Posted by: kubiakl | July 7, 2010

And done.

This is what my neck looked like when I unpacked it:

Warmoth SRV Neck

After finally getting the right tools I installed the tuners and string trees.  The tuner screws needed pre-drilling, but you have to be careful not to drill too deep – you’ll punch right through the other side easily.  I marked on the drill bit what depth I wanted the screws to go to (some recommend masking tape, I used a dry erase marker) and carefully, slowly, drilled to the desired depth.  Once I had those installed my neck looked like this:

With Tuners and String Trees

I set the neck plate onto the back of the guitar and inserted the four bolts that hold the neck to the body.  After lining up the neck to the bolts I started to screw each one in, but did it in alternating turns – a few here, a few on the next, and repeat until the neck was firmly attached to the body.

Using DR Pure Blues strings in gauge .11, I strung it up and tuned to standard pitch.  Here’s a picture in its completed state:

Done!

If you can’t tell, I’m not a professional photographer.  These were taken on my cell phone camera and for some reason WordPress isn’t letting me edit them to change the orientation.  But you get the idea.

So how does it play?  In a word – INCREDIBLE.  The unfinished neck allows for more vibration and I love the warmer tone of the rosewood fingerboard.  Surprisingly, I didn’t even have to adjust the action – with the neck firmly attached to the body it is perfect for me.  Fender guitars have a bolt underneath the neck plate that can be used to raise the neck where it joins the body.  But the natural action is higher than Joe Satriani’s, lower than Stevie Ray’s.  Just right.  I did give the truss rod a few turns just to tighten it up a bit.  The compound radius is going to take a little getting used to but I already like it better than the straight 9.5″ radius of my old neck.

6105 frets were the right choice.  The ends are a tad sharp, so the sides of the neck aren’t as smooth as some, but it’s not enough to bother me.  They’re tall enough that the strings don’t buzz when I play hard but low enough that I don’t push everything out of tune with my ham fisted style.

The SRV contour isn’t quite as noticeable as I expected but adds a little comfort to the back of the neck.  As I told a friend last night – you probably wouldn’t even notice it unless you knew it was there.

All in all I am very satisfied.  I made a few mistakes (one of the string trees is a little out of alignment, and I managed to strip a tuner screw by not pre-drilling) but nothing that affects the playability or sound.

If you’re considering a Warmoth neck and have any questions I’ll be happy to answer as best I can.  The most important things to remember are:  make sure you have all the tools, pre-drill when needed, and don’t rush the job.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go enjoy it.

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