Is changing a strat neck difficult?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by mikenixon316, Feb 2, 2008.

  1. mikenixon316

    mikenixon316 Member

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    I'll admit that I'm pretty incompetent at guitar mods/repairs but I want to put the original neck back on my MIJ strat that I replaced with an Allparts 12" radius neck last year. I think I prefer the vintage radius and frets of the original neck after all!

    So is changing necks difficult? How tight are you meant to screw the neck in? How much is too tight, how much is too loose? What's the optimum tightness? Does changing the neck screw up intonation and other aspects of the setup?

    Also I'll have to take the tuners and string trees off and put them onto the other neck? Is this hard? Anything I should be wary of before I start?
    I don't want to waste time and money on getting a tech to do it for me if it can be done simply at home, but is it wiser to get a pro to do it if I want it done right?
     
  2. Rosewood

    Rosewood Member

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    In your case it will probably be an easy job by reinstalling a neck that was previously on that body. Not sure how to tell you how tight for the screws, just don't over tighten. I would also recheck the intonation because of slight differences in the necks. I think you'll be fine.
     
  3. Rosewood

    Rosewood Member

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    BTW, some people tighten wood screws like they are holding a car tire on, just tighten until it's snug, one half tun too much will strip the threads out of the wood. Maybe someone with more adjectives than I can explain how tight.
     
  4. Dana Olsen

    Dana Olsen Gold Supporting Member

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    Putting the orig neck back on isn't hard. I disagree about the level of tightness - don't kill yourself trying to overtighten the screws, but "snug" isn't nearly enough. Those screws need to be tight - as I wrote, don't try to kill yourself, but make 'em tight. Don't try to bend the backplate, but it may bend a little bit. But first ...

    Couple things. You're almost certainly gonna have to setup up the guitar after you change necks - the difference in radius alone makes that necessary, not to mention differences in dimensions. The setup isn't optional - you're going to have to do it, or have it done, period. Your bridge is currently adjusted for a 12" radius, so if it's setup right now, the action will be too low on the middle strings with a vintage radius, and too high on the outside strings. It'll probably be off a little everywhere, so plan on a setup. Wait a day or two for the orig beck to get used to having strings on again before you do the setup and truss rod adjustment if necessary.

    Summary: Changing the neck is easy. Loosen the screws, switch the necks, tighten the screws back. Make sure the top string and bottom string are both parallel to their own edge of the neck so that neither is too close to the edge and alls off while you're playing. Use some kind of torque sequence as you near the final tightening, and make sure the screws are tight and make sure the neck is properly aligned before the final tightening.

    Hope this helps, Dana O.
     
  5. Blue4Now

    Blue4Now Gold Supporting Member

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    I was actually thinking about doing the reverse, changing the neck on my 80's 57 reissue MIJ to a flatter radius and bigger frets. Can you tell me why you like the vintage specs better? I have some strats with modern specs also.
     
  6. Lucidology

    Lucidology Member

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    Dropped a finished, one piece Maple conversion neck from Warmoth
    on one of my Strat's a couple of months ago...

    & the exception happened ... did not have to set the action ..
    It was perfect ....
    & I only had to intonate the high E-string .. all the rest were right on..

    I was in shock it was such a breeze to do ...

    Note: I use a radius marker to adjust my bridges &
    fake my 9.5 radius strats into thinking they are flatter
    (learned this from Jeff Beck's git tech in a GP article ....)
     
  7. Mike9

    Mike9 Supporting Member

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    Warmoth quality is top shelf - I always level & dress frets on new necks, but on Warmoth necks I usually only have to kiss them to get them level. It takes longer to round the ends off.
     
  8. 900

    900 Member

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    It CAN be like that, but it also can be the opposite, up to not being able to use the new neck without a major setup job.
     
  9. alvagoldbook

    alvagoldbook Member

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    all I can say is never put a screw in too tight. Use your own good judgment on that. the only other thing I can add is to make sure you use the right sized screwdriver with the right sized tip for whatever particular screw you are loosening or tightening. You don't want to strip screw heads and then never be able to take them off.
     

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