#1
Hey all-

I have a frankenstein Telecaster (unknown body, korean neck, schaller/unknown pickups, strat-style 3-way switch), and the neck on it is somewhat warped. It is/was a nice birdseye maple neck, with a maple fretboard to match. But I'm having some issues with some of the frets starting to fizzle out, and at a few points on the guitar a full step bend won't reach the full step before the warp on the neck stops the string vibrating. Can I fix this? I don't know if it's possible to straighten a warped neck/fretboard.
#2
Yes, you can adjust the neck. Its what truss rods are for
So you can either:
A) Try and do it yourself. Or...
B) Take it to a guitar shop and have them adjust (and maybe show you how to do it if you don't already know)
#4
What you described is your strings fretting out. Try raising your action a bit and see if it goes away.

What are you seeing that makes you think the neck is warped? If it's just being forward or backward, that's normal. If it's twisted, that means it's warped.
#5
Quote by Strats&Cats
What you described is your strings fretting out. Try raising your action a bit and see if it goes away.

What are you seeing that makes you think the neck is warped? If it's just being forward or backward, that's normal. If it's twisted, that means it's warped.


The reason I think it's warped is that the fretting out isn't consistent in one part of the neck. It's in a sort of diagonal arc from the 12 fret high E to the 3rd fret low E. Also, my action's reasonably high already- I play slide on this guitar, so I can't keep the action dead low.

Not sure if it'd be related, but the intonation is slightly off as well (12th fret harmonic doesn't match 12th fret note, which is worse on the high E and progressively better up the strings).
#6
Quote by Guild King
The reason I think it's warped is that the fretting out isn't consistent in one part of the neck. It's in a sort of diagonal arc from the 12 fret high E to the 3rd fret low E. Also, my action's reasonably high already- I play slide on this guitar, so I can't keep the action dead low.

Not sure if it'd be related, but the intonation is slightly off as well (12th fret harmonic doesn't match 12th fret note, which is worse on the high E and progressively better up the strings).


Look down the neck from the headstock. If it's twisted you'ld be able to see the board hump up on one side (most likely the left hand side from what you're describing). If it's straight, the issue isn't warping.

This sounds to me like one of two things:

1.) You don't have enough relief in your neck. To check this, hold down your low E string at the first fret and last fret at the same time. Then, while holding these two spots, check the space between the top of the 7th fret and the string. Is there a gap? If there is, your most likely fine. If there isn't you need to adjust your truss rod.

2.) You're fretboard isn't level. This could be the result of a fret or two beginning to pop up, or just general wear.
#7
Quote by Strats&Cats

1.) You don't have enough relief in your neck. To check this, hold down your low E string at the first fret and last fret at the same time. Then, while holding these two spots, check the space between the top of the 7th fret and the string. Is there a gap? If there is, your most likely fine. If there isn't you need to adjust your truss rod.

2.) You're fretboard isn't level. This could be the result of a fret or two beginning to pop up, or just general wear.


I don't SEE a hump. As for relief, the low E string has a gap around the 7th/9th frets, but the high E does not (when plucked, it rings for a split second, and the dies out like it's fretting out immediately.

It's very possible that it's general wear- I bought the guitar from someone used, who bought it used from the guy who cobbled it together. and all the parts look like they've seen the road for quite a while, before and after being part of this particular instrument.

I guess my real question is, can that be fixed, either by myself or a luthier, or do I need to replace the whole neck?
#8
Quote by Guild King
I don't SEE a hump. As for relief, the low E string has a gap around the 7th/9th frets, but the high E does not (when plucked, it rings for a split second, and the dies out like it's fretting out immediately.

It's very possible that it's general wear- I bought the guitar from someone used, who bought it used from the guy who cobbled it together. and all the parts look like they've seen the road for quite a while, before and after being part of this particular instrument.

I guess my real question is, can that be fixed, either by myself or a luthier, or do I need to replace the whole neck?


I see. If your low E has relief, but your high E does not (it's resting on the top of the other frets when you hold the first and last down) then your neck IS most likely warped. Try looking down the neck again, you should be able to see the left side of the neck is twisted higher then the right. It might be very minor and hard to see, but a minor twist is sometimes all it takes.

I don't think it's wear because that wouldn't result in only half of your fretboard having enough relief.

You might want to have someone take a look at it who knows what their doing (as I can't see it in person), but from what you've told me I'm pretty sure it's warped. Unfortunately, that means the neck is done, there is no fix.
Last edited by Strats&Cats at Dec 28, 2011,
#10
Quote by Guild King
Well, thanks. The advice is much appreciated.


Not a problem. Again, take it somewhere to have it looked at just to be sure.
#11
Quote by Strats&Cats
but from what you've told me I'm pretty sure it's warped. Unfortunately, that means the neck is done, there is no fix.


Sometimes it can be fixed. However the cost will be more than its worth. And its hard to find the right kind of magician, one who knows the secrets of steaming and quick cooling. I've never done it but my dad has.

Also, if the damage is not too severe, you can peel off the fretboard, plane the neck level, replace the fretboard and redress the frets. Obviously you get a slightly thinner neck, which may or may not be something you like.

Replacing the neck is much more viable option.
#12
if it's a rare and collectable instrument then it might be worth getting the neck restored, as it can be done, but it's a lengthy and expensive process.

in this case since you said it's a 'frankentele' i think you'd be best off just replacing the neck.
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#13
Take it to a proshop, sound slike the neck is to badly bent, they can adjust the truss rod, if this doesnt help, it isnt really worthwhile to replace the neck with and original, but an after market neck can be fitted, it all depends on cost.
As I said goto a guitar shop or even better a lutheir and they will give you the best advice.
#14
As others have mentioned, a good luthier can fix it. You might even be able to do it yourself. The process is mostly a lot of clamping and waiting (it can take weeks or months), you can find threads showing the process on TGP and HC. But unless the neck is special it’s going to be easier and cheaper to just replace it.
#15
Quote by jpnyc
As others have mentioned, a good luthier can fix it. You might even be able to do it yourself. The process is mostly a lot of clamping and waiting (it can take weeks or months), you can find threads showing the process on TGP and HC. But unless the neck is special it’s going to be easier and cheaper to just replace it.


it's not really special- it's a birdseye maple tele neck with a maple fretboard. i'm sure mighty mite makes the same thing for something reasonable. i'll probably just replace it... i may end up replacing the whole guitar and popping the electronics into a mexican tele, just so that i know everything works together.