Warmoth Necks

Discussion in 'Other T-Types and Partscasters' started by oregomike, May 12, 2019.

  1. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Friend of Leo's

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    Yet another reason I don't patronize Warmoth. Very limiting "pre-canned" products is the first. You usually can't break out of certain, very important, options, like fretboard radius, or truss rod style, within a certain neck model. I can't tell you the number of times I have started spec'ing a Warmoth neck, only to scrap it because the 10" radius, or some other fairly typically spec'able feature that matters to me, is locked in. Secondly, they are not very open to custom requests IME. Thirdly, they don't have very many neck profiles. Finally, their fret work is incomplete...not to mention that a 30 end degree bevel and glued in frets aren't the ideal way to do things IMO.

    The only other big custom neck maker I have used who doesn't send their necks out of the shop with fully finished fret work is B. Hefner, who charges $120 extra (and he is also a real piece of work IME). Musikraft and Guitar Mill make necks with more "where the rubber meets the road" options, and do top notch fret work as a matter of course (especially Guitar Mill) for no extra charge. Haven't used USACG, so can't say.

    Warmoth didn't used to be this way, but they have become extremely robotic in recent decades. They are known for interesting wood options; that's "their thing." They also have about a billion inlays (most extremely cheesy) to choose from. And their quality is usually fine, fretwork aside. If that's what you want, that's a good place to go. But most other to-spec makers offer more in the ways of tweaking the important "beyond the cosmetic" options to your personal preferences.
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2019
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  2. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Seems like we see the most complaints about the cheapest and the most expensive necks, but less complaints about the mid priced including I guess Mighty Mite, Allparts and WD.
    I prefer Allparts but we often have a brand we get good results with and stick to.

    I guess we want to "get what we pay for", and buyers of high price parts might expect them to work better.

    Not always the case!
     
  3. tfarny

    tfarny Friend of Leo's

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    I don't know, you can custom spec quite a lot of stuff from Warmoth, but not everything. You can get 10" radius on anything but their Pure Vintage construction, for instance. You do end up paying more for each customization including some that don't really cost them anything - just a different button on the CNC, but if you are willing to just browse the showcase and wait a while, well, nobody has their in-stock selection and I like to see the wood before I buy it.
     
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  4. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    For me a 30 degree bevel kind of kills the usefulness of a neck.
    I want the space for the strings more than I want a rounded soft feel.
    This whole rolled fingerboard rolled fret ends thing has moved toward the couch and away from the music!

    But in stock necks are not fretted yet, so it shouldn't cost that much to have them bevel less or even not at all?
     
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  5. Jsil13

    Jsil13 Tele-Holic

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    I've had 4 Warmoth necks and they've all been great for me. Much nicer than the Allparts necks that I've used. I haven't had to level or crown any frets, but I also didn't check how level they were. I just installed them and played them. They've all fit perfectly and I haven't had any issues with them.
     
  6. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I presume the extra cost is having to take your custom order neck off the production cart and run it down the line with individual requests at every operation.
    Keeping the line moving costs half as much as looking at a spec list every step of the way.
    Changing the CNC settings probably take a lot longer than the actual milling, and you have to make sure the neck you mill at the changed setting is reunited with the spec sheet, so you don't put Joes board radius on Jakes profile then give it Freds headstock and Friedas frets!
     
  7. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Friend of Leo's

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    It's 30 degrees from 0 degrees being north. Meaning its a very vertical bevel. I.e. you would like it. This is from the page that was linked to above.

    I never run out of fret room, even on my bound '68 Gibsons with their very narrow nut (narrower than a Fender). I want a very smooth fret end...on the couch or anywhere else.
     
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  8. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Hahahaha OK I won't judge you for wanting a comfy neck!
    Playing Esquires might be enough discomfort...

    I like my Esquires with pretty square fret ends so the nut can stay fairly wide and the edge stays roomy.
    We've had threads where buyers of CS relics found the fret ends so over beveled they ended up getting a refret, which was still limited because Wildwood spec'd the board to be beveled quite a bit as well.

    So I'm complaining about the most extreme bevel, not so much a common middle of the road bevel. Most players don't want as steep a bevel as I like either.
     
  9. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

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    Most aftermarket necks are pretty much just put together, no real craftmanship involved.. No leveling, little deburring of fret ends etc. I think it's a shame they dont tell you that you need to be a luthier to finish the neck. Not to mention that the fretboard edge may be very sharp and rounding it even slightly is difficult after it's fretted. Before fretting it's literally a 2 minute job. However, many of the necks will work as provided.

    OTOH, you can get a replacement MIM Fender neck new for about $200 with nut installed, and the fret ends are finished, fretboard edges not sharp and the neck is finished too. Leveling? Not sure but they seem to be very good.
     
