#1
My new baby is an 07 Fender Am. Dexluxe Strat. When I demo'd it prior to purchase, it was obviously set up for sales-pitch playability; ultra low action, 9's, that slippery coat they put on new guitars. This coupled with the fact that I was excited about playing/buying a new guitar made it feel like the easiest-playing instrument I had ever picked up; it was love at first sight and, being the complete amateur that I am, I thought it would last forever. Wrong.

I switched to 11's shortly after buying the guitar and raised the action slightly to accommodate the higher gauge strings. As that poly coat wore off, it became more and more difficult to play. The way I play (rhythm and lead, thumb my chords) and with hands as small as mine (strong, but only slightly larger than most girls'), this small decrease in playability was extremely detrimental to my playing style. I can still thumb over, but the chords don't resonate nearly as well, and I can't slide them up and down the neck if I need to.

I refuse to change string gauge; I have perfected my tone on this guitar and even a small adjustment, say from 11's to 10's, changes it too much for my taste. I have thought about sanding down the neck, but the real problem lies in the width of the fretboard; I just can't stretch my fingers enough to get around it. I have pretty much resigned myself to the fact that I'm going to have to replace the neck if it's ever going to play like it did before.

The Question: Is there any resource for aftermarket or even vintage necks for Fender Strats, specifically narrower ones? I've never heard of someone replacing a neck without buying another guitar first, which I want to avoid if possible. I'm willing to pay any price, as long as the cost doesn't exceed that of a new guitar.

P.S.: I know a lot of people are going to bitch at me for giving the "small hands" excuse. A lot of butthurt players with hands like mine will say it's not an impediment, and that having larger hands isn't an advantage. When you play metal, jazz, or a genre that requires a higher degree of technical proficieny, that may be true, but for my style (rhythmic blues/rock/funk/insert broad undescriptive genre label here) it most certainly isn't. Having a firm grip on the neck and control of the guitar is essential to staying in time and in "the groove", so to speak, with your rhythm section and to transmitting feeling, or emotion, or whatever the hell you want to call it through your music. I have been playing this particular guitar for six months now, and my hands have done all the adapting they're going to do, and they aren't getting any bigger. It's time to replace the neck.
#3
ebay duuude

EDIT: but hold on, if you liked it in the shop with 9's and low action, and you have put on 11's and raised the action.....

Did you have the neck relief reset as well??? Because from what you are saying it sounds like you are having trouble because the strings are higher off the fretboard....

How does it feel up around the first three frets? What is your the distance between the top of your first fret and the bottom of the strings at the first fret...?
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Last edited by cuthbertg at Dec 16, 2008,
#5
changing to 11's completely changes the neck tension so you will need to get it set up again (truss rod adjustments).....get it done by a pro and the guitar should be better than it was in the shop
#6
I got a setup done on it. The action is as low as I can get it without fret buzz. Trust me, the only problem is the size and shape of the neck.
#7
Your trouble isn't the size of your hands.
This problem will keep recuring, to bug you over and over again and again limiting your choice of gear.
Your problem is caused by your choice of technique, it can be eliminated by retraining your left hand.

Nevertheless, I figure this is not the solution that you wish to hear.
#8
ebay store: the stratosphere, prolly a good bet. i got a ton of parts from there, theyre very reliable, and they have a huge selection of strat parts, i think they just buy a ton of fender guitars and part them out. i would look for a 60s reissue neck, i think theyre 1.650" at the nut, i have a hendrix tribute strat with a 68 reissue neck, and its pretty narrow, with a small c shape neck profile. its also a 7.25" radius, which is awesome.
#9
If you want a new neck, have someone on here make you one. Unless you are worried about having a Fender one. Or, speak to Fender and have them fix it for you. Surely you should still be happy with your purchase, such a short time in?
#11
Anyone knows how thick is a Strat neck??
And a Tele one??

How do they compare to Wizard necks from Ibanez?

Thanks and sorry for the ignorant question.
Noob Grade Gear...
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#12
Quote by deluxestrat07
When I demo'd it prior to purchase, it was obviously set up for sales-pitch playability; ultra low action, 9's, that slippery coat they put on new guitars.

