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Grooves appearing in the 'zero-nut'


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My Steinberger Spirit GT Pro  arrived about a week ago and I'm really impressed with it so far.

The only thing that is concerning me is that I've noticed quite significant marks developing on the nut/zero-fret. I've looked around to see if other owners have the same problem but can't find anything  about this issue. 

It may be worth mentioning that I am using the single-ball string adaptor. From what I can see, the angle of the strings is less parallel with the neck than it would be with the normal double-ball strings fitted, could this be what's causing it?

Is this a normal or part of it 'breaking in'? I'm just worried that it will continue to get worse and if it's this bad after a week of playing then the guitar could become unplayable over the course of a few months if the metal wears down to nothing. 

Can provide pics if anyone wants to see.


Edited by altum
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  • 2 months later...


I have a Steinberger GR4 which has the same zero-fret and “string mounting system” at the nut. It has significant groves on the zero-fret and only double ball ended strings without any adapter have been used. When I am bending certain strings on the frets closer to the nut, they will temporarily pop out of the groves, which feels strange, and you hear a faint “ping” sound - but this is on the “other side” of the string and will not be picked up by the pickups. It doesn’t really bother me and this guitar is over 30 years old, so I guess the groves will “stabilize” at some point and not deteriorate any more.

This is a common problem of the zero-fret: I also have a Vigier Guitar which has a stainless-steel (!) zero-fret and still quickly developed said groves. As this is a known issue, Vigier split the zero-fret into six little frets, so that each string has its own zero-fret. This allows you to change only the specific zero-fret, which has a grove and which bothers you. 


Edited by Michal
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