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Warmoth vs. Musikraft: A Tale of Two Necks

Messages
1,152
Ordered two Tele necks spec'd out the same; or as close as the options would allow. One piece maple, medium c, 6100 frets, truss adjustment at headstock, satin nitro w/ vintage tint. (Musikraft was a medium vintage tint, Warmoth only had tinted or non tinted)

Here's what I got:

Price including shipping

Musikraft: $360

Warmoth: $310

Wait time

Musikraft: 6 weeks

Warmoth: 3 weeks

Finish

Musikraft: Perfectly applied finish, not too thick, but enough to completely smooth out any grain. Tint was not too heavy, very natural looking. Polished out expertly.

Warmoth: Uneven sheen, shinier in some places, weird marks, very thin finish (looks and feels like maybe 2 coats?) Not enough to fill in the grain. Tint was a little darker and slightly orangish. 3 pretty good sized dings on the back of the neck.

Frets

Musikraft: Fret ends were rounded off, frets were flawless, they looked like they had been dressed and polished. No lacquer on them whatsoever. Seated perfectly and ready to play.

Warmoth: Fret ends were not rounded off, not polished, would need to be dressed and polished. Lacquer covering the frets completely. Frets were seated perfectly.

Other notes

Musikraft: I waited twice as long for this neck, but I knew what the estimated wait time was and they delievered within the stated time. I was pleasantly surprised to find the frets in ready to go condition. The finish was beautiful, I was very happy with the quality and attention to detail; also overjoyed to not have to "do anything" to it to get it in playing condition. I ordered another one from them.

Warmoth: I was initially excited when this came in so quickly, but a bit disappointed when I took it out of the packaging. My first impression was thay they used a neck that was intended to be a heel truss adjustment style neck as there was a hole about that size on the heel of the neck that went in about 1/2" deep. Wasn't expecting that, and when I called them about it they told me all of their necks have that; it is how they "clamp the neck in place" while working on it. In my case it would have been visible with the neck mounted. There is no mention of this anywhere on their website, and I'd never seen it on other Warmoth necks I've had in my shop or owned myself. Their customer service is fantastic however; I decided I couldn't live with the weird looking finish, pending fretwork and the dings and they agreed to let me ship it back for a full refund.

I don't work for Musikraft, and have no ill will towards Warmoth. This review is completely unbiased and is for your entertainment/information only. I would have included photos but I sent the Warmoth neck back to them already and decided it wouldn't be fair to just post photos of the Musikraft.
 

Matt L

Member
Messages
11,539
I've ordered 4 Warmoth necks, all unfinished save for one with satin nitro. That was the only one that I had any issues with. I didn't care for the feel or look. Didn't seem worth the money, to me. The unfinished necks have been fantastic. It ends up being a win-win for me, as it saves considerable money off the initial cost.
 

serial

Member
Messages
2,254
I used Warmoth necks for years until I got my first Musikraft. Then I proceeded to buy five more Musikrafts. Far better in every respect imho.
 

TattooedCarrot

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,186
Warmoth is good, Musikraft is great.

Warmoth has more selection, in-stock, and a faster turn-around time. So with them you get a good product selection made in decent time. I've had numerous Warmoth necks, and currently have two on partsocasters.

Musikraft on the other hand takes longer, has a harder to navigate website and order process, and takes way longer (and costs more), but the product reflects this. I also have two Musikraft necks on two other partsocasters and they are both the best necks I've had.

I use Warmoth for spontaneous projects that might come or go. I use Musikraft for serious projects I intend to hang onto.
 

goldtop4g63

Member
Messages
259
I've been thinking about getting a neck for a body I have laying around. I always hear good thinks about Musikraft and mixed reviews about Warmoth. I think I'll end up spending the extra cash and getting a Musikraft neck. Didn't they stop taking custom orders for a while and just selling what they have in stock until they get caught up on their OEM orders?
 

Wayne Alexander

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,450
I've had great experience with Musikraft for strat and tele necks, they're far better (and will make exactly what I want as to frets, profile, wood, trussrod type and adjustment at the headstock, heavily rolled edges, satin nitro finish, etc., which i have not been able to obtain in my experiences with Warmoth or USA Custom. And I agree with the OP - Musikraft's fretwork is superb, not so with my experences with other builders.
 

jads57

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
6,117
Musikraft is definitely more hungry for your business, and they do a great job!
 

DCross

Acoustic Jazz & Electric Folk
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,843
Despite what sounds like some spotty QC, Warmoth has lots of in-stock selection with pictures of the actual products and body weights. With bodies, at least, I think it's huge to be able to see exactly what you're getting. For necks, seeing a picture is not such a big deal (and I'd rather be confident that it will be well done).
 

spookyelectric

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,142
I've wanted to try Musikraft for a while, but heard some less than positive things about their single action truss rods. Not sure if that was just a bad batch and maybe I shouldn't be concerned, but I haven't pulled the trigger yet.
 

