www.axesrus.co.uk

MegiMegi Posts: 6,792Member
Both my completed builds have necks (and quite a lot of the hardware) bought from www.axesrus.co.uk - and very good they are too, both were the "True Modern" type with truss adjustment at the headstock end. The tele is a one-piece maple neck, the strat has an ebony fingerboard no less, on some really good looking, close-grained maple which appears quarter-sawn too. Both necks have worked flawlessly and play great. The frets maybe a little roughly finished as bought, but well installed, and after some levelling and finishing work, they are perfect. Both necks cost exactly £100 each - given the quality I feel I got, a bit of a bargain IMO.

But now I see that axesrus have introduced some apparently higher spec necks, approved by Fender no less, but which cost minimum £260, going up to £365 for a birds-eye maple tele neck (admittedly looks very good). There is nothing there for less than £260. Similar developments seem to be happening with some of the other things they sell. I guess I can't blame them - they are a business after all, and I'm not saying there is anything at all wrong with the newer stuff they are stocking, but if this is the direction they are going in, I will miss the "old" Axesrus, which was a great place to go for those of us building on a budget.

My strat neck, just to show the quality I got for £100:

Comments

  • LesterLester Posts: 1,520Member, Moderator
    edited August 2016
    Originally Posted By: Megi
    I see that axesrus have introduced some apparently higher spec necks, approved by Fender no less ...

    I saw or read elsewhere a while back that Fender were going to enter the parts market as so many Strat and Tele builds are made using copies of Fender parts.
  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,792Member
    Originally Posted By: Lester
    I saw or read elsewhere a while back that Fender were going to enter the parts market as so many Strat and Tele builds are made using copies of Fender parts.

    I hadn't heard about that Lester, but I certainly couldn't blame Fender if so.

    I should have said "licensed by Fender", not "approved by" in my original post I notice. I see various necks for sale, made by different companies that are licensed by Fender in fact - I would imagine this licensing is a source of income for Fender, and I suppose they would say that such necks are of an approved quality, suitable for replacement use should one damage the original neck on a Fender guitar. Fair enough I guess, good luck to them.

    But it does seem like the licensing is not a legal requirement, and of course plenty of strat and tele type necks out there which aren't "licensed by Fender" including the ones on my strat and tele. And personally, the ones I've got are great quality, with accurate, "authentic" (FWIW) headstock shapes and profiles, and since my guitars make no pretence to being genuine Fenders anyway, I couldn't give a hoot about the whole licensing thing lol. I certainly don't want to be paying a premium just to know that Fender has licensed a neck I'm buying.
  • JockoJocko Posts: 6,871Member, Moderator
    Maybe when you take the "Licensed by Fender" parts this then precludes you selling the cheap parts. Possibly part of the licensing deal.
  • LesterLester Posts: 1,520Member, Moderator
    I don't know the details but I can see that "Licensed by Fender" is a better badge than "Made by Fender" as someone will put a Fender neck on a partscater and try selling it as a genuine Fender guitar.
  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,792Member
    Originally Posted By: Jocko
    Maybe when you take the "Licensed by Fender" parts this then precludes you selling the cheap parts. Possibly part of the licensing deal.


    That could well be I suppose, though still a shame they can't stock their old range of necks as well - I think these really were very good indeed. At least I got in there while they were available, and now have 2 excellent partscasters to show for it.
  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,792Member
    Originally Posted By: Lester
    I don't know the details but I can see that "Licensed by Fender" is a better badge than "Made by Fender" as someone will put a Fender neck on a partscater and try selling it as a genuine Fender guitar.
    I suppose that's true from Fender's point of view, although they still can't do anything to stop people using old Fender necks in the way you describe. But as someone who is making a parts-caster type guitar, I have no interest in pretending to have a Fender guitar, or making my guitar appear to be a Fender. I just want to make a good instrument, and from that perspective, the "Licensed by Fender" thing is a non-issue to me.

