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  1. #1

    Unhappy Neck angle doesn't look right

    I'm halfway through my mock build (TLA-1). Bridge (aftermarket), neck and strings are in but the neck angle doesn't look right. Even with a concave bow, strings are touching the 22nd fret. I could try raising the saddles very high to make up for it but it doesn't sound like the correct fix. Should I shim the neck or should I save the neck pocket at the correct angle (sounds hard to do)? Any body here had to deal with that and can provide a bit of advice?

    Thank you.

    - Marcelo
    Last edited by mcamelo; 30-12-2018 at 02:46 PM.

  2. Liked by: cfletchorama

  3. #2
    Had the same thing with my JTL kit. You need to shim the headstock end of the pocket until the strings arenít touching.

    Then use some feeler gauges to measure how thick the gap is from the shim. Write that measurement down.

    Remove the neck and measure the thickness of the neck at the heel with some digital calipers (both bass side and treble side) Write these measurements down too.

    Now with the neck clamped on your bench with the screw holes facing up, You need to use a hard sanding block (very important) with some 80grit to sand the body end of the neck heel. You want to take off the thickness you measured with the feeler gauge at the start. I sanded to about halfway between the 4 screw holes on mine.
    Keep stopping and checking with the digital calipers to make sure youíre sanding it evenly.

    Long story short: if the shim needed to be 2mm and your neck heel is 60mm, you need to sand it to 58mm.

  4. #3
    Overlord of Music Andy40's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Hi Marcelo,

    Not detracting from the sage advice given by Richy17, which is a cool way to do it if you have a real problem wiht the neck heel.


    I would caution against modifying the neck join (as a first point of call) as its unlikely to be the culprit. the CNC routing is usually fine.

    I would check in order,

    1. the straightness of the neck, first with sight then with a notched straight edge, (it should be straight not convex or concave) - there is no neck angle coming out of the neck pocket on a TLA-1;
    2. the levelling of the frets, use a fret rocker or some stanley knife blades as a fret rocker. Its unlikley that the frets are levelled at all well straight out of the box. (do not level the frets until the neck is straight)
    3. the nut height. (I think this will be the culprit) they are always Waaay too high and I high nut with low saddles means string drag at the 22nd fret.
    4. the saddle height. You'd be surprised as to how high a tele neck sits above the body and how high the saddle sit.

    If you have tried all of that and it still doesn't work can you post some pictures please and we will try and help.
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  5. #4
    GAStronomist Simon Barden's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Reading, UK
    Quote Originally Posted by Andy40 View Post
    I would caution against modifying the neck join (as a first point of call) as its unlikely to be the culprit. the CNC routing is usually fine.
    If only it was CNC routing, there would be less problems with the kits! But Adam has stated that they are simply done by hand using templates, which does introduce room for error, especially as the templates wear.

    Mcamelo, as Andy says, photos will help.

  6. #5
    Andy is right, I probably should have said to do this as a last resort 👍🏻

  7. #6
    Moderator Brendan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Perth, WA
    Aftermarket bridge may have some impact as well, mine (basses) have all had some impact on the setup as they are not the same height as the kit ones. Shims may not need to be as severe as 2mm - start with a piece of paper - hit it with some spraypaint (drench it), let it dry and use that to build up a shim - may only need one or two small shims of paper.

  8. #7
    Thank you all for your suggestions.

    Neck is completely flat (checked with a fretboard straight edge). Frets around the 22nd are level. Nut is pretty high but so it the saddle so not an issue here.

    Yes, the aftermarket bridge sits lower than the stock. So this could be the main offender.

    Photos with the D string installed:

    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	29586 I have the saddle as tall it can go.

    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	29587 But it is still too close to the fretboard.

    I'm keen on the aftermarket bridge so it looks like I will have to deal with the issue at the neck pocket or heel.

    I've measured the depth of the pocket and it is around 18.80 +/- .20 mm. Is that the expected depth? If so, I will adjust the neck heel as I feel that is the safest path.


  9. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Melbourne, Australia
    Could you shim the bridge to elevate it?
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  10. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by churchie View Post
    Could you shim the bridge to elevate it?
    I definitely could but it is not the kind of look I'm going for. Bridge flush to body is a requirement in this case.

  11. #10
    Looking at that second photo, neck looks very tall against the top of the body but I have only a set neck PRS to compare it to. Would anyone be able to measure how tall their Tele's neck is measured from the body's top?

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