Zero fret.

Discussion in 'Technical Side of Things' started by Gibbsy, Jun 5, 2020.

  1. Henry

    Henry I Bleed Orange

    Apr 9, 2014
    I like the zero fret on my jet. However, I do wonder if the zeroglide is a superior design as the nut slots are right against the zero fret - when you bend a string, the stirng will not move relative to the zero fret.
  2. Gibbsy

    Gibbsy Gretschie

    May 6, 2020
    London, UK
    I wouldn't have thought that. As has been mentioned, a lot more effort is required to cut a nut correctly.
    audept and new6659 like this.
  3. audept

    audept Senior Gretsch-Talker

    Dec 1, 2010
    Sydney, Australia
    I had a zero-fret fitted to my 1962 SG Les Paul way back in 1968. Here's how it looks 52 years later:

    1962 SG Les Paul 003.jpg 1962 SG Les Paul 017.jpg
  4. Eoghan007

    Eoghan007 Electromatic

    Nov 17, 2017
    Interestingly enough, if not somewhat anecdotal, I’ve had, ahem, zero issues with the zero fret on a Country Gentleman but a couple pinging and tuning issues with the ZeroGlide on a Les Paul. Now some of that could just come down to improper installation and/or nut work. I have a generally positive impression from zero frets overall though.
    mrfixitmi and Henry like this.
  5. Highroller

    Highroller Synchromatic

    Jun 11, 2015
    Portland, OR
    Yep, this. Exactly.

    It's not a deal breaker when it comes to buying a guitar, but I always consider it a plus when a guitar has one. I like 'em.
    mrfixitmi likes this.
  6. englishman

    englishman Gretschified

    Apr 5, 2014
    I'm curious how they did that. Did they extend the fretboard back to add the zero fret? Is the intonation from open to first fret spot on? It kinda looks like they just cut a slot and put the fret there... but that wouldn't really work.
    Sid Nitzerglobin likes this.
  7. englishman

    englishman Gretschified

    Apr 5, 2014
    Well, the cheaper guitars have a plastic nut that is 'close enough' right out of the mold. Eliminates any need (so they think) for a setup. Stick it in and NEXT!

    Zero frets require longer boards and the extra fret AND still have to have a guide 'nut'. If the guide nut is not lower than the zero fret, the guitar is unplayable.

    Zero frets do develop wear lines and vigorous bending in the lower register will give you a ting or two (no Jamaican reference here) as the string slips in and out of the groove under pressure.
    DennisC, new6659 and mrfixitmi like this.
  8. Eoghan007

    Eoghan007 Electromatic

    Nov 17, 2017
    SS zero fret and those fret groove problems are moot!
  9. mrfixitmi

    mrfixitmi Synchromatic

    Mar 20, 2010
    I would prefer a zero fret. In my opinion, it gives a little more of a bell tone. Since my hearing is not what it used to be, the added jingle/jangle is desired. A bad fitting nut is not good, and a zero fret won't help. When a good nut is combined with a zero fret, to me the sound is cleaner.
  10. speedicut

    speedicut Friend of Fred

    Jun 5, 2012
    I like a ZF myself, my 6121-1959 never goes out of tune on a Bigsby bend
  11. Ricochet

    Ricochet I Bleed Orange

    Nov 13, 2009
    Monkey Island
    The spacing around the inlay is too consistent. Looks like the luthier extended the fretboard and had to cut the bottom of the trussrod cover to make it fit.
  12. Stefan87

    Stefan87 Synchromatic

    May 20, 2019
    Brisbane, Australia
    My 6119 has one and I can see the advantages of them, not a deal breaker for me if a guitar doesn't one or not, is more of an even tone as others have said.
  13. GreTschocaster

    GreTschocaster Gretschie

    Feb 11, 2013
    I have a 6121 1959 as well. The only other GreTsch I have owned with one was a 6120 LTV. Must say I rather like them but it wouldn't be a deal breaker if it had or didn't have a zero fret.
  14. audept

    audept Senior Gretsch-Talker

    Dec 1, 2010
    Sydney, Australia
    The whole fretboard was replaced with another piece of ebony in the luthier's collection that was already 40 years old in 1968. The inlays were cut from real MOP shells he had stashed away. The replacement fretboard was a little thicker than the original to accommodate a custom double truss-rod to stabilize the SG neck.
    touch33, englishman and Ricochet like this.
  15. englishman

    englishman Gretschified

    Apr 5, 2014
    Perhaps but we were talking 'cheaper' guitars so that seems unlikely.
  16. Hammerhands

    Hammerhands Country Gent

    Aug 26, 2011
    I don't think I would buy a Gretsch without one.

    My Steinberger pings on the G, soft frets, I guess.
  17. Johno99

    Johno99 Electromatic

    Feb 24, 2017
    Haslemere, UK
    I fitted a zero fret to my G5445T doublejet . Transformed it. Stable tuning and no problem using the bigsby.
    Highly recommended.
    radd, Gibbsy and emitex like this.
  18. moosie

    moosie Electromatic

    Jun 17, 2014
    I had to replace the zero on my Chet 59 6120, after just a few years. I used stainless, so it should never be an issue again. Bone is much harder than fret wire, and the constant string pressure wears grooves in the metal.
  19. tremelo68

    tremelo68 Gretschie

    May 23, 2011
    I prefer zero fret and miss having one on my SSLVO. My vintage 6122 had one and it made a difference. I think it also helps with Bigsby action and tuning stability.
  20. rockinstephen

    rockinstephen Electromatic

    My 6196 Country Club has a zero fret, but it's a high end guitar. It seems to me that a zero fret would solve most of the problems associated with the nut such as string binding, height issues, and buzzing. I don't know why they aren't more common. It seems like a great idea...
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