    Were Fender to actually start selling their own parts, rather than just approving/licensing those of others, that would then create another funny situation i.e. if one buys a Fender-made body and Fender-made neck, plus uses Fender hardware and pickups (already available) - is that a genuine Fender or not? Such a guitar would not have been made in a Fender factory, and wouldn't have a serial number. Also it would be possible to mix the parts to create a combination of specs not actually sold by Fender. So I guess not a true Fender, to answer my own question, but it still seems a strange blurring of the boundaries. Not that any of this really matters of course! grin
  • zoglugzoglug Posts: 314Member
    Its very interesting, as a couple of weeks ago, they still had their lower priced necks for sale, as it is what went down on my potential build!
  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,792Member
    Originally Posted By: zoglug
    Its very interesting, as a couple of weeks ago, they still had their lower priced necks for sale, as it is what went down on my potential build!
    How irritating zog, it's annoying me as well, even though I've already done my strat and tele builds. I may drop them a friendly email to see if this really is the end of the less-pricey necks, or they might be getting more in at some point. There are of course necks sold elsewhere, but I found Axesrus to be a reliable source for good quality at a good price, and I know from experience that necks on ebay and the like can look good in the pictures (they always do) but sometimes are less impressive when you actually see them for real.
  • Mark PMark P Posts: 2,226Member
    Originally Posted By: Megi
    But now I see that axesrus have introduced some apparently higher spec necks, approved by Fender no less, but which cost minimum £260, going up to £365 for a birds-eye maple tele neck (admittedly looks very good). There is nothing there for less than £260. Similar developments seem to be happening with some of the other things they sell. I guess I can't blame them - they are a business after all, and I'm not saying there is anything at all wrong with the newer stuff they are stocking, but if this is the direction they are going in, I will miss the "old" Axesrus, which was a great place to go for those of us building on a budget.

    Sorry to hear that Zog. I was about to post that it was a recent development - absolutely! I was having mild "maybe might do another build" feelings just a few weeks ago and they had their "usual" neck range back then. It looks a bit of a bizarre mis-match at the moment where the bodies they are selling are still at the older value for money prices.

    I agree that it's a shame for those of us looking for decent quality on a budget. The neck I got from them for my Strat was £75 .... reduced due to some minor blemishes (which I couldn't really find). It was maybe not perfect but it was great quality for my needs - certainly as good as necks on commercially built guitars in the £400 - £500 range say.
    Not such good pictures as Graham's but:-
    ]



    It does not mean anything to me that these new ones are licensed by Fender to be honest. I've had the unfortunate opportunity to compare the build quality of the new model SuperChamp X2 amp to the earlier XD model and that suggests to me that Fender are not always improving their quality standards just now.

    If I do end up with another self build I'll miss the high quality of customer service at AxesRUs. I like to get my body and neck for a build from the same place to try to maximise good compatibility and fit - but at those neck prices ... 'fraid not. I'm a bit sad about that thought. frown
  • JockoJocko Posts: 6,871Member, Moderator
    Originally Posted By: Mark P

    Not such good pictures as Graham's but


    What picture of Graham's butt. Did I miss that?
  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,792Member
    Actually they seem to have made changes to the bodies they stock also - now they all seem to be unfinished, and range from £140 to £215 for the tele ones, £165 to £230 for the strat ones. They do look like reasonable value for what you get, although for my builds I did prefer to source the bodies from guitarbuild.co.uk. But I can remember axesrus doing a range of nice-looking finished bodies at around £100 to £130 ish...

    I also see they are stocking some more expensive pickups these days, especially in the strat and tele ranges - nothing wrong with that, but I wonder if they will be keeping their less pricey stuff going so much in the future.

    That said, I don't know for a fact what is happening there, and maybe I really should send them a friendly email to find out. I've always had really excellent service from them too, and I do wish them well for the future - decent, trustworthy people.
  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,792Member
    Originally Posted By: Jocko
    Originally Posted By: Mark P

    Not such good pictures as Graham's but


    What picture of Graham's butt. Did I miss that?
    Ha ha - kind of Mark to say such nice things about my behind, but I have to tell you there was no picture, so he could only be guessing about that... laugh
  • Mark PMark P Posts: 2,226Member
    I can see I'm going to have to choose my words more carefully!!! Thanks Jocko. grin

    Originally Posted By: Megi
    Actually they seem to have made changes to the bodies they stock also - now they all seem to be unfinished, and range from £140 to £215 for the tele ones, £165 to £230 for the strat ones. They do look like reasonable value for what you get, although for my builds I did prefer to source the bodies from guitarbuild.co.uk. But I can remember axesrus doing a range of nice-looking finished bodies at around £100 to £130 ish...

