Considering Modding a Strat and Need Advice

Discussion in 'Other Cool Guitars' started by LivingMyDream, Nov 10, 2019.

  1. LivingMyDream

    LivingMyDream Friend of Fred

    So I have fallen for the Soft V profile Strat neck, and I like the idea of the 9.5" radius vs. the more period correct 7.25" radius of the 50's neck of the Vintera 50's Strat. The good/bad news is that the Eric Clapton Artist Series Strat (where I discovered the feel of the Soft V profile) has the 9.5" radius + the hefty price tag.

    So I started thinking about finding a neck to swap into one of my existing Strats, and then doing the EC electronics. That's when I found out about the Classic Player 50's neck being the Soft V and having a 9.5 radius.
    So here comes what I perceive to be my dilemma. I have always purchased my guitars based on their great sound, and for one of my Strats, I have never found a real reason for the exceptional difference in sound. It might simply be that the neck is the perfect neck for that guitar. Thus the dilemma. Do I take a chance that a Classic Player 50's neck will mate well with one of my Strats, or do I go about searching through guitars to find what I consider to be a really outstanding guitar?

    I appreciate any and all input, even if the consensus is that I'm seriously overthinking this.
    Sid Nitzerglobin and Mr Swisher like this.
  2. DHart

    DHart Synchromatic

    Jun 26, 2019
    Buy the neck if it meets your desired specs. A Fender neck will almost certainly fit a Fender body without any problems at all.

    As for tone, to be honest, while the neck can contribute very slightly to the tone of a Strat, the electronic components account for much more, then the bridge, then the nature of the wood in the body. My view anyway.

    I've modded so many Teles and Strats, swapping around numerous necks, changing pickups, changing electronics, changing bridges. Never a problem interchanging Fender-branded necks and bodies.

    I've gotten to the point where I don't like to even buy whole Fender guitars, as they never are quite what I would like them to be off-the-rack.

    So, I buy take-off Fender bodies, take-off Fender necks, (usually from Stratosphere) and then individual pickups and other components (from eBay, Reverb, pickup winders, etc.) as seem suitable to the tones that I seek. Then assemble, just as a production line factory worker on the assembly line at Fender would do - except with a lot more attention to detail and care than a factory Fender might receive.

    If you want different TONE from one of your Strats, look to pickup and pot value changes. If you want the feel of the EC neck, buy a neck with similar specifications. Then figure out what you might want to do to adjust tone to your liking.

    Fenders are TOTALLY modular guitars and there is NO right, nor wrong, about mixing and matching components... aside from what pleases you.

    There is no "correct" unless you feel constrained to adhere rigidly to attempting to copy an old instrument from a particular period - for whatever reason. I've never felt any inclination to adhere to or comply to anything other than making my guitars feel, sound, and look as I want them to. And in the end, that is what brings personal satisfaction.

    Sorry for the ramble. I hope it helps in some way.
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2019
    Waxhead, Dennison, Mr Swisher and 2 others like this.
  3. Ricochet

    Ricochet I Bleed Orange

    Nov 13, 2009
    Monkey Island
    People have been playing mix'n'match with Fender parts since the 60s. Just ask Eric and Jimi...

    There is absolutely no need to exchange the whole guitar because you prefer a different neck profile. Try it, go back and forth if you have to, sell the other neck to recoup some of the money.
    LivingMyDream and DHart like this.
  4. Gretschmen65

    Gretschmen65 Synchromatic

    May 20, 2016
    No problem swapping necks.

    I have a Custom Classic strat which came with a stupidly skinny neck albeit beautifully flamed.

    Swapped the neck out for a MIM Jimmie Vaughan Sig neck which I have on another strat as well. Bigger neck - bigger tone IMO.

    I'll keep the custom shop neck in case I get stupid and sell the guitar but while I have it the thicker JV neck will remain on it.

