Replacement neck??? Is this any good?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by OmegaZ27, Nov 23, 2005.

  1. OmegaZ27


    Sep 18, 2005
    I found this neck on Rondo Music. It's pretty cheap for what it is, but I'm kinda iffy on the quality.


    Should I settle for this as a replacement for my Squier, or should I go with the Mighty Mite neck?
  2. Before I give you my take on this, you should know my experience with the basses Rondo sells under the SX name. That's the brand of the neck you've linked to. I currently own my 5th SX bass. I've had 3 J's and 2 P's. Of those, I hot rodded one to the hilt while another is currently getting souped up to the point no one will recognize it when I'm done. I've also purchased 7 necks from Rondo - 2 maple/maple and 2 rosewood Fender styles and (3) 5 string models and I've purchased or traded for other SX necks from TB'ers over the last several years. Of these necks, I've completely dismantled 2 so that I could assess their construction and materials. I've done everything to one of these necks a technician can do - replaced the fretboard, installed frets, leveled frets, carved nuts, recontoured the backs, reshaped headstocks, installed inserts, done inlay, applied poly clearcoats, and re-radiused fretboards. And finally, I've built a replica Steve Harris Precision Bass from an SX platform for a TB'er that came out nicely. You can search for threads on it's construction and play. There isn't a single aspect of these pieces that I'm not fairly keen on.

    IMO, there isn't a better deal anywhere on the block unless you can buy a used, name brand neck, in decent shape for the same price. With that statement comes some caveats. First, you've got to realize that the SX neck is not designed as a drop in replacement for the Fender neck. The neck you linked to is a replacement neck for an SX and that's what it will fit the most perfectly. It does, however, have such a close relationship to the Fender that it can be used in place of a real Fender neck but you should be ready to make some very minor adjustments to either the neck, the body, or both if you are looking for a 100% perfect fit. I think if you honestly critique your current neck, you will find that it isn't a perfect fit either so weigh the real value of having the SX fit perfectly. Second, these necks are made overseas in China. They are well made and generally the quality control is OK. However, it is not uncommon for quality issues to be present in one of these necks. This is NOT the fault of Rondo. These necks are take-offs from damaged bodies and overruns that are used as replacements in case necks are damaged in shipping. Extras are sold on the website. The quality you'll find on these necks is the same as you'll find in the production basses. It can sometimes be a bit lacking when it comes to fret condition. My advice is to inspect your purchase when it arrives to make sure it's in good playing condition. Kurt at Rondo will definitely make it good but you've got to play fair with him and let him know of any real problem. Don't whine about a sharp fret - that could happen to any manufacturer. Save the returns for major problems and take care of a small one yourself. It will save time. However, I've seen fewer problems with the Rosewood necks than with the maples for some reason. Maybe it's the extra attention needed with the different fretboard species or something. Third, the trussrod in these necks is a quality piece and likely better than the one in your Squier. It's very similiar to the one used in Warmoth necks albeit lighter and having a headstock adjustment. It is a rod and bar design - not a single rod and, in my book, that's the better single action design. I, myself, use that same style in the trussrods I build for my basses so I trust it's integrity.

    From the Squiers I've played, I can say that you'll have some adjusting to do with this neck. The Squiers seem very thin while this neck is quite a bit chunkier. Not a ballbat but certainly more of a handful than the wisps-o-wood the Squiers sport.

    If you get one of the newer headstock styles - and you just might, you are likely to get a flamey neck. The last two I've acquired have been tight grained and flamed beyond belief. Certainly those woods would have brought a premium price from Warmoth.

    Hope this helps.
  3. so heres me hijacking the thread

    are these necks finished? or do they require finishing uppon arrival?

    you said some modification may be necisary, i assume you mean that the neck may be too wide for a standard (MIM) p bass, i can imagine it being too narrow, could it?

    and.....yeah, thats pretty much all i was wondering
  4. The rosewood necks are finished but the maple necks aren't. I don't know why that is. :confused: SX uses a poly finish on their necks and it's a thick, heavy, and stinky thing to try to remove. That's where the modification might come in. I've found that the differences between Fender and Warmoth and Rondo are mostly found or made up in the finish thickness. Rondo beats them both hands down - these things are like bartops! With that, you can see how measurements will be off by 1/16" easily.
  5. i gotya, so maybe a little sanding around the heel of the neck and some fine steel wool to the back of the neck?
  6. Your idea of a "little" sanding and mine might be a bit different :D Don't underestimate how tough this stuff is but that's where you would take some off to adjust the fit. The steel wool will make the neck less "sticky" and more like a satin finish.
  7. hmmmm, i might just get one of these and convert it over to fretless, just for the fun of it, hell, for 40 dollars you cant go wrong. can you?
  8. Greg Clinkingbeard

    Greg Clinkingbeard Commercial User

    Apr 4, 2005
    Kansas City area
    Black Dog Bass Works
    I de-fretted my SX Jazz recently and THEN I SAW THESE NECKS!!!!!!!
    No, you couldn't possibly go wrong with one of these things. Even if it took a bit of final sanding to get it perfectly straight and flat it still would be worth the $40. It will also need a new nut unless you like the density of Rubbermaid.