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Thread: Newporter

  1. #1

    Newporter

    I have an old Fender Newporter on which I want to replace the neck. I don't see a lot of info about replacement bolt-on necks for Fender acoustic guitars. Fender says they don't offer them. I've checked out web pages for LMii, USA Custom Guitars, Allparts, and Warmoth, but didn't really see anythng about accoustic necks. I haven't actually spoken to any of them. Anyone know anything about a good custom source?

  2. #2
    Forum Member phantomman's Avatar
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    Re: Newporter

    Why do you want to replace the neck?
    "When injustice becomes law then rebellion becomes duty."

  3. #3

    Re: Newporter

    Quote Originally Posted by phantomman View Post
    Why do you want to replace the neck?
    The frets are all grooved up, and it's kind of narrow for me at the nut. And, I kind of botched up my machine head replacement a few years back. I figure I could maybe replace the neck with a slightly wider one for the cost of refretting. I'll hold on to the original, but it's a difficult guitar for me to play as it is.

  4. #4
    Forum Member phantomman's Avatar
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    Re: Newporter

    I was going to suggest consulting with a competent luthier but if the fretboard is too narrow even a skilled craftsman cannot help in that situation. A replacement neck is clearly the only remedy.
    "When injustice becomes law then rebellion becomes duty."

  5. #5

    Re: Newporter

    Is there a set of machine heads for Fender (6 on 1 side) that does not require screws in the headstock?

  6. #6
    Forum Member OldStrummer's Avatar
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    Re: Newporter

    File this in the "I don't know what I'm talking about" file, since I have never (and will likely never) replaced a neck on a guitar, Fender or otherwise.

    However...

    If the Newporter comes with a bolt-on neck, one would suppose it's replaceable. Here's
    Sweetwater's blurb on the Newport neck:

    Legendary neck with incredible feel

    The Fender neck has become legendary among guitarists of nearly all genres. The Newporter Player carries the torch for that legendary feel with an incredibly comfortable slim-taper, "C"-shaped profile. This cut is ultra-friendly on the fret hand, letting you slide up and down the neck for leads as well as chords in all positions. This incredible neck is complemented visually with the classic matching 6-in-line headstock.

    This might suggest to me that nearly any Fender neck that meets the physical requirements might work. Since Sweetwater will take returns, I suggest you give them a call and talk to one of their reps. If they come close and offer a neck you/they think will fit, and it doesn't, they'll take it back
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  7. #7
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    Re: Newporter

    Do you know what the scale length is? That will help to determine your options

  8. #8
    Forum Member phantomman's Avatar
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    Re: Newporter

    Quote Originally Posted by Cogs View Post
    Do you know what the scale length is? That will help to determine your options
    +1

    It's imperative that you have that dimension.
    "When injustice becomes law then rebellion becomes duty."

  9. #9

    Re: Newporter

    Scale length is 25.5". I've decided not to replace the neck. Going to refret instead. Taking a closer look, I noticed the action is about twice as high as it should be, and my last luthier put a 16" radius saddle on it when I had him remove the under-saddle pickup. The nut is also cracked, and it has a loose bottom brace. Once I correct all that, I'm hoping it will be easier to play. Just cleaning up of about 66 years of funk has undoubtably helped it. I was hoping there is a machine head out there that wouldn't require screws. I guess I could research to see what machine heads it came with. It has aftermarket M/H's now, and the last one was mounted crooked.

  10. #10
    Forum Member phantomman's Avatar
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    Re: Newporter

    All Fender guitars made prior to 1965 were equipped with Kluson's "Deluxe" tuners. After that FMI switched to an in-house design by production manager Forrest White which has come to be known as the Fender "F type"". Both of them required two screws to anchor them in position on the rear of the headstock -- a total of seven in the case of the Klusons and twelve for the F type. The Kluson base was roughly rectangular while that of the S type was rhomboid. Both types utilized a knurled press-fit bushing though these bushings were not interchangeable between the brands. Kluson machines were nickel-plated while the F types were chrome.

    HTH
    "When injustice becomes law then rebellion becomes duty."

  11. #11

    Re: Newporter

    Cool! then, if the Kluson's are still available, the original screw holes might line up correctly, and I could just plug the newer holes.

  12. #12
    Forum Member phantomman's Avatar
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    Re: Newporter

    Both styles of tuners are available as reproductions from a number of different sources. AFAIK the dimensions mirror the originals.
    "When injustice becomes law then rebellion becomes duty."

