Need advice on swapping necks on a Strat

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Docgab, Apr 15, 2016.

  1. Docgab

    Docgab Member

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    I have a really great 1998 '57 RI Strat. My only problem with it is that the neck is a little small for me.

    I would like to swap out the neck for a Clapton neck. Any one done this?

    Would I have any problems with intonation or set up?

    Thanks for any advice.
     
  2. LReese

    LReese Member

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    I don't think a Clapton neck would buy you much in the "bigger" department. That is unless you like that particular neck.

    You might do as well with a refret with tall wire as an alternative. I've improved playability on a few by doing that - a little difference makes for a different feel.

    Shoud just be a bolt on mod - setup should be easy-peasy like most any Fender replacement neck. Might nave to shim a little, but most likely not.
     
  3. VaughnC

    VaughnC Supporting Member

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    In my experience, swapping necks is seldom "bolt & play". For good playability, the frets will likely need leveled & recrowned, and the nut slot depths/widths will likely need adjusted.
     
  4. doghouseman

    doghouseman Member

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    In my experience, it depends on how picky you are, but you should not have much of a problem. Just bolt the new one on, see what it feels like. Intonation should be close, because that is a bridge adjustment. Just adjust the truss rod, and you should be good. If not, just put the old neck back on....
     
  5. 71strat

    71strat Member

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    At the least you may be ale to tell if you like it or not.

    IMHO I also agree that for me, I would do a completely new set up, see if the frets/nut need attention.

    But I have all my guitars Pleked, so if the neck has never been Pleked or professionally set up, and never had the frets leveled... Id go that route if I like the neck feel.
     
  6. Docgab

    Docgab Member

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    Thanks for all of the advice.
     
  7. toomanyamps

    toomanyamps Member

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    From the AVRIs and the Claptons I have played I would have no expectations of a Clapton being bigger. Now I don't know your guitar and if it has a neck that is smaller than average for the model,or if you have a line on a particular Clapton neck that is larger than average.
     
  8. galibier_un

    galibier_un Supporting Member

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    Of course, you also my be thinking of future resale.

    From this perspective, you might want to store that neck and buy one to make "your own". Tommy at USA Custom Guitars is a great guy to walk you through your preferences (no affiliation, other than being a happy customer). As others have previously said, you'll be starting fresh, and depending on how low you like your action, you might require a fret "touch up" (leveling/crowning), and of course a nut.

    Cheers,
    Thom
     
    Boris Bubbanov likes this.
  9. DustyRhodesJr

    DustyRhodesJr Supporting Member

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  10. Synex7254

    Synex7254 Member

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    Funny that you mention the 57 neck profile being too small whereas most on TGP will prefer a smaller C Neck profile. IMO the Clapton neck is the perfect Strat neck.

    As far as the actual neck swap, the Clapton neck will fit without any mods needed. The radius will be flatter...9.5 versus 7.25. Many on here complain about not liking the rounder radius so be sue to play the Clapton before you do anything. If it is still "too small" then I would recommend looking into the Boatneck neck profile on Warmoth. I have one and it's quite chunky...think Fender 50's Nocaster, etc.
     
  11. Mpcoluv

    Mpcoluv Supporting Member

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    You won't hurt values if you keep the original neck and don't screw the body up.
    You will have to adjust the action and intonation no matter what. Look through the Warmoth neck profile list. See what you like.
    I have never had to level warmoth frets with my Medium/low action preference.
     
  12. Rick51

    Rick51 Member

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    If the new neck was setup perfectly on its previous guitar, it will probably do the same on yours. If it has nut or fret issues, it will bring those along, obviously. I would expect to adjust saddle height, intonation, and truss rod. My guitar is set up perfectly for my preferences. You might want to tweak it to be perfect for yours.
     
  13. 2HBStrat

    2HBStrat Member

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    I switch necks around on my Strats all the time. Adjustments will probably need to be made, but you shouldn't have any major problems if you have basis guitar set-up skills.....
     
  14. Boris Bubbanov

    Boris Bubbanov Member

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    I agree, the Clapton neck will actually measure smaller if you put a tape to it. Some sense the Clapton is bigger than it is because the keel of the V extends away from the fretboard surface (and you can place your thumb on that keel for support). Also, the larger frets do give some necks a sense of being bigger (when they're really not).

    I like the idea of talking to Tommy Rosamond (USACG) about a neck that's 10% bigger than what you now have AND go with the bigger fretwire. Wider at the nut, also.
     
  15. Docgab

    Docgab Member

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    All great advice. Much appreciated. I have never measured the Clapton neck, just liked the feel. My RI has a "C" I believe which feels small to me. The "V" of the Clapton is easier to play for me.

    I think I will try to tweek the '57 RI neck before doing any swaps.

    Thanks again.
     

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