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Replacement necks/"talk me out of buying a more expensive neck" thread

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by RBrownBass, Oct 21, 2005.

  1. RBrownBass

    RBrownBass Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2004
    I have some specific questions about the difference in quality between the different neck makers. I know that at least pricewise, there's a top tier, occupied by Warmoth and USA Guitar Works, a second tier, occupied by Allparts, WD, Mighty Mite, and a third tier with all the rest (Saga, Axl, any others in that range). Please excuse any omissions I may have made.

    My questions are as follows.

    1) For those of you who have owned necks from, say, Warmoth and Mighty Mite: What can I expect from Warmoth in terms of tone, durability and playability that I cannot get from Mighty Mite or Allparts?

    It's very important for me to say that I'm not looking for vague "it just feels/sounds/plays better" answers, but specific things that the top-tier products do better than the second tier. I'm trying to sort the facts from the hype.

    2) It seems that there are no reasonably-priced necks with the truss rod adjustment at the heel. I've noticed that almost every high-end Fender-style builder uses a neck that adjusts at the heel, like most of the non '70s Fenders do. Is this due to simple tradition or are necks with the truss rod adjustment at the heel inherently superior to those that adjust from the headstock?

    3) I'm aware that USA Fender is all over the place in terms of quality, but where, on average, would you place their necks in comparison with the makers I mentioned? Be sure to mentally remove the headstock decal before you answer this question. I'm not asking how popular Fender products are, but how good they are.
  2. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    What are you doing with the old neck? What's wrong with it?
  3. Unchain

    Unchain I've seen footage.

    Jun 20, 2005
    Tucson, AZ
    Warmoth>Fender>Mighty Mite
  4. AGCurry


    Jun 29, 2005
    Kansas City
    I have bought three Warmoth necks. They differ quite a bit from the stock neck - or the Mighty Mite/Allparts - in the truss rod. It's a double rod, which adds stability, stiffness, and, unfortunately, weight. Because they are stiffer and have more mass, they absorb less vibration from the strings. Your notes will be truer, sustain longer, and contain more overtones. The bass overall seems more responsive. You also have choices in wood, frets, finish, and tuner drilling. A very good Fender neck *approaches* Warmoth quality, but if you love the old school you may actually prefer the Fender construction.
    I don't know the answer to this question.
    Again, a very good Fender neck is quite acceptable, and five of my six Fenders have them (custom-built Warmoth on the sixth). The Warmoth necks I've had really do change the character of the instrument significantly, and they are of excellent quality. I've never had a neck from the other makers you mention.
  5. iriegnome

    iriegnome Bassstar style Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2001
    Kenosha, WI 53140
    Rondo Music sells a very good replacement for $40
  6. RBrownBass

    RBrownBass Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2004
    Nothing and probably nothing. I have a Mighty Mite four string rosewood J-neck, and an alder J body for a kit I'm working on.

    I'm thinking of using a Warmoth neck instead of the Mite because I can, and because there's got to be some reason none of the major Fender-look builders use Mighty Mite. The bass will likely have a Hipshot bridge, Model J or Ultra Jazz pups and passive electronics, so I'm thinking about using a neck that matches the quality of the other components.

    This is exactly the sort of information I'm looking for. Thanks. Hope some other people come here and provide more input.
  7. Actually, Joe Naylor used necks made by Mighty Mite on some early Reverend instruments.
  8. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Disagree. i bought one and it sucked.
  9. John Coxtosen

    John Coxtosen Music Geek/Bass Nerd

    May 25, 2005
    Duluth, MN
    I would go Warmoth or USA Custom. The Mightymites are junk. The quality of the wood on the one I had was no better than one of the AXL basses. Maybe even worse. The fretwork looked OK, but the wood itself was rubber. Spend the extra money and you'll be glad you did.