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Zero Fret Mojo

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by paddydaddyo, Mar 24, 2009.

  1. I have always said that when the time comes for my signature model to be made (still waiting for the call on this, actually :atoz:), that the neck would feature a zero fret.

    I have heard all sorts of different arguments for the design, from intonation to even tone across the lower register ... and they all make sense to me. But I found this link to a YouTube vid of Michael Tobias explaining the inclusion of a zero fret on the new MTD Saratoga and CRB ... and it adds yet another reason from a production/QC/setup standpoint.

    Interesting stuff.
  2. I thought the zero fret thing would be one of those artistic sound subtleties that the average guy wouldn't notice at all and was a gimmick more than a real benefit. However, onec i got a bass so equipped I really could hear a difference on open notes, or more correctly there was no difference. Only once I could compare it to other basses did I notice it, but the open notes do sound identical to the fretted ones. I find myself playing more open notes andi t mkes playing some stuff a lot easier without changing the sound at all.
  3. Mr. Ray

    Mr. Ray

    Feb 20, 2009
    Yes I have noticed that open and fretted notes some similar in timbre on a zero fret. I saw that Fender had a zero nut jazz available in their custom shop basses..that would be interesting if they made that a standard feature on some models. I guess one substitute is a brass/metal nut...kinda of similar??
  4. Mikio


    Feb 21, 2009
    Santiago de Chile
    wow, I didn't know they were the mark of a cheap guitar! lol, but pretty cool fact that they're useful!
  5. Yeah, I found it interesting that opinion was shared amongst builders and players back in the day when the MIJ basses were first flooding the low-end market, but Mike's realization and change of tune is certainly revealing.
  6. GlennW


    Sep 6, 2006
    That's not true. Check out some old Gretsches. Most zero frets were installed on instruments at both ends of the price scale, not in the middle.

    Zero frets save labor on cutting nut slots and sound like the rest of the frets. You get the lowest action and the open notes sound like the rest.

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