    True - I remember those too.
    The body on this one was £115. Alder / Flame Maple

    Though the neck at just £48 was probably going too cheap!

    Originally Posted By: Megi
    I've always had really excellent service from them too, and I do wish them well for the future - decent, trustworthy people.

    I'd agree wholeheartedly with that. It's quite a rarity in these times too.
  • ShambekoShambeko Posts: 108Member
    I also noticed this change from mid range price equipment to more 'boutique' gear. The necks seem to be made by Musikraft, a well respected american builder. Looking at the prices on their site they start at $195 with no finish. Factor in nitro finish, shipping and VAT and customs duties and they would probably be the same price to import yourself.
    Hope their bring back the original line to compliment these.
  • JockoJocko Posts: 6,871Member, Moderator
    If they start to lose sales they may be forced to do so.
  • stickyfiddlestickyfiddle Posts: 355Member
    These are Musikraft necks, so I have no problem with it. To get the nitro finish as well at that price is fantastic. It's a shame if they're not also doing the cheaper ones, but I'm likely to investigate both a strat and tele neck as upgrades for my own Fenders.
  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,792Member
    Originally Posted By: stickyfiddle
    These are Musikraft necks, so I have no problem with it. To get the nitro finish as well at that price is fantastic. It's a shame if they're not also doing the cheaper ones, but I'm likely to investigate both a strat and tele neck as upgrades for my own Fenders.
    I have no problem with them stocking more upmarket stuff either sticky, and it's nice to know they are still offering great value, going by what you say. But I do hope they will not be terminating all their lines of less-expensive parts! I guess we all have our individual budgets with guitars, and for some of us, it used to be possible to build a surprisingly great guitar on a budget with well-chosen Axesrus bits. They are great people to order from though if you're wanting to buy those necks, I can recommend them from experience.
  • Mark PMark P Posts: 2,226Member
    I am informed that the change in direction on necks is driven by two things:-
    1)Problems with too many customer issues on some of the less successful cheap necks, but mainly
    2)Fender can now go on the legal warpath against after market necks with the Fender style headstock - breach of copyright issue and enforceable under UK law now. Hence AxesRUs needing to use "Licensed by Fender" necks if the customer is to get a neck with the usual Strat or Tele shape to the headstock.

    That would maybe explain why I've seen more parts places recently with the block unfinished ends to the headstock and the customer can shape it as they want. Wonder if Fender can take action against an individual who machines the headstock to a Fender shape themselves?
  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,792Member
    Originally Posted By: Mark P
    I am informed that the change in direction on necks is driven by two things:-
    1)Problems with too many customer issues on some of the less successful cheap necks, but mainly
    2)Fender can now go on the legal warpath against after market necks with the Fender style headstock - breach of copyright issue and enforceable under UK law now. Hence AxesRUs needing to use "Licensed by Fender" necks if the customer is to get a neck with the usual Strat or Tele shape to the headstock.

    That would maybe explain why I've seen more parts places recently with the block unfinished ends to the headstock and the customer can shape it as they want. Wonder if Fender can take action against an individual who machines the headstock to a Fender shape themselves?

    Thank you for finding that out Mark, and very interesting. So there is now very good legal reason for Axesrus to have to stock "licensed by Fender" necks, if they are to have accurate headstock shapes. I guess they have thus sold off all the non-licensed stuff, and not replenished the stock of these, now illegal, items. The headstocks on my strat and tele necks are very accurate in terms of being based on vintage Fender headstock shapes, so I wonder if my guitars are in effect illegal too lol. Or is it just illegal for me to sell them? - which would still be quite a thought! And as you say, what is the legal situation regarding an individual buying a paddle headstock and then making it into an accurate Fender shape?

    Well, I suppose Fender will be intending to go after companies making illegal copies of their neck designs, rather than the small-fry individual such as myself, but it still all seems a bit bizarre I must say! And if this really is the way things are going, I'm glad I got in there in time to make my 2 lovely partscasters before the rug was pulled...
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