I’ve used plenty of electric and acoustic guitars over the past years. From my experience with the former, I have found the Stratocaster guitars from Fender to blow other models out of the water. They go way back to the early rock ‘n’ roll days.
Like all guitars, the Fender Stratocaster guitars tend to take a beating as time goes by. Because of this, you may have to replace some parts (mostly the neck). When it comes to choosing the best replacement neck for Stratocaster, things could get a little challenging.
You will want something that’ll take back the guitar to its optimal performance. Additionally, you would also like to get the best bang for your buck because if otherwise, you may be better off getting a new guitar.
That being said, let’s dive in and see how to go about when choosing the best replacement neck.
- Best replacement neck for Stratocaster
- 1. Fender Classic Series 50’s Lacquer Stratocaster Neck – Maple Fingerboard
- 2. Fender Classic Player 50’s Stratocaster Neck – Maple Fingerboard
- 3. Fender Stratocaster Neck – Medium Jumbo Frets – Maple Fingerboard
- 4. Fender Deluxe Series Stratocaster Neck – Pau Ferro Fingerboard
- 5. Fender American Stratocaster Neck – Compound Radius – Rosewood Fingerboard
- 6. Fender American Professional Stratocaster Neck – Rosewood Fingerboard
- What to consider before buying: an expert guide
- Final verdict
Best replacement neck for Stratocaster
To clear out the confusion, here are 6 of the best replacement necks for Fender Stratocaster you could get for the money.
1. Fender Classic Series 50’s Lacquer Stratocaster Neck – Maple Fingerboard
Nothing beats the classics, right? By combining a classical look that has been polished up by modern designs and advancements, this Stratocaster neck should be a worthy upgrade for anyone.
With the inclusion of a soft V profile on the neck with a radius of 7.25”, it should be comfortable enough even for people with little fingers. Additionally, it comes with an amazing 21 vintage-style frets. These make it quite easy to have the utmost versatility on the tonal variations.
The guitar neck is also pre-slotted with a pilot string allocation grove. These make spacing easy while performing the slot filing of the final string.
Something else that stood out on this guitar is the maple fingerboard design. Like the two models we have looked at above, this one features both medium density and weight. It should, therefore, be no problem to handle for long performances.
The icing on the cake…
Not only does this neck built for performance but it has the looks as well. The guitar neck features a lacquer finish which gives it a vintage feel that makes it stand out from modern guitars.
2. Fender Classic Player 50’s Stratocaster Neck – Maple Fingerboard
Finishing up our reviews is yet another classic from Fender. On this bad boy is a maple fingerboard that will offer you an amazing weight and density balance. This way, you can be able to hold it for long whether in performances or for studio recordings. To add icing on the cake, it does have a 9.5” radius fingerboard with a soft “V” profile so holding it will be comfortable.
Additionally, the guitar features 21 medium jumbo frets. These give you a wide variety of notes to play with. Alongside the frets is a synthetic bone nut that is pre-slotted with pilot string location groves. These make spacing easy when handling the final string slot filing.
As far as the looks are concerned, it’s got a gloss urethane finish which gives you smooth playability. If you want something that’s going to get you a vintage feel, this is worth every penny.
3. Fender Stratocaster Neck – Medium Jumbo Frets – Maple Fingerboard
Want something that feels good, looks good and does good? Here’s the best neck replacement for you. For starters, it boasts the modern “C” profile design which is reputed for ease of use. The profile also features a 9.5” radius and should be comfortable enough for most guitarists.
Within the neck is a standard truss rod. Besides just preventing the neck from bowing and twisting, it functions to make the guitar have and maintain a consistent pitch.
The neck also features an amazing maple design. This, as it turns out, is amazing since it’s of medium weight and tightness. Due to its amazing balance, you should comfortably be able to handle it for long and the sound output will be amazing. Additionally, the fingerboard is also made of maple which gives the guitar a perfect balance of components.
For the frets, this guitar comes with 21 medium-jumbo frets. These should be good enough to get you a wide variation of notes.
This neck features a pre-slotted synthetic bone nut. This is preferred due to its durable and functional nature that makes tonal variation accurate while at the same time demanding fewer adjustments.