I switched to 11's shortly after buying the guitar and raised the action slightly to accommodate the higher gauge strings.

I refuse to change string gauge; I have perfected my tone on this guitar and even a small adjustment, say from 11's to 10's
, changes it too much for my taste. I have thought about sanding down the neck, but the real problem lies in the width of the fretboard; I just can't stretch my fingers enough to get around it. I have pretty much resigned myself to the fact that I'm going to have to replace the neck if it's ever going to play like it did before.


Did you adjust the neck for the extra tension at all? Did you have the guitar set up by a professional? Did you try positioning your thumb properly? A thinner neck might be a little more comfortable, but the differences should be slight and cater to specific preferences, not make up for high, uncomfortable action. Buying a new neck won't help at all if it's not set up properly.


Ignore that, listen to this man

Quote by R.Christie
Your trouble isn't the size of your hands.
This problem will keep recuring, to bug you over and over again and again limiting your choice of gear.
Your problem is caused by your choice of technique, it can be eliminated by retraining your left hand.

Nevertheless, I figure this is not the solution that you wish to hear.


He's got it right. If you're playing on a properly set-up guitar, your left hand technique is wrong.
I Japanese Fenders
MIJ '86 Strat, MIJ '95 Foto Flame Tele, Jackson JSX-94
Schecter C-1 Classic 3TSB, Takamine EG544SC-4C
Warwick Corvette Fretless MIJ '89 P-Bass Lyte
Fender Geddy Lee Sig Bass, Ibanez DTT700 Destroyer
#13
All the technique and posture-training in the world isn't going to help me reach further around the neck. I thumb my chords; it's essential to my sound, and I'm not changing it. The guitar, the gear, and the setup change. I do not.
#14
And I wouldn't ever have a neck made, and then have to pay for it regardless of whether I liked it.
#15
i wouldnt get a wizard neck if you think you are gonan be playing lots of chords, that'll cramp your hand like a bitch, it hoestly sounds like the sting tension is effecting your playing, havign said that you shouldn't hae any problems wit ha regular strat neck, they're pretty thin and iv never had any problems with them and trsust me on this when i say i have tiny ass hands
#16
Quote by deluxestrat07
I thumb my chords; it's essential to my sound, and I'm not changing it. .

That's why your problem won't go away.
#17
what do you mean you thumb your chords?
I have small hands compared to my 14 yr old friends and i can get my thumb to reach over the 3 lower strings.

So its obviously your technique. For your best best i would say get a wizard neck, there suposed to be very thin, but someone said it will cramp your hand...

Do you use your pinkys at all? Maybe use them. They put numbers on the chord diagrams for a reason you know
#18
Quote by deluxestrat07
All the technique and posture-training in the world isn't going to help me reach further around the neck. I thumb my chords; it's essential to my sound, and I'm not changing it. The guitar, the gear, and the setup change. I do not.



that's fine I play the same way and have done for 17 years, but answer the question - did you have the neck relief/truss rod adjusted to compenstae for the extra tension that the heavier gauge strings exert on the neck

If it was fine in the shop - it's your setup which is the problem, unless they swapped guitars on you of course....
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#19
maybe i just don't know because i've been mainly a gibson man my whole life... but can you just switch out any old strat neck or any other strat neck?? are they all interchangable because they are the same length?
#20
wespeakinmidi: Yes.

TS, if something as simple as changing the string gauge bugs you, a new neck is probably gonna kill you. Much of a guitar's tone comes from the neck, believe it or not. A thinner neck is gonna lack the punchyness of a thicker one.

To a normal person this difference is small enough to almost be ignored, but since the difference in sound between string gauges bugs you, this'll drive you nuts.

Having said all that, I can hear the difference between thick strings and thinner strings, so I'm not saying it's impossible or 'tone mojo' to hear that difference. I used to play with 12s, but switched to 10s because it's easier to play. I didn't like what I heard, but I adapted.

Basically, quit being so stubborn. I agree that your technique needs improvement if you had the thing set up by a pro and it still isn't right. you came here and asked our opinions and you got them.

If you MUST get a new neck, go to warmoth.com. They'll make whatever you want, and they are liscensed by Fender and can slap a Fender logo on the headstock if that's an issue for you.