    Edit: By the way the JV is 9.5" radius but a bit thicker through than the EC neck.
    Bought both of mine from Stratosphere. :)
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2019
    LivingMyDream likes this.
  5. thunder58

    thunder58 Super Moderator Staff Member

    Dec 23, 2010
    tappan ny
    Admin Post
    That's some great advice / knowledge to have on the shelf ....thanks
    Mr Swisher likes this.
  6. Bertotti

    Bertotti Friend of Fred

    Jul 20, 2017
    South Dakota
    I have bought one neck from the Fender website, other than not the exact tone I wanted, and I knew that going in, it fit perfectly and was all they said it would be. Go for it have fun, if it doesn't work out you can always put the original back on and use the new neck for a different project of sell it, not really going to lose much in the process other than time and a few dollars for a used neck sale.
    Gretschmen65 and LivingMyDream like this.
  7. GAMBLER1234

    GAMBLER1234 Gretschie

    Jan 18, 2018
    Henderson Nevada
    Necks are about playability, stability and cosmetics if that's important to you. Tone? Well that being the most elusive butterfly you can ever try to catch you'll just have to decide that for yourself although I have to say that I have no idea how one would go about doing that. My only advice from my 50+ years of playing Fender necks is that I've never come across one that sounds any better (whatever better actually means) or worse than any other.

    Fender American standard body and hardware - EMG loaded guard - Warmoth maple/ebony neck.
    LivingMyDream, new6659 and Mr Swisher like this.
  8. radd

    radd Country Gent

    Dec 27, 2017
    Santa cruz
    Something to at least weigh against changing necks and electronics. You can get a used Clapton strat for close to a grand. If you sell your strat it might end up being cheaper than the other route.

    If you just want to change necks, by all means do. The swap is super easy on Strat’s and Teles.
    LivingMyDream likes this.
  9. Mr Swisher

    Mr Swisher Gretschie

    Jun 12, 2012
    As much as I love my "off the peg" guitar purchases I think everyone should have some fun building their own "Fender" at least once.

    I'm loving working on mine, and will be changing it more over the coming months, as and when I can afford.
    LivingMyDream likes this.
  10. swivel

    swivel Country Gent

    May 13, 2018
    It is a good question. It's entirely possible that certain necks work well with certain bodies etc. I have tried to convince myself otherwise but the jury is definitely out. Something makes one guitar different than the next , even Strat for Strat. I can tell you this: An aftermarket neck on my EC Strat did not resonate the same as the EC neck.

    I love that EC neck also and have an EC Strat in my herd. I should have spent the money long ago for an EC takeoff neck for my other strat. I've spent more buying aftermarket necks than if I had just bought another. But I wanted rosewood board.
    Be careful, I dont know if the Classic Player 50's is the same or not. The Jimmy V neck is not near the same as the EC Strat neck.
    LivingMyDream likes this.
  11. swivel

    swivel Country Gent

    May 13, 2018
    BTW, I have an extra EC mid boost electronics setup with Texas Special pickups, or without, if you want it. Make you a deal. It's a good thing to do at any rate. I love it... like another option added to the great strat multi options! Mid boost at 1-2 = great for adding just a hint of grit to comping and chords etc. Mid boost at 4-6 great for playing slide! etc.
  12. bluenote23

    bluenote23 Country Gent

    Oct 17, 2009
    Montreal, Canada
    Maybe not a possibility but I have a 57 AVRI with a soft V. I do believe the AVRI 57 Hot Rod would have a modern radius so you could check those out used. Then you'd have a wonderful guitar with the profile you want.
    LivingMyDream likes this.
  13. T Bone

    T Bone Country Gent

    Whatever floats your boat! Not much of a Modder here, but a couple thoughts for you.

    Used, the Clapton Model tends to be a great value. If you shop, you can find a nice one for under $1K.

    The 50s Classic Player is an awesome guitar in it's own right. They come equipped with American Vintage Reissue pickups (at least they did, doubt that has changed). I have two of these, one in Shoreline Gold, the other an Anniversary Model in Desert Sand with an Annodized pick guard. These also come with vintage style locking Gotoh tuners btw. I really like these as is. Then again, I also have the Claptin Model in Black.
    LivingMyDream likes this.
  14. T Bone

    T Bone Country Gent

    Lol. Look who misspelled Clapton. Edit feature is gone now (I think we can edit for 48 or 72 hours?).
  15. wildeman

    wildeman Gretschified

    May 10, 2015
    I love modding so i say go for it.
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