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Mtd: about zero fret ...

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by mangle, Sep 3, 2003.

  1. mangle


    Dec 17, 2001
    Guayaquil, ECUADOR
    I want to convert my mtd kingston 5 string to fretless...shoul I keep the zero fret in it?
    thank you all
  2. yes and no.
    Because the unique mwah sound of a fretless comes from the string slightly boucing off the fingerboard near the area behind where you 'fretted'. So whatever is 'in front' shouldn't matter much. However, once the rest of the board is defretted, when you play a open note it wouldn't sound like the same fretted note anymore, which defeats the purpose of keeping the zero fret.
  3. Leaving it in would make the notes where the first few frets were odd to play. You're pressing the string further down, which increases the tension, marginally over long distances but closer to the zero-fret it'd be worse, though you could correct for it with your ear.

    However, on a similar note, taking it out will extend the scale length by a little bit and they way its extended (lengthening the distance to the first fret) means that you can't fix the intonatoin using the bridge, only in your fretting. This means that your lines won't be usable, which isn't bad (cause you'll rely on your ear) but they'll throw you around.

    I'd leave it in I think but see if I can take the fret down, file it or whatever (you'd possibly also have to take the nut down somewhat as well, maybe). I've never actually seen a bass with a zero fret in person, so I'm not the most experienced on the matter.

    Josh D
  4. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    Take it away, acc to Daveze's comment.

    Take a Dremel and widen the fret slot, and insert a wooden "fret", that protrudes approx .5mm from the surface of the fingerboard.
    Perhaps you need to file down the nut slots, too.
  5. mangle


    Dec 17, 2001
    Guayaquil, ECUADOR
    thank u all! suburban advice is very interesting! think I will try it

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