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Telecaster Questions

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I've been trying to figure this out for a while--maybe someone here has both MIM and MIA telecasters for comparison?

The MIM neck I have is 21 frets. Most or all MIA Telecasters (and all the clones, it seems) have 22 frets.

So this means, of course, that on an MIM Telecaster, either the bridge has to be shifted backward or the neck pocket can't go as deep into the guitar in order to respect the scale length.

In either case, though, they can't have the same pickguard...yet how come I never see any pickguards marketed as specifically MIM?

Now, from the photos I've been looking at, it seems that for an MIM tele, Fender just leaves a larger gap of wood between the end of the pickguard and the lip of the bridge plate? In other words, the pickguard remains the same? Can anyone confirm this?

A slightly different issue with the bridge though--the shorter (and narrower) MIM neck requires a different string spacing ---when I've had the neck mounted (using either the clone bridges or the MIA bridge I have), the E strings were much too close to the edges, at least higher up the neck.

Yet I never see any bridges labeled specifically for use with MIM necks. So how is this done?

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USA standard 22 fret necks have the overhang. There are very few models that have the non-overhang 22 fretter.


Warmoth lists this info for known incompatibilities:

Roadhouse Strat® - 22 fret, no overhang

Big Apple Strat® - 22 fret, no overhang

Lonestar Strat® - 22 fret, no overhang

Nashville Tele® - 22 fret, no overhang

Fat Tele® - 22 fret, no overhang

Fat Strat® - 22 fret, no overhang

Heavy Metal Strat®

Heavy Metal Tele®

Jagmaster® - Unknow specs.

EDIT: As far as the bridge goes, I don't know where you've been looking but I've seen several places that list different bridges for USA and narrower import spacing. Fender lists different ones for different models. Here

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That just makes me more confused....because that overhang, it should be covering up the bit of pickguard between the neck pickup and the pocket, right?

Here's a photo I found of an MIA:


It's clear that the pickguard is much wider there than the (5!) tele pickguards I have --none of those are Fender guards, although one was sold to me as a retrofit for a Fender MIA.

At any rate, both tele clones I bought had 22 fret necks with no overhang...and both necks were wider at the heel (and thicker) than the MIM neck I have...

I'm just trying to figure this out, I'm planning on getting rid of the MIM neck and making my own. I've seen the list at the Fender site -- the only MIM I found was for the 'vintage' series. I believe the neck I have is a standard series.

What are you doing awake anyway?

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Ok, the USA is on the left, the MIM is on the right. The MIM standard 21 fret neck ends approximately where the 22nd fret would be. The overhang on the 22 fret USA neck is just a bit longer. You can see in the side-by-side that there's not a lot of difference.


On the bridge, the spacing difference is only 1/16 on either side, so it's not that much. If you use a vintage style 3 saddle unnotched bridge you could probably use any brand you want.

EDIT: If you're stuck on using the flat modern USA style bridge plate, Callaham makes excellent replacement parts.

"I'm 'Night Guy'!" - Jerry Seinfeld

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