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2001 Squier Stratocaster - Body Material?


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I came upon a red 2001 Fender Squier Stratocaster recently, and I was wondering if anyone is knowledgable about these guitars.  I heard that the bodies of these guitars are quite good but the necks are junk.  It is in need of some repairs and some TLC but otherwise in good condition.  Would it be worthwhile to throw a new neck on this thing?

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9 hours ago, JohnnyHendrix said:

I heard that the bodies of these guitars are quite good but the necks are junk.

It would be interesting to know how "junk" is determined in a whole series of guitars! In my opinion a neck is "junk" if the frets are off and/or the actual neck is warped or otherwise out of shape.

Most likely Fender know where to put the frets so that should be no issue. If the neck is straight sideways, let's continue.

Most often "junk" means that the fret job is poorly done. At the very worst the frets aren't properly seated but that's rare. Most likely they're also leveled but not always and years of playing may have worn gaps into some of them. The most common issue is that the fret ends haven't been rounded or even leveled, or if something has been done the fretboard has been moist while doing that and has shrunk sideways so the fret ends stick out. Also the nut can be too high and the overall action not perfect.

There's quite a lot of fine tuning that good guitar shops may do before handing the guitar over to the customer. Just a few strokes with a file or sanding beam along the fret ends can do wonders to the playability if the wood has shrunk. Shaping each individual fret is the next step towards perfection. Leveling the frets allows for lower action and even worn frets can often be saved by leveling. A new set of quality strings is a must. Adjusting the nut and potentially changing a cheap plastic one to bone or tusq is another key to low action and effortless playing. A tad of relief from the truss rod adds the required space for the strings to vibrate when you're chording. And finally adjusting the bridge for the lowest action and perfect intonation.

The above should make any guitar feel great. Of course there's a dozen of different neck shapes - V, C, D and all their variations - but a well set up guitar will "play by itself" regardless of the neck shape. And of course you can reshape the neck profile within the thickness. Especially a D can easily be shaped to a soft V if that's what you want.

So don't change the neck until you're sure the old one really is junk instead of just in need of some fine tuning.

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