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Thread: Zero Glide Nut System

  1. #1
    Registered User Froglips's Avatar
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    Default Zero Glide Nut System

    https://goldtonemusicgroup.com/zeroglide/

    You guys tried these?

    I am going to install these on all of my stringed instruments.
    Last edited by Froglips; Jul-24-2019 at 3:49am.
    Frog...

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  2. #2
    Registered User Mandobart's Avatar
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    Default Re: Zero Glide Nut System

    I've replaced a few nuts and never came across one where both sides perpendicular to the strings are square with respect to the bottom; that is the bottom of the nut slot is always slanted. So fitting this will require some shaping - it's not gonna just drop in.

    I have five instruments with zero frets. They're fine, but not markedly better than a regular nut. Open strings still sound different than fretted notes. The main benefit is the actual nut only provides string spacing and allows for a wide range of string gages without reslotting the nut. The product you've linked to doesn't appear to have that advantage.

  3. #3
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Zero Glide Nut System

    Some past threads can be found here.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Registered User Buck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Zero Glide Nut System

    A solution in search of a problem, and a poor solution at that. A properly setup nut is so far ahead that this shouldn't even be a consideration. Not that I have any strong opinions on the topic.
    Last edited by Buck; Jul-27-2019 at 9:03pm.
    Todd Yates

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    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Zero Glide Nut System

    Quote Originally Posted by Buck View Post
    A solution in search of a problem, and a poor solution at that. A properly setup nut is so far ahead of that this shouldn't even be a consideration. Not that I have any strong opinions on the topic.
    Don't sugar coat it Buck, tell them what you really think?
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Registered User Buck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Zero Glide Nut System

    You can't expect engineers to be too delicate in presentation, though I did correct one typo. :-)

    Seriously though, many fretted instruments (not just mandolins) are so poorly setup at the nut that it's no wonder alternative solutions are promoted.
    Todd Yates

  8. #7
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Zero Glide Nut System

    Zero frets are pretty common on European instruments and many luthiers over the years here have touted the concept. I honestly just don't like the way they look
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  9. #8
    Registered User Buck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Zero Glide Nut System

    While I don't prefer a zero fret, it doesn't bother me too much conceptually. Like you though, I don't care for the look.

    When built with a zero fret, all the frets will be leveled together. That's the goal of a properly made nut, having the slots at (or at least very near) fret height. With the Zero Glide you have to choose from the specially cut fret material to get the one closest to the frets in the instrument. Except for blind luck, that is never going to be at fret height, especially if the frets have been dressed. If it's shorter, you may get buzzing. If it's taller you have the hard to play situation you were trying to fix.
    Todd Yates

  10. #9
    Registered User Tavy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Zero Glide Nut System

    Quote Originally Posted by Froglips View Post
    https://goldtonemusicgroup.com/zeroglide/
    I am going to install these on all of my stringed instruments.
    Why?

    I'm on record about these before - I'm a big fan of a zero fret and use one on all my new builds - these devices though combine all the worst features of a regular nut and a zero fret and discard the best bits of each!

    To recap: the great thing about a zero fret is that you level it with the rest of the frets and then you can be sure it's exactly the right height (OK you can actually muck up the levelling if you don't know what you're doing), but you can't do that with these. On the other hand, the great thing about a regular nut is that you individually adjust each slot to the optimal width and depth, but you can't do that here either.

    Just my 2c worth....

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  12. #10
    Registered User Froglips's Avatar
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    Default Re: Zero Glide Nut System

    Quote Originally Posted by Tavy View Post
    Why?

    I'm on record about these before - I'm a big fan of a zero fret and use one on all my new builds - these devices though combine all the worst features of a regular nut and a zero fret and discard the best bits of each!

    To recap: the great thing about a zero fret is that you level it with the rest of the frets and then you can be sure it's exactly the right height (OK you can actually muck up the levelling if you don't know what you're doing), but you can't do that with these. On the other hand, the great thing about a regular nut is that you individually adjust each slot to the optimal width and depth, but you can't do that here either.

    Just my 2c worth....
    No offence meant here, but you and, Buck, are both wrong. I have researched the installation of this Zero Glide system very thoroughly. Both pieces are glued in. The zero fret is level with all other frets. They can be installed with any radius you need. The zero fret is at the exact very edge of the fret board. The frets are nickel/silver, OR Stainless Steel if you want.
    There is no down side to having these installed... Unless you just do not like the way they look.
    Frog...

    It's not how you pick your nose ... It's where you put the booger!

  13. #11
    Registered User Greg Mirken's Avatar
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    Default Re: Zero Glide Nut System

    I'm prejudiced against zero frets, for reasons I'll explain in a moment, but first here's a question, since I haven't researched the Zeroglide dealies: How is the zero fret the same height as all your other frets, unless you can order them in 0.001" increments? Do you have to level it along with the others?
    As to my prejudice- When I started in this business 45 years ago the first generation Asian knockoff instruments often had zero frets. Was this because thoughtful luthiers thought this was a preferable setup? Of course not; it was so that unskilled laborers could slap the the nut/spacer on the instrument, throw a set of strings on it, and box it up. I'll forever associate zero frets with those awful GSOs.
    Shade Tree Fretted Instrument Repair
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    Default Re: Zero Glide Nut System

    If I remember, and that is getting rarer these days, the zero fret was supposed to make the open string sound like the fretted string. I don't hear much of a difference with or without, but that was the idea.

