Quality Control on Fender Replacement Necks Anyone?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by WilburBufferson, Jul 23, 2021.

  1. WilburBufferson

    WilburBufferson Friend of Leo's

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    I went to buy a road worn 72 Telecaster Deluxe neck today. Brand new from a store. Took a fret rocker to it and, man, there were high/low frets everywhere -- probably 6 or 7 and the humps an bumps were all over the place: treble side, bass side, in the middle. This thing needed a fret dress, literally, straight out of the box. I looked at two other brand new Fender replacement necks: roasted maple with satin and gloss urethane finishes. They were better, but still, each had at least 4 frets that needed dressing.

    These necks weren't cheap. The RW was $600 plus tax, and the others were each $450 plus tax. I know there are companies like Warmoth and Musicraft and others that make/supply replacement necks, but at this point I am not sure what to do. I could spend the same amount of money and have the same problems, right? Should I just ditch the guitar and start over (i.e., buy the "whole" rather than assemble the "parts") or how should I go about getting a good quality neck for my Deluxe?
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2021
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  2. pi

    pi Tele-Meister

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    Even if you tried again with a new neck, there's still a chance it needs work.

    If you already bought it, you may as well work with it. If you don't want to do it yourself, a tech would get it fixed up for you.
     
  3. Boreas

    Boreas Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    I am not sure of the process you used to measure the frets, but you didn't mention any truss rod adjustments to start with a straight neck before using the rocker. This usually requires a notched straightedge. If you have a bow anywhere in the neck, you are going to get "high" or "low" frets from a fret rocker. I am not saying you CAN'T find bad frets that way, but it isn't how I would do it.

    That being said, I have always been under the assumption that any new neck is sold with the caveat it likely needs a fret dressing. If the manufacturer specifically states the frets are flat, then they should back it up.
     
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  4. WilburBufferson

    WilburBufferson Friend of Leo's

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    Ah, the old neck has been through two techs. It plays fine, but I want something with a more woody feel in the hand: roasted maple, or thin nitro. To be clear, the old neck is gone/sold. I went to the store today to buy the Fender Road Worn one, but left empty handed because I didn't want to spend $700 on a neck that needed that much work. Plus, I don't like the damage they call "relicing" -- I am okay with a thin finish, but there's no way I'd ever let the headstock get scraped the way they do it. In other words: I'm shopping for a new neck, or selling the rest and looking for a new "whole" guitar!
     
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  5. WilburBufferson

    WilburBufferson Friend of Leo's

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    The fellow at the store was great, and yes, we looked at it with the notched straightedge and did see humps and bumps.
     
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  6. GAS Giant

    GAS Giant Tele-Meister

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    I have had excellent luck with Musikraft necks through MJT...no adjustments...all straight with good fret work. They feel good.
    I have also had excellent luck with Warmoth...pricey, sloooooow, but bulletproof. I wish they would do something a little bit aged, but that is not their thing. Impeccable work.

    I have had some Fender necks on MIM not be worth anything, but I bought a Fender USA jazz bass neck for about $600 and it is straight and needed nothing, just bolt on and set up. It feels better than some other replacement Jazz bass necks I have played.
     
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  7. Boreas

    Boreas Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    What did the dealer have to say about the frets?
     
  8. pi

    pi Tele-Meister

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    Ah, in that case I'd go the Warmoth route--I've had a few necks and they always do good work.

    Musickraft also looks appealing, especially because they have a wide variety of back shapes to choose from, but I've never tried them.

    Also, you might look at the Stratosphere, which sells parted-out guitars. Since the necks were already previously installed on a guitar, they might have had a factory set-up applied to them. I bought a Strat neck from them once and I used without requiring any extra work.
     
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  9. Boreas

    Boreas Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    I don't mind mild "wear" on one of those necks, but I don't like to see "damage" or "excess wear" I wasn't personally responsible for. Just my $0.02.
     
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  10. Boreas

    Boreas Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    The best neck I have is a Mitey Mite. But I bought it fully set up and don't know what the frets were like when new.
     
  11. WilburBufferson

    WilburBufferson Friend of Leo's

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    He agreed that the neck was "not on" and would likely be sent back.
     
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  12. WilburBufferson

    WilburBufferson Friend of Leo's

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    I was contemplating MJT for some nice finish work, but I wan't NO damage and no logo installed. His website says that he has a special headstock shape and doesn't do a finish without relicing. This is what is keeping me away, but I should call them.
     
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  13. ReverendRevolver

    ReverendRevolver Friend of Leo's

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    You can buy roasted maple fender necks for around $300, maybe reach out to an online vendor and explain your current situation for input before ordering.
     
  14. uriah1

    uriah1 Telefied Gold Supporter

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    I bought a new Am std authorized neck and an old neck. I still
    prefer old ones since I like a little wear on the frets.
     
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  15. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I have had excellent MIM Fender necks. I was coveting a couple Fender replacement necks at the local store before covid came. They were $225 and beautiful. Never took a rocker to them though. Frankly I would not worry about the fretboard, set it up and then check frets and play it. It has a warranty.
    By "worn" do you mean relic'd?
    Why pay $600 for a neck?
    Stratosphere on Ebay usually sells good 'take off' Fender necks for about $225 also.
     
  16. viking

    viking Friend of Leo's

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    Why couldnt you just have it levelled ?
    You will probably end up having to do that to most necks anyway.
    And yes , the base ball bat " Nocaster " Fender neck I bought , required lots of attention before working right.
     
  17. rstaaf

    rstaaf Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    I have at least 6 Fender replacement necks and I haven't had an issue with ANY of them.
    I take that back, I did send one of them back and got a replacement. That was a cosmetic issue though.

    I probably wouldn't mind fiddling with leveling a few frets, really depends on your expectations.
    The more a neck costs, the less I am usually inclined to want to fiddle with it.
    I think you said one was $600, I would probably send it back and get another. The other issue is time.
    There are times when I just don't want to wait for a replacement and I am more willing to fix things I normally wouldn't.

    I guess what I am saying, there is no right or wrong here. I have not noticed any unusual issues with Fender QC.

    I would send the neck(s) back at what you paid. You have to do what makes you feel comfortable.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2021
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  18. WilburBufferson

    WilburBufferson Friend of Leo's

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    Yes, the "road worn" series is Fender's MIM way of doing relics. And that's what they cost here in Canada.
     
  19. WilburBufferson

    WilburBufferson Friend of Leo's

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    This is what I have decided to do. Thanks for tipping the scale for me!
     
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