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SurfGuitar101 Forums » Gear »

Permalink Zero Glide nut is great

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I recently redid a Strat and stepped up to some 11s. I recut the stock nut pretty well but went a little too deep on the G string and decided to use the opportunity to try the Zero Glide conversion nut I've been interested in for a while.

Well, it's amazing and I want to put one on every guitar now. A total breeze to install and more effective in every way than a conventional nut. The zero fret sets the string height perfectly (you get a few frets to choose from in the kit) and then all you have to do is adjust the width of the slots. Well, you do have to trim the fret to width as well but that's easy.

I installed mine, trimmed the fret as short as my dykes would go, masked off with tape, and filed it as close as I could get. Then I pulled it back out and finished smoothing the ends with a piece of sandpaper. When I reinstalled the nut assembly for good I didn't even use glue but it's holding just fine so far.

I have found that this Strat now stays in tune during bends! I'm sure the flatwounds help too but the nut is no longer a potential hang spot. I also leveled the frets and the net result is a guitar that plays like buttah. Proper action is key.

image

I've been curious about this nut for a while now. Are you able to get lower action than you would from a standard nut?

I don't think it necessarily allows lower action. Theoretically, a conventional nut can achieve the same height; it's just that it's dead simple with this thing. The reduced friction is the handy side effect.

Does it change the sound of open strings much?

It's often mentioned that it makes your open strings ring the same as when they're fretted but I gotta admit my ears aren't sophisticated enough to hear a difference and my mind isn't evolved enough to care. All I know is it doesn't sound any worse and the action is tits!

+1 on Zero Glides, I have them on my DiPinto Galaxie IV and both my Gretsches. Be sure to check out their specs on the multiple versions to ensure you order the right one. Worth the effort, especially if your guitar doesn't have a rocking bridge.

Last edited: Apr 01, 2019 12:30:22

mike_fried wrote:

+1 on Zero Glides, I have them on my DiPinto Galaxie IV and both my Gretsches.

Mike, I also have a DiPinto Galaxie IV, can you share which Zero Glide you ordered? Same as the one for fender/strat?

Thanks in advance...

Member in good standing, Mentone Beach Syncopation Reverberation Association

Stoopy wrote:

mike_fried wrote:

+1 on Zero Glides, I have them on my DiPinto Galaxie IV and both my Gretsches.

Mike, I also have a DiPinto Galaxie IV, can you share which Zero Glide you ordered? Same as the one for fender/strat?

Thanks in advance...

It's been a couple years since I got it so I don't remember which model, but it's definitely NOT the one for the Strat. I'll have to take some measurements (as I did originally) and get back here with the answer...

Last edited: Apr 01, 2019 23:21:26

mike_fried wrote:

It's been a couple years since I got it so I don't remember which model, but it's definitely NOT the one for the Strat. I'll have to take some measurements (as I did originally) and get back here with the answer...

No worries, I can just stop being lazy and get the calipers and pull mine off the wall. I should have just looked at the thing before asking Smile

Member in good standing, Mentone Beach Syncopation Reverberation Association

I happened to see this current thread on this subject. Some great thoughts there too!

I definitely want to try one of these on something sometime!

http://www.tdpri.com/threads/nut-material-with-a-zero-fret.940649/

https://www.facebook.com/bloodreefsurf/
https://bloodreefsurf.bandcamp.com/releases (nothing official yet, just some badly mixed snippets from practice)

You referred me to this thread. Thanks a lot. This is very useful for me and I added it to my growing list of modding links Smile

Would this work with a 7.5 radius, 39mm nut length?

The zero fret does change how open notes sound, I don't feel this change is going to be in the best interest for surf guitarists in search of those classic sounds.

With that said... I would never change a zero fret guitar back to a traditionally cut guitar nut. I've got a couple with zero frets, great guitars. Just the open sound is gone.

To say a guitar will play better with a zero fret is wrong. A properly cut nut is 100% as good as a zero fret. And a good zero fret with that zero fret's nut cut well is as good as a well cut nut.

Your guitar isn't in tune? The answer isn't to get a zero fret, the answer is to get a properly cut nut for your guitar. A zero fret should be installed to make that open note disappear, not because your guitar isn't properly maintained.

Yeah, if you have a good conventional nut on your guitar, I'd agree that it's not really worthwhile to swap out for a zero fret.

In my mind, the best feature is that the zero fret allows you to achieve ideal string height and location without any specialized tools or skill. Just some sandpaper to widen the slots to accommodate your big fat surf strings. No worrying about nut files, no risk of cutting too deep.

Now there is a risk of going too wide on the slots and I'll admit I did just that on my high E. The string pings a little sometimes when I bend. Maybe that's a cue that it's time to step up to 14's...

As for the open string sound being different than classic surf sounds, I am highly skeptical that anyone on earth could listen to recorded surf music, old or new, and call out which strings are ringing open on a zero fret rather than a bone (or plastic.. or brass.. or corian... or..?) nut. That's tone wood stuff, as far as I'm concerned. I'd love to hear a well conducted sound experiment on the matter, though.

Probably a dumb question but couldn't the brass zero fret part be made out of regular nut material? I'd think then you'd get the even string height benefit without changing the tone of the open strings.

Bill S._______
image

HELLDIVER on Facebook

This appears to be a very cool, easy solution for people who specifically want a zero fret without significant modification to their guitar.

Adequate nut lubrication and self-lubricating nuts are alternative solutions to nut-related tuning stability issues. Pencil lead is commonly used to lubricate nut slots.

UPDATE:

I just finished resolving an issue I had with the Zero Glide. After 6 months or so of playing this guitar, I found that the strings had worn grooves into the zero fret. This was causing pinging during bends and tuning issues on one string, when down bends would come back sharp due to the string catching in the groove.

I wrote Zero Glide about it and asked if they'd send me a stainless steel fret to replace this one. They responded immediately and sent me a pack of stainless steel frets. I picked the one that matched my size and got it installed (wow--stainless is a lot harder to work!) and we're back in action. They scored max. points for customer service.

For anyone considering this route, my suggestion is to go for stainless frets--don't mess with regular ones.

image

Redfeather wrote:

UPDATE:

I just finished resolving an issue I had with the Zero Glide. After 6 months or so of playing this guitar, I found that the strings had worn grooves into the zero fret. This was causing pinging during bends and tuning issues on one string, when down bends would come back sharp due to the string catching in the groove.

I wrote Zero Glide about it and asked if they'd send me a stainless steel fret to replace this one. They responded immediately and sent me a pack of stainless steel frets. I picked the one that matched my size and got it installed (wow--stainless is a lot harder to work!) and we're back in action. They scored max. points for customer service.

For anyone considering this route, my suggestion is to go for stainless frets--don't mess with regular ones.

image
That's a very common problem on guitars with zero frets in general and especially on zero fret guitars with any kind of whammy bar use. Having a stainless steel zero fret is a great solution.

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