Matt L

Member
Messages
11,539
Musikraft would not make a couple of necks that I wanted, even as a custom order (Charvel with a J&L heel was one, which should have been simple). I forget the other, but it was an incredibly minor thing that Warmoth had no problem doing, and had nothing to do with licensing.

Warmoth's website is light-years more helpful, too.

I have one Musikraft neck, and it's decent. I will use them again, but only for things like Charvel or G&L-compatible heels, which Warmoth doesn't do.
 

gmann

Member
Messages
8,686
I have several Musikraft necks. I find them to be totally superior to all other necks I've used.
 

pfflam

Member
Messages
7,118
I used to have a Warmoth neck


I'm sure they are a fine Co.


But a Musikraft made my favorite guitar even better.
 
Messages
444
I guess I've got lucky. All my necks, be they from Warmoth, USACG or Musikraft have been excellent. The best feeling one I have is a short-scale, Mahogany '59 profile with a 7 1/4 -9 1/2 radius If I could afford to, I'd get one for all my guitars- it's absolutely perfect.
 

Kostas

Member
Messages
1,324
...Tint was a little darker and slightly orangish...
Their tint finish is orange which I and others find ridiculous but most people must like it because they don't change it.

...Their customer service is fantastic however; I decided I couldn't live with the weird looking finish, pending fretwork and the dings and they agreed to let me ship it back for a full refund...
You'll probably had very standard specs to get a full refund, you chose their 10''-16'' radius? I don't remember if the extra options are refunded or not.

Warmoth: Uneven sheen, shinier in some places, weird marks, very thin finish (looks and feels like maybe 2 coats?) Not enough to fill in the grain...
My last neck from them (maple/pau ferro) was a showcase neck that I requested the satin nitro finish. It was shipped in a week and I was curious how they put frets, routed for tuners and finished the neck so fast. When I asked they told me one coat is all it needed. I really like how thin it feels but some people online have complained their satin finish turns into glossy with use. I don't know if it's true but I've read their satin finish is glossy without the buffing process. Mine is still satin after three years but it has only seen minimal home use.

Musikraft is definitely more hungry for your business, and they do a great job!
I'm guessing that's true. I don't like how Warmoth has started charging extra for everything and they are not open to anything custom. For me parts it's all about custom options.

Despite what sounds like some spotty QC, Warmoth has lots of in-stock selection with pictures of the actual products and body weights. With bodies, at least, I think it's huge to be able to see exactly what you're getting. For necks, seeing a picture is not such a big deal (and I'd rather be confident that it will be well done).
I think that was their smartest move ever. This is only a guess but I'm guessing they have more customers than Musicraft + USACG together. And it's a big thing, no matter if it's a body or a neck. Especially when the product is expensive and it has figured wood. It's a lot of work to photograph every single product you put in your site, they have my respect for that. With Warmoth is a given thing, they don't have to mention what you see is what you get like other companies.

I've wanted to try Musikraft for a while, but heard some less than positive things about their single action truss rods. Not sure if that was just a bad batch and maybe I shouldn't be concerned, but I haven't pulled the trigger yet.
Me too and how the truss rod works and continues to work through the years is the most important thing. The most expensive figured neck is useless without a proper truss rod. All my Warmoth necks have a single rod that works properly and they have been straight for years. But I'm going to try Musikraft next year. I asked Warmoth again to make me a two piece neck without a skunk stripe and they won't do it so after five Warmoth necks I'm going to Musikraft. I will also try their roasted option, it makes figured necks more stable and enhances the figuring in the wood.

...Warmoth's website is light-years more helpful, too.
By far! I don't understand why Musikraft changed their site, they had many info in their old site and they're all lost. I won't even comment on the USACG ancient site... It seems they don't want customers or at least international customers.
 
Messages
1,152
I've been thinking about getting a neck for a body I have laying around. I always hear good thinks about Musikraft and mixed reviews about Warmoth. I think I'll end up spending the extra cash and getting a Musikraft neck. Didn't they stop taking custom orders for a while and just selling what they have in stock until they get caught up on their OEM orders?
They are busy right now completing a very large OEM order. I'd like to know who that was for! Luckily I got this last order into them right before that started.

I'm glad to see this isn't just my experience with them, but that they are consistent.
 

Promit

Member
Messages
2,470
I've been thinking about getting a neck for a body I have laying around. I always hear good thinks about Musikraft and mixed reviews about Warmoth. I think I'll end up spending the extra cash and getting a Musikraft neck. Didn't they stop taking custom orders for a while and just selling what they have in stock until they get caught up on their OEM orders?
Might want to look into USACG as well.
 

jayjerry

Member
Messages
399
Got a Musikraft neck for my Strat. I am 100% happy with it and would order from them again in a heartbeat.
 
Messages
23,951
I've ordered 4 Warmoth necks, all unfinished save for one with satin nitro. That was the only one that I had any issues with. I didn't care for the feel or look. Didn't seem worth the money, to me. The unfinished necks have been fantastic. It ends up being a win-win for me, as it saves considerable money off the initial cost.
This is what I was told so I've always ordered them unfinished.

Gives me an opportunity to custom shape the neck before the final finish.
 




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