Warmoth Necks

metropolis_4

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
5,405
This has probably been discussed; just curious how good the finish and quality is on Warmoth necks? How good is their fretwork and dressing?

I'm thinking about selling off guitars and piecing together my own with Warmoth parts
 

MrAstro

Member
Messages
13,624
The quality of the Warmoth necks in terms of fret installation, finish, timber used and quality is great.

That said, I still had my Warmoth necks dressed after installing them by a plek machine to make them totally perfect rather than average in terms of playability. YMMV.

I know some people don't bother and play them as is.
 

Blix

Wannabe Shredder
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
25,996
I only have a sample of one, but I'd say in execution and finish it was pretty much perfect. I also had the frets gone over, didn't require much work my tech said, could really been used as is.
 

moosewayne

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,962
Most any neck is going to need some sort of fret dressing and/or adjusting, although I have been extremely fortunate in that virtually all my Warmoth purchases have been damn close to perfect.
I've never had even a tiny problem with Warmoth components.
 

jklotz

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,775
I've got a pile of guitars, and my Warmoth is my #1. Thier 59' profile is perfect for me. The 10-16" compound radius necks feel a little too flat for my taste. I prefer 9.5". But that doesn't answer your question, does it?

I have 3 warmoth necks. I really like them. 2 have needed some minor fretwork. One was perfect out of the box. All 3 were completely playable, but I'm picky. I level the neck on the bench, then put a fret rocker on each fret, trebble, middle and bass side. If it rocks, it needs fret work for me. Most folks would be perfectly happy with frets that had a tiny bit of variation.

I think you'll be fine. The more you know about your preferences in terms of neck specs, the happier you'll be IMHO
 

RomanS

Member
Messages
2,338
I've got three Warmoth Tele necks (all ordered unfinished, though) - one with rosewood on maple, one with pau ferro on maple, one all roasted maple (the latter is a Fatback with 1-11/16" nut that I just got a few weeks ago, the two other ones are Standard Thin with 1-3/4" nuts - both bought around 2009 or 2010; 10-16" compound radius and 6105 SS frets on all of them, oh, and they are all of the "Modern" type).
All three were perfect out of the box, none needed fretwork; I ordered all of them with Graphtec nuts, and the nuts DID need some work (the second one I ordered needed a lot of work - slots were way to high...) - but that was to be expected.

I really really REALLY love the roasted maple Fatback profile neck I got a few weeks ago - that's what I'll be ordering again if I ever do another partscaster build...
 

metropolis_4

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
5,405
Thanks for all the replies!

Definitely boosting my confidence I going this direction
 

Rick51

Member
Messages
3,740
I've got three Warmoth Tele necks (all ordered unfinished, though) - one with rosewood on maple, one with pau ferro on maple, one all roasted maple (the latter is a Fatback with 1-11/16" nut that I just got a few weeks ago, the two other ones are Standard Thin with 1-3/4" nuts - both bought around 2009 or 2010; 10-16" compound radius and 6105 SS frets on all of them, oh, and they are all of the "Modern" type).
All three were perfect out of the box, none needed fretwork; I ordered all of them with Graphtec nuts, and the nuts DID need some work (the second one I ordered needed a lot of work - slots were way to high...) - but that was to be expected.

I really really REALLY love the roasted maple Fatback profile neck I got a few weeks ago - that's what I'll be ordering again if I ever do another partscaster build...
The Warmoth necks I've seen have had pretty good fretwork.

Warmoth nuts? Some of the worst I've ever seen. Poorly cut, messy glue squeeze-out, total waste of money.

If it was my project, I'd put it together and have a good luthier do a bone nut and set up.
 
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23,950
Just so you know to do this, look real carefully at a Warmoth neck back to back with a real Fender and get familiar with the actual dimensions and shaping of these necks. Look at the shape of the heel to neck section. Look at how severely the headstock falls away from the nut on its way to the plane the tuning machines rest on.

Many assume that because there's some sort of Licensing arrangement with Fender/FMIC, and that Warmoth has Permission to mimic the Fender headstock shape, that they produce startlingly accurate reproductions of those necks. In fact, they take pride in keeping theirs separate in appearance and guys like me, when you post the image of your new "Stratocaster", know in seconds which pieces are Warmoth. Off of images over the internet - no need to inspect in person or something like that.

