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zero fret application/setup

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by skguitarsbasses, Nov 3, 2004.


  1. I have reviewed an older thread about the Buzz Feiten tuning system as well as utilizing a Zero Fret- but I was wondering if anyone could provide guidance on actually setting up the Zero Fret.
    I know that the strings rest on the fret wire and then the nut provides a guide for the string spacing, but what is the height used for the fretwire (just standard "tall" stock)? What is the general height difference between the Zero and 1st fret wire?
    Any help would be greatly appreciated, thanks.
     
  2. Skorzen

    Skorzen

    Mar 15, 2002
    Springfield MA
    I just use the same height as the other frets, think of it as putting a capo on the first fret that then become the "nut" in a sense, but is that same height as the other frets.
     
  3. With low action and the Zero Fret at the same height as the other Frets, there won't be any buzzing? Will the downward angle to the tuning pegs keep the strings against the zero fret wire and off of the other frets?
     
  4. Skorzen

    Skorzen

    Mar 15, 2002
    Springfield MA
    I will admit that sometimes when leveling the frets I do go a little easy on the zero fret, but its the same thing as playing a fretted note. you shouldent get any buzz there either. The zero fret is just a fret at the nut position that is always fretted. I hope that makes it a little clearer. There has been a bit of discussion about the pluses and minuses of zero fres over at the MIMF look in the archives you may find that helpful.
     
  5. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    US-NY-NYC
    No. Assuming you level the frets properly.

    To put it another way: Does the string buzz against the third fret when you fret at the second? No, not if the frets are levelled and the truss rod is adjusted properly. Does the string buzz against the second fret when you fret at the first? No, not if the frets are levelled and the truss rod is adjusted properly. Does the string buzz against the first fret when the string is lying on the zero fret? No, not if the frets are levelled and the truss rod is adjusted properly.
     
  6. does anyone own a MTD or Dingwall, or another instrument with the zero fret, and post a profile photo of the strings going over the zero fret?

    that would be helpful as well.

    would the nut slots be at the same height as the fretwire, or lower so that the strings would bend downward after the zero fret to the tuners?
     
  7. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    US-NY-NYC
    Dingwall uses a standard nut (except for the fan angle!), not a zero fret.

    The strings must bend down as they pass over the zero fret, in order to hold pressure against the fret- same as when you fret with your finger on any other fret. So, the string separator (or "nut") must be cut a little lower than the fret to provide this.

    Note that the string separator does not have to be cut in a form to exactly fit your string, like a standard nut. It can be somewhat of a "V", which in combination with the zero fret, can allow you to change string guages without re-cutting.

    Here's a pic of the very cool way LeFay integrates the separator nut into the headstock:
    [​IMG]
    You can see a blow up of this by clicking on the photo on the site: http://lefay.de/gallery/Mr-Brown/IM004770