I’ve tested a number of Killer Guitar Components (KGC) parts over the years. One of the big things with their parts has always been the high quality of their machining work. KGC are not one to do things by halves.
One part that’s not often thought about on bolt-on neck guitars is the neck plate. Usually the plate is a simple bit of molded, cast or stamped steel. They are usually fairly thin too. Considering how important the connection between the neck and body of a guitar is, it’s surprising that not much thought usually goes into this part of the equation.
KGC have come to the party with options to suit players looking to upgrade this area of their guitars, whether it be for physical or aesthetic reasons. Available in both brass and aluminium, KGC have crafted a 1/8″ thick plate, with vintage spec countersunk holes for the neck screws, neat beveled corners, and smooth brushed finish. KGC were nice enough to provide one of each type to review. The aluminium plate is installed on my Musikraft Charvel San Dimas style guitar, and the brass on my heavily modified Squier Bullet Stratocaster.
Visually the neck plates are stunning, and they definitely live up to the KGC standard of quality. Fitment is perfectly within the standard spec created by Fender, and when bolted down there is a nice solid connection between neck and body.
One thing that would be nice is if the plates could come with matching finish screws, to suit the plate. It would provide a more consistent look, especially with the brass plate. This is nit-picky though, and sourcing screws may be possible for people installing the plates anyway.
Once bolted onto a guitar, the neck plates create a very solid connection between the neck and body. There may be a slight increase in resonance and sustain, but you won’t find anything as nearly as dramatic as the increases found with a quality sustain block or trem claw upgrade. Things do feel a bit more solid, and “connected” as it were, and that may be a valuable enough upgrade for many, as well as the aesthetic.
Overall, the KGC brass and aluminium neck plates are an interesting upgrade for a bolt-on neck guitar. They create a a little more resonance, through a stronger connection between the neck and body. But perhaps more importantly for most, they really bling up the look of a guitar. If you’ve already added some brass or aluminium parts to your guitar, then the added look of more brass or aluminium alone may be enough to sell the KGC neck plates to you. If any of these factors appeal, then definitely check out the KGC neck plate range.