4. Fender Deluxe Series Stratocaster Neck – Pau Ferro Fingerboard
Even with a fingerboard that’s a 12” which is a little large for some, this Deluxe series Stratocaster neck’s performance remains uncompromised. To compensate for the rather large neck radius, it’s got a C profile.
This should be comfortable enough to hold in the hand for accurate notes and consistent play sessions.
The guitar also features a pre-slotted synthetic bone nut. This makes it easy to guide the strings and secures them well enough to minimize the risk of compromising your music notes.
This neck also features an amazing 22 jumbo frets that have got paroled dot inlays. With the 22 frets, it should be easy enough to get different notes accurately. With the inclusion of the paroled dots, you should have no problem whatsoever when it comes to finger placement.
For the construction…
This guitar neck features the Pau Ferro fingerboard which stands out to be one of the hardest woods you could get for a fingerboard. As much as performance will be amazing, you might have to put up with a little too much weight. Last but not least, it features a pre-slotted synthetic bone nut with a satin urethane finish.
5. Fender American Stratocaster Neck – Compound Radius – Rosewood Fingerboard
As you can already tell from the name of this product, it is made of premium materials. With attention paid to detail on the contours, finishes and the fret sizes among other things, you couldn’t go wrong on this.
First off, it comes in the modern C profile. If you want something that’s player-friendly, this is worth every penny. To add icing on the cake, the nut is pre-sotted with a pilot string location groove. This functions to make spacing easy when handling the final string slot filing.
As far as construction is concerned, the neck is made with maple wood. With its medium hardness and weight, it should be able to work well enough without giving you too much neck weight to handle. Alongside the maple neck is a rosewood fingerboard for optimal performance.
It’s also worth mentioning that the neck is pre-drilled with five holes. These make it easy to accommodate the traditional 4-bold mount design and also offset the 4-bolt neck mount design. This neck also features size two-guide-pin tuning machine holes that make it user-friendly.
6. Fender American Professional Stratocaster Neck – Rosewood Fingerboard
With the inclusion of 22 narrow-tall frets, you will find it easy enough to use this neck. Additionally, the neck features a maple design with walnut stripes. This means you get the perfect blend of weight, performance, and aesthetics.
For the fingerboard, you’ll get either maple or rosewood. In either of these, the radius is 9.5 inches which should be comfortable to hold in the hand by most. Additionally, there is a pre-slotted bone nut that guides the guitar strings well enough to ensure you get the best tonal output.
As far as comfort is concerned, it’s got a type C profile which contours perfectly with your hand. Thanks to the increased mass and altered geometry of this guitar you’ll get a natural fret-hand feel.
Looks matter, right?
On the back, the neck features a satin urethane finish with a gloss headstock. Both of these make this bad boy stand out in the room- perfect for studio recording and performances
What to consider before buying: an expert guide
It’s important to know what to settle with and what to avoid when choosing any guitar replacement part. For the Stratocaster neck, here are some things you should heed to.
Last but not least, it’s important to pay attention to the fretboard. This could be constructed with thin layers of different types of wood or be of the same type as the neck. Depending on your preference and experience, you could go for the one with markings that are friendly enough
The first thing you will want to watch out for is the material used on the neck. Whether laminated or solid wood, watch out for the hardest wood i.e. the one with tight wood grain.
Some of the 3 best options you could choose from include rosewood, mahogany, and maple. Additionally, there is an up-and-coming replacement for rosewood, the Pau Ferro which is tight and non-porous.
The neck profile:
This is a feature that affects both the player’s comfort and the playability of the guitar as you fret. You can choose from either a C, U or V profile. At the end of the day, it all comes down to the depth and width of the neck in relation to your hand. If you got small hands, go for a narrower neck and vice versa.
Type of neck construction:
you can choose from either bolt-on, set and neck-through designs. Regarding this, you will be limited to the original design of your guitar neck. The bolt-on, however, gives less resonance and sustain whereas the neck-through gives the most when played.
The neck weight:
Yet another feature worth paying attention to is how heavy the guitar is going to be once you replace the wood. As much as tight wood is ideal, it won’t be any good if you can’t handle the weight. You could, however, get a guitar strap to aid you with this.
As already mentioned, budget and personal preference are two key factors when choosing the best replacement neck for Stratocaster.
I’d, therefore, recommend that you go for the best neck you can afford. This way, you will not compromise on the sound quality, comfort or durability hence getting the biggest bang for your buck.
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