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  10. beep.click

    beep.click Poster Extraordinaire

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    I've had good luck with Warmoth frets, but every single neck has had the tuner holes too small. Have to take them to the shop, every time, for reaming -- since I don't want to buy a $60 tool.

    Last time, I even ordered the tuners from Warmoth at the same time, to "make sure" they would fit. Nope.
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2019
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  11. Beachbum

    Beachbum Friend of Leo's

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    I suspect that the person who wrote that was looking for super low action in which case almost any production guitar or neck would need fretwork to achieve that. I set my action at medium to medium low and haven't had to do fretwork on any of my 15 guitars including the two that have Warmoth necks.
     
  12. tele_savales

    tele_savales Tele-Meister

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    It's not just whatever the neck is finished in? I got one with a painted headstock and it took some work to open the holes up a bit. I was surprised to have to do it on a satin nitro finish as well. At least by then I owned a reamer.
     
  13. Milspec

    Milspec Friend of Leo's

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    A very valid point was made by "schmee" and deserves repeating: Fender does produce quality necks as well for about the same money.

    Companies like Warmoth made their bones by offerring a wide selection of woods over Fender and if that is what you want, you have to go that route to get it. What surprises me is why so many will buy from after-market builders but select the same woods and styles as what is already offerred through Fender. I have yet to find an after-market neck that fit the pocket better than a Fender neck heal for example. You should still re-cut the nut on any production neck as they are normally cut for high action by procedure with the expectation that owners who want lower action will make the adjustments later.

    All those pros "back in the day" that had to shave down their necks or a dozen other changes to get the neck to their liking must be laughing their ass off listening to us complain about a neck that wasn't perfect from the factory.
     
  14. tfarny

    tfarny Friend of Leo's

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    I have never, ever had to do this. The holes should be snug. Once or twice I rolled up some sandpaper to ream it out. Are you sure you're ordering the right tuners to fit the holes?
     
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  15. DanoCC

    DanoCC TDPRI Member

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    Man, really sorry that you have encountered so much grief with their tuner holes. I have used 14 necks from Warmoth, ten of them have been unfinished (Pau Ferro, Goncalo Alves, Indian Rosewood, Roasted Maple, etc.) There have been no issues with tuner holes on those being too small. The finished necks have at times had a little bit of the finish in the tuner holes that made the tuner hard to get in, but all that was needed was to take an $8 T-handle reamer and remove the lacquer and they slid right in. And I agree, the frets have all been fine. I have not had to do much of anything to the frets for them to play very well. I have dressed a few sharp edges, but I would not call that a real big issue.
     
  16. Old Deaf Roadie

    Old Deaf Roadie Tele-Holic

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    Thanx!
     
  17. Keefsdad

    Keefsdad Tele-Holic

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    Would the glued in frets make it difficult to refret, I wonder?
     
  18. Ian T

    Ian T Tele-Holic

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    I have 7 Warmoth necks, 8 is on the way. Also 2 Musikraft and one Allparts. Have not tried USACG yet.

    Each Warmoth neck has been perfect, as far as I'm concerned. Awesome necks! Never any issue with high or low frets, setup is always consistent, no issue with fret ends, every guitar plays awesome. I reckon they have their fretwork installation process totally dialed. The frets come without any crown and polish, brand new perfectly rounded and untouched, which I personally love. The roasted maple and stainless frets with compound radius and Vintage Modern construction is my preference.

    The Musikraft necks are a sanded a little smoother and have some fret finishing done, but I don't see that enough of a reason to pay more and wait longer. If you find a profile you like, that would be the determining factor.

    Wood does move a bit, so even if you have your neck plek'd, a week later in a different climate, and it would probably have moved a bit, too and be imperfect. Thus, Warmoth's disclaimer.

    If you are a super low action shredder type guy then you should probably just have whatever you buy plek'd. Otherwise, I would have no worries, whatsoever.
     
  19. adjason

    adjason Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I thought it was just luck but the first guitar neck I ever made I just pressed the frets in without a level and crown. It played well then and it still plays well years later...maybe that is what they do...now I just level and crown automatically but maybe I should rethink that
     
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  20. urbandefault

    urbandefault Tele-Meister

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    Theoretically, if the fret slots are cut correctly and the frets are radiused correctly and the pressing caul is the correct radius or they are hammered in correctly, they should not need to be glued in. By extension, if everything falls into place there should be no need to level and crown.

    But all things being equal, all things are not equal.

    Dan Erlewine glues in frets, and he's done about a million individual frets over his career. Watch some of his videos. They're good.

    That said, I've used several Warmoth necks and never had a problem. Frets have been close to dead on straight out of the box. I usually install a nut myself, but I have on occasion had them do it at the factory. Corian & Tusq, both options done well, but needed fine tuning. That's to be expected.

    Wood and metal and humans are funny things, and they don't always interact well. But most times they do.

    Except for the humans. They're weird. :lol:
     
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