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Author Topic: Zero Glide Nut System  (Read 6114 times)
rwskaggs
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« on: July 03, 2015, 03:21:04 PM »

Thought I'd share an experiment of mine - I was curious to see if this system worked as well as a custom Yamamoto I once had.  I loved that guitar's tone and playability and attributed much of that to its zero fret design.

I've installed it on two of my guitars; a custom Acorn House MJ (see Tinman Heart Guitar build) and a nice little Yamaha LS-16 that I've grown to love.

The kit comes with a bone nut - preslotted - several heights of fret wire and decent instructions for fitting it to your guitar.  A good, flat surface with several grades of sandpaper and a bit of elbow grease are all that's necessary.  No need for fret files, feeler gauges and the like; your guitar strings fall naturally over the supplied zero fret.  Once you decide on which fret wire to install (there are four heights) that gives a good action without buzzing, a drop of superglue holds everything in place.

The chief advantage I see is a uniform height for your strings at the nut - the fret wire follows the curve of your fingerboard very closely.  The zero fret is unlikely to wear - most nuts do wear over time and need to be replaced.

The sound on open chords is a bit more uniform as all strings are bent over frets - no mixture of fret vs. bone or plastic nut tones.

I like it, even though I'm fumble-fingered at kits like this I had no trouble fitting these to my guitars.....see this link for details:
http://www.zeroglide.com/store/?cat=7


....now I need a new Larrivee to experiment on!   
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« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2015, 03:41:36 PM »

My Gretsch hollow-body electric came with the zero fret.  I haven't seen it used elsewhere
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ST
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« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2015, 07:10:49 PM »

Zero fret guitars.

Parker Acoustic (absolutely killer guitar to play)


and I just noticed this yesterday.

Steinberger GM-7TA (and other Steinberger's have a zero fret). You can't see that in the picture below, but I included it because it's a fun and excellent instrument.



I found this article on String Nut or Zero Frets
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broKen
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« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2015, 09:52:48 PM »

Never played one, but shouldn't a good tech be able to cut a nut that does the same? In theory...
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« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2015, 10:15:57 PM »

Here's an explanation of the why there are zero frets on Gretsch guitars
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Barefoot Rob
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« Reply #5 on: July 04, 2015, 04:46:33 AM »

WOW!!!I remember doing this 40 odd years ago.I guess the saying is "what once was is new again"..
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« Reply #6 on: July 04, 2015, 07:14:09 AM »

I'm having difficulty understanding how you can retrofit this to a guitar that has it's scale length already determined by the distance from the front edge of the nut to the front edge of the saddle??

Wouldn't that throw off the entire scale length and intonation?  Maybe I'm missing something.  I've come across many guitars with a zero fret, but how can you convert a guitar without one to a guitar that has a zero fret and not screw up it's intonation?
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« Reply #7 on: July 04, 2015, 07:22:03 AM »


--== Please click the picture for more details ==--
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rwskaggs
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« Reply #8 on: July 04, 2015, 02:24:34 PM »

I'm having difficulty understanding how you can retrofit this to a guitar that has it's scale length already determined by the distance from the front edge of the nut to the front edge of the saddle??

Wouldn't that throw off the entire scale length and intonation?  Maybe I'm missing something.  I've come across many guitars with a zero fret, but how can you convert a guitar without one to a guitar that has a zero fret and not screw up it's intonation?


Like the photo someone posted, the new zero fret is set back into the new nut (towards the tuners) so the scale length is the same.  The only purpose of the new nut is to support the zero fret and give proper string spacing...
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« Reply #9 on: July 07, 2015, 08:09:40 PM »


Like the photo someone posted, the new zero fret is set back into the new nut (towards the tuners) so the scale length is the same.  The only purpose of the new nut is to support the zero fret and give proper string spacing...

Thanks for the explanation, and thanks for the picture, ST.  It's all clear now.  It seems like a good idea.  The nut slots could be made wide enough that there would be no binding whatsoever, yes?
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rwskaggs
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« Reply #10 on: July 07, 2015, 09:03:17 PM »

Thanks for the explanation, and thanks for the picture, ST.  It's all clear now.  It seems like a good idea.  The nut slots could be made wide enough that there would be no binding whatsoever, yes?