+

If your existing instruments are crummy and you're playing them only when you have to, sure, try something new. Just remember the project built with Warmoth parts is about spending more time away from playing music, and that putting together a neck and body from Warmoth is only a possibility of a seamless guitar and the chance it will be a dud (or just be bleah) is probably just as high.

+

PS. I've got 12 Warmoth necks, and I did the finishing/nutting/tuner installation, final fret finishing and installations myself. I'm pretty happy but I moved these necks in most cases around and around on dozens of loaded bodies before I found "the match" for each of them.
 
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sedawkgrep

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,191
I'll chime in to say that I've had mixed experiences with Warmoth. I've had one neck twist within a year and need to be returned. I have another which now has a treble-side bow. And one more, a black limba/ebony which is just not stable and moves seemingly with the breeze. Also the ebony seemed to be stained jet black to cover up some natural colorations. Now it looks kinda odd.

I also have three others which are totally stable and play great. So for me YMMV for sure.

I've had zero trouble with the four or five USACG necks I've had.
 

swiveltung

Member
Messages
14,492
I've had quite a few Warmoth's. Good quality for an incomplete neck. There is little fret work done really, you will need to dress the ends, take the sharp edge off the fretboard and possibly level the frets. Pretty typical of aftermarket necks in general .
I haven't had an aftermarket neck that comes as ready to use as a Fender neck, as comfortable or as good... to me.
 

metropolis_4

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
5,405
Just so you know to do this, look real carefully at a Warmoth neck back to back with a real Fender and get familiar with the actual dimensions and shaping of these necks. Look at the shape of the heel to neck section. Look at how severely the headstock falls away from the nut on its way to the plane the tuning machines rest on.

Many assume that because there's some sort of Licensing arrangement with Fender/FMIC, and that Warmoth has Permission to mimic the Fender headstock shape, that they produce startlingly accurate reproductions of those necks. In fact, they take pride in keeping theirs separate in appearance and guys like me, when you post the image of your new "Stratocaster", know in seconds which pieces are Warmoth. Off of images over the internet - no need to inspect in person or something like that.

+

If your existing instruments are crummy and you're playing them only when you have to, sure, try something new. Just remember the project built with Warmoth parts is about spending more time away from playing music, and that putting together a neck and body from Warmoth is only a possibility of a seamless guitar and the chance it will be a dud (or just be bleah) is probably just as high.

+

PS. I've got 12 Warmoth necks, and I did the finishing/nutting/tuner installation, final fret finishing and installations myself. I'm pretty happy but I moved these necks in most cases around and around on dozens of loaded bodies before I found "the match" for each of them.
Thanks for the info.

I really don't care at all if they're identical to Fender necks or not, or if guys like you or anyone else can tell that they aren't real Fenders... Not really sure why you're assuming I'm trying to piece together something I can try to pass off as a "real" Fender?

If you're really curious, I actually love my existing guitars, and I play them constantly, but I have a practical reason I need to replace a few of them with something different.

I've been playing long enough that I know exactly what I want, so it seemed to make more sense to me to just build my own with the exact parts and specs I want rather than buying something new and spending the time and money modifying it into what I want/need
 

metropolis_4

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
5,405
I'll chime in to say that I've had mixed experiences with Warmoth. I've had one neck twist within a year and need to be returned. I have another which now has a treble-side bow. And one more, a black limba/ebony which is just not stable and moves seemingly with the breeze. Also the ebony seemed to be stained jet black to cover up some natural colorations. Now it looks kinda odd.

I also have three others which are totally stable and play great. So for me YMMV for sure.

I've had zero trouble with the four or five USACG necks I've had.
Good to know, thanks!

I haven't looked at USACG yet, but maybe I should
 

stratter

Member
Messages
1,422
Not sure if I can answer this as I ordered an unfinished rosewood neck, but the fretwork was pretty great for a standalone neck without any setup, but the nut was a little shallow. It's one of my favorite necks, and I would totally suggest the boatneck.
 

RomanS

Member
Messages
2,338
Maybe my experience concerning frets was better because I ordered all of mine with SS frets? Since those are tougher, maybe they go in more uniformly? Never had to file fret ends, either. (SS frets were the main reason why I started putting together partscasters - and the ridiculous claims about their negative effects on tone on their webpage was one of the reasons why I was turned off about USACG - along with the fact that I had a negative experience with one of their bodies...)
 

smallbutmighty

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
9,513
Hey guys...I'll chime in.

