The 4 Best Aftermarket Strat Necks – Replacement Reviews 2024

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Photo by David / CC BY

If your Strat neck breaks, it’s absolutely heartbreaking since it’s so integral to playing the instrument effectively. There’s no need to despair, though. Replacing a neck isn’t a difficult repair, and since the Strat is such a popular, iconic guitar, you can find a lot of new neck aftermarket options. Depending on your instrument, you may even find the new neck is an upgrade over the original.

The main thing you want to make sure of is that the neck will fit your Strat perfectly. While each model of Strat has subtle differences, most follow the same formula. You’re looking for a C-shaped neck with a 9.5” fingerboard radius, 22 frets, and a 25.5” scale. Want to see some of your options? We’ve picked out our favorite replacement Strat necks and reviewed them below. There’s something here for every budget and style.

These are our recommendations for the 4 best aftermarket Strat necks on the market:

Fender Strat Neck, Medium Jumbo Frets

Since they make the Stratocaster, it’s no surprise Fender has some great options available when it comes to replacement necks. This one is made of maple and uses the modern C-shape you’ll find on today’s Strats. It also includes a pre-slotted synthetic bone nut and a standard truss rod. It’s also the most affordable choice if you want to get your new neck straight from Fender.

The satin finish on this neck (see full specs) gives it a nice smooth feel under your fingers. From a playing perspective, it uses medium-jumbo frets, reducing the total number from 22 to 21. Depending on what kind of Strat you play, this could take some getting used to, but it’s not a concern for fitting it onto your instrument.

Neck Shapes | Fender Custom Shop | Fender

Fender Roasted Maple Strat Neck

Here’s a Fender Strat neck that uses roasted maple for the construction. Roasted maple has a higher humidity resistance, so you’ll experience fewer intonation shifts from the weather, as well as benefitting from a longer sustain. And you’ll get an upgrade to the look as well as the sound. The darker hue of the wood is quite elegant, and visible woodgrain on the headstock is an especially nice touch.

This Fender Roasted Maple Neck (see full specs) has a standard modern C-shape and uses 21 narrow-tall frets. The truss rod adjustment uses the modern style and is effective at keeping the neck straight once it’s installed. This is one neck you might find to be even better than the original once you put it on your Strat, which easily makes this one of the best Strat replacement necks around.

Roasted Maple Necks

Fender American Elite Strat Neck

Looking for a more high-end option? This Fender American Elite neck is one of the best Strat replacement necks you’ll find, period. Its profile is unique, using a compound fingerboard that starts as a C-shape at the nut, and ends up as a D-shape at the heel. This makes it a very comfortable neck to play. The 22 medium-jumbo frets are all well-finished to feel smooth under your fingers.

The little extra touches on this American Elite neck are what really set it apart. The 2-way adjustable truss rod makes it a lot easier to adjust without needing to head to the repair shop. From an aesthetic perspective, it also has pearloid inlays and a chrome headstock decal. Whether you’re shopping with a mind to look, sound, or feel, the Fender American Elite has you covered.

Fender USA American Elite Strat set up

Mighty Mite Neck for Strat Guitar

Looking for a cheaper option? Mighty Mite makes a plethora of replacement necks for various guitars and sells them at an excellent value. Their Strat Guitar neck uses maple, just like most Fender replacements, and is tooled to perfectly match the specs of any Strat design.

You don’t have to do much work to get this neck installed and ready. It comes shaped and pre-fretted, with holes pre-drilled in the head for the standard sealed gear tuners. Even the look of it matches the Strat original, with a “skunk stripe” down the back and dot inlays up the fingerboard. And it feels good to play on, too. The satin polyurethane finish feels smooth under your fingers, and the frets themselves are well-finished to avoid sharp edges. Hands down, this is one of the best aftermarket Strat necks for the money.

Mighty Mite Neck Fender Strat Sound Test

Choosing a Strat Replacement Neck

Like we mentioned in the intro, the most important thing to consider is whether or not the neck will fit. Beyond that basic qualification, however, there are other details to pay attention to.

Both the sound and the feel of your guitar are heavily impacted by the neck. Maple is by far the preferred wood for a Stratocaster replacement neck. It’s stiffer than the mahogany used on many guitars, which gives it a longer sustain and also makes it more durable and resistant to warping from the tension of the strings.

You’ll also want to consider the size of the frets. The size of a fret is determined by the width and height of the crown, or the rounded metal portion of the fret that sticks up from the neck itself. There’s no one correct answer when it comes to fret size—it’s all about how you want things to feel while you’re playing. A shorter fret will be easier to play if you like your fingers to actually touch the fingerboard. Conversely, wider frets provide more sustain and can be easier to play, since you won’t need to press down as hard.

Finally, consider the truss rod. This is an unseen steel rod that runs under the fingerboard, providing stability to keep the neck from warming under the pressure of the strings. An adjustable truss rod can be a helpful addition if you want to be able to control how much give your neck has in response to the pressure of the springs. A standard truss rod will do the job, though, and will save you some money—replacement necks with adjustable truss rods are typically far pricier.

Hopefully, this breakdown has helped you pick the best aftermarket Strat neck! Instead of seeing a broken neck as a tragedy, consider using it as an opportunity to upgrade your neck design. You might be surprised how much it improves the sustain and feel of your guitar. Good luck!

  • Micah Johnson started playing music in high school, when he taught himself the bass to join his friend’s band. He added guitar and drums during his twenties playing in local clubs, and along the way, he picked up unique, hands-on experience from hand drums to studio mixers. On Song Simian, he aims to share this knowledge from 20+ years playing and recording music. When not in gearhead mode, he enjoys photography and travel.

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