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Replacing Necks With Different Scales.

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Hi, I've got a neck with 21 frets. This is a bit unusual but it is a really nice neck that I like it. My first question is how long will a neck last with lots of playing (about 2hrs a night). This gutiar that I am building I want to last for ages, because I am planning a top notch painting on the guitar body. For this reason if I have a problem with the neck becomming dammaged or wearing away I will want to replace it an maybe upgrade it. However, (and this is where it gets complicated) most of the fender and warmoth necks are 22 frets. Since I will have an expensive paint job on it I will not be able to move the position of the bridge, so will there be a chance of replacing a 21 fret neck with a 22 fret length neck without moving the bridge.

Cheers, Will.

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I don't think there's any reason to worry about the neck wearing out to the point that it is no longer functional. You can wear down the frets to an unplayable state or break the nut or things like that, but those're all easy to fix - you just replace the frets or nut.

I mean, you play a guitar for two hours a day for years and years, and it'll definitely get dinged up and worn in, but it shouldn't stop playing well.

I would be more concerned about all the scratches your fancy paint job will get in it over the years. Make sure you get a hard two-part poly clear coat or something equally durable over the painting.

On the subject of a replacement neck, you almost certainly won't be able to use a standard Fender/Warmoth 22 fret neck with your existing guitar body, but you'd need to give a lot more info to find out for sure. I doubt it, though. There's also the question of whether or not the heels are the same shape and size. There are some necks that are made specifically with an overhanging 22nd fret to make a 21 fret guitar into a 22 fret guitar, but again, that's for a specific standard size of 21 fret neck and there are no guarantees it'll fit like YOUR 21 fret neck.

Edited by jnewman
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Thanks, just what I wanted to hear. I think that if I use a hard tail bridge I wouldn't be too fussed with holes in the wrong place. If in the unlikely situation to have to replace the neck it wouldn't be to bad moving a hardtail because the holes would give it character! (my main concern was that the frets would be in the wrong place and the innotation would be wrong, which it will be :D

thanks for the response jnewman

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Ah, but as jnewman suggests, fret jobs (and you can often re-level and recrown before you have to worry about actually pulling frets and refretting!) and nut replacement, or tuner replacement and finish touchups jobs or any sort of maintenance that could possibly be needed on the neck are going to be a easier than replacing a wierd neck. The only thing I can really see being needed in the future is fretwork, which if you teach yourself to do it, is going to be cheaper to do than buying a new neck anyway, even if you could just pop in a warmoth replacement. And honestly, I've got guitars I've been gigging with for over a decade that have never had any fretwork (heck, any work at all, other than replacing an output jack) done on them. Although, now that I've started to build my own, I realize that fretwork wouldn't be be bad idea on these.

And I think if for whatever reason you *did* want to replace your neck, not being able to purchase a replacement would be a great reason to try your hand at building you own!

Another option (again, only if you needed to replace the neck, an event I can't see being likely) would be do re-route the neck pocket to accomadate a warmoth neck. This might not be possible (or at least, difficult) depending on the pocket the existing neck requires, but might be as easy as carefully routing out a little bit more in the neck pocket. You'd of course want to make careful calculations in regards to scale length before you did something like this, and I suppose the placement of neck pickups coud be a problem here.

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just because a neck has 22 frets or 21 frets dont mean they has a different scale

you got to measure from nut to #12 and double it - that will give the scale

older fenders had 21 frets but always 25 1/2" scale

you'll find warmoth necks are also 25 1/2" scale even though most have 22 frets. and by the way the neck is the same as a 21 fret and just the las little bit of the fingerboard that carries that #22 fret actually hangs out over the heel of the neck by around 3/8" so no neck pocket changes may be needed at all. an really man you ain gonna wear through a neck in a 100 years of playin....think on stradivari fiddles that bin played by master players 8 hours a day for 400 years

no sign of them necks [maple and ebony] wearin through but may have had the fingerboard replaced is all. but a fiddle neck has no frets to wear down

warmoth make short scale 24 3/4" that also has 22 fret

they make vintage neck with 21 fret but that comes with 7" radius an you will need a high action for string bends

the 22 fret jobs have compound radius [10" at the nut 16" at #22] and are great for bending and a good low action

they call em vintage modern or VM necks Vintage cos they has the old single action truss rod and modern cos they has 22 fret and the excellent compound radius.

You gots to measure ur neck from inside nut to centre of #12 double it an thats ur scales

You got a long way to go b4 you wear through a neck man LOL

You might go through a set of frets nut they can be replaced

BTW ur neck will look great after you wore through three or 4 sets of frets and you will pay very high dollar for a neck that has bin relicced to look as good...

some advice man just play on

worry about a new neck when you wore that maple and rosewood right through

Edited by ray
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