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Weird zero fret next to the nut


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Hello all..

 

Next week im back at my projects again (YAY!!! [biggrin] ).... Been a weird few months of painting and back pain lol.. Anyway, im back in full working order again and cant wait to get back to my builds...

 

So as some of you may have seen from a previous thread.. I bought one of those Teisco Top Twenty guitars that I got from a car boot sale (for 25 quid :))... Today I was looking over it to see what needs doing and noticed a weird design feature..

 

this is the guitar (not my one but a pic I downloaded as mine doesn't have strings on it).

tt1_zps379919b0.jpg

 

Now if you look at the close up theres like a zero fret before the first fret sitting just in front of the nut

tt11_zps24a1544a.jpg

tt12_zps0f16cc46.jpg

 

Never seen that before? Anyone know what that's about? Is it just a different way of doing things, is there a reason to do that, or is it just weird? :)

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I believe it removes the need for a well-cut nut. With the zero fret the nut is only needed for string spacing. Easier to mass produce guitars that way I imagine.

Cheers, that makes sense [thumbup]

 

Funny thing is another guitar I have to redo is an old acoustic that also has one of those zero frets lol..

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Actually I have a another question for you all..

 

Its got a few dings, the one I have... So I was wondering what would do you think be better. To do up the whole guitar, fill any dings and give it a shiny new coat of lacquer. OR do you think it would be better to just make sure its functional and leave all the worn features as they are and just clean it up?

 

Which would you prefer?

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I am wondering why they don't use a zero fret on all guitars. Open strings sound just like fretted that way. It also allows for better intonation, especially at the 1st, 2nd and 3rd fret. The Hagström Super Swedes came with a zero fret until 1982. At the moment I only know of the Brian May Signature model featuring it like Brian's original one does.

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Actually I have a another question for you all..

 

Its got a few dings, the one I have... So I was wondering what would do you think be better. To do up the whole guitar, fill any dings and give it a shiny new coat of lacquer. OR do you think it would be better to just make sure its functional and leave all the worn features as they are and just clean it up?

 

Which would you prefer?

Depends on your personal likes... I still am considering a complete refinishing of my 1978 S-G Standard which I bought rather worn used in 1982. The only thing worth noting I did to it during thousands hours of playing is fret wear. I know pretty well the way it looked like when the pre-owner and that time bandmate of mine bought it brand-new in 1979.

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Depends on your personal likes... I still am considering a complete refinishing of my 1978 S-G Standard which I bought rather worn used in 1982. The only thing worth noting I did to it during thousands hours of playing is fret wear. I know pretty well the way it looked like when the pre-owner and that time bandmate of mine bought it brand-new in 1979.

That's the thing I intend to (try) and sell this on... I bought it just for that reason, to do up a cheap guitar make it playable and totally functional and see if I can sell it for more.

 

So im wondering if a refinish is more attractive than a worn one where you can see its age... I can see pros and cons in both methods.

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The zero fret also makes sure that open notes sound the same as fretted notes. If it where me I would leave the original finish. The dents and dings are earned and honest and it's not that beat up. If I were looking to buy one I would want the original finish. [thumbup]

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The zero fret also makes sure that open notes sound the same as fretted notes. If it where me I would leave the original finish. The dents and dings are earned and honest and it's not that beat up. If I were looking to buy one I would want the original finish. [thumbup]

Yeah I think im heading that way.. As you say its real wear not faked in a shop (and will tale less of my time)....

 

And that's all interesting about that zero fret.. Maybe I will try it out on one of my builds :)

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My NICE Parker acoustic has a zero fret and so does my Teisco (yeah yeah, pos...screw you guys [crying] )

 

I think because its been used so much in cheap guitars and not in "nice" guitars it has a dirty association to it, but it helps with intonation and action I was told once by reliable sources I don't remember...probably here.

 

Leave the original for goodness sake. Vintage vibe is what we pay for in used gear. [thumbup]

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The more I see that guitar, the more I like it. I'd like to know how it sounds. It's also got an interesting placement of the strap button. Is it like that on your guitar as well? I've never seen that before.

Yeah, mine is almost exactly the same as the one above.

 

As for how it sounds you could ask Izzy, but I will put a video up when I get around to fixing it all up [thumbup]

 

And yeah I kinda like it too.. Just that bit different from the norm. The necks are made of nice mahogany which is bound and feels pretty good :) (who knows maybe I will fall in love and keep it (I must stop liking all the guitars I buy to fix up lol).

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Back in the '60s I'd encounter a lot more guitars, especially those marketed as "folk" types, with zero frets. There are a number of advantages to them but... they just ain't traditional "Made in the USA" guitar concepts so Martin, Gibson and Fender ain't used them - or at least used them very much at all.

 

As for the guitar...

 

You can do a functional rebuild and refinish and have a "new" guitar with old parts or you can restore an old guitar to roughly where it'd be after a cupla years of use and be an "original." Pay your money and take your choice.

 

m

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