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Tell me about using a zero fret

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by tjclem, Mar 5, 2008.

  1. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    I have never had a bass with one and have never created on with a zero fret. I normaly have room to ramp the fingerboard towards the tuners after the nut. I just got a few fretboards that I don't have the extra fingerboard to do that with. I guess I have to use a piece of Ebony or Corian as a string guide and put a fret in the nut slot? It is a fretted bass by the way. Do I install and level the normal frets then install the zero fret so it sits a bit taller than the "normal" frets? Or how is this done? Thanks.....Tom
  2. Rodent

    Rodent A Killer Pickup Line™ Commercial User

    Dec 20, 2004
    Upper Left Corner (Seattle)
    Player-Builder-Founder: Honey Badger Pickups & Regenerate Guitar Works
    I install, level, and dress a zero fret just like any other fret with consistently stellar results

    all the best,

  3. jordan_frerichs


    Jan 20, 2008
    i am zer fretting my project. will make playing easier.
  4. anybody got a pic of such a bass?
  5. If you want to know how zero fret feels...get a capo (borrow one from your guitar-playing buddy)...capo the first fret and play away...that's basically what it feels like to play a zero fret...
    not necessarily much different than a well cut normal nut, but much easier to get consistant results...and tonally, the same on open strings as fretted notes...
  6. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    Thanks some good stuff there. I really like the idea of filing grooves in the board behind the zero fret to act as a nut.....t
  7. DanielM


    Jan 6, 2007
    Didn't Wilser do that once? I know it looked really cool!
  8. Drucocu


    Jan 24, 2007
    my LeFay's are all with zero fret: very low action, no buzzing, consistent tone, there aren't many reasons to NOT have a zero fret.

    and here a pic of the new LeFay Herr Schwarz 6-String

  9. yes, he did.

  10. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass

    Very nice! I don't do the tilted headstock so I will have to use on of the hipshot 3 string string trees .
  11. Are there any disadvantages to not using a nut? Does it affect the tone or sustain? I was thinking about using a brass nut on my build, but I like this idea. It seems easier... What would sound and play better?
  12. CrashClint

    CrashClint I Play Bass therefore I Am

    Nov 15, 2005
    Wake Forest, NC
    DR Strings Dealer (local only)
    I am not a luthier and do not play one in the movies, but with out having a slotted nut to hold the spacing can't the strings move?
  13. ehque


    Jan 8, 2006
    Well, there is a nut, and it holds the spacing. That's all it does, it doesn't have to adjust the height of strings anymore, so there's less to do.
  14. ZolkoW


    May 8, 2006
    Hungary, EU
    I like it's simplicity, and cleanliness... maybe I will use that once.. I'd file the string pits a bit deeper, so the strings would fraction only at the zero fret. I can see a little fraction on the fretboard's end, too. I don't know, if it's good or not, just for optics :)

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