Zero Fret?

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by chrimturn, Dec 3, 2014.

  1. chrimturn

    chrimturn Fire in the Wire Silver Member

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    Can someone post a picture with an explanation of a zero fret? I've searched it up and read about it and looked at pictures and thought I had a good assumption of what it was.

    I'm currently looking for a new Am Standard. The last one I came close to buying apparently had a zero fret. Like I mentioned, after researching this topic, I thought I'd be able to recognize it. But it was explained that this guitar had a small sliver of wood just beyond, and right at the base of the headstock.

    Well, I looked up multiple Strat models between $700-$1500, and practically all of them had this sliver just beyond the nut.

    So now I'm a little confused. What is a zero fret, really? I never paid attention to these things. But now I'm a more experienced player and trying to become a more informed player so I can get the best sound possible out of a strat.

    Thanks
     
  2. stratman in va

    stratman in va Most Honored Senior Member

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    I have an old acoustic with one.

    The zero fret is a fret that the string sits on - the Gretch guitars have them a lot.
    There is a nut also, but that is typically just for the spacing of the strings.

    I do not know of any Strats that have that.
     
  3. MEXbluesGUY

    MEXbluesGUY Senior Stratmaster

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    its just a fret infront of the nut
     
  4. ghostwolf

    ghostwolf Mod Admin

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    Just noticed the broken nut on the strat...
    Can you post a picture of this small sliver of wood you mentioned? If i'm understanding what you're referring to... A Fender fingerboard extends maybe 1/8" beyond the nut, towards the headstock.
    [​IMG]
    A zero fret sits in front of the nut, which is actually only there to hold the strings in position, like the silver piece here
    [​IMG]
     
  5. chrimturn

    chrimturn Fire in the Wire Silver Member

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    Yes. The 1/8" beyond is the "sliver" I'm talking about. I thought a zero fret was exactly how you described it. Here's what I was told...

    "This guitar has a zero fret. See the extra neck wood space sticking out past the nut. This is not a terrible thing but the guitar will not intonate as well at the higher frets"....

    This is why I was confused. I didn't think this was an example of a zero fret.
     

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  6. fumbler

    fumbler PhD-Stratology

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    On a Fender headstock, the extra wood behind the nut is there to provide integrity and strength for the slot in the neck that holds the nut.

    [​IMG]

    Whoever told you that it was for a 'zero fret' has no idea what they're talking about. You should ignore any other "advice" they gave you. Stock Fender guitars have never had a zero fret.

    And another thing: did the guy actually say it wouldn't intonate at the HIGHER frets? If he was correct about the zero fret (which he wasn't) then the intonation would be terrible everywhere but it would be worse at the LOWER frets. Seriously, this guy does not understand anything about guitars.
     
  7. Lonn

    Lonn Mod Admin Staff Member

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    That's literally a zero zero fret, along with zero knowledge. :)
     
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  8. Mr. Lumbergh

    Mr. Lumbergh needs you to go ahead and come in on Sunday, too.

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    Whoever told you that is missing a clue, just as that guitar is missing a zero fret.
     
  9. chrimturn

    chrimturn Fire in the Wire Silver Member

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    Thanks for clearing up the grey area. I appreciate the input.

    Is that something that's unique to Fender? Extending the fingerboard for strength and integrity. Have they been doing that forever?
     
  10. PetesWindmill

    PetesWindmill Senior Stratmaster

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    Every Strat I've ever seen has it so I would thin yes.
     
  11. chrimturn

    chrimturn Fire in the Wire Silver Member

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    We communicate via text. It was a lengthy one and broken up into multiple boxes. He was actually comparing the guitar in question to another one and did go on to explain it wouldn't intonate as well at the higher or lower frets. I didn't copy and paste all of it....just the one box.

    I did not mean to disrespect his knowledge on the subject. I guess the way I copied and pasted just some of the conversation was a little misleading on my part.

    He does say that he's a Gibson guy and not a Fender guy...maybe the features of those guitars are different and that extra 1/8" would raise some eyebrows there. I don't know.
     
  12. Guitarmageddon

    Guitarmageddon Dr. Stratster

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    Any Fender Stratocaster will intonate properly if the neck is still in good shape etc and not warped and proper relief is set....unless the bridge is mounted in the wrong place but then that wouldn't pass QC in the first place....

    If this guy thinks it won't, he's been misinformed. He might be a Gibson snob, they exist....they don't like bolt-on guitars lol
     
  13. Vindibona1

    Vindibona1 Most Honored Senior Member

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    Wouldn't a zero fret and a brass nut do the same thing?
     
  14. Guitarmageddon

    Guitarmageddon Dr. Stratster

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    Not really. A zero fret makes the depth of the nut slots a lot less crucial, and you can get lower action out of it than most guitars at the nut out of the box. Basically it used to be on lower end models as a cost-saving and quality assurance method. Seems like now it's coming back, as Gibson has their new zero fret adjustable nut....
     
  15. Outlawyer

    Outlawyer Strat-O-Master

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    I too played an old acoustic with a zero fret in high school, and it did play nicely. Seems like it was a Gibson acoustic, can't remember for sure. Maybe Guild.
     
  16. SAguitar

    SAguitar Senior Stratmaster Silver Member

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    It's pretty standard on Gretsch guitars.

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Pinkboots

    Pinkboots Strat-O-Master

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    Already answered. A zero fret is so-called because it is after the nut but before the first fret. Kinda like Asimov's Laws of Robotics, where the law before First Law was called (for want of a better expression) Zeroth Law.

    A zero fret is better described as a nut fret, but it never is. Nut fret actually says what it is.

    Anything behind the nut ain't a fret. Find the guy who described the timber behind the nut as a zero fret and tell him to stick to the piano-accordion.
     
  18. gonzo

    gonzo Senior Stratmaster

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    zero frets have been around a long time.


    brian may uses one on his red special.
     
  19. heltershelton

    heltershelton BANNED Silver Member

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    i had to replace the roller nut on my strat plus a few times, due to it getting rusted out and old and stuff from hard use and lots of beer being thrown on it over the years. the guy at atlanta discount actually glued what looks like a plastic piece behind the new roller nut. either plastic or a really dark piece of wood.
     

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  20. bloomz

    bloomz Senior Stratmaster Silver Member

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    Seems to me they make a lot of sense.


    Then you don't have moving wires digging their way into a nut and wearing out.