Borris Bubbanov is correct: Fender die-hards can spot the differences between Fender and Warmoth necks pretty quickly. If you're ever uncertain, the Warmoth turtle is branded deeply into the heel, along with the words "Warmoth - Licensed by Fender".

He is also right about an all-to-common misconception that because Warmoth sells Fender-licensed replacement necks, they should be completely identical in every way. The truth is, Warmoth necks were developed completely independently of Fender. It's not like Fender just turned over their blue-prints and construction methods, and said "here ya go!" Warmoth's designs and construction methods were developed by Warmoth. Back in those early days of replacement parts, Warmoth stuck Fender-like headstocks on their necks, because that's what customers wanted. The Fender license was granted much later, well after replacements necks had become a "thing". After receiving the license, Warmoth continued to make their replacement necks the same way they always had.

Warmoth isn't trying to create an accurate reproduction, right down to the gnat's eyelash. Warmoth is trying to offer replacement necks of superior construction, with myriad wood, fret, and dimension options that can't be found elsewhere, or that can be found elsewhere, but at a much higher cost. (Side note: "identical to Fender" is a moving target anyway. Fender's own specs and shapes - and probably construction methods - have certainly varied over the years.)

Regarding the frets specifically, I own and gig regularly with many different Warmoth necks. I like some better than others for sure, but none of them have needed leveling. They are all straight and play buzz-free. I have had the fret ends rounded on a few of them, and I can see how many players would want to do this. Warmoth bevels back the fret ends, and cleans the edges of the fretboard up, but doesn't roll the edge or do any rounding of the fret ends. Their philosophy has always been that this work best left to the customer. Remember: we don't make complete guitars. How much detailed fret work should we do on a neck that has never been under string tension? How much should we do before we ship a neck from wet/temperate Washington to arid/hot Arizona, or Australia, or Brazil? How much should we do when we have no idea what a given customer's preferences are? Would a customer be happy/understanding if they paid for us to do this detailed work, and then had to pay for it again once their neck arrived in Sweden and was strung up to pitch for a couple months? These are the kinds of questions Warmoth wrestles with.
 
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Messages
23,950
Thanks for the info.

I really don't care at all if they're identical to Fender necks or not, or if guys like you or anyone else can tell that they aren't real Fenders... Not really sure why you're assuming I'm trying to piece together something I can try to pass off as a "real" Fender?

If you're really curious, I actually love my existing guitars, and I play them constantly, but I have a practical reason I need to replace a few of them with something different.

I've been playing long enough that I know exactly what I want, so it seemed to make more sense to me to just build my own with the exact parts and specs I want rather than buying something new and spending the time and money modifying it into what I want/need
I'm not talking about selling the guitars with Fender decals, as Fenders. I'm talking about a neck that won't pass "the glance" test. I see guys excitedly showing off their "Telecasters" and "Stratocasters" but without being told, guys less detail oriented than me easily see the shapes aren't right and the details aren't right and the posters' feelings are hurt because they're immediately identified as something that's merely "T type" or "S type". If you love your existing guitars, the justification for trying to change horses in a flood is not an automatic.





The tree was added later on all these aftermarket necks.

I agree with Smallbutmighty that at least in my experience, the fretwork always arrived pretty much ready to play and the additional massaging was about TLC and just putting my imprint onto the neck.

But this is not about Sure Fire Upgrade. I was intent on learning more about guitars and how to finish, assemble and set them up. Because I was looking for a kick in the pants to get my interest in playing recharged. I liked the guitars I had then but I was looking for a wake up call and that's what I got with these. To be honest I was also trying to heal from Katrina.
 
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RomanS

Member
Messages
2,338
Who cares about those details, as long as a guitar plays and sounds great? I'd rathe have my necks pass the "feel" test than the "glance" one...
Clearly, if you plan on building a vintage-correct replica, Warmoth won't be your first choice (Musikraft, maybe?) - Warmoth is for you if you want to build a workhorse guitar that has all the features and specs you can't get with an off-the-shelf Fender. I couldn't care less whether the neck heel or whatever is "historically correct", as long as I can get the fret type, nut width, radius, etc. I like. I don't even own a single Fender guitar (I do have an old Precision Bass), nor do I intend to buy one - unless they start offering features (like SS frets or 1-3/4" nuts) I can easily get from Warmoth or other suppliers like that.
 




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