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0 Fret

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by mac_the_sac, Sep 22, 2002.


  1. What is a 0 fret and what is its purpose?

    Thanks
     
  2. A zero fret is an extra fret at the nut and I think it's only purpose is to dimnish the difference between a fretted note and an open string. Paul McCartney had one on his Hofner, I don't know about the Rick.
     
  3. i think the main purpose of the 0 fret originally was for slide guitar... then people realized that the open strings had a tone much closer to that of a fretted note... so some people really liked having them... thats how they ended up on a bass... Im no expert but I'm about 85% certain thats how they came about.
     
  4. Benbass

    Benbass

    Jan 28, 2002
    Kansas
    While we're on the subject, does any one know how they adjust the string height where the nut would be on a bass with a zero fret? Do they file down the fret??
     
  5. Suburban

    Suburban

    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    well...
    If you need frets, the zero fret makes it into one, continuous instrument. It is always string-to-metal, and the problem with overstretched strings when palying first fret is gone.
    This fret is treated just like any fret, when set up.

    Actually, this is a very old idea. Used on most fretted instruments, until someone thought they could possibly build cheaper but sell at the same price:rolleyes:
     
  6. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    US-NY-NYC
    Having a zero fret changes the instrument so that the nut only has to do the job of maintaining the separation of the strings. In a non-zero-fret instrument, the nut is additionally acting as the zero fret, that is, as the witness point (functional end of the vibrating portion of the string) when you play an open string.
    By incorporating a zero fret, you reduce the overstretching of the string when fretting that occurs whenever the nut is cut higher than the exact height of all the frets. This increases intonation accuracy, and reduces the amount of intonation compensation that must be done at the bridge.
    It also should make the tone of an open string more consistent with the tone of the fretted notes.
    Contruction-wise, a zero fret makes it easier to cut the nut, since the slot depth is far less critical. There may possibly be issues with fret dressing that make it a little harder to level and dress the zero fret because the nut is so close to it.
     
  7. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    US-NY-NYC
    There is no need to do so.
     
  8. Benbass

    Benbass

    Jan 28, 2002
    Kansas

    Unless of course the zero fret was set higher than the player prefers to begin with. I like ridiculously low action.
     
  9. Suburban

    Suburban

    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    As pointed out earlier, the 0 fret is so adjusted, that the action above the first fret is much less than normally is the case for nuts without the 0 fret. You will have a more even action along the board.
    High or low actin is set as usual, at the bridge.