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Old 06-30-2019, 07:17 AM
Pine Pine is offline
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Default A tale of two nuts.....

I’ve been interested in zero-fret guitars for some time. Recently, an AGF’er posted about his installation of a ZeroGlide in his Emerald. So I ordered the kits for my X7-2, my Blackbird Lucky 13, and a PRS electric.

Not being mechanically inclined, I carted my Lucky 13 to the local shop, who was to install the Zero-Glide kit. The install took him about 5 hours. The radius of the SS frets was wrong for my “non-standard (his words) guitar, so he had to file the zero fret to get the string height correct. Also the “step” thing in the zero nut wasn’t wide enough from the factory, so he reworked that as well. Apparently the zero-fret was leaning forward a bit. (This is the way I see it in their installation instruction photos though)

The Results:
I love how much better the guitar tunes up. Even the smallest movement of the tuners changes the tuning of the strings. The guitar sounds great with the new strings. Unfortunately, the playability is now like a $50 guitar that was never set up. If the effort of playing barre chords makes me hot and sweaty, I can always take off my shirt and hang it on the end of the zero fret at the low E string. (OK, that may have been a bit of an exaggeration, but it really sticks out, and is quite sharp.)

We live in a pretty small town at least 2 hours away from somewhere there are other choices of techs. My old nut needs to be reinstalled on the Lucky 13 to make it playable again. I’m still wanting to install the other two Zero-Glides, but would prefer to try a different tech, say in Phoenix. Because of the distance, they’d need to do the work while I wait.

So, in conclusion, I’d say the initial results fell somewhat short of my expectations.
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Blackbird Lucky 13; Emerald X7 (reimagined ); Yamaha SLG200; PRS Zach Myers
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Old 06-30-2019, 07:58 AM
GuitarLuva GuitarLuva is offline
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Yeah that was me who posted about the zero glide. No offense but it sounds like the install wasn't done very good. It shouldn't take a luthier 5 hrs to install a zero glide nut. I'm no luthier and it took me about an hour and the bulk of that time was spent sanding. Once I had everything sized properly I gently filed the edges of the zero fret and than went over them with sand paper, in other words, I removed the sharp edges. The radius of your fretboard won't matter as the strings when tuned up will make the fret take the shape of the radius. As for my install, I can honestly say the strings are all sitting the same height and it did improve the feel of the guitar, not by lots mind you, but it is noticeable.

IMO these zero glide nuts are really easy to install yourself as long as you know how to use some sandpaper. If I were you I would take it back to the luthier who did the work.
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Old 06-30-2019, 09:19 AM
Pine Pine is offline
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Yes, it is definitely the installation. That's why I will find a different tech. If I just wanted a little adjustment, I'd take it back. But he ruined the nut and the stainless steel fret, so I'll have to replace the whole kit if I want it on my Lucky 13.

I did want to give some kudos for the folks at Gold Tone who sell the Zero-Glide kits. All of my guitars have black nuts, so I wanted the black Delrin?? instead of the bone nuts. That adds $10 and a few days to the kits. As both my acoustics have SS frets, I wanted to get the SS frets for all three guitars as well. They exchanged the SS frets in all 3 kits for free. Nice!

Now if I can just get them installed...
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Old 06-30-2019, 09:51 AM
GuitarLuva GuitarLuva is offline
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I too ordered the black delrin but I opted to order the additional stainless steel frets (medium) which turned out to be too small. Gold Tone did send me a jumbo stainless steel fret for free afterward which I thought was very good on them. I never thought to ask if they would replace the nickel with SS in the main kit, that was certainly very good of them to do that. Those little things companies do really go a long way with me. In our modern world customer service seems to be of little importance anymore so I'm always glad to see companies going out of their way to help people.
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Old 06-30-2019, 03:00 PM
ac ac is offline
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Installed mine on a Journey OF660. I'm no expert at doing such things, but it went fine and at least for me, it's been great in every respect. And I don't think I paid more than $16 for it on Amazon.

Most of my time spent was in sanding down the nut, but if I were a luthier with experience and equipment, I expect that would be a quick job. I know I never spent 5 hours installing it. Less than 2 and I'm slow, slow, slow.

It's a fun experiment that was all that I hoped it would be. And anytime I wish, I can still pop back the original nut. But have not yet felt the need or desire to do so.
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