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Post subject: new Tele neck - questions
Posted: Sat Feb 09, 2019 8:10 pm
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I have an Indonesian Telecaster I bought from a friend who doesn't play guitar and needed some help. I'm an American Fender 'snob', but it came with Seymour Duncan pickups and honestly I loved the birds eye maple neck on it. The serial # is ICF1100XXXX (I assume it's a 2011?). I wound up having to replace the pickups - the neck pickup was open (no continuity). I've also tried to get the neck set up myself to no avail, and two luthiers have looked at it and can't get it set up. It buzzes on the top 3 strings around and above the 12th fret, and it frets out easily when bending in that area. At this point I'm thinking I should just go ahead and get a new neck. It's a 4 screw neck. I wanted to check with the expertise on this forum that a standard MIM or American neck will fit - the neck pocket is standard size? Thanks in advance for the help!!!


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Post subject: Re: new Tele neck - questions
Posted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 9:36 pm
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Standard neck should fit a Squier/MiK/MiC/MiI body
But are you sure a new neck is needed?
If the action is too low, (4/64 @ 17th fret) then it will buzz and fret out.
It could be something as simple as a "proud" fret up above the 12th that needs to be tapped down.

Generally, a neck is rarely a lost cause unless it has a lot of twist or a broken truss rod.
OTOH, a new MiM neck is only $200-$250, however, you will have to have the nut cut to the proper height.

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Post subject: Re: new Tele neck - questions
Posted: Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:31 am
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I'm going to be a bit blunt on this, but I really mean to help rather than offend… So, we have three tries with the neck - you and two luthiers (how qualified..?). No easy thing to answer - web help is always harder than a guitar-on-the-work-bench. And really, we don't get much basic info here...

What's the relief, what's the action, have you three checked that frets are level (low or high frets…)?
Any dents or such, any excess worn spots on the frets?
Does the neck (= not just the frets) have a bump somewhere towards the neck joint? Any propeller character or other warps in the neck?

If the neck is something you absolutely want to keep, there are ways to correct it. Done by a pro, the costs could quickly rise above a new neck. And BTW, a MIA neck on an Indonesian Tele is way overkill, regardless of any snobism levels. :wink:


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Post subject: Re: new Tele neck - questions
Posted: Mon Feb 11, 2019 5:12 am
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sounds like a few high frets could be the thing.

dumb question: has any one checked the frets with a fret rocker?


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Post subject: Re: new Tele neck - questions
Posted: Mon Feb 11, 2019 8:04 am
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If you paid the luthiers to fix the problem, at the least they owe you a diagnosis of exactly what the problem is, and what the possible fixes are.

Eveything can be fixed. Sometimes the cost of the repair is more than something is worth. Sometimes the repair may change the shape/feel of a neck.

But the luthier should lay all that out for you, and allow you to make an informed decision.
-------------------------
But that's assuming you went to an actual luthier and specifically asked them to address the buzz.

If you just took it to the tech behind the counter at Guitar Center and just asked for a setup, that's a different story. Many of those guys can handle the basics but have no advanced skills.


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Post subject: Re: new Tele neck - questions
Posted: Mon Feb 11, 2019 10:37 pm
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I'm open to all input and suggestions, no offense taken on any constructive input. I live in a small town so not a lot of resources. I've been working on and setting up my guitars for 30+ years, but am not a luthier. Setup (neck relief, string heights) is all proper. I will measure where it's sitting now and post. I raised the action a bunch which did help but I have to raise it to the point it's not really playable stop the buzzing/fretting out. The first luthier I took it to isn't really, but has been in business for many years and I did it to see if I was overlooking anything. The second guy truly is a luthier who has built his own guitars from recycled pianos and also did an excellent job refretting an American Strat neck of mine. The first thing he told me on this one was 90% of the time it's a simple setup issue. Neither he or his apprentice could figure it out. Neck looks straight, no warp or bumps. He levelled the frets, made sure none were popping up, etc. He showed me with a fret level/rocker. Frets look new, no detectable wear at all. Believe me, I would love to keep the neck even if it means re-fretting - 22 frets and what looks to be real mother of pearl dots. I use that 22nd fret sometimes, hence the temptation to get an American replacement but yeah it would be way overkill on a MII tele. But if a MIA neck makes it a real player it could be worth it...

Can anyone recommend a place in Southern California I can send it to have it worked (I guess if I'm going to send it somewhere it doesn't have to be Southern CA...)?

And thank you for the replies!!!


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Post subject: Re: new Tele neck - questions
Posted: Tue Feb 12, 2019 12:23 am
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For the possible new neck option (there may come a time when the effort/cash put into this neck just become too much…), to confirm the compatibility, what model guitar is it? (And what's the radius?)

With the present neck, I'll wait for the action/relief measurements - the "proper" you mention could mean different things for different people.
If a fret rocker was used, I assume the neck was checked with a long ruler, too? If yes, and if the neck is OK, the web advicing gets even trickier... :wink:


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Post subject: Re: new Tele neck - questions
Posted: Tue Feb 12, 2019 6:22 am
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mtnman82 wrote:
Can anyone recommend a place in Southern California I can send it to have it worked (I guess if I'm going to send it somewhere it doesn't have to be Southern CA...)?

Contact Joel Grant at Grant Guitars in Fountain Valley.

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Post subject: Re: new Tele neck - questions
Posted: Fri Mar 08, 2019 10:23 pm
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I apologize for the delayed response...

Checking the set up as I type this: The relief is 0.010" - using a .010 gauge string to check. At the 17th fret the strings are all between 0.07" and 0.08" above the fret, closer to .08". There is no noticeable fret wear on the frets.

The last luthier I took it to was very open and was checking it out with me there, letting me check it too. Checked with a long straight edge and also with a rocker. However, with my string action ruler now it does seem like there might be a high spot on the 13th fret under the B/G strings (short edge of the action ruler is just wider than 3 frets and I can rock it in this spot). It also does buzz above the 17th fret on the top 3 strings - slight buzzing and the notes are 'dead', they don't ring out like they should.

The frets on this are thinner than on my strats, so another reason to just re-fret. Hence my quandry to invest in a re-fret or just get a new neck...


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Post subject: Re: new Tele neck - questions
Posted: Sat Mar 09, 2019 2:23 am
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OK - I still think it's hard for web diagnosis/help to find a miracle cure, since I'd think your techs have checked and tried these already…

Still don't know the model of the guitar, which in turn would tell the fretboard radius.
All 2011 Indonesia Seymour Duncan'd Teles I found on the Frontline are set necks. :wink:

Anyways, I'd try with a little less relief - maybe half of what you have now, and see if&how that effects the buzzing-above-17th-fret-on-top-3-strings. BTW, I take the "top" to mean GBE here..?
And your action is on the low side. Maybe the next step after the smaller relief would be to raise the action - a hair up on all strings, and "flatten the radius" on the bridge a little - if your nut is 9.5", try about 11" on the bridge. (This naturally doesn't do much if the fretboard is a 12" or such…)

The rocking rocker on the 13th fret area might not bother after those.
But often that is an issue which won't go away with just adjusting.
It might be enough if the frets are leveled (instead of a full/partial fret replacement job) - and if the frets have enough metal, maybe give the neck a bit of fallaway and/or "fake compound" towards the body end.
You have one suggestion of a good tech from CB91710, so...


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Post subject: Re: new Tele neck - questions
Posted: Sat Mar 09, 2019 2:52 am
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It could possibly be a Lite Ash Tele with Duncans and birds eye maple neck. Originally made in Korea but Cort moved production to Indonesia.


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