changing the neck to a stratocaster

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Joined: 12/21/10
Posts: 105

I wanted to ask a question about changing the neck on my stratocaster.
I have a mexican stratocaster road worn 60s, very nice, which has a rosewood neck. The guitar is almost new but I am realizing I really love the maple neck.. I was wondering if it could be possible to change my rosewood neck with a maple one... what do you think? would that damage the guitar, would the guitar sound different?
Also, if you know, do you think that would be something very expensive to do?

Thank you,

# 1
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Joined: 12/21/10
Posts: 105
well , nevermind.. I took a look on the fender website and it seems that I am not allowed to do that unless my neck is really damaged..
# 2
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Joined: 06/29/08
Posts: 28

It's your guitar. You are "allowed" do do anything you want with it. You won't be able to get a solid maple neck from Fender, that is true, but if you don't mind after-market products (on a M-I-M strat, I personally wouldn't worry about it), you can get a Warmoth, Mighty-Mite or other strat-style neck. Just make sure it has the same number of frets and is the same scale length.

If you don't know what you are doing, I recommend finding a local guitar-repair shop and see if they'd do it for you. You need to be comfortable with adjusting your truss-rod, basic set-up (action and intonation), and adjusting the bridge string radius to match the radius of the neck. You'll probably want to put a better nut on the new neck too, because if I remember correctly, the nuts that come with those after-market parts are plastic, plus, they have no idea what string gauge you use.

All in all, if you want to do it right, it would be expensive. There would not be a tremendous difference in sound, and possibly not even a noticeable difference.

What about the maple neck do you like as opposed to a rosewood fretboard?
# 3
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Joined: 09/02/11
Posts: 55
Fender has now started selling necks on their website.

I am in the exact same situation right now. I have an American Deluxe Stratocaster with a maple "V" neck and I want to switch it to a "C" neck.

Is it difficult to swap a neck on you own?

Or should I take it to guitar center?
# 4
Registered User
Joined: 04/02/13
Posts: 555
I see no reason why you can't change the neck on your strat, I've changed the neck on my one. As long as it's suitable for your guitar it will be a straight swap but once you have the neck changed the guitar will need to be set up properly and the neck may need truss rod adjustment but a guitar tech can do this for you and it's not expensive
# 5
Registered User
Joined: 04/26/05
Posts: 2,051
I did a neck swap on a 2002 American Standard with an aftermarket Warmoth flamed maple neck did a decal swap and everything.

Couple things to consider:

- Not all neck pockets are identical. You may have to plug the old holes with dowel rod and wood glue and re drill holes to match up with your new neck. I had to do this with mine. Make sure you measure the width of the neck pocket and get a neck with a heel that matches up so you get a snug fit.

- You may have to do some sanding and/or shimming to get the neck to fit straight and fit well. A tight fitting neck is pretty essential in keep the resonance of a guitar. You want the neck and body to resonate fully throughout. A loosely fitted neck pocket can be a vibe killer and deaden some of the tone. It's not supre noticeable but it's defintely there...

- If you have a warranty on your guitar.... it will be void by putting an aftermarket neck or unauthorized Fender neck on your guitar.

All in all, if you don't have decent wood working skills, it's a tough task to tackle. If you're confident in your ability and are willing to test your self, I'd say go for it... I couldn't be happier with my strat and it's flamed maple neck... I believe there are some picks of mine on here somewhere....
# 6