to a tech to properly file the nut slots yet. So with 11s the nut slots are prob a bit high and narrow as you can see the wound strings sitting a bit over the slots instead of fully in the slot. Not sure if that's the main culprit since the most pressure for bending is obv in the lowest part of the neck where the nut height would have the most effect on string pressure needed to fret and bend.
 
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ponycar

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You indicated that you liked the feel of having "11s" on it, but I'd try lighter strings asap and see if that solves the problem. I have fairly small hands but find a wider board and fat neck comfortable, but it's all subjective. I also play 9s.
 

jondom22

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You indicated that you liked the feel of having "11s" on it, but I'd try lighter strings asap and see if that solves the problem. I have fairly small hands but find a wider board and fat neck comfortable, but it's all subjective. I also play 9s.
I actually first tried 10s but found them to be too slinky. I also regularly play 11s on my jazzmaster with the strat neck, and my 335 (tho obv the 335 scale length makes 11s feel like 10.5s)
 

jondom22

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EDIT: One other thing I forgot to mention is that I have not taken it to a tech to properly file the nut slots yet. So with 11s the nut slots are prob a bit high and narrow as you can see the wound strings sitting a bit over the slots instead of fully in the slot. Not sure if that's the main culprit since the most pressure for bending is obv in the lowest part of the neck where the nut height would have the most effect on string pressure needed to fret and bend.
 

Wound_Up

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Nice neck! I'm partial to Kenny Wayne Shepherd's 2 prototype channel bound necks that are rosewood necks w/ maple fretboards

Made like this one, only they're maple inlaid into a rosewood neck. Just the opposite of the OP's. Fender was supposed to have only made 4 prototypes at the time and Kenny has 2.

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MelodicBend

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I love the specs and the whole idea of this neck's existence. I'm looking into building a partscaster around it if I ever get around to pulling the trigger on one.

Jon, play an acoustic exclusively for a while and try again. The wider nut width is probably causing strain on those muscle and tendon memorized hands of yours. I have the exact opposite problem with the narrower 1 5/8 inch width which basically rules out any MIM or Squier spec EVER for me. lol. I guess I can live with it if it means setting an artificial limit on buy-able guitars. Self control is a premium commodity when it comes to gear as you most surely know.

Please report back. Are you able to get past the difference or are you going back to your previous spec?
 

jondom22

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I love the specs and the whole idea of this neck's existence. I'm looking into building a partscaster around it if I ever get around to pulling the trigger on one.

Jon, play an acoustic exclusively for a while and try again. The wider nut width is probably causing strain on those muscle and tendon memorized hands of yours. I have the exact opposite problem with the narrower 1 5/8 inch width which basically rules out any MIM or Squier spec EVER for me. lol. I guess I can live with it if it means setting an artificial limit on buy-able guitars. Self control is a premium commodity when it comes to gear as you most surely know.

Please report back. Are you able to get past the difference or are you going back to your previous spec?
Hey, I played with it more and figured it’s prob a combination of the nut needing to be properly cut (they only do pilot slots from the factory) and also the bound fender neck having wider shoulders than their more typical modern C. So I took it to my tech to finally file the nut (and poss do a fret level/crown/polish, tho it’s pretty level and crowned good from the factory), and will see how it goes.

Been playing my acoustic more recently, which is a 17 year old cheapo takamine that sounds great but has high action that i can’t fix on my own without having a tech widdle down the bridge. I can tell even on that the I prefer it’s more regular C shape than the wider shoulders of the channel bound neck.

Also finally went to sam ash to try some American ultras/professionals/performers which all have 1.685 width nuts but different fret sizes and radius’. I could tell the ultra neck was perfect with the medium jumbos and compound radius ahd modern C. So it’ll just be a question of whether I get used to the wider D shape shoulders of the channel bound or will need to have it possibly filed down a bit. Watching a recent video by Pushieen (the offset guitar YouTuber), he recently said that fender’s bound necks typically have wider shoulders and thus more of a D profile, which may explain what’s going on.