Yup!    +1
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« Reply #11 on: July 09, 2015, 03:31:04 PM »

This is something I'd like to do. But no need for a kit, all the parts are in my bins. Time is what I need.
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« Reply #12 on: July 09, 2015, 05:27:11 PM »

This is something I'd like to do. But no need for a kit, all the parts are in my bins. Time is what I need.

 cop   ohmy WHAT THE FRACK!!!!!!!Using what you have instead of rushing out to buy a kit.....SHAME,SHAME,SHAME..................
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« Reply #13 on: July 09, 2015, 06:53:49 PM »

I still say a good tech who takes the necessary time and with care can accomplish the same or better results.
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« Reply #14 on: May 15, 2016, 08:06:35 PM »

I just now installed a Zero Glide Nut -- but not on my Larrivee.  The idea seemed intriguing, but didn't solve/improve any issues with my Larry.  My Teton, on the other hand, had closer string spacing that challenged my fat fingers so I wanted a new nut to provide a little more room.  Zero Glide is available in several spacings so I chose one that moved the E's a bit toward the edges of the fretboard.  The install wasn't hard -- it was made easier by not taking the directions too seriously -- and the results are fine.  I now have slightly more space for my fingers and the zero fret works well -- all done without fret files!

As long as I was taking tools to my Teton, I also installed an AddString (www.addstring.com -- they show installation on a Larrivee on their website) which adds a 0.009" steel string adjacent to the G-string for a bit of 12-string jangle.  It works and doesn't interfere with any playing.  The Teton was already "sparkly," now it's more so.

I'm happy with the changes but have no intention of migrating either to my Larrivee.   
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« Reply #15 on: May 15, 2016, 08:09:34 PM »

I just now installed a Zero Glide Nut -- but not on my Larrivee.  The idea seemed intriguing, but didn't solve/improve any issues with my Larry.  My Teton, on the other hand, had closer string spacing that challenged my fat fingers so I wanted a new nut to provide a little more room.  Zero Glide is available in several spacings so I chose one that moved the E's a bit toward the edges of the fretboard.  The install wasn't hard -- it was made easier by not taking the directions too seriously -- and the results are fine.  I now have slightly more space for my fingers and the zero fret works well -- all done without fret files!

As long as I was taking tools to my Teton, I also installed an AddString (www.addstring.com -- they show installation on a Larrivee on their website) which adds a 0.009" steel string adjacent to the G-string for a bit of 12-string jangle.  It works and doesn't interfere with any playing.  The Teton was already "sparkly," now it's more so.

I'm happy with the changes but have no intention of migrating either to my Larrivee.   
Take a few pictures, it would be good to see it set up
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« Reply #16 on: May 15, 2016, 08:15:52 PM »

I just now installed a Zero Glide Nut -- but not on my Larrivee.  The idea seemed intriguing, but didn't solve/improve any issues with my Larry.  My Teton, on the other hand, had closer string spacing that challenged my fat fingers so I wanted a new nut to provide a little more room.  Zero Glide is available in several spacings so I chose one that moved the E's a bit toward the edges of the fretboard.  The install wasn't hard -- it was made easier by not taking the directions too seriously -- and the results are fine.  I now have slightly more space for my fingers and the zero fret works well -- all done without fret files!

As long as I was taking tools to my Teton, I also installed an AddString (www.addstring.com -- they show installation on a Larrivee on their website) which adds a 0.009" steel string adjacent to the G-string for a bit of 12-string jangle.  It works and doesn't interfere with any playing.  The Teton was already "sparkly," now it's more so.

I'm happy with the changes but have no intention of migrating either to my Larrivee.   
I got intrigued by the add string after playing an 8 string baritone Taylor at Gruhn guitars in Nashville. Really cool sound. I'd love to hear a recording of your Teton so kitted.
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« Reply #17 on: May 16, 2016, 01:00:02 PM »

If it was that good of an idea, wouldn't the best guitar makers all use it? IE Have we ever seen a Martin with one? Sounds like an attempt to gild the lily. Then again, get off my dern lawn!     
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« Reply #18 on: May 16, 2016, 04:01:09 PM »

Here's an explanation of the why there are zero frets on Gretsch guitars

In the article it says something that doesn't make sense to me - the zero fret is slightly taller than the other frets. Other makers have also done this on their zero fret guitars (Carvin makes a couple now which are headless models).

Why should the zero fret be any taller than any other fret? It would seem to me that this is a recipe for throwing intonation off, like not having nut slots cut low enough.

When you put a capo on a guitar (at any other fret), there is no problem with buzzing, right? - otherwise capos would be worthless... so why raise up the zero fret? (I've had this argument with folks on other forums, so forgive me if I seem to be picking a fight here...but surely Chet Atkins and other pro players would understand this and demand that the zero fret be the same height as the others...).

Okay, off my soapbox now, and like Tom said, get off my lawn!

(P.S. I think zero frets are a great idea for all the other reasons given: tone, consistency, etc. I also think a well cut nut can achieve the same consistency, but not the tone of a zero nut - unless it's a metal nut...)
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« Reply #19 on: May 16, 2016, 05:55:30 PM »

The zero fret, like a nut, holds the strings above the other frets and also is the beginning of the scale length.
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