We believe our necks are heirloom quality. No mass produced guitar neck can match the world class quality and character of a beautiful neck made in a small shop by a luthier! Our goal is that you will decide to keep the neck as you change to different guitars or builds.
Hand Made in the USA: Our beautifully hand crafted S-style and T-style guitar necks are rough profiled on a CNC machine, then finished individually by hand in our shop – by guitar players – using rasps, files, and other woodworking tools! We don’t mass produce necks by the thousands like production shops so we give the time required to quality build each one. Each neck, made with care by a human (imagine that these days!), has an individual soul all its own, and we are proud that they are made here in the USA.
Wood: We don’t subscribe to the idea that only certain woods are Tone Woods. We believe that all woods are Tone Woods and each type is unique in the sound and tone it produces. Every player and every ear is different, so who are we to say which wood has the best tone? We build our necks with the finest Hard Maple, Curly Maple, Red Maple, Striped Maple, Cherry and Mahogany and use Rosewood or Maple for our fingerboards as well as a number of other woods. By special order, we can build a neck for you from any kind of wood. Ebony fingerboards are also available by special request.
Our position markers on the fingerboard are made of real Ebony, Black Walnut, Rosewood or Maple wood depending on the fretboard used. NO plastic face dots like production necks use. Maple dots on a rosewood fret board acquire a patina from the rosewood oils as it is played that is very pleasing. We make our own Ebony, Maple and Rosewood face dots from raw stock! By request we can use any type of wood available to us for dots on your neck. This is one of the beauties of naturally built necks. We have had customers send us specific strains of walnut grown in their state’s wood forests for their dots. Way cool!
Frets: Every Aperio neck is hand fretted, and comes standard with glued and pressed stainless steel frets that are leveled and crowned. Many makers just press the frets in and leave it at that, as it takes time to do the necessary fret work. This leaves you having to get it done locally at extra expense! Think about that before you purchase. Stainless steel makes the best fret material because it plays much more smoothly and lasts up to five times longer than alloy. If you try doing bends on stainless vs. alloy you’ll feel the difference immediately and the difference is amazing. Many guitar shops charge insane prices just to refret a neck with stainless, but we sell the entire handmade neck often for less than a stainless refret. And we specialize in stainless refrets! The fret wire we use is 6100, 6105, and 6150 Stainless Steel.
Fret slots: Slots are CNC cut following the radius of the fingerboard at each fret slot. This provides a closer coupling of the fret tang to the neck and better vibrational transfer. Mass necks have a flat slot, much deeper under the middle and shallow at the ends. In addition, we don’t cut all the way across the fingerboard, leaving a natural binding and non-exposed fret tangs for a better feel and look.
Shape and Size: Our standard necks are offered in a C-shape. We have found this to be the shape that players want and always come back to after trying out others. This is the shape that is most comfortable to play. They are 1-11/16″ wide at the nut and 2-3/16″ wide at the heel.
Truss Rod: For a lifetime of strength and reliability, we use 304 stainless steel for the truss rod and slug. Each one is made in house. They are pinned and peened and will never fail with proper use. It is a single shaft with a conforming slot CNC routed in the back of the neck. This approach leaves as much wood as possible in the neck for better tone and feel. Compare a single truss rod neck to a dual acting truss rod and you can actually feel the difference. The dual truss rod feels artificial as though it is a different material.
This type of truss rod requires the minimal removal of wood from the neck. The rounded channel bottom also reduces the air gap between the wood and truss rod allowing a tighter fit and more solid construction. Double acting truss rods remove a large amount of wood from the neck and serve no purpose had the neck been designed properly. The purpose of a double acting truss rod is to reduce production cost and product returns of poorly designed necks. They are also widely used by amateur builders to insure their necks work. Wood selection, proper seasoning and proper techniques in routing and glue-up insure a correctly functioning single truss rod neck.
Our necks have Black Walnut truss rod plugs installed in the headstock. Many lower quality necks have no plug or a cheap unattractive plastic insert or even black paint! We’ve all seen them. And both by all accounts are pretty bad looking. We don’t skimp. The plugs are cut from blank stock and turned in house to precise dimensions and slotted for best strength and glue retention. A time intensive process that contributes to a better neck!
Nut: Each of our necks comes standard with a Graphite nut. Graphite nuts are superior to other nut materials in eliminating string breakage and binding, therefore keeping your guitar in tune longer. For professional musicians this is a must.
Tuners: Tuners are available as an option. We use Sperzel, Kluson or Fender/Schaller two pin mount tuners. Sperzels are made in the USA and our first choice.
Finishes: We are environmentally conscious! Our necks are finished with hand applied Tru-Oil. We don’t spray toxic lacquer explosives of yesteryear or plastic finishes used on production guitars. Our natural finish enhances the beauty and grain of the wood, allows for superior resonance and tone, and enables the player to connect with the wood rather than feeling the barrier of a plastic finish. It is carefully applied by hand, not by a robot in a spray room.
Natural finish necks are beautiful and have a slight amber tone and will darken with age. There is no comparison to a hand applied natural oil varnish. It’s the only finish that pops the grain and reveals the real wood.
Design: We’ve designed our necks to feel comfortable and great in your hands. In fact, our view is that you should not even think about the neck when you are playing, it should be unobtrusive and transparent, like an extension of yourself. Our necks are beautiful to look at, wonderful to feel and effortlessly playable.
Pricing and Ordering: Please see our shopping page for currently available necks. A standard hard maple Aperio neck oil finished with graphite nut, stainless steel frets leveled and crowned and Ebony Black Walnut or Rosewood face dots starts at $320.00; with Rosewood fingerboard $335.00. Contact us for more information.
To quote Frank Henry Martin. “A good guitar cannot be built for the price of a poor one, but who regrets the extra cost for a good one?” No one has ever complained from having paid too much for a quality guitar.
Our Policies: Every Aperio neck is guaranteed for life to the original owner against any material defects. Proof of receipt is required. We cannot cover fret wear and finish wear as we know you will enjoy playing your Aperio neck so much that these types of wear will naturally occur, although our stainless frets will last a very long time.
Guarantee: If you do not like your Aperio neck you may return it to us in the same condition you received it, no screws have been applied, no modifications, no damage, etc. We will cheerfully provide you a full refund excluding shipping charges. We ask that you tell us why you did not like it so we may consider modifying our build process. Our goal is to build the best necks possible and like building the best car or writing the best song, no one has ever achieved perfection, but we endeavor to.