What do you look for in a neck?

When buying a neck, do you get:

  • The cheapest in the showcase with the materials you want

    Votes: 6 28.6%
  • The finest figured wood you want from the showcase

    Votes: 1 4.8%
  • Somewhere in between

    Votes: 11 52.4%
  • Low dollar custom

    Votes: 1 4.8%
  • High dollar custom

    Votes: 2 9.5%

  • Total voters
Somewhere in-between.
I only have one warmoth bass, but I bought the neck partially because it was the wood I wanted (canary and ebony) but mostly I settled for that neck because it had a wicked stripe in it (it is macassar ebony)
The neck did not have any extra charge because of the figuring on the fretboard, but I probably would have payed an extra $50 for it, after seeing it.
When I buy a neck I spec for the build it is a part of.  For a simple solid color Strat/Tele I'd probably just do plain maple with rosewood and clay dots.  For a body with wicked woods/figuring, you've got to have a neck that complements it well.  Then there are builds that just look wrong if you don't go the classical route.  For instance, to me, a Les Paul (carved and figured top) doesn't look like a Les Paul unless it has those big trapezoid inlays and binding.  
I'm sold on exotic wood necks. I always look for the most inexpensive exotics with the straightest, tightest grain. I don't like knots or uneven grain in a neck as this may lead to a future warp. Warmoth has some unbelievable exotics in the $250 range. The only exception I would make to spending more than roughly $250 for a neck, is an all ebony neck in the $500 range. One of these days if I live long enough... :)
BB in SC


YES! Note very tight, even and symmetrical wood grain. This should be a very true neck for many years.

NO! Note the random grain patterns. NO uniformity in the wood grain. Just looks like a possible future warp from here.

Just MHO.
I've ordered two necks from the showcase, both were impulse buys but more on the 'value' side. My custom order neck approached $500 but I LOVE it.
Necks are the tricky part in my orders. Half of the specifications have to be the same:

1) Vintage Modern construction
2) Fat back shape
3) SS6105 frets
4) Unfinished neck, no maple/mahogany/koa.

I chose rosewood for my first neck so no woods left in the vintage modern category. I paid extra for my second neck to have goncalo alves/pau ferro. I really don't like to pay extra, I hope Warmoth will expand the wood choices for the vintage modern necks. That's the reason I have a body at home and two other bodies on shipping but no necks.

I have a killer Les Paul body and in the future I'd like to order a killer neck to match it, I have decided on ziricote for the fretboard but I'm not sure if Warmoth will do such a neck in vintage modern constuction. No binding with SS frets also, so either i'll order it fretless and have a local luthier do the frets & binding or I 'll wait til Warmoth offers it as an option.

I'm sold on exotic woods, too many maple necks in guitars. I would like to try different woods, all look beautiful to me except plain ebony. I like grains in the necks but I'm not so picky as I am with the body tops.
If its my money - and it is - I get what I want, based on what conceptual idea I have before hand.  Its always - concept first, then start the procurement and assembly.

i buy warmoth so i can get something over the top. it's all about custom. i can get a cheapo squire and upgrade the hardware for cheaper than an american strat or even a warmoth, it'll sound and play great. so when i buy warmoth it's more about custom than value. i'll get something highly figured or exotic every time.
None of the pole options fit me. I buy the neck that fulfills the dream of the particular build I have in mind. Sometimes its just a Maple/Rosewood neck and sometimes it's a Wenge with an Ebony fingerboard. Sometimes its a bound and painted neck. I do really dig exotic wood necks though. They are pretty inexpensive for what they are and you save money by them not requiring a finish. The prices for exotics are going to increase dramatically as supply dwindles so now is a good time to build up the arsenol.
Exotics baby! I am sold on my first and figure ALL of my future necks will pretty much be exotic.  It is a shame we are cutting them all down (well not us in particular, but society in general) and I agree with Gregg, get 'em while you can as the numbers will certainly start to dwindle in the future.

I build for whatever it is I am looking for, might be plain and simple, out of the showcase, or custom order (my preference), depends on the plan...

Bottom line, I am diggin' the exotic world and in for the long haul myself...
For me it depends. I don't care about the look of the wood at all - but the LP neck i recently order wasn't cheap - with binding and paint. I didn't get inlays so it's a little cheaper than the more expensive inlay. Though for a strat I wouldn't pay much since I wouldn't have binding or expensive paint.
I try to find a pleasing match of neck and body. If I do, then, and only then, do I look at the price. If it's too much, sayonara. Otherwise, full speed ahead!