  13. #13
    Forum Member blackonblack's Avatar
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    Re: Newporter

    As far as tuners that do not require mounting holes, look to Hipshot and their UMP plate.
    Mark

  14. #14

    Re: Newporter

    I did go with the Hipshot tuners. they work fine; although all my dimensions were right at the limits. Another question though (actually, 2):

    1. My intonation is sharp on all strings. I made a new bone saddle making the break point all the way to the rear. I also made a new bone nut but did not compensate. I added a 1.25 deg shim lowering the action from 14/64 to about 9/64. I'm thinking that also lengthened the strings by a minute amount. Intonation is still sharp. Any tips on correcting the intonation?
    2. I made the new saddle with a 7.25" radius to match the neck & nut. It sounds pretty good, but it seems to have more arch than I can remember seeing on an acoustic guitar. Isn't the saddle radius supposed to match the neck radius?

  15. #15
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    Re: Newporter

    In my experience the saddle should have either the same or greater radius, but not less

  16. #16

    Re: Newporter

    Any tips on correcting the intonation?

  17. #17

    Re: Newporter

    Well, I did it. I refretted instead of replacing the neck. I finished it out last night. Action is still about 1/32" high, but I play some slide, so I think I'll leave it there. Still haven't gotten the intonation right, but I don't play so much at the higher end of the neck. overall, it sounds good. Plays approx. 10-20 percent better. Looks fabulous, considering all the scratches & dents.

    1. re-glued 2 braces inside the body.
    2. replaced frets with SS 0.047"H x 0.102"W.
    3. replaced machine heads with Hipshot (no mounting screws) locking tuners.
    4. added 1.5 deg. shim under neck
    5. replaced plastic saddle & nut with hand crafted bone.
    6. replaced plastic pins with bone.
    7. replaced rusted string tree and front strap button with shiny new ones.
    8. oiled it up with Caron & Doucet orange wood oil (Beautiful!)
    9. new set of Elixir 0.047 - 0.010 strings

    It's like a brand new 1957 guitar.

    Many thanks to Cogs, phantomman, blackonblack, & OldStrummer and everyone else who shamed me out of replacing the neck. You've darn near made a luthier out of me.

    Now, it's on to the 12-string.

  18. #18
    Forum Member phantomman's Avatar
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    Re: Newporter

    I'm happy to hear the job worked out so well and that we were able to help.

    Good luck with the 12-string -- we'll be here if you need us.
    "When injustice becomes law then rebellion becomes duty."

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    Re: Newporter

    You're very welcome. I can't tell you how often this forum has saved my musical bacon

  20. #20
    Forum Member OldStrummer's Avatar
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    Re: Newporter

    Nice work! And thanks for reporting back on your results. In a way, you're a hero to me. I say that because looking back, I once would have not hesitated to start mucking around with my instrument. And in those days I had only one guitar. It was kind of like doing my own car tune-ups! These days I do neither, preferring to farm the work out to "experts." That's my burden, not a reflection on anyone else.
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  21. #21
    Forum Member blackonblack's Avatar
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    Re: Newporter

    Curious about the 12 string. I have a deep love of 12 strings and have played them for decades.
    Mark

  22. #22

    Re: Newporter

    The 12 string is a '69 Fender Villager. I found it hanging on a wall in a pawn shop. When I saw the pick guard, I knew it had to be related to the Newporter because I've never seen that pickguard anywhere else. Turns out, it was the 12-string match for the Newporter. It has a Baldwin headstock, I'm told. I'm also told they were the lower line guitars, falling below the Malibu/Shenandoah set. It plays pretty well as it is, but it needs new frets and a couple of tweaks here and there. I rummaged through a pile of cases in the back and found the hardshell case that it came with. Fits like a glove. I was about as proud of the case as I was of the guitar.

  23. #23
    Forum Member blackonblack's Avatar
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    Re: Newporter

    Something of that vintage, Iíd check for belly lift. Yes new frets, new nut, new saddle. Check for belly lift though before the new saddle. Before the new nut, think about how you want your courses. My acoustics are traditional but my electrics are ala Ric. Iím actually thinking about making new nuts and saddles to go ala Ric on my acoustics. It makes it much easier to emulate a 6 string when needed. Oh and for strings, check out D Adarrio Nickel Bronze. Low tensioned enough you can tune it to concert pitch.
    Mark

  24. #24

    Re: Newporter

    I will check out the D'Addario's. However, I normally tune 2 frets low (E=D) because my voice just can't hit the high notes. I assume belly lift is when the string tension pulls up on the bridge? How do you properly check that? I have eyeballed it. it seems to be relatively in place, but I have taken no measurements. Thinking about it, though, I wonder if that may be the problem with intonation on the Newporter. Intonation of the Villager is also sharp. everything else seems to be in pretty good shape considering its age. At the risk of showing my ignorance, what does "ala Ric" mean?

