Fender Company is a well-known brand in music history. Their instruments were and still are one of the most desired in the market.
Today we will be talking about its two most iconic guitar models: Stratocaster and Telecaster. Both guitars present more similarities than differences but many players wonder, do they have interchangeable parts?
Can I put a Strat neck in a Tele body?
In this article, we will be covering every aspect related to this interesting combination.
If you are looking for modifying your guitar continue reading to the end and you will find the required information regarding this topic.
What are the main differences between Telecaster and Stratocaster necks?
Despite these guitars’ great number of similarities, they present noticeable differences. As explained, necks present comparable features but they differ in shape.
While Strat’s necks have a curved, rounded heel and pocket, Tele’s are squared at the end. Moreover, Stratocaster’s headstock is larger than Tele’s, and the latter presents a flat neck end whereas Strats have a rounded one.
What is more, depending on the Strat design, the number of screws in the neck joint may vary. The earlier models present a 4-bolt joint but during the 70s, the standard was 3-bolt.
In the case of Telecasters, this feature never changed. The standard is and has always been a 4-bolt neck joint.
Although it is common to find the same number of frets, some necks provide 21 frets instead of 22. As a consequence, the scale is also affected, resulting in a slightly dissimilar length.
Are Stratocaster and Telecaster necks interchangeable?
Having described the different characteristics of the two pieces, you may infer the answer to this question.
Due to the variations presented in each neck, sometimes would be possible to interchange the components but not in every case.
Although it may sound obvious, the rule of thumb to swap necks is that both pieces should share scale length and number of frets. In addition, the neck end has to be the same as well.
Therefore, according to this information, we may conclude that a strat neck could work for a Telecaster body.
As the first presents a rounded heel edge, it will fit in the neck pocket, there will be some space left but it won’t affect it at all.
Nevertheless, the reverse process will be tough. Telecasters have no curved edges at the end of the neck, making it impossible to match them into a Stratocaster body.
As you would expect, not every neck will be interchangeable, you have to consider features, dimensions, and shapes.
Fortunately, there are necks from different models that could instantly work for both of them, I encourage you to check our article Are All Fender Guitar Necks Interchangeable? for further information
Are Telecaster and Stratocaster neck pockets the same?
Telecasters and Stratocasters are more alike than you may think.
Nonetheless, neck pockets present some incompatibilities.
First, neck pockets have similar dimensions.
They share the same measurements, same width, depth, and length.
Unfortunately, one single feature makes them hard to swap. Neck pockets vary in shape, as strat necks are curved at the edges, and the neck pockets follow the same bending to match them.
In addition, the number of bolts also varies. In some cases, you will find Stratocasters with 3 or 4 bolts in the neck plate.
As Teles always have 4-bolt joints, necks won’t match.
Nevertheless, because of the great number of similarities, both necks might be modified to suit each other’s bodies.
What are Strat and Tele models known for having interchangeable necks?
Every time you want to install a neck in a body, what you have to consider is check the dimensions and the shape of the neck.
Among Fender products, their specs usually follow the standards, making it simple to do the swap.
However, they are not universal and as we have explained in the article, not every neck will fit all bodies.
Regarding Tele and Strats models known for having interchangeable necks, we can say that any Strat neck will suit every Tele body except for Strats built between 1971 and 1977.
Are there any models that won’t be as interchangeable?
Strat necks that share dimensions with a Tele’s could match a Tele’s body.
However, models created during the 70s might not be interchangeable.
That’s because guitars manufactured at that time had a 3-bolt neck joint, incompatible with 4-bolt neck pockets presented in Telecaster’s body.
If you still want to install that type of neck, you will have to do some adjustments.
We discuss Strat necks into Tele’s bodies, but what about the other way around?
Unfortunately, Telecaster necks won’t suit a Strat body. Due to the shape at the end of the neck, Tele necks couldn’t be installed into a strat, curved neck pocket.
Where to get Fender guitar parts?
Nowadays, is pretty common to buy online, and guitar components are not the exception. Many aftermarket dealers offer a wide range of compatible Fender parts.
Each manufacturer has its own parts, which mainly are custom products. I will list the best online shops for you to order new pieces or even explore them.
Warmoth is the first site you’ll find when looking for guitar parts. They offer necks and bodies of every kind and also hardware components.
You can find not only guitar components but also bass necks and bodies. Every product has detailed information to provide the best customer service.
The STRATosphere provides a vast stock on its website. This shop offers many kinds of products, including guitar bodies, necks, and even metal plates for the neck joint.
Apart from those guitar parts, you can find pickups, knobs, straps, and strings as well. Explore their page and discover what they have for you.
They offer electronic pieces such as pickups and knobs as well. Check this website and take a look at the accessories they sell.
Although it is relegated to guitar parts, you can order custom products. As it is in the hands of luthiers, the outcome will be high-end pieces.
USA Custom Guitars is a shop that pays attention mostly to necks and bodies for guitars and basses. As this store offers custom pieces, they won’t be available in regular music stores.
USACG has extended fame in America, delivering products across the whole country and even worldwide. You can get unique instruments just by visiting their website.
Hello there, my name is Ramiro and I’ve been playing guitar for almost 20 years. I’m obsessed with everything gear-related and I thought it might be worth sharing it. From guitars, pedals, amps, and synths to studio gear and production tips, I hope you find what I post here useful, and I’ll try my best to keep it entertaining also.