Super Cheap Necks on Ebay: Buy or Pass?

give me the toan

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Blue Bill

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I got one of those block inlay bound necks a couple years ago. I re-shaped the headstock, stained it amber, slapped on a decal, nitro sprayed and polished it, had the shop level the frets. It wasn't too bad, for the price. I just tonight, swapped it out for a used American Fender Tele neck I got from a TDPRI bud, what a difference! It feels like a real Tele now. The chinese neck bowed back and forth with changes in humidity; not terrible, but annoying. It's worth the price, but you still are getting a $60 product.

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stratisfied

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I used the very same necks from song-maker on ebay for both of these. No problems whatsoever. I polished the frets and didn't even have to set the neck relief as they were dead-on straight with no high frets as-received. I had the wizard of wood, Freeman Keller, veneer the headstocks to match the pickguards on these. He was so kind as to share his technique with me which I have used on multiple builds since these.


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give me the toan

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I used the very same necks from song-maker on ebay for both of these. No problems whatsover. I polisjed the frets and didn't even have to set the neck relief as they were dead-on straight with no high frets as received. I had the wood wizaed Freeman Keller veneer the headstocks to match the pickguards back who shared his technigue with me which I have used on multiple builds since these.


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Damn, that's pretty awesome. I guess the neck plays just as good as it looks?
 

stratisfied

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Yes. They are actually really nice necks.

There was a mixup on my order and the necks I received were the vintage pumpkin orange instead of clear finish. The seller offered to send replacements but I just stripped and resprayed them. The color was in the finish and was tough as nails. Solvents/strippers had no affect on it. I just used a box cutter blade like a spoke shave and carefully scraped the finish off. It went really fast.
 

nojazzhere

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As title says, I found a variety of ~$60 necks on Ebay, seems to be from Yinfente:

https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_fr....m570.l1313&_nkw=24+inch+guitar+neck&_sacat=0

The low cost makes me a little hesitant, but the opportunity to nab a sixty dollar neck with block inlays is very tempting...

What do you all think of this? Does anyone have experience in using these necks?
Not block inlay, but Guitar Fetish has a decent selection of necks in that general price range. https://www.guitarfetish.com/Unfini...-Tele-Neck-Rosewood-Fingerboard-_p_43846.html
 

ElJay370

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In my experience, here’s what you can expect from sub $100 dollar Chinese necks:

- Garbage fret work
- Heels that don’t even come close to fitting in a standard pocket
- If finished, totally gobbed up with poly. If unfinished, loaded with scratches and tooling marks.
- A worthless, poorly fitted plastic nut you’ll have to replace.
- Tuner holes outsized and misaligned.
- Occasional non functioning truss rods.
- Less than accurate headstock shapes. (Although this is likely intentional)

Of course, there are countless sources and you might get lucky, but to me it’s worth avoiding the hassle and spending a little extra on a licensed Allparts or Mighty Mite neck
 
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mkdaws32

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Had a couple - usable with some work as @Blue Bill said, but you get what you pay for - I wouldn’t do it again when I can get much better “budget” necks from Allparts or Mighty Mite (or Solo guitars here in Canada), or even off a pawn-shop Squier. My experience is about the same as @ElJay370 . I got one where the nut was installed too far back from the first fret and had to be removed and the slot filled and reslotted in the proper place. You can get lucky, but you take your chances on flushing $60. Also, the fret wire is often very soft and wears very quickly.
 

zippofan

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They're ok, I bought a maple/"rosewood" (some kind of dark mystery wood) neck painted black to replace a HB neck that I messed up removing the nut. I had to level and dress the frets, it plays decently now but it's worth what I paid for it.
I'll be replacing it soon with a roasted maple/rosewood neck I have coming from Reverb this week. I installed P90 style pickups and they sound awesome, the guitar deserves to play as good as it sounds.
 

ghostchord

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I got one of those block inlay bound necks a couple years ago. I re-shaped the headstock, stained it amber, slapped on a decal, nitro sprayed and polished it, had the shop level the frets. It wasn't too bad, for the price. I just tonight, swapped it out for a used American Fender Tele neck I got from a TDPRI bud, what a difference! It feels like a real Tele now. The chinese neck bowed back and forth with changes in humidity; not terrible, but annoying. It's worth the price, but you still are getting a $60 product.

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Since I'm just building a neck I'm wondering if you can elaborate on what makes the Fender neck so different than the other neck? Is it the fret work? The shape? Thickness? Width? The finish/smoothness? I have quite a few guitars and they all feel a little different but I can't quite put my finger on what makes one neck "better". I have a PRS with a rather thick neck and a Strat with a thinner neck and they both feel very nice to play...
 

RolandG

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My experience has been shoddy fretwork, including fret slots in the wrong position
 

FuncleManson

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I've used more affordable necks as well as one Warmoth and one Musikraft. My experiences with the cheaper necks ($120-130ish because I'm looking for SS frets) are similar to what others have said. You can find great ones, but I think it's more of a crapshoot than buying from the custom builders or Fender, Allparts, etc.

I still have two affordable Chinese necks I need to use--a $130 with SS frets and a $79 with a scalloped fretboard (I wanted to try it 'cause I've never played one) and nickel frets. When I'm done with those though, I think I'll be sticking with the custom builders. Depending on what specs you're looking for, if you're willing to do some finishing and install your own nut, it's not all that much more expensive.
 

ghostchord

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I've used 2 cheap necks. Both don't have stability issues. The nut and frets are in the right locations... One (that came with a cheap Tele kit) is pretty decent, fretwork was ok, feels nice to play. Didn't mess with it at all. The other (with a scarf joint) had terrible fret work, sharp edges which would be unplayable without filing down, high frets, it also doesn't seem to be tapered at all. Both these necks came with a paddle headstock which I shaped and drilled for tuners etc.

At the end of the day, I'm pretty sure these are mass produced CNC made bits. The maple is maple (not the choicest figured/flamed whatnot). The parts that are done by hand which is probably installing the nut and the frets is going to be hit and miss... With some elbow grease some of this stuff can be fixed.
 

Old Smokey

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I bought a Yinfente neck recently for a project. I haven’t finished it yet, but it looks totally fine to me. I’m not expecting to build something of higher quality than what you’d typically get on a Chinese guitar (Eastman excepted).
 

Kiwi_Neil

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As has been said, a CNC machine doesn't know (or care) where it is located. Only people have that predisposed idea that something made in one place MUST be good, and something made in another place MUST be no good at all! A Warmoth rep stated in these very pages a year or two back that all necks could require some attention on the frets etc due to climatic changes and so on. That's certainly true no matter the price range of the neck or where it was made. Personally, I cannot justify the outrageous prices of some necks (and guitars) from the main suppliers when the neck that I have in my hands at the moment (from China and which is going on my project guitar re-build) is every bit as good as the neck on my Epiphone SG and acoustic guitars.
 




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