Modern Gretsch Guitars

Zero Fret - Why Like or Dislike?


We'll go with efficiency. I collect vintage watches and over the years have read "needs fixed" or "battery needs replaced" a million times and somebody once pointed out that it's regional, and sure enough, ever since then, I always check the location when I see that. And without fail, it's Ohio or Pennsylvania. Maybe it's spreading.


I got a 67 Double Annie from Bill Light through Garage Sale a couple of months ago. Super clean Guitar, pretty much “under the bed” state. But the Zero Fret was really rutted. Took it to my Luthier and told him that I wanted a new Stainless zero fret. Here it is along with a new bone nut. In my opinion, when these things are done RIGHT, there’s nothing like them. Wow, is all I can say.


Most of my guitars don't have them, but a couple do. I play mostly sparkly clean, and I definitely hear a positive difference on the zero fret guitars when playing chords with a combination of open and fretted strings -they sound exactly the same as barred chords. I like this. The difference is less noticeable on a brass nut guitar and much more noticeable with a plastic nut.

I'll bet a listener wouldn't notice any difference at all.


Both my Country Clubs ping cuz of the Zero. I’ve learned to ignore it. I seem to remember a pic of BS’s 6120 where Zero was removed, fret board was cut and nut was moved up. Guess he didn’t dig em..


They let the Bigsby work much better, the guitar stays in tune better, and the action is better....but they are rarely done correctly.


I had a Zero Glide Nut installed on my 1960 Anni. It has a zero fret at the front end of the bone portion, exactly where the edge of a standard nut would be. The open strings ring more clearly compared to a bone or other standard nut material, and after I opened up the grooves in the bone portion enough and polished the grooves with very fine emery paper, the intonation when using the Bigsby is pretty stable. I also finally tried some Nut Sauce and it seems to help too.

The other Annie that I used to have was the only guitar out of more than a dozen that had stable intonation with the standard bone nut, and it took a long time to get it there. I would say that this Zero Glide nut is just as good as far as tuning stability with Bigsby use goes. There is still room for improvement and I'll keep working at getting it better.

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