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Benefits Of A Zero Fret Bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by B'Aces High, Feb 21, 2004.


  1. One of the basses i have decided to maybe look into getting this summer i noticed has a 'zero-fret'. I was wondering what thoughts were one 'zero-frets' and if they changed tone much??
    Any real advantages to them?
     
  2. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    California
    The advantage of a "zero fret" is that your open notes sound more uniform with your fretted notes.

    That's it.
     
  3. LA

    LA

    Oct 17, 2001
    Michigan
    Similar sound between fretted and open strings. I don't miss it on my Ibanez, though.
     
  4. Thanks, i wasnt too sure...i dont remember ever really playing one...never noticed...
    And its something i dont really see come up ever so i was just curious.
    Thanks again.
     
  5. Electricmayhem

    Electricmayhem

    Dec 18, 2003
    NH
    I've seen zero fret basses before and I didn't ever think of what they did. Now I know. :)
     
  6. I guess another question would be: Are there any disadvantages to zero fret basses?
     
  7. Disadvantage:

    The open strings sound more like the other fretted notes.

    Personally i like the sound of open strings, there is just something about them that appeals to me.

    Bassis
     
  8. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    For me, nut vs. zero fret is way way down near the bottom of the list of criteria upon which I make a purchasing decision. :)
     
  9. JahKnow

    JahKnow Guest

    Wouldn't a zero fret bass be a fretless! ;)


    :bag:
    :ninja:
     



  10. *Insert cricket chirping here* :p
     
  11. JahKnow

    JahKnow Guest

    LOL
    I know your out there, I can hear you chirping.
    PEACE!!!!!, Johno! :cool:
     
  12. BoiNtC

    BoiNtC

    Nov 25, 2002
    NYC, USA
    Another disadvantage to the zero fret bass (well on MTDs), you'd need a Buzz Feiten tuner to do your intonation, regular tuning would be done in the same fashion though.
     
  13. Diek

    Diek

    May 25, 2003
    Why would you need a special tuner to set the intonation? The zero fret is in the same place as the nut. The only difference is it's often the same heigh as the rest of the frets, where a nut is usually cut a hair higher. As I understand the Buzz Feiten system, one of it's benefits is to fix the intonation problems caused by a high nut. Since the zero fret isn't any higher than the frets, I'd immagine intonation would actually be more accurate than on a bass with a nut. Of course, you could always cut the nut to the same height of the frets, but then we wouldn't be discussing this.

    *edit* I noticed you said "on MTDs." As I recall, some MTDs come standard with the Buzz Feiten system. So MTDs might need to use the buzz feiten tuner, but any ordinary bass with a zero fret won't.
     
  14. tplyons

    tplyons

    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Can I get a bass with the zero fret on all but the E string? That would rock...get that nice phat E, with the crisp tones of everything else ;)

    Sorry, drooling again.
     
  15. Figjam

    Figjam

    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    my thoughts exactly,.

    my hohner has a zero fret though..yay..
     
  16. JahKnow

    JahKnow Guest

    I guess techniclly speaking, my fretless X-Factor has a negative one, and a negative two fret (E and D# w/the open D engaged)! :eek:
    So is it really fretless. :meh:
    PEACE!!!!!, Johno!
     
  17. Oliver

    Oliver

    Jun 21, 2003
    Perth, Australia
    Can we get some pictures in here!
     
  18. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Here is a headstock of a Le Fay Capone 5-90

    Most German basses have zero-frets (Warwick is an exception). My main bass has one too, I like the even tone and the low action it makes easy to achieve.

     
  19. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB

    Jan 28, 2001
    New York

    Could that also be achieved with a brass (or other type of metal) nut?
     
  20. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    California
    Good question! We should post it in "ask the luthiers", although I think an open string sounds like an open string regardless of nut material...