Gibson Zero Fret retro fit - advice needed.

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by mr4fox, Sep 23, 2017.

  1. mr4fox

    mr4fox Junior Member

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    What's the problem with the zero fret nuts?
     
  2. Who

    Who Who is not here. Please leave a message.... Premium Member

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  3. jkes01

    jkes01 Senior Member

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    There’s a saying in the car world “chrome (or titanium) don’t get you home.”

    There are reasons why Gibson stopped using them, just saying. :thumb:
     
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  4. mr4fox

    mr4fox Junior Member

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    Gibson haven't stopped using them. 2018 HP models still have zero frets.

    Guess I'm lucky this is a guitar and not a car
     
  5. jkes01

    jkes01 Senior Member

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    I stand corrected :)
     
  6. WhiteEpiLP

    WhiteEpiLP Senior Member

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    If this is truly what you want to do to your guitar then I'd suggest you get some accurate measurements of an hp models fretboard. Mainly first fret to the end of the board, if it the same as a non hp then you need to remove material from the headstock side. Im willing to bet thats the case but the board could be smaller by a bit to accommodate that nut, but that seems unlikely.
    Freddys method to do this sounds like a good plan, but just know you will severely lower the value of your guitar. I know you may not care about that but just thought I'd mention it.
     
  7. jkes01

    jkes01 Senior Member

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    If I had a guitar with it, I might like it. Not sure I would carve up a perfectly good guitar or hurt its resale value for it. That’s me.

    You could have the bottom milled to fit over the headstock veneer. This way there’s no headstock or nut slot modification except for the mounting holes.

    It would allow you to put the guitar back stock if needed and use the new modified nut on a new one. :dunno:
     
  8. mr4fox

    mr4fox Junior Member

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    Yeah I think milking the base of the nut sounds best to me too. I like the idea of not permanently altering the guitar incase this doesn't work.

    Unfortunately finding HP models in Norway is virtually impossible. The nearest I have found are in Oslo...7hours away. The drive alone cost me over $150usd for the return trip!!! And that's money that should go towards a new amp ;)

    But as you guys have suggested, if I only butcher the nut and it doesn't work then no biggie. I can't see why the length of fret from end to 1st fret will matter since, as far as I can tell visually, the zero fret releases the string at the very edge the same as a normal nut. So scale length/intonation should remain unaltered. I may be proven wrong.

    Ordered that little dremel table used from eBay for cheap. Just need to wait for it to arrive and I'll give this a shot. Will update this thread with the outcome.
     
  9. Les Paul Newb

    Les Paul Newb Senior Member

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    The same thing that was wrong with original bursts. They're different. And people HATE different. So they weren't popular.
     
  10. Bill Hicklin

    Bill Hicklin Senior Member

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    A fret saw would be too coarse, IMO, to trim back the headstock veneer (this BTW is a standard step while building just about any non-Fender). Use a razor saw like an X-acto (I'm pretty sure you can find those in Norway, check the hobby and model shops).
     
  11. mr4fox

    mr4fox Junior Member

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    Haha yeah that's pretty much the impression I get from reading a load of opinions on forums. I can't recall actually hearing and issues with the titanium zero frets from first hand experience. On the other hand it seems that most people who have had them do like them. The harder material should result in less friction and binding between nut and string so should at least result in bimproved tuning stability. That alone will make it worth it for me. If I can have perfect action regardless of string gauge to boot... well who would t want to make the change?

    Thanks for the tip Bill Hicklin, if I go that route I'll look into the exacto saw. I see they're only $10 or so on amazon so that's another option for me
     
  12. GibsonKramer

    GibsonKramer The Three G's Premium Member

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    That argument doesn't really hold water. If it didn't change the entire architecture, and feel of the neck... you might have a point.

    I gotta go with the general consensus and the reason you don't really see many of those LPs anymore and Gibson is still taking it in the shorts, over 2015.

    Its a niche, which is why its ONLY on the HPs.
     
  13. mr4fox

    mr4fox Junior Member

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    Care to elaborate? How do they change the feel of the feel if the neck?

    This is what no one has said yet. Lots of negative comments about the zero frets but no actual reasons, so I still don’t get it. I’ve read That the wider neck on the 2015s turned a lot of people off, but that won’t be the case with this guitar.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2017
  14. Macronaut

    Macronaut Silver Supporter

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    I've been thinking about this and how I would trim back the black veneer on the headstock.

    First, find a piece of material the same thickness of the veneer, then clamp it into place so that it sets on top of both the veneer and other piece (in order to keep the angle of the nut correct). I would use a "razor saw" (found in most hobby stores that deal with R/C aircraft). It's very ridged, very sharp and cuts very clean. Just carefully use the edge of the Zero nut you have clamped in place as a guide. It cuts on the pull stroke with helps a lot. I would angle a bit to cut very slightly under the nut then, if a tiny bit more needs to be taken off, use a very new, very square file to fine tune the slot.

    I hope that this makes sense. I can totally see doing it in my mind but, have a hard time articulating.

    Once you do this, going back will be problematic.

    Regardless of what others say, I personally love my Titanium Zero nut.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2017
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  15. Shamati

    Shamati Member

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    Remember that if you intend to use heavy strings you might need to widen the slots on the zero fret nut to prevent the wound E from getting stuck in the groove instead of resting on the zero fret (creates buzz). The Tusq XL replacement is better & is also adjustable. I had more issues with tuning stability on the titanium nut than on the Tusq replacement. I don't know if it's because of the material it's made of or the angled slots on the tusq.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2017

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