1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Buzz Feiten and a Zero Fret

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by G-Man, Sep 30, 2005.

  1. G-Man

    G-Man Keeping it Solid

    Jun 1, 2005
    South Carolina
    I know that this has been covered to some degree, and I do understand the theory behind the Buzz Feiten Tuning System, but now that I am considering buying an MTD, I have a question. Doesn't the use of a zero fret on an MTD effectively eliminate any effect the nut has on tuning and intonation? :confused:
  2. tim99

    tim99 Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2003
    Yes. The nut of a zero fret bass is moved away from the bridge, and the zero fret is located at where you would expect the nut of a standard bass to be. The purpose of the nut on a zero fret bass becomes only to provide exact string spacing. The zero fret becomes the anchor point for the vibration of the string that a nut on a standard bass is.

    With a bass that uses a nut and the BF tunning system, the nut is moved toward the bridge so that the distance between the nut and the first fret is reduced.

    Therefore, for a zero fret bass that has a BF tunning system, the ZERO FRET would be closer to the bridge (and therefore closer to the first fret) than on a standard zero fret bass. The nut will be located behind the zero fret as determined by the needs of the bass builder, and the zero fret will be located as required by the BF tunning system.

    Because the BF tuning system seems to continue to use a straight nut, the use of a straight zero fret does not appear to me to effect the system.
  3. jetsetvet

    jetsetvet Banned

    Mar 24, 2005
    You know, I was confused by this as well, because I had noticed that the nut on the EB Bongo basses that feature BF tuning have a nut with slightly different distances to the first fret for each string. Then I wondered how the MTD basses with a zero fret could have BF tuning. So I called MTD hoping someone there could explain it to me. To my surprize, Mike Tobias himself answered the phone. He was really cool and generous with his time, explaining that the BF system on a bass only involves a slightly shortened distance between the zero and first fret than usual and then the unique method of BF tuning. He was not aware of the nut design seen on Bongo basses and could not understand why they would be the way they are. Its is still curious to me that these differences exist, but by his reputation, it is hard to think that Mike Tobias doesn't have it right.
  4. tim99

    tim99 Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2003
    Are you sure it was a Buzz Feiten tuning system, or was it an Earvana compensated nut?


    I think this thread is just about to get real interesting...
  5. jetsetvet

    jetsetvet Banned

    Mar 24, 2005
    This is one of those times where I wonder if my brain is cross-wired. After doing a Google search to find evidence of the BF system on Bongo Basses, I find none. All info says that it is a compensated nut that is a proprietary design of Ernie Ball, by someone named Dudley.

    Yet, I have what I thought was a clear memory, of looking over the Bongo Basses when they first appeared a couple of years ago in Guitar Center, with a hang tag on the tuners that advertised the Buzz Feiten system, along with the compensated nut. It seems as though this memory is a synthesis of my own crossed memories, and I'm only 45 (and sober). Now I realize why Mike Tobias had no knowledge of compensated bass nuts on basses with BF tuning designs.

    What a drag it is getting old. Sorry for wasting bandwidth and collective readers time.
  6. tim99

    tim99 Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2003
    No wasted time.

    Buzz Feiten, Zero Frets, and Compensated Nuts are pretty interesting stuff I do not believe are mainstream knowledge.

    Lots of people will learn from this thread.