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What/Why 0 (Zero)fret?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by tummage, Jun 6, 2002.

  1. tummage


    Apr 23, 2002
    New Orleans, La
    What is a zero fret used for, and why would I need one. why does Mike Tobias use one now and not when he was making the good Tobias'
  2. michael tobias

    michael tobias MTD

    Mar 21, 2002
    Traditionally a 0 fret has been used by companies that built large quantaties of inexpensive guitars. Mainly because they could not afford the time or expense of having a good techician cut a proper nut.

    I always thought that if the fretboard were prepared properly that a 0 fret would be a benefit no matter what the guitar cost. The reasoning is that the open strings would sound more like the fretted ones making the bass sound more even and that tuning would be enhanced at the first position....you won't be stretching the strings as sharp as with a nut.

    I think it is necessary to be more careful when preparing the fretboard for fretting and when you dress the frets when using a 0 fret because you don't have a nut that can be cut to any depth to compensate for the anomolies in the fretboard.

    At first I switched to the 0 fret to be different from Tobias/Gibson but soon realized that I really like it much better than what I had done in the past. It feels better and sounds better to me.
  3. tummage


    Apr 23, 2002
    New Orleans, La
    Thanks Mike,
    That clears things up, and I must apologize for my wording. I did not mean to imply you have ever constructed anything but the highest quality instruments. In fact, my main axe is one of your older California Tobias'. I used "good" only to differentiate between the total handmade stuff and the mass produced stuff of the Gibson era.
    Sorry for any slight, none was intended.
  4. Intrepid


    Oct 15, 2001
    hehe...thats funny. Tobias, what do you think of companies buying your name products and turning them into mass produced instruments? Piss you off or anything? Just curious.