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Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by Meshgearfox, Nov 1, 2012.
I guess I'm confused too, but I don't see why the zero fret isn't a bit higher than the others.
Look at the picture Kwerk posted. The strings clearly rest on the zero fret, right?
OK, so now we say that the zero fret and all the others should be in the same plane--i.e. the same height.
Doesn't that mean that the strings rest on all the other frets, too? So this means the only thing that prevents buzz and rattle is neck relief, and cranking the bridge higher?
And don't forget, some techs and players like their necks dead straight.
What am I missing here:?:
Bridge height creates string height above the frets due to angle from a flat neck. A well designed nut keeps strings at the same height as the fret. It's a short distance between string and first fret, but the vibration of the string occurs at its middle, not around the first fret.
Makes complete sense to me.
I agree..........I dont get it either.
Shouldnt the zero fret be the same height as a nut would be? If not open strings would bbuzz like crazy.
Yes. I think what you're missing is that the strings are not parallel to the frets. They are at a slight angle due to the height of the bridge.
So... Why don't the strings buzz like crazy against the second fret when you fret the string at the first fret?
Edit: The bottoms of the strings on the zero fret ARE at the same height as the BOTTOM of the slots of a nut.
OK, its getting clearer now, your and mobarr's reminder that string vibrations at the ends are minimal, and maximum at the middle. There's comparatively little vibration movement of the strings up toward the headstock, so the little bit of clearance created by the bridge, over the first fret, is enough to keep it from buzzing.
Here's another way to look at this.
Let's say you make a neck with a scale length of 27". The distance from the nut to fret 1 is 1.5+ something.
You can check this with the stew mac fret calculator.
The distance from fret 1 to fret 2 is 1.431 which is the same as nut to fret 1 on a 25.5 scale. The rest of the fret spacings are the same up the neck.
Yes, the dot placements are a fret off.
If you tuned the open strings to E flat, you'd be playing the same notes with the same fret spacing at Fret 1 as you would on a tele or strat tuned to E.
The nut would be higher than fret 1 on the 27" scale, but Fret 1 would be level with fret 2.
Is this not correct or am I missing something.
This is the one that made it clear to me - Thanks Phil
Yes, and the slot depth on a normal nut should put the strings at the same height as the frets - the nut must not hold the strings higher than fret height or the strings can and do pull-sharp.
If your nut is holding the strings high then get it fixed, my word are they hard work to play.
Yup, that's correct, and if you capo the first fret you would have the exact same thing as a zero fret guitar. But there's still no need for the nut to be higher than the frets on your 27" scale neck.
You're missing the bridge height creating a slight angle from the "nut" height to the bridge, and the fact that you can capo or fret any note and you automatically create the exact same condition as a zero fret. Put it this way - if you had a bridge at the same level as the frets, which is a hypothetical situation but which is what you appear to be describing, having a high nut and playing open, you may not get string buzz, the moment you fretted a note you would lower the string to the same level as the frets and you'd get buzz. Of course, that's not the case, the bridge is always higher than a nut, or a zero fret, as it has to be for the guitar to work.
There is no need to crank the bridge any higher on a zero fret guitar than on one with a correctly cut nut. There is no compromise on action, there is no need to overly adjust a truss rod. Plain and simple, if you can fret a string anywhere on the fretboard and not get buzz, it follows you can fret a string on Eb just as successfully which is essentially what you're doing with a zero fret. If you find a guitar that has a slightly higher zero fret, that's just insurance against variations in fretboard levelling quality. But it's not necessary with a perfectly levelled fretboard.
A pic is worth a thousand words
My argument is that if the nut(zero fret) is slightly higher than fret1, no buzz etc, your string clearance is already set for the length of the neck if your neck is level.
Result= uniform low clearance= easy/soft playability.
Perhaps the crude graphic below demonstrates better the way I see how it works.
My argument would be, if the neck is level, why does the zero fret need to be any higher than the first? After all the angle from the bridge to the 1st fret would be only microscopically different from the angle to a zero fret. Yet the strings won't buzz when you fret on the first fret. Why should the zero be any different? You'll still get exactly the same low smooth action you described.
This is why this forum is so great! We can all have our 2c's worth and get several points of view. I'm halfway through a project now and when I get to the fretting I'll still do the zero fret slightly higher to the rest. If it doesn't work as well as others I've done previously, I can always replace it. The secret is a very level fb and frets,
Looking forward to trying out my new "Little Bone"
No comments there Phil!!
I'm so gonna do a zero fret on my next guitar, I'm never happy with the nuts I cut with my less than ideal tools. I guess that was the original idea behind zero frets after all.
Dave, that tool is the embodiment of "it's not size that counts, it's the way you use it".
Anyway, at least you've only got a Little Bone. I've got badly cut nuts.
If a zero fret nut isn't properly cut, you will get the same binding problems that cause tuning instability.
Yeah, but so long as you get lateral adjustment ok, depth is not as crucial. In fact, you could even cut the slots so deep the string misses the bottom of the slot altogether.