? Strat neck warp

Richard Monroe

Well-known member
I've got a MIM Jimmy Vaughn signature Tex-mex strat, which up to this point, has served me very well. It lives in a hard case, and is adequately hydrated. It has a V-neck, all maple. Recently, I took it out of the case, and the action was high, particularly on the bass side. A truss rod adjustment helped minimally, but that isn't the real problem. Looking down the neck, I can see that the treble side is pretty straight, and the bass side is, to put it simply, bent, particularly in the area of the first 5-7 frets. The intonation is spot on, and it's not buzzing, which surprises me. If it matters, I use 11's with a wound G (jazz strings). Unfortunately, I'm getting the feeling that I may be in the market for a Warmoth neck real soon. Any advice or ideas here?-Richie
There are a ton of ways to 'save' the neck, but you have to decide if it is worth the time, effort, and cost. You'll need a serious repairman/luthier. A real cheap way I've used (since I was young, broke, and felt I had nothing to lose) was to remove the truss rod nut, and just string up the G, B, and high E string. It may take a day or a week, but when the treble side looks as bowed as the bass side, clamp a small back bow to the neck, and put the truss rod nut on. This may work, or it may work for just a month or four, or it may not work at all. But, as I say, what have you got to lose?
An expensive way, and to me it's only worth it with a vintage neck, is a refret with the bow planed out. I've done on real vintage Strats, but it ended up costing me more than a Warmoth. However, since it was a real '59 Strat, what other choice did I have?
Well, Muttley, I don't know because 1.-I am away from the guitar for a couple of days, and 2. I don't know how to measure that definitively. I'm thinking you would use a feeler gauge (which I don't have available). Based on what I'm seeing, I bet if I put a capo on the first fret and one on say, the 7th fret, I'm going to see a difference in the bass and treble sides. And I can tell you this strat is no vintage collectable, and before we get to planing the neck, etc., it'll just get a new neck. It can't be that far off though, if the intonation is still good and it's not buzzing. It may be that a fret dressing will help (or not). Anyway, I'll be where the guitar is in a couple of days, and I'll see if I can make a more accurate assessment.-Richie