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ZERO FRET.

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by ce24, Nov 28, 2020.

  1. ce24

    ce24 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Last edited: Nov 29, 2020
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  2. lammie200

    lammie200 Friend of Leo's

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    Do people like zero frets for intonation purposes? I use Earvana compensated shelf nuts on my Fender types and Hosco SOS compensated spacers on my Gibson types. Neither of those could be used with a zero fret but I can’t argue with the intonation that I get up and down the fretboard.
     
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  3. otterhound

    otterhound Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have a zero fret guitar . Some guy named Chet Atkins used to . In fact , he insisted on them . Luthiers that have invested time in learning how to cut a nut will tell you they are only found on cheap guitars that no real guitar player would ever consider . Personally , I like zero fret guitars . When properly set up , they play the same as a cut nut .
    The tone argument will arise in this discussion as a reflex action .
     
  4. DougM

    DougM Poster Extraordinaire

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    Gretsch guitars have zero frets, and they play great, and no one criticizes them for it.
     
  5. notroHnhoJ

    notroHnhoJ Tele-Meister

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    I have a Gretsch with one, its kind of great. To be honest I don’t really notice it, so maybe thats why its great? I think it facilitates the Bigsby to a good degree, it seems pretty low friction.
     
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  6. Boreas

    Boreas Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I had an old Ibanez MC500 that had one. It had a 24-fret Gibson-scale neck and would sustain all day - but that was largely due to the through-the-body neck. I don't know why they aren't more popular.
     
  7. loopfinding

    loopfinding Tele-Afflicted

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    zero fret was a german luthier thing for a long time. then when they started popping up on cheap Japanese guitars people thought they were BS.
     
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  8. String Tree

    String Tree Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I have a pair of '66 Mosrites that have them.
    I honestly can't tell you what the advantage to having a Zero Fret is.
     
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  9. IMadeYouReadThis

    IMadeYouReadThis Tele-Meister

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    I remember playing a Danelectro strat a few years back, and it had a zero fret. Really cool guitar: Wilkinson trem, lipstick pickups, under $500. I didn't notice much of a difference, other than the open strings probably sounded similar to the fretted notes.

    I've heard they can be a pain, because they wear much quicker than the rest of the frets or even a regular nut. Some expensive guitars come with stainless zero frets, which solves that issue. Cheap guitars come with cheap zero frets, which get chewed up and contribute to their bad reputation.
     
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  10. ce24

    ce24 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Interesting....in the article that said Brian May used them said that the Zero fret had to be changed a LOT less frequently than his regular fret jobs...and you Know Brian May put a lot of miles on his frets.

    https://www.premierguitar.com/articles/String_Nut_or_Zero_Fret

    this is the article i read.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2020
  11. gregulator450

    gregulator450 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I am familiar with the Earvana nuts, having had (and loved) them on LTD brand guitars I used to own. This is the first I have seen of the Hosco- why do you prefer it over the Earvana for Gibsons?
     
  12. jbmando

    jbmando Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have a zero fret on my German-made Hofner Beatle Bass. I installed a zero-fret-nut on a Hofner Icon bass a few years ago:
    r05raoxlf6oqczugnqfh.jpg
    I swear by them, although most of my guitars do not have zero frets. The advantage to having a Zero Fret is, I believe, that the best way to get "perfect" intonation in the first position is with a correctly installed zero fret. I recut my nut slots routinely when I buy a new guitar, but the zero fret eliminates the the effect of the nut slots on intonation.

    Just to get the argument started, the nut cannot possibly have any tonal effect on a fretted string, so taking the nut out of the equation with a zero fret has zero to do with the guitar's tone, pun intended.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2020
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  13. Tonetele

    Tonetele Poster Extraordinaire

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    I had a Japanese Epiphone in the 70s ( till 1989 actually) that had a zero fret. I think it gave a better sound to the open chords and it definitely played well.
    If Chet insisted on them that's good enough for me- he'd know.
     
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  14. StrangerNY

    StrangerNY Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    I've got an Ibanez Artist with a zero fret. It's the only zero fret guitar I've got, but I don't even think about it when I'm playing it.

    I've had the guitar for 25 years and I've never had to adjust intonation. Whether the zero fret is responsible I don't know, but I figure it can't hurt.

    - D
     
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  15. lammie200

    lammie200 Friend of Leo's

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    My Fender types are partscasters so I put on the nuts myself. Just as easy to put on an Earvana nut as anything else. In fact easier since they are pre cut pretty well. My Gibsons have high quality bone nuts on them. I don’t want to pull them off. If had to change a nut on one of them I might consider an Earvana.
     
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  16. Fuelish

    Fuelish Tele-Holic

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    I have a BMG (Brian May Guitars) with a zero fret...has a nut, but it’s cut with slightly wider slots and only serves as a string guide. Supposedly gives an open string the same tone as a fretted string ( as opposed to an open string through a nut along with fretted strings), I can’t really tell a difference, honestly...24” scale, 10s, floating vibrato, it’s a slinky player. The more I use the vibrato, I can see slight wear on the zero fret from the strings “sawing” across it, but, it’s an’08, and the wear isn’t enough to “ping” when bending, so, I’ll cross the zero fret replacement bridge when the time comes, not needed as of now. Would like to find someone I trust to do a SS fret, my guitar guy refuses to do stainless, for whatever reason(s). Only disadvantage is more fret wear - it’s always in contact with the strings...advantage? I dunno, you don’t have to have a nicely cut nut? Tone wise, I’d say it doesn’t matter, although ther are folks who will argue open strings sound like the fretted strings... I can’t tell. I wouldn’t recommend a zero fret guitar, I wouldn’t discourage a zero fret guitar, it’s just another thing, feature, whatever... pickups are more important than zero vs non-zero fret
     
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  17. bendercaster

    bendercaster Tele-Afflicted

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    My Gibson Les Paul Jr. has an adjustable zero fret so I can lower or raise the nut just by turning to small screws. It's super clever and intonates just fine. The original was brass, which did start to wear over time. But I emailed Gibson about the problem recently and they mailed me out a new titanium zero fret/nut. I don't get why they aren't more popular.
     
  18. thesamhill

    thesamhill Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    My Voyage Airs have them by necessity. I would never notice. The company says replacing them with a SS fret is a decent idea but for now they're nowhere near there.
     
  19. gregulator450

    gregulator450 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    That makes sense! Thanks for the info on the SOS.
     
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  20. lammie200

    lammie200 Friend of Leo's

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    You bet. If you want to try an SOS they are fairly inexpensive. I suggest just adding tape to the bottom to shim it up versus cutting into the nut if the strings are too high to contact the spacer. It works and the spacer can be easily removed if you don’t like it.
     
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