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Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

Zero frets.

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by Blue Bear, Jan 26, 2012.

  1. Fred_Garvin

    Fred_Garvin Tele-Holic

    Feb 21, 2011
    Atlanta, GA
    Zero frets always seemed like a good idea to me. I would think it's no more difficult to do, you install one extra fret, but you don't have to worry about the height of the string slots in the nut, it becomes a string guide.

  2. njg12171

    njg12171 Tele-Meister

    Aug 22, 2009
    Moundsville, WV
    I contemplated a zero-fret on my current archtop fingerboard, but then in a moment of personal angst, cut the nut position all the way thru. Well, maybe I'll try on the next one.:rolleyes:

  3. Jupiter

    Jupiter Telefied Silver Supporter

    Jun 22, 2010
    Osaka, Japan
    Hallmark makes 'em with zero frets. This one seems to have 2 zero frets! Would that be zero and minus 1? And no nut at all, looks like. :eek: (The Mosrites these are based on used zero frets, too, naturally.)

  4. OpenG Capo4

    OpenG Capo4 Friend of Leo's

    Aug 4, 2010
    Athens, GA
    I am thinking a zero fret saves labor costs over a regular style nut because the nut doesn't have to be slotted for height, only string spacing. That would reduce a lot of the man-hours going into setup. Those Teiscos use molded plastic nuts too, if I'm not mistaken.

  5. braderrick

    braderrick Tele-Afflicted

    Sep 27, 2006
    That makes sense what you're saying but most people cut the nut slots just a tad higher.

  6. devo_stevo

    devo_stevo Tele-Meister

    Dec 20, 2011
    Brigham City, Utah
    The last bass I built has a zero fret. I love it. I leveled the fret the same as the others and the action is really low with zero buzz at any of the frets. I'll use it again on Amy of the fretted instruments I build.

    I'll try to post pics tomorrow. And no the zero fret doesn't need to be higher than the others.

  7. bajaasdad

    bajaasdad Tele-Meister

    Jan 27, 2011
    no 0fret discussion complete

    without mentioning Brian May.

    His is perhaps the most famous Rock guitar of all time, especially where it self built and his has a zero fret.

    I can attest being probably one of the 3 longest running forumites in BM guitar world that the zero fret is not higher than any other fret.

    The purpose of the 0fret is to make all strings ring the same in chords.

    Brian was, and is, an absolute genius.

    he built that guitar in something like 1965 with his father. A non locking frictionless tremelo that returns true? Back then? hell even now that is unique.

    You can make it more floyd like too merely by changing the thickness of the compression springs or adding another one.

    His is very touchy and like a Bigsby except it actually returns true everytime


  8. Ike57

    Ike57 Tele-Meister

    Nov 17, 2011
    Last year I've build a tenor uke using a zero fret and in my opinion the zero fret should be higher than the other frets, especially if you're using nylon strings.

    At first I used the same frets and after tuning the uke all strings were without buzz. But, after a couple of hours the C and E strings started buzzing. Tuning again solved the problem for a couple of hours but the buzz kept coming back. A slightly higher zero fret solved the problem once and for all.

    It's just a theory but I think nylon strings get a small dent on the spot where they hit the zero fret as a result of the pressure which again results in a slightly lower string after the zero fret. That dent isn't there right after tuning but gets there after a couple of hours. I don't know if this is true or not but it's what I experienced.


  9. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Mar 30, 2003
    Ontario County
    Interesting discussion. I wonder how many repair people make nut slots the same as the frets? I was taught to set a guitar up by getting close to, but leaving a gap between the string and fret one.

  10. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Telefied Ad Free Member

    Nov 15, 2009
    Austin, Tx
    My "main squeeze" Gretsch has one.
    It just turns the nut into a "spacer".
    6+ years of steady pounding, and no hassles, either.

  11. fretman_2

    fretman_2 Friend of Leo's

    May 9, 2011
    Mobile, AL
    Humm...the zero fret is going to wear eventually and have to be replaced...which would be like a refret. Wouldn't it be simpler just to have a nut there instead?? That way you only knock off the old nut and replace it. You're not gouging your fretboard to remove the zero fret.

    Now that I think of it, the bottom of the nut slot is at zero fret height. I've always cut my nut slots just a shade higher than the first fret height. I should be cutting excatly to the first fret height for best playability I guess.

  12. Tonetele

    Tonetele Friend of Leo's

    Jun 2, 2009
    South Australia
    Had an Epiphone with a zero fret, Gretsch use them also. A great way to get low action and I think acieve perfect intonation. Less stress on the nut- therefore on the headstock. JMHO.

  13. LocustPlague

    LocustPlague Tele-Holic

    Sep 17, 2008
    The zero fret will wear MUCH more slowly than the rest of the frets. A main reason why the frets wear so much is due to the fact that you slide them along the frets slightly when you press them down. It's this side to side motion that really wrecks the frets and wears through them. On the zero fret, the nut should keep the side to side motion from happening so much.

    (I don't know about you guys, but I almost always see much deeper divots in the third and up frets than in the first or second, which seems to support this theory)

  14. jipp

    jipp Friend of Leo's

    id love a close up shot if anyone has one handy.i know i do not buy into the system washburn is using.. Buzz Feiten Tuning System™ iv read everything on this, and i just do not buy the sales pitch.. im a noob so i may be wrong.. but thats what iv concluded so far but am open minded so if info to prove my theory on it wrong so be it.

  15. Lost_N_Austin

    Lost_N_Austin Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Feb 18, 2004
    Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
    I'm learning something about my acoustic

    I've got a lot to learn but I never heard of zero frets until this thread. I thought I would post a couple of pictures of my National acoustic.


    I was thinking I need to replace the Nut. I'm glad I didn't embarrass myself by taking into some guitar shop and showing my ignorance.


  16. A.B.Negative

    A.B.Negative Friend of Leo's

    Aug 26, 2008
    "fretwire string guide for authentic vintage look and maximum in tune precision"

  17. jipp

    jipp Friend of Leo's

    so the pictures, even the link are all acoustic.. is this best suited to them?

  18. itsGreg

    itsGreg Tele-Holic

    Sep 3, 2011
    Glasgow, Scotland
    Yeah, I got 3 guitars with zero frets and they are all higher than the first fret.

  19. Blue Bear

    Blue Bear Tele-Meister

    Have the frets ever been dressed on this? The zero fret looks like it has never been dressed so it will be higher. I will level and dress mine with the string spacer,(nut), removed. So open notes will be the same as fretted notes.;)

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