In an ideal world, fender would sell there standard Ultra neck in RW and Maple boards like they sell the Performer and Professional necks, but I’ll see how it goes and hoping the channel bound is here to stay with me.
 

fretknot

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So I was playing the crap out of the guitar over the weekend, but started to get some significant pain on the main knuckle below my index finger. Gave it a few days rest and was playing for about 5-10 minutes and found it to be causing pain again. Not something I experienced before with the same guitar as well as any other guitar ive owned.

Could the 1.685 nut width really be contributing that much of an effect? It's also labeled as a Modern C profile, but if feels a bit wide with larger shoulders. The strat neck I have on my jazzmaster is also a modern C (and MIM Fender Deluxe from 2007) feels much smaller. The strat neck is 1.650" nut and 12" radius, and Im pretty sure is smaller profile even though its supposed to be the same (I measured the American Channel bound neck with calipers at the 1st and 12th fret as both approx 0.87").

The old neck on it was a musikraft medium chunky C, and ive also felt comfortable on a player tele that was also a bit chunkier, but both of these guitars again had 1.650" nuts.

I also don't have a problem with my 1996 ES-335 dot reissue at all, nor do i rememeber having a problem with my 2000 American Deluxe Strat that I had until 2007 which did have a 1.685 nut.

Curious if others have experienced something similar, where a specific nut width or neck profile caused a noticeable pain in your fretting hand?

If this does seem to be an issue, I'd debate whether I should take to a tech to possibly slim down the shoulders a bit, or return to Fender and ask them since the profile is measured pretty big compared to the specs on their website, and either exchange for a different one, or find something else.

EDIT: One other thing I forgot to mention is that I have not taken it to a tech to properly file the nut slots yet. So with 11s the nut slots are prob a bit high and narrow as you can see the wound strings sitting a bit over the slots instead of fully in the slot. Not sure if that's the main culprit since the most pressure for bending is obv in the lowest part of the neck where the nut height would have the most effect on string pressure needed to fret and bend.
Definitely can relate. I find the slight V shape to be the most fatigue-free for me. I feel that the profile makes more difference than the nut width in my case. Not a fan of D-shaped necks, Modern C is okay. I love the slim taper neck of the early 60s Gibsons. I would like to see something close to that on a Tele.
 

Skydog1010

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I had a channel bound Tele neck, just never fell in love with it, put it on a MIM Road Worn CAR body and sold it.
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jondom22

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I had a channel bound Tele neck, just never fell in love with it, put it on a MIM Road Worn CAR body and sold it.
View attachment 1066057 View attachment 1066058
Ya I actually love how the neck plays now that I took it to my tech to properly file the nut slots (they only come with pilot slots) and to level/dress the frets. Aesthetically, I'm also not a huge fan of the channel bound look, it really needs the right color body to work with it as opposed to a white/cream bound neck (or unbound neck).

One of the last steps on my tele journey (so far have chenged pickups, bridge, neck, and tuners) has been figuring out if I want a thinline or not. I've realized after a year of playing it that the thinlines produce a more transient/plunky attack/decay response than a solid body, and that the lighter woods (redwood top + pine sides/back in my case) in combination with body style produces a very wide-frequency sound. By itself, especially clean or edge of breakup is such a pure sound that really feels 3D, but I've been finding myself grabbing an EQ or compressor by default to help focus the sound a bit.


Thus, I finally put in an order with MJT for a solid alder body. I'm going to have it finished in some type of yellow-ish hue (what he calls his vintage white, desert sand, butterscotch, or a mustard yellow type of gold) with a white/parchment pickguard which I think will work best to provide some contrast for the maple "binding," while not detracting too much from the rest of the guitar. I'll be sending him my neck before he begins the painting process of the body so he can help me pick a shade that works best.Gonna be another 4-10 weeks til I'm due to receive the body, so will be updating the thread prob in feb or march sometime. Some shots of what I'm going for color-wise below, but could also be enticed towards an aztec or firemist gold (maybe with binding to match the maple part of the neck?):

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Skydog1010

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I would have chosen the top photo or a tad lighter. Binding on the body would be nice. If I was doing a custom body, I would invest in contouring it, with binding. Here's a G&L I sold. El'naturel'
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