#169183  by lbpesq
I’m ordering/assembling parts for my second Alligator build. I’ve got just about everything except the neck. I want to use a genuine Fender neck as I just don’t feel comfortable putting a “Fender” decal on a non-Fender neck. Alligator sported a 1955 neck which had a soft “V” and a 7.25” radius. I’m considering the following three options offered by Fender (the second two are described as modded 50s):

1. Same specs as above - soft “V” and 7.25” radius
2. Soft “V” and 9.5” radius
3. Modern “C” and 9.5” radius

I’m leaning towards #2. I’m thinking most Jerry players would be happier with the 9.5” radius. But I thought I’d put this out there for opinions. So, what do y’all think?

Bill, tgo
 #169184  by czyfingers
I agree...#2. 7.25 radius just doesn’t agree with my hands. The shape is just a matter of preference. I’ve been contemplating an alligator build too. 🐊 🤔🤔🤔
 #169187  by wpmartin1979
Wise to go authentic ... tough choice considering you spend so much effort to replicate every detail. Because you do I say go with what Jerry had on his. Stay true to the original and it gives the guitar a unique flavor - the flavor of Jerry. If you modernize it then it’s essentially just another strat.
If I bought an alligator replica, when I picked it up to play it, I would want it to play exactly like Alligator did, not like the other strat I already own.
It’s not about preference it’s about experiencing Jerry.
 #169189  by Jon S.
Generally speaking, with due respect to all who feel differently, unless and until scientists determine how to clone the original guitarist's hands and graft them as replacements onto my arms, my desire for authenticity in a tribute guitar ends when reaching the neck carve, frets, and setup.

I had my one guitar that came stock with a 7.25" radius and small vintage frets (1999 Fender USA '52 RI Tele) planed to a 10-12" compound radius and refretted with medium jumbos so I'd prefer 2 or 3 over 1. A modern C radius works fine for me and probably most others, too, but I must say, for several years I owned a USA Fender Buddy Guy Signature Strat with a soft-V neck and it may have been the most comfortable guitar I've played. From that, I believe a significant % of people who believe they're dyed-in-the-wool C carve guys might be surprised by playing a Fender neck with a soft V.
strumminsix, Searing75 liked this
 #169191  by wpmartin1979
Is this a tribute guitar or a replica of the original? I guess you need to decide. If you were custom building this for a customer, then you would obviously build to their preferences.
But it seemed to me that you have put a lot of time and effort into replicating the exact specs of Jerry’s guitar (hand crafting certain parts, etc.) Since that is the case, it seems to me that you are actually replicating and not paying tribute.
How can you know ahead of time what the customer would prefer!
 #169192  by Jon S.
wpmartin1979 wrote: Sun Jan 10, 2021 9:35 amHow can you know ahead of time what the customer would prefer!
A simple option could be to "pre-sell" the guitar, prior to completion, with the customer being able to choose (within the limits you've identified now) the final neck radius and carve (perhaps the frets, too). I believe this approach isn't uncommon for small luthier builds like this one.
wpmartin1979 liked this
 #169194  by jackevorkian
Musikraft necks are licensed by Fender, if that helps you feel better about the decal. Musikraft necks are awesome and you can spec out something better, like a 10-12 compound radius, rolled edges, and some really nice V to C profiles.

What was Tiger? Didn't Jerry ultimately end up with more of a Gibson 12" radius? All comes down to comfort and playability for the eventual buyer. I'd avoid 7.25!
 #169195  by perljam
As long as it's a Maple fingerboard neck - it will look great!

These guys sell a bunch of Fender necks taken off other guitars, so you get a much better variety than what Fender sells as necks: https://stratosphereparts.com I've bought from them a few times and had good experiences.

I ended up buying a lightly reliced Maple fingerboard Fender Custom Shop neck from those guys for my "Alligator" (not trying to be an exact replica). It was quite expensive, but now it plays (just almost) as good as my Custom Shop Strat and I'm having a hard time putting it down.

In other words, get something you love.
paulinnc liked this