So you are thinking of putting a Stratocaster neck on a Telecaster and you are unsure if you should do it – you have come to the right place.
There is a reason why guitarists often like Telecasters and Stratocasters, and it is because they are so easily modified.
In this article, we will see if it is possible to put a Strat neck on a Tele, and also if you can put a Telecaster neck on a Stratocaster.
Are Tele and Strat necks the same?
No, a Tele neck is very different from a Strat neck. Starting with the headstock, the Stratocaster has a larger headstock, and the Tele has a slicker-looking neck.
Beyond the looks of the headstocks, there is also the neck socket which is slightly different from one model to the other.
The Telecaster has a square neck pocket, which means a Telecaster neck will have straight lines, so it can connect perfectly to the neck pocket. The Stratocaster neck pocket is rounded, and a Strat neck is also rounded in order to fit.
What do you need to know before replacing the neck of your Tele or Strat?
What you need to take into account is the number of frets. Most guitars have 21 frets, but so the body is typically made for a 21 fret neck.
If you happen to have a neck that has 22 or who knows 24 frets, it might not fit properly and it can be complicated to intonate.
Additionally, it is important to keep in mind that different manufacturers of guitars can have slight differences in the size of the neck and neck pocket. This might make it difficult to swap necks from different manufacturers.
You want to make sure that you are doing this on a Fender guitar because their size is standardized.
It is also important to mention that it needs to be a guitar with a bolt-on neck, as neck-through guitars do not allow you to replace the neck. Unless obviously, you are a very skilled luthier.
Will a Stratocaster’s neck fit on a Telecaster?
Yes, a Strat neck will fit on a Tele body, although since it is rounded on the corners, you can expect it to not be a perfect fit. This means that there will be small gaps in the corners of the neck.
Although it isn’t a perfect fit you can still put a Strat neck on a Tele.
Will a Telecaster’s neck fit on a Stratocaster?
No, a Tele neck will not fit on a Strat body. The reason is simple, the Tele neck has straight lines and the Stratocaster neck pocket is rounded. This makes it impossible to connect the two unless you would be willing to sand the Tele neck.
This is not advisable, since you can end up destroying the neck unless you are an experienced luthier.
Are Telecaster and Stratocaster necks interchangeable?
Not entirely, especially if you want to place a Stratocaster neck on a Tele body. This can be very complicated, because of the design of the Telecaster neck pocket. Since it has straight lines and the Strat neck is rounded, it will be difficult to fit in.
Even if it fits, it might be impossible to perfectly intonate the guitar, and this might affect your tuning, playability, and the durability of your instrument.
Why would you swap necks on a Telecaster or Stratocaster?
There are a few reasons why you would replace a Telecaster neck with a Stratocaster neck:
Perhaps you prefer the looks of the Strat headstock, and you want to replace your Tele neck with a Strat one.
We all love how Stratocaster necks look, they give the guitar a certain character and personality, especially with those 70s large headstocks.
If you own a Telecaster you may prefer the looks of a Stratocaster neck, and that is fine. In the same way, you might own a Stratocaster and prefer the slick look of a Telecaster’s neck.
Another reason could be that you prefer a different fretboard, and instead of buying a new neck, you can replace it with the one you already have.
Perhaps you have a neck with a maple fingerboard on your telecaster and you have a Strat neck with a rosewood fretboard that you prefer. This is also a plausible reason to replace the neck. As it can definitely have an impact on your playability.
This is a debated topic, but for those who believe wood ultimately has an influence on how an electric guitar sounds, it could be another explanation to replace your neck.
Another argument is that Strat necks tend to be heavier, and this might also have a slight influence on your playability. Or you might even prefer Tele necks because they are lighter.
Another reason could be out of necessity. Maybe you have a Stratocaster replacement neck around and you want to replace the neck on your Telecaster.
If you have an extra neck or a guitar you do not play that much and want to replace the neck of your Tele or Strat this can also be a good reason. This way you do not have to spend money buying a replacement neck when you already have one.
Will a Strat neck fit the Tele Deluxe?
Yes, a Strat neck will fit on a Telecaster Deluxe. However, you should be aware that it will not be a completely perfect fit. Therefore you need to be careful with intonation, and even fill in the gaps between the neck itself and the neck pocket.
This guarantees that both the neck and the body of the guitar are well connected, and prevents any possible damage to your guitar. It also assures that it stays in tune better and that you can intonate the guitar perfectly.
I have been playing guitar for the past 15 years, and my knowledge and passion for guitars prompted me to start Guitaresque to share my knowledge, tips, and tricks with other guitar players. The sole purpose of this website is to help and inspire guitar players worldwide, to improve their playing and their love for guitars.