  25. #25
    Forum Member blackonblack's Avatar
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    Re: Newporter

    Ala Ric, letís take your low E. If your guitar is right handed, in playing position, the uppermost string is the true E string, not the octave string. I tried describing belly lift and how to measure, but I was all over the place I didnít make sense to myself. Iíd suggest searching it. If you do have it, a solution is a Dr J brace. I think thatís whatís it called.
    Mark

  26. #26

    Re: Newporter

    Ok, I think I understand.

    Ala Ric = ala Rickenbacker.
    You reverse the traditional order of each pair of strings:

    traditional = eE aA dD gG bb ee
    ala Ric = Ee Aa Dd Gg bb ee

    Right?

    I'm going to stay traditional. I am interested in the Ric tuning, but I only have the one 12-string. Sounds like you have a few of them.
    I eyeballed the soundboard again last night. if there is some belly lift, it's not visually noticeable. Since I'm tuning 2 frets lower than standard (E=D), it should keep the tension somewhat lower. Hopefully, it's going to be ok.

    I appreciate the info. One of the beautiful things about guitars is that there is always more to learn.

  27. #27
    Forum Member OldStrummer's Avatar
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    Re: Newporter

    Quote Originally Posted by musicallydeclined View Post
    Ok, I think I understand.

    Ala Ric = ala Rickenbacker.
    You reverse the traditional order of each pair of strings:

    traditional = eE aA dD gG bb ee
    ala Ric = Ee Aa Dd Gg bb ee

    Right?

    I'm going to stay traditional. I am interested in the Ric tuning, but I only have the one 12-string. Sounds like you have a few of them.
    I eyeballed the soundboard again last night. if there is some belly lift, it's not visually noticeable. Since I'm tuning 2 frets lower than standard (E=D), it should keep the tension somewhat lower. Hopefully, it's going to be ok.

    I appreciate the info. One of the beautiful things about guitars is that there is always more to learn.
    This is correct. A recent addition to my collection is a Taylor 652ce Builders Edition 12-string that is "reverse strung" the same way as Rickenbacker does it. I have two other 12-strings strung the traditional way. Personally, I like the reverse stringing because when I play I like hitting the key string and not the octave string first. With the traditional method, there are times I might strike the octave string and miss the key string. Sounds awkward to me. Of course, different strokes for different folks.
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  28. #28
    Forum Member blackonblack's Avatar
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    Re: Newporter

    Correct. And with those strings I suggested, you donít have to tune down and the tension is low enough you wonít experience belly lift.
    Mark

  29. #29
    Forum Member blackonblack's Avatar
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    Re: Newporter

    And my fav acoustic is my Guild 12. Not my best , but my fav and go to.
    Mark

  30. #30

    Re: Newporter

    I would like to try the Ric tuning sometime. I mostly just strum with the 12 string, so hitting the small string on the root is usually not a problem. And since it was made traditional, I'm hesitant to change it. Maybe after I've tried the Ric tuning on another guitar. And I don't lower the tuning for the tension. It's for my crackly old voice box. The lower tension is just gravy on top. I will probably restring with the D'Addario's since they're highly favored.

    So, you guys, what is your best 12-string? Now that I know just enough about guitar repair to be dangerous, I may hit a pawn shop or two and try to pick something up on the cheap.

    All good info. Thanks.

  31. #31
    Forum Member blackonblack's Avatar
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    Re: Newporter

    If youíre looking acoustic 12, check out the maple low end Chinese Guild 12. I got mine used for 300. I like it better than the $1500 Guilds. Thatís once you put those Nickel Bronze strings on. Itís a true sleeper on the market.
    Mark

  32. #32
    Forum Member OldStrummer's Avatar
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    Re: Newporter

    Guild gets a lot of love on the acoustic guitar forums. As always, body shape and size will come into play when it comes to choosing, but Guild seems to offer 12-strings at many price points.
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