Are Guitar Necks Interchangeable? (Neck Replacement Options)

Are you looking into changing your guitar neck?  Or maybe you have a neck already and wondering if it can be used on your guitar.

Are guitar necks interchangeable?

No, guitar necks are not interchangeable.  If you want to change the neck on your guitar, you must get one that is made for your model of guitar.  Different guitar bodies have different neck pockets, bolt configurations and scale lengths which determine the neck you need.

How Can I Tell When A Guitar Neck Will Fit My Guitar?

There are actually a few ways to know if the neck will fit your guitar:

  • Check the neck pocket on the guitar body – the butt of the neck and the neck pocket must be the same size for proper neck fit.
  • Scale length – the length between the nut and the bridge must be the same.
  • Bolt configuration – some bolt-on necks have 3 bolts, others may have 4.

Are All Telecaster Necks Interchangeable?

No, not all Telecaster necks are interchangeable.  The Telecaster was first introduced in 1950. Because of production changes made by Fender up until 1968, Telecaster necks are either “vintage” or “modern” .

Vintage necks (1950-1966) : These necks were produced with 3 screw holes for tuners (side dots) and a string ferrul nut in the end of the neck pocket.

Modern necks (1967-present): These necks were produced with 4 screw holes for tuners.

Are Strat And Tele Necks Interchangeable?

No, not all Strat and Tele Fender necks are interchangeable.  Strat and Tele necks do not share any characteristics that would allow them to be interchanged. In fact the Telecaster was the first mass produced solid body guitar.  Strat necks were not introduced until 1954.

Are PRS Necks Interchangeable?

No, PRS necks are not interchangeable.  PRS feature a 25″ scale length and a recessed locking nut which makes them unique from other guitars. Since they do not have a standard neck pocket for other brands, there is no way to make them interchangeable with those types of guitars.

Are Gibson Necks Interchangeable?

No, Gibson necks are not interchangeable.  Gibson has taken the use of a truss rod in a guitar to new levels. In fact, on later models of the Les Paul and SG, the truss rod is actually part of the neck itself.  Aside from that small exception, it is safe to say that Gibson necks are not interchangeable with any other brand on the market.

Conclusion

Are guitar necks interchangeable?  No. But there are options for you as a guitar player to use your existing neck on your new body. Consider the neck you have and what its specifications are and then look around for a replacement body that would suit those specs. If you’re looking for a new neck, consider the one that comes with your guitar (if it is not broken) and keep it in mind if you come across another body to use with it.

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