Purpose of Zero Fret

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Joe M, Mar 30, 2008.

  1. Joe M

    Joe M Member

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    The title says it all; what's the purpose of a zero fret that some guitar manufacturers use? If it's so good, why doesn't everyone use it?
     
  2. SGNick

    SGNick Member

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    I think the original purpose was to dictate the string height, while the nut handled the spacing, but I could be wrong.

    Another theory is that since the open positions are technically fretted, the open notes and the fretted notes would have the same type of tone.
     
  3. DWB1960

    DWB1960 Senior Member

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    Zero frets allow for ridiculous low action but will be prone to quick wear if you play lots of open notes.
     
  4. swimrunner

    swimrunner Member

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    what happens if you use SS zero frets? =)
     
  5. Trebor Renkluaf

    Trebor Renkluaf I was hit by a parked car, what's your excuse? Gold Supporting Member

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    Bingo.
     
  6. buddastrat

    buddastrat Member

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    I thought it was for improved intonation, especially with open chords. Or maybe that's a side effect of the low action at the lower frets.
     
  7. Joe M

    Joe M Member

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    Those responses all make sense; I guess the question, then, is like the second part of my original question; why don't all guitar makers use zero frets, it can't be that much harder or more expensive to add another fret??
     
  8. buddastrat

    buddastrat Member

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    Because Leo didn't do it!

    Seriously, good question, I don't know.
     
  9. Lex Luthier

    Lex Luthier Member

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    Zero frets wear too if you do lots of bending, since the string will move over the zero fret a bit. Sometimes the string moving over the zero fret with make some plinking noises while bending.

    Think of the zero fret as the nut on a traditional guitar. But since you have to basically cut a nut (string divider) behind the zero fret anyways, it is another additional step. I don't particularly like zero frets with trems, since the extra friction of the zero fret and string divider just leads to more tuning hassles.
     
  10. DWB1960

    DWB1960 Senior Member

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    Because they are prone to quick wear.
     
  11. frankthomson

    frankthomson Member

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    WERD.

    but it does offer that chime on open chords/notes

    my Gretsch has one, and i LUB IT.

    maybe they should have made all 1st frets of SS?
     
  12. David Collins

    David Collins Member

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