Fender Telecaster Set Neck

One of the “battlefronts” in the long-running war between Fender and Gibson has been the neck joint. Fenders have a bolt-on neck, designed by Leo Fender himself so that a player could perform a do-it-yourself neck replacement if his fingerboard wore out.

Fender’s Set Neck Telecaster of 1990 spearheaded the attack on Gibson (who had their own “set neck” model). The model name only began to describe it’s Gibson-esque design. It had a mahogany body (routed to reduce the weight) with a curly maple top cap, just like Gibson’s Les Paul Standard but without the top carving. The neck, too, was mahogany, like a standard Gibson neck.

It came with various optional pickup and tremolo configurations: two humbuckers, two humbuckers and Strat-style tremolo, two humbuckers and single-coil, plus a Custom Shop version with a coil-tapped neck-position humbucker.

Fender pushed Set Neck Telecasters through the 90’s but ultimately retreated to the safety of it’s bolt-neck design in 2000.