Zero fret?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Dubious Aa, Jun 27, 2021.

  1. Again, something new to me(shocker there!)
    My new Harley Benton has a zero fret. Now I’m wondering why??
  2. wmhill

    wmhill Inactive

    Aug 20, 2012
    upstate NY
    MTD basses endorsed artist Bartolini pickups emerging artist TECAMP bass players gear endorsed
    I far prefer that to a conventional style nut. It keeps a consistent string height and the nut basically is a string guide and never will wear and mess up the action. It's standard on the MTD basses as well.

    zerofret 20170720_211414.jpg
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  3. Beej


    Feb 10, 2007
    Vancouver Island
    I prefer to build necks with zero frets for both guitar and bass for a few reasons. There have been some good threads on the subject in the Luthier's Corner, here's a recent one: why use a zero fret ?
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  4. Thanks!
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  5. RSBBass


    Jun 11, 2011
    Zero frets have a long history in Germany which is where Thoman (Harley Benton is their brand) is based. Although there is a bit of history of zero frets and cheap instruments in the 60's and early 70's, there is nothing wrong with using them.
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  6. M.R. Ogle

    M.R. Ogle Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 5, 2004
    Mount Vernon, Illinois
    Backstage Guitar Lab owner
    I've retrofitted several guitars (admittedly not a bass, yet...) with Zero-Glide kits. Easy way to get the action just about perfect on at that end of the neck!
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  7. GretschWretch

    GretschWretch Supporting Member

    Dec 27, 2013
    East Central Alabama
    These have zero frets. The nut is just . . . nuts.

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  8. BarfanyShart


    Sep 19, 2019
    DC Metro
    There are lots of good reasons for zero frets on bass. At some point it became a hallmark of a very cheap instrument, and big manufacturers stopped doing it. It should come back.
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  9. groove pump

    groove pump

    Oct 24, 2006
    As I understand it, the "why" is about getting a more consistent tone from note to note. Some instruments will sound a bit different when playing an open note (where one end of the string is anchored through the nut) compared with the sound it makes when the string is held down across a fret. The more consistent action down in the lower positions is definitely a bonus.

    Some instruments exhibit more of a difference than others. If you experiment with different basses in your travels, you'll probably notice this tonal contrast in at least one or two of them. I'm pretty sure that the idea of using a nut made of brass, etc. is also to promote that more similar tone between fretted and open notes without installing a zero fret in addition to the nut.
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