    Like Greg, I associate them with cheap instruments too, tho have seen them on higher quality instruments.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

  15. #13
    Registered User Tavy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Zero Glide Nut System

    Quote Originally Posted by Froglips View Post
    No offence meant here, but you and, Buck, are both wrong. I have researched the installation of this Zero Glide system very thoroughly. Both pieces are glued in. The zero fret is level with all other frets.
    That's not quite true: if you read the details: https://goldtonemusicgroup.com/zeroglide/ you have a choice of 4 heights to choose from for your zero fret. So you have to pick the one that's just slightly too high - and that's absolutely not the same as level.

    Don't get me wrong, as an end user DIY product these have their place. But as a replacement for a properly fitted nut, or a properly levelled zero fret these will be necessarily inferior. Further if you look at the mandolin product, the only option is a flat fret (no radius) : https://goldtonemusicgroup.com/zeroglide/products/zs-16.

    There's no option for different nut widths either - and mandolins vary quite a bit, I see the mandolin one is set for a 30mm nut, that would surely be too wide for a 28mm instrument (Eastman's for example) as the strings would be hanging over the edges of the fretboard, but I've seen everything from 25mm bowlback nuts, up to 34mm folk instruments.

  16. #14
    Registered User jim simpson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Zero Glide Nut System

    speaking of nuts, just a slight derail: I'm jonesing for this tool set from StewMac:
    https://www.stewmac.com/Luthier_Tool...RoCuAAQAvD_BwE
    Cabin Fever String Band, Bill Gorby and the Musical Mercenaries

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  18. #15
    Registered User Mandobart's Avatar
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    Default Re: Zero Glide Nut System

    Quote Originally Posted by Froglips View Post
    No offence meant here, but you and, Buck, are both wrong. I have researched the installation of this Zero Glide system very thoroughly. Both pieces are glued in. The zero fret is level with all other frets. They can be installed with any radius you need. The zero fret is at the exact very edge of the fret board. The frets are nickel/silver, OR Stainless Steel if you want.
    There is no down side to having these installed... Unless you just do not like the way they look.
    Also not trying to offend, but if your mind is already set on doing this based on the mfrs literature, why even ask about it here?

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  20. #16

    Default Re: Zero Glide Nut System

    Quote Originally Posted by Froglips View Post
    ... Unless you just do not like the way they look.
    That's certainly part of it, for me. Non-traditional appearance.

    Same with Earvana/Buzz Feiten nuts -- great concept, but ugly, IMHO.....

  21. #17
    Registered User Froglips's Avatar
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    Default Re: Zero Glide Nut System

    Quote Originally Posted by Tavy View Post
    That's not quite true: if you read the details: https://goldtonemusicgroup.com/zeroglide/ you have a choice of 4 heights to choose from for your zero fret. So you have to pick the one that's just slightly too high - and that's absolutely not the same as level.

    Don't get me wrong, as an end user DIY product these have their place. But as a replacement for a properly fitted nut, or a properly levelled zero fret these will be necessarily inferior. Further if you look at the mandolin product, the only option is a flat fret (no radius) : https://goldtonemusicgroup.com/zeroglide/products/zs-16.

    There's no option for different nut widths either - and mandolins vary quite a bit, I see the mandolin one is set for a 30mm nut, that would surely be too wide for a 28mm instrument (Eastman's for example) as the strings would be hanging over the edges of the fretboard, but I've seen everything from 25mm bowlback nuts, up to 34mm folk instruments.
    You are correct about this stuff... But the cost is very cheap for the correct fret wire if the 4 pieces they give you are not close enough for your instrument.
    Also, I am not a luthier, nor a genius at any of this, but I would think that the fret wire width would only need to be as wide as the slot in between the nut and the end of the fret board (So the strings are exactly over the middle of the zero fret?). Why would the zero fret need to be as wide as all other frets on your neck?

    Although, I must say that the fret wire that they give you has a tang offset that is shorter at the nut side. This is probably another good point for you actually. This is probably a serious limitation, right?

    I installed one on my Gold Tone OB-250 last weekend... But keep in mind that the zero glides are literally drop in items for Gold tone instruments. I did have to sand the bottom of the nut to lower it to the correct height. I am pretty sure that the fret i used is the same as the ones on my banjo, but I will not know for sure until this weekend, after I take it to an expert I know to check out for me. I will also have to have him straighten the fret, because it has a slight radius to it that I can not get out with anything I have at my house.

    Despite, Mandobarts', comments I actually value all of you guys' opinions highly. I need to know both sides about everything. Always. That is the only way to find out the negatives about things. The company literature is always going to read 'Happy Happy Joy Joy' about everything they sell or do.

    Really, thank you all very much for your input in this thread.

    With that being said... I now have my mandolin sounding so awesome, I am really scared to replace my nut with the zero glide I bought for it.
    Frog...

    It's not how you pick your nose ... It's where you put the booger!

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