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22-fret Strats: get new neck or whole new guitar?

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  • 22-fret Strats: get new neck or whole new guitar?

    Hi y’all. Despite having a real nice American Hamer Mirage, my cheapo Mex-made Jimmy Vaughn Strat ($300 used in 2001) has been my main axe for years. I love having three single coils! (w/ wiring to give me neck and bridge together) And I prefer the look of it too.

    But it I desperately want a 22nd fret so I can hit that high note in key of D and also bend up to E.

    So so does anyone have suggestions for which Fender Strats had 22 frets that I could get for around $800 used? Does such a thing exist?

    Though i I also have concerns about buying a guitar online that I’ve never touched. Maybe it would be safer to stick w my Mexi Strat’s crappy body would and just get a new neck....

    So, anybody have experience changing their Fender’s neck? Any ideas how much a shop should charge for the labor and set up? (I don’t trust myself much anymore; pros are better).

    thanks!
    My band!:
    www.steelphantoms.com/
    my stage stuff:
    fender jimmie vaughan strat, korg dt-10, ts-9, keeley rat, thoroughly modded big muff, 4ms tremulus lune, eventide timefactor running stereo to a traynor bassmaster (w hotplate) and a fender HRD. Everything ('cept the TimeFactor and dt-10) is modded, with much help from folks at Harmony Central. Thanks everybody!

  • #2
    Seems like a simple matter to add one more fret.
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    • #3
      It would cost less to find a Used guitar with a 22 fret neck.

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      • #4
        I haven't done it to a strat but I've built several tele's with 22 frets necks. Potential problems include that the f/b extension might extend to the neck pickup or might interfere with the pick guard and not seat all the way into the pocket. There are ways to fix both of these, just takes a little surgery. The other thing to be aware of is that quality of replacement necks varies a lot (kind of with price). I have used four Mighty Mite necks (about 100 - 150) and all have required significant fret work. I installed one non name PacRim neck for a customer and it not only didn't fit the geometry, the frets were terrible. The Warmoth necks that I've worked with are much better, but still require some work. You'll either buy new tuners (50 bucks or so) or scavage the ones off your old neck. Most after market nuts are terrible, plan to have a new one made.

        If you were to bring the guitar and neck to me for installation and setup I would estimate that it might take me two to four hours plus parts - I charge my time at 50 per hour.

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        • #5
          Couldn't you just add a block with the extra fret?
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          • #6
            If you can afford the cashflow I'd buy a 22 fret Strat, compare the 2, then if you still prefer the tone of the JV Strat you can swap them and sell the new one as a 21 fretter.

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            • #7
              Actually, I'm thinking they won't be a straight swap, but I'd still buy a new one then decide. You might find it's way better anyway.

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              • #8
                Stewart-Macdonald sells Mighty Mite 22 fret Strat necks for about $100 - I put one of their necks on a MIJ Telecaster and I'm pleased with it.
                "Our presence here is only for a short period of time.
                We do not have to shorten it by fighting each other"

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by 1001gear View Post
                  Couldn't you just add a block with the extra fret?
                  Aaah, no. The 22nd fret overhands the pocket - it kind of floats above the body of the guitar.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Freeman Keller View Post

                    Aaah, no. The 22nd fret overhands the pocket - it kind of floats above the body of the guitar.

                    As long as the pickup up isn't in the way, what's one more piece of wood? I don't think tone would take precedence over that one note. ?
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                    • Grant Harding
                      Grant Harding commented
                      Editing a comment
                      It still needs to be supported. With the overhanging fb you get the strength of the wood to deal with the little cantilever. I don't think gluing a piece on is going to work very well or look great.

                    • Grant Harding
                      Grant Harding commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Unless you're Freeman, in which case you'd never be able to tell it didn't leave the factory that way.

                    • 1001gear
                      1001gear commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Can be done in a variety of ways is all I'm saying.

                  • #11
                    Originally posted by 1001gear View Post
                    Couldn't you just add a block with the extra fret?

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                    • 1001gear
                      1001gear commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Yeah but that's just a marketable way of doing it. All you need is a fret/stop to be where the 22nd fret should be. Could be anchored in the pocket or clamped to the end of the neck. The body would stabilize it in the vertical plane.

                    • gardo
                      gardo commented
                      Editing a comment
                      I'm not saying this is the way to go,only that it is possible.
                      He did say that IF the guitar were not in for a refret already he would not replace them all..

                    • Freeman Keller
                      Freeman Keller commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Quote "Yeah but that's just a marketable way of doing it. All you need is a fret/stop to be where the 22nd fret should be. Could be anchored in the pocket or clamped to the end of the neck. The body would stabilize it in the vertical plane."

                      It has to be within a couple of thousands of the plane of the rest of the frets, curved to the radius of the f/b or it will be a little buzz bomb when 21 or 20 are played. It needs to be 18.344 inches from the nut or it won't play in tune. It has to be tightly held in its slot (and the "slot" for 21 has to be recreated when the end of the f/b is cut off - you'll actually end up gluing that fret in place). The entire neck geometry needs to be correct (both angle and overstand) in order for the action to be properly set. Whatever McGiver system is used can't interfere with the neck pickup or the pick guard.

                      Quote "I'm not saying this is the way to go,only that it is possible.
                      He did say that IF the guitar were not in for a refret already he would not replace them all.."

                      I would sure pull several more so I could sand that little piece to match the rest of the neck.

                      Sure it can be done and if someone brought me a guitar and said "do it" I would. And I'd even take pictures and post them here. But really, all this to add one fret to a $300 "cheapo Mex-made" strat?
                      Last edited by Freeman Keller; 02-05-2018, 01:56 PM.

                  • #12
                    Seriously, just buy another guitar.
                    My Music: www.soundclick.com/bands/default.cfm?bandID=440762
                    Some of my guitars: 64 or so Domino Beatle bass; 73 Ibanez 2398; 79 Epiphone Genesis; 79 Manoman; 99 Ric 330; 78 Gibson L6S; 95 Ibanez JS-700; 04 Samick Lasalle JZ3: 05 Ibanez AS73; 81 Paul Custom, 07 Gary Kramer Simulator T and about 50 others.

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                    • #13
                      Yep - if something's not worth doing, it's not worth doing well.

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                      • #14
                        G&L Legacy tribute.

                        That'll be well under $800 new, much less 2nd hand, and I bet their tremolo design I better than Fender's.

                        Ant the Les Paul Lover!

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                        • #15
                          My solution would be to buy another guitar with the intention of selling the old one.But of course i would need a little time to compare Pups and so on.
                          Then never would get around to selling it, one more for the collection

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