Neck plate recess

shanejw

Senior member
Messages
698
A friend of mine is building a tele from scratch and he has routed a pocket for his neck plate to sit in.  I think thats a great idea.
 
Ron Kirn does the same. It looks great, IMO. A really nice touch. Apparently, the neck plates are all off by a few thousanths, so a new template needs to be made from each neck plate.
 
I played a guitar with a recessed neck plate, and it was much more comfortable on the higher frets... I wanna see one of Warmoth's contoured heels cut for this kinda neck plate... http://cgi.ebay.com/2009-USA-Fender-DELUXE-Stratocaster-Strat-NECK-PLATE-NR_W0QQitemZ200359130409QQcmdZViewItemQQptZGuitar_Accessories?hash=item2ea655b529&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=65%3A15|66%3A2|39%3A1|293%3A1|294%3A50 and then have the neck plate recessed. That would be super...
 
rockskate4x said:
I played a guitar with a recessed neck plate, and it was much more comfortable on the higher frets...
I don't see how you would feel that area when playing. I have never touched the neckplate when i was playing.

I keep my thumb between the neck and body like this when i play the higher frets:
 
I really like to dig in for 22nd fret bends on the high e string. It's alot easier to do that when you can reach that fret with your ring finger or even your middle finger. For me that means I have to shove my thumb behind the heel. Contouring the heel or recessing the neckplate makes that much easier.
 
rockskate4x said:
I really like to dig in for 22nd fret bends on the high e string. It's alot easier to do that when you can reach that fret with your ring finger or even your middle finger. For me that means I have to shove my thumb behind the heel. Contouring the heel or recessing the neckplate makes that much easier.

FWIW, my Strat only has 21 frets, but i just tried and i can reach that area just fine with my thumb on the back of the neck. It was actually more difficult to get my hand behind the body than behind the neck.

The only thing i cant do is play the low E with my index finger. It was a bit tough with the pinky too, but the middle and ring finger were fine.
 
The neck plate is smack in the middle of my palm when I play the high strings on the high frets.  I generally don't play the low strings on the low frets (crappy tone up there) but if I do I just slide my palm towards the treble side of the neck plate so I can reach.

Edit: This is the reason I only have 1 Dangerous Doug plate, actually... I don't like the feel of the engraving on my hand.
 
The neck plate is smack in the middle of my palm when I play the high strings on the high frets.

It's a problem for me as well. I think all of my posts here will be about extended fret access / heel options. 24 Fret Ibanez AANJ like the RG/Jem baby...

the only way to travel. If only Warmoth could build a strattier more classic looking version that didn't have metalhead points all over it...
 
Ok, completely serious here, i dont understand how you guys are getting your hand in that area.
When i go from playing on the "regular" portion of the neck up into playing on the higher frets, it takes me a hell of a lot more work to try to get my hand behind the body than to just shift my fingers up the neck while my thumb and hand stay on the neck, like the diagram i posted.

Do i have a ridiculous playing technique or what? :doh:



 
i'd keep my thumb back there just like you if i didn't ever bend strings up there, but I like to have the extra leverage of my thumb squat behind (or as close as possible to) my middle finger when bending strings.
 
Most of my builds begin with using necks and bodies with no finish applied. I always assemble an instrument and tweak it fully and then dismantle it to apply a finish. Usually when the instrument is disassembled there is an indentation left behind by the tight neck plate which can be sanded flush and the edges rolled slightly. Since the plate previously crushed the wood beneath it during the tweaking period chances are good when the body is painted and the neck is installed the plate is more apt to remain on the surface instead of sinking again. And, the heel will be less noticable when playing.
Another trick I sometimes use to lessen the feel surrounding the neck plate is to lower the neck pocket. This mod works best when using necks with high frets. The instrument is fully set up and the arithmetic is done to determine how much, if any, the pocket can be lowered. Most of the time it’s between .030 & .040 inch. High bridge saddles will help determine if the mod is a wise one. The higher the saddle the lower the pocket can go. This is not a mod for the faint of heart or a mod suggested for pockets with proof-marks. The mod requires a router and template or a router bit usually installed in a larger high speed drill press which has a work platform that can support the body. The depth of the cut is set and body is cautiously moved around in a manner allowing the bit to cleanly cut the pocket depth. This mod is very effective for reducing the feel of the heel area but also can cause issues with contact between thick pick-guards and the 22nd fret overhang
I do not use contoured heel bodies because its uneven design tends to shift the pull of the strings to the lone forward mounting screw. IMO the pull from the strings should be shared equally between the 2 forward mounting screws and the mating area between the body and neck left alone for tone.




 
NovasScootYa said:
Another trick I sometimes use to lessen the feel surrounding the neck plate is to lower the neck pocket. This mod works best when using necks with high frets. The instrument is fully set up and the arithmetic is done to determine how much, if any, the pocket can be lowered. Most of the time it’s between .030 & .040 inch. High bridge saddles will help determine if the mod is a wise one. The higher the saddle the lower the pocket can go. This is not a mod for the faint of heart or a mod suggested for pockets with proof-marks. The mod requires a router and template or a router bit usually installed in a larger high speed drill press which has a work platform that can support the body. The depth of the cut is set and body is cautiously moved around in a manner allowing the bit to cleanly cut the pocket depth. This mod is very effective for reducing the feel of the heel area but also can cause issues with contact between thick pick-guards and the 22nd fret overhang

why not just get the 720 mod?
 
Simply because I was doing 720 type mods before 720 mods were available and DIY savings could be spent on a neck, etc. The mod I described is for deepening the neck pocket according to fret size, bridge saddle height, etc. And, the mod is limited to .040 inch.
i.e. Vintage Fender saddles for the G & D Strings should not have to be raised to the point the adjusting screws begin to run out of travel. If the mod in my post is done correctly the saddles will adjust without being too high or too low and help the instrument look, sound and play better. The secondary benefit is the heel area is less of an obstruction.
A .720" mod is not offered for bodies with pick-guards & neck overhangs. (Actually the 720 mod should work on such bodies if a thin Fender Engine Turned pick-guard is used along with thinning the overhang a bit).
The .720" mod increases pocket depth .095" and as I recall the mod alters the neck angle. Thanks for your question.



 
i like the fender deluxe contoured heel. if it were recessed, well that would be heaven. :guitarplayer2:
 
I've been looking at getting an unfinished warmoth body without a contour and that way the heel is a blank canvas ready to be carved to accept a fender deluxe neck plate. After that i step I don't see why you can't do the slight angled contour that warmoth does on their standard heels.... and I agree.... it would be heaven.
 
Dont' you think the neck plate effects the sound. It seems to me a good thick heavy neck plate would sound better than just screwing the neck into the wood?
 
I'm sure it might make a slight difference, but there's enough of them out there that are done both ways that I couldn't personally tell you which is which by listening or playing.  Mind you, my ears can't tell the difference between poly and nitro or how a Rosewood Fretboard sounds different than a Maple one.
 
neck plate seems better to me in theory but I've never done a blind test or anything. If the plate gets in the way, you could recess it, so that's always another option.
 
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