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Tele Neck Swap - Worth It Or Expensive Rabbit Hole?

Fo0zle

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
131
Hey guys,

I've got a Fender Player Series Tele that I've put Bareknuckle Flat 50s in along with a 4-way switch mod. I'm basically in love with the guitar save for one thing, the fretboard material.

This is my first guitar with a maple fretboard and I've discovered that it isn't really my favorite. I'd love to switch the neck over to one with Pao Ferro or Rosewood. Maybe even go for a roasted maple neck for that cool vintage look.

I was just wondering, should I expect to be able to screw on a new neck pretty easily without considerable adjustment? I don't mind making a couple small adjustments on a truss rod but I'm no luthier so I really don't want to have to add shims etc.

Or would it be better to just take my bareknuckles out, sell this tele and get a new one to put them in?
 

Strummerfan

Member
Messages
4,133
Fender can sell you a neck that is model specific. I'm not sure how much the necks vary from model to model on a tele, but I've seen some issues with American vs Japanese strats. There's actually a thread on the topic circulating right now. Shimming a neck is a very easy thing to do. If you need the action higher, cut a thin pick so you have a slice about a centimeter wide and put it on the outer edge of the neck pocket. If you need it lower, the inner edge. If the difference is too much after inserting the shim, try a piece of cardboard from a matchbook cover.
 

Hefalump

Member
Messages
9,612
Fender can sell you a neck that is model specific. I'm not sure how much the necks vary from model to model on a tele, but I've seen some issues with American vs Japanese strats. There's actually a thread on the topic circulating right now. Shimming a neck is a very easy thing to do. If you need the action higher, cut a thin pick so you have a slice about a centimeter wide and put it on the outer edge of the neck pocket. If you need it lower, the inner edge. If the difference is too much after inserting the shim, try a piece of cardboard from a matchbook cover.
Which is outer and inner edge???
 

JasonE

Member
Messages
434
Necks are pretty easy to replace. That was Leo's whole idea with the bolt on neck guitar. It could easily be replaced if it became damaged or you just wanted a different neck on the guitar. You may or may not need to shim it. There are a few ways to do that. If you don't have any shims in it now, you probably won't need one.
 

Strummerfan

Member
Messages
4,133
Which is outer and inner edge???
Outer is the edge on the outside of the neck pocket, inner is the inside of the neck pocket. I think it's pretty self explanatory. The open end is outer, the closed edge inner. I imagine your just taking the piss out of me, but I think it makes sense as I described. Maybe I should have said neck end for outer, body edge for inner?
 

ellis dee

Senior Member
Messages
2,475
i an thinking the same thing. have a mexican tele very nice guitar. i do not like the gloss finish on the neck.
i am hesitant because other than that the neck is awesome.
 

Hefalump

Member
Messages
9,612
Outer is the edge on the outside of the neck pocket, inner is the inside of the neck pocket. I think it's pretty self explanatory. The open end is outer, the closed edge inner. I imagine your just taking the piss out of me, but I think it makes sense as I described. Maybe I should have said neck end for outer, body edge for inner?
Not knocking you, simply trying to clarify....Just like me saying left or right side......kinda varies with how you hold it and look at it and if it is right or left handed body....
 

dazco

Member
Messages
15,411
RW is gonna sound worlds different from maple if you are sensitive to tone. It's IMO the #1 biggest tonal change you can make on a fender more then hardware or pickups. That said, depending on many factors the change may not be a lot, but to my ear it's ALWAYS a lot when going from RW to maple or visa versa. On the other hand the difference in tone may fgo the other way and improve it. I can tell you right now if it were me that would be the case because i have never been able to love maple bards on strats. Teles, yes. But on strats RW always sounds better to me unless it's just not a good sounding one like a bad piece of wood or real thick RW board which to me sounds thin. Vintage thickness slabs or round caps sound best to me. In any case, for you it's going to be how sensitive your ears are. But if you hear pickups and hardware changes easily, you're gonna hear a big difference one way or the other. If u r like me it will be a great improvement all else being equal.
 

TheWayfarer84

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,953
The left side. No, the other left!

Serious though, neck swap is a straight ahead project. Fender sells replacements direct. The Stratosphere on eBay/reverb is another good source. On the new replacements, not sure if the nuts are ready to play or need some adjustment. On a part out (most of Stratosphere’s stuff), they should be.

Unscrew four screws. Screw in four screws. Adjust saddles for proper height/radius. Adjust relief. Play!
 

mc5nrg

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
10,434
Take the neck off and hit it with 0000 steel wool or the synthetic equivelant, like a scotch Brite pad.
 

Strummerfan

Member
Messages
4,133
Not knocking you, simply trying to clarify....Just like me saying left or right side......kinda varies with how you hold it and look at it and if it is right or left handed body....
Didn't think you were knocking me, just thought you might be having a bit of fun with me. It's hard to judge text, no inflection and all.
 

Hefalump

Member
Messages
9,612
Personally, I would call that the "ends" of neck pocket. The sides are top and bottom of pocket in relation to sides of guitar body.....lmho
 

diogoguitar

Member
Messages
446
I swapped the neck on 3 of my guitars and don't regret the change one bit. There are too many upsides of doing it... the biggest ones include getting the profile you want and ss frets.

For the first two replacement necks , I did have to spend an extra $100 in setup because the guitars were unplayable right after I screwed the new necks in. After I paid for setup though, they were amazing.

By the time I swapped the neck on the third guitar, I was pretty savvy with setups, so I spent a couple of hours setting it up and I don't feel the need of taking it to a tech.
 

Strummerfan

Member
Messages
4,133
How long have you had the guitar? It's possible the Maple board will grow on you. If you have never used one before, it may just take a bit to adjust. I wasn't sure about my first Rosewood fingerboard Strat, having had a number of maple before it, but after a couple of months I loved it. It's been my #1 for over 20 years now, and although I will definately still groove with maple boards, I think this is the best of the many Strats I've owned, not because of the RW, but all around. I've never owned a Tele with a rosewood fingerboard, but I have my eye on one right now. Give it a chance, maybe you'll love it.
 

DGDGBD

Member
Messages
7,336
I am not a luthier and i was able to reneck two of my fenders successfully. If you buy a neck with no screw holes in the heel, you will have to carefully mark and drill them out. I did it with minimal tools (a cordless handheld drill) but you'll have to be really careful marking the holes, using the right bit, making sure to drill perpendicular, and not over-drilling. Also, if you buy a new neck with no tuners, you might have to ream the holes out to get the bushings to fit. That may only apply to vintage style tuner though.
 




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