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NorthSeaJazzClub jared

Standard height for zero fret?

constantineconstantine New York✭✭✭✭ stringphonic

Hello all, I'm trying to figure out if my zero fret is too high. My first fret in relation to the low E string is about 2 mm. Seems a little high and I am fighting the guitar a bit for playability but was wondering if anyone had any opinions on the standard height really for the first fret to the low E string which obviously is dependent on the height of the zero fret. Thank you

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Comments

  • pdgpdg ✭✭
    Posts: 215

    The zero fret should function more or less like any other fret (well, maybe a bit higher, maybe not). So, you could put a capo at the first fret and measure the height of the string above the second fret, to get an idea. Maybe also try the capo at the second fret and measure the height at the third fret, for comparison.

    constantine
  • crookedpinkycrookedpinky Glasgow✭✭✭✭ Alex Bishop D Hole, Altamira MF01, Godefroy Maruejouls
    Posts: 805

    I asked a respected builer of Selmer stlye guitars about the height of the zero fret and he told me that he uses the same fret wire on all of his frets including the zero fret.

    constantine
    always learning
  • TwangTwang New
    Posts: 318

    Zero fret has to be slightly higher than the other frets or you will likely get a “back buzz”. I speak from bitter experience. I think this height difference is usually carved into the neck rather than having a higher fret. Don’t know this for sure though

    constantine
  • TwangTwang New
    Posts: 318

    If you hold down 2nd fret on low e string. There needs to be a tiny gap between said fret and zero fret or you’re asking for trouble.

  • constantineconstantine New York✭✭✭✭ stringphonic
    Posts: 423

    Thanks @Twang when I do that the gap is about 2mm which I think is on the high side

  • TwangTwang New
    Posts: 318

    Yes that does sound high. The gap only needs to be tiny

  • TwangTwang New
    Posts: 318

    I wonder whether the way forward might be to get a luthier to shape the fingerboard at the zero fret to get a lower action. I don’t see a height difference in the zero frets on my guitars compared to the other frets. The raised zero fret seems to be the result of the shaping of the fingerboard.

    hopefully an expert will wade in here and clarify/correct the above.

  • TwangTwang New
    Posts: 318

    Lowering the zero fret might increase the break angle which means you may have to raise the bridge which might mean the guitar will sound better!

    no guarantees though

  • BonesBones Moderator
    edited June 10 Posts: 3,097

    I'm not sure exactly what the question is but all the frets should be "dressed" the same. There is no difference and that includes the zero fret. All the frets are the same. The zero fret is just another fret. The tops of all the frets (when the strings are off for "dressing") should be dead level (a straight line) from one fret to all the others along the path of each string. I hope that makes sense it's kinda hard to describe.

  • constantineconstantine New York✭✭✭✭ stringphonic
    Posts: 423

    That makes perfect sense bones thanks

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