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basses with a zero fret

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by nonsqtr, May 8, 2004.

  1. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    Hi all, I'm looking into getting a bass with a zero fret, for a particular musical application. So far I only know of a few, like the MTD 535 and some of the Status basses.

    Who has a bass with a zero fret? What kind is it? Do you like it? What's the scale?

    Are there any issues with zero frets that I should be aware of? Any setup issues perhaps?
  2. steviecsg


    Aug 16, 2002
    all status basses come with zero frets.

    ive owned 3 statuses and a T bass

    all the zero fret does is eliminate the need to file the nut and....of course open strings are supposed to sound better and clearer.

    other than that i dont see much difference between a bass with a zero fret and a bass without

  3. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    My headless Hohner had a zero fret... but then again most headless basses do. (Steinbergers probably do then im guessing).
  4. brandinstroy

    brandinstroy Supporting Member

    Feb 21, 2001
    Houston, TX
    I Support the following: Fodera, Noble Amps, JHAudio, Trickfish Amplification
    The basses I build utilize a zero fret.
  5. neptoon

    neptoon Supporting Member

    Jul 25, 2000
    Melbourne, FL
    lefay basses have a zero fret...check out their site, if you haven't already:

    lefay basses

    there's a really nice gallery of basses on the site...my faves are the remington and the herr schwarz...they're both bolt neck basses, but they reiner builds through-neck basses as well...
  6. Vigier use zero frets.

    my Hohner B2A has one.

    actually, my Eko has one too- quite few 60's Italian and Japanese cheapo basses eg. Jedson had them- I suspect that was more to cut build time setting up a nut properly.

    zero frets can allow a low action- drawback being open string buzz when it wears down.
  7. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    DFW, Texas
    I know that early Elrick's had a zero fret.

    I don't know if they still do or which models do.
  8. dragonbass

    dragonbass Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2003
    ........................................EX-Sadowsky Guitars Builder..........................................................
    My Elrick Gold Standard 4 has a zero fret. 35" scale.
    It does seem to make the open notes more defined. Set-up wise you will not have any issues........set the bass up as you normally would.
  9. Rickenbacker's 4001C64S has a zero fret.
  10. BigTopBruno


    Sep 6, 2002
    NJ, USA
    I have a Kingston 4....like to z fret..no change in sound on open strings anymore.

    Set-up: when re-stringing, don't let the string ride the zero fret as you tighten....it will dig a groove.


  11. Ari


    Dec 6, 2001
    Some (or all?) marleaux have a zero fret too.
  12. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    Yes, Steinbergers do have zero frets. I don't see why everybody doesn't use them. Why would you want your open strings to sound different than the fretted ones?
  13. goat1234


    Mar 17, 2004

    All Elricks have a zero fret, its standard on all their basses, as is a 35"
  14. Yeah I haven't tried one, but after inquiring what they're all about, I just assume stay with the norm for now. Maybe some day. If they promote fret buzz, I don't wannit! :ninja:
  15. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    DFW, Texas
    picture a bass tuned 1/2 step lower than standard; then put a capo just on the low side of the 1st fret.
    a zero fret bass is essentially the same, but tuned regular, one more lower fret, and no capo.
  16. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    Excellent input, thanks everyone!
  17. So do you fret the zero fret like you would say the 3rd fret or do you still hit the open string? *Confused*
  18. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    No. There's no space on the fretboard in which to even place your finger. That's why it's "zero". Simply play open strings as you normally would.

  19. Joe Turski

    Joe Turski

    Jul 29, 2003
    My Josh Paul sig. has a zero fret. I don't even notice it.