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Author Topic: Zero fret  (Read 641 times)
leerichards
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« on: May 12, 2009, 08:28:11 AM »

Hi guys first of all, this is such a great forum.  I'm sure I'd be a better guitarist if I spent less time on the forum and more with my fingers on the wires bigrin. This is probably a well discussed topic, but I'd like other members opinions on the zero fret. What are the advantages and disadvantages? Has Larrivee ever used the zero fret? I guess if there were compelling advantages, then they'd be standard on all guitars. What do you say? 
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teh
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« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2009, 09:20:25 AM »

This should help.

http://buildyourguitar.com/resources/tips/zerofret.htm

Martin put one on the Martin Carthy signature model to support his open tunings. A forum member can tell you if Larrivee ever tried it.
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TEH

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Zohn
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« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2009, 09:43:07 AM »

Hi there Lee, and welcome to the forum.
This topic was discussed a while back under a slightly different heading - Holly is the expert on that matter!!! 
http://www.larriveeforum.com/smf/index.php?topic=26550.0
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jwb
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« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2009, 11:35:41 AM »

The zero fret is one of those ideas that seems so obvious, so simple, you now it has to be a good idea.  Larrivee never did one on their/his guitars to my knowledge, but the idea had been around for some time.  Pete Seeger's 12 string has one, and he keeps it tuned down to D.  It helps with playability, intonation and a balanced sound between open and fretted strings.  My 2 year olds' little beater guitar from China has one...it makes manufacture of a usable guitar less difficult it appears.

Justin
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pigtown
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« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2009, 12:15:47 PM »

Fylde uses them: 
http://www.fyldeguitars.com/

Harvey Leach (of voyage-air fame) as well:
http://www.leachguitars.com/
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jeremy3220
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« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2009, 01:59:41 PM »

It seems useless.

Quote
they provide for an ideal string height over the first fret, which leads to fewer intonation problems.

This is what any properly set up nut should do. And there's something to be said for the sound of open strings.
 
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lw216316
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« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2009, 02:12:37 PM »

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  there's something to be said for the sound of open strings.

 
It is common for guitarists to employ open strings when possible -
very common to use an open bass string when playing chords on the trebles when at 3rd position or higher.

To my ear it sounds deeper, richer, fuller. with more volume and sustain
Play an open bass E string and then compare that to playing the same string at the 3rd fret (a G note in standard tuning).

With a lot of guitars that beautiful bass E note becomes a 'thump' when fretted (more of a percussion sound).
If a zero fret made my open bass strings lose their beautiful sustain and volume I would not want one.

- Larry
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tadol
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« Reply #7 on: May 12, 2009, 03:50:35 PM »

I guess if there were compelling advantages, then they'd be standard on all guitars.

Boy, there are some words sure to start some rapid typing -  The earlier thread had a reference to playing with a capo ( sorry for not giving credit ) and that made the "zero fret" design easy for me to understand. So if you play first position, and don't capo, or in alternate or open tunings without a capo, then the zero fret design probably offers nothing for you at all. Otherwise, I am still intrigued with it, and would very much like to play a higher-end instument with this design -

Tad
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and a wife that still puts up with me, which is the best -
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