Zero fret wear

Hello, after about 6 months of use my Altamira has some fret wear. I guess this is all normal and hasn't caused any issues, but now the E and B string ping when I bend or do vibrato around frets 1 to 4 because the strings have made grooves in the zero fret. If I get it leveled, will I have to have all the other frets levelled as well to compensate? Seems like a lot for just 6 months.


  • Jangle_JamieJangle_Jamie Scottish HighlandsNew De Rijk, some Gitanes and quite a few others
    edited February 2023 Posts: 209

  • Jangle_JamieJangle_Jamie Scottish HighlandsNew De Rijk, some Gitanes and quite a few others
    Posts: 209

    There shouldn't really be very much movement of the strings over the zero fret, if any. Can you upload a photo of the nut? Perhaps the strings slots are too wide and sloppy and there's too much movement.

    I'm not sure how to sort the grooves out that are there though. Hopefully someone on here with a bit more experience can help. A new zero fret I suppose, and a better fitting nut.

  • krzyskrzys New
    edited February 2023 Posts: 136

    Bend or vibrato at the 3rd fret and the string will move at the zero fret, for sure...

  • Posts: 4,816

    Depending on the zero fret height in relation to the rest of the fretboard it may or may not need leveling and crowning. I used to have a very thin stainless steel shim (0.2mm or something like that) over the zero fret so that's a temporary option too.

    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • BonesBones Moderator
    Posts: 3,320

    Hmmm that seems weird after only 6 months? Was it a new guitar?

  • billyshakesbillyshakes NoVA✭✭✭ Park Avance - Dupont Nomade - Dupont DM-50E
    Posts: 1,337

    Just thinking on this topic. I have an Altamira that I bought used. The 1st through 3rd frets on the high strings showed a lot of wear. More so than any other area. I've own guitars I've played for years and not had that level of wear. Wondering if maybe the material they are using for the frets is somehow softer as part of the total lower cost? I know there are a lot of Altamira owners here....anyone else with worn frets?

  • BonesBones Moderator
    Posts: 3,320

    Well for sure softer metal is easier to level but also wears out faster.

  • JSantaJSanta NY✭✭✭ Dupont, Gaffiero, AJL
    Posts: 262

    I haven't had any issues on my Gaffiero's, but when Kiesel introduced their Vader headless series guitars, there was a lot of communication from the new owners about the zero fret wearing down within weeks and divots causing a pinging sound when playing. Enough of an uproar that Kiesel had to change the zero fret material and honor warranty repairs.

    I am seeing more builders on the Gypsy guitars using harder fret materials like stainless steel and Evo gold, which I imagine helps with preventing the zero fret from getting worn down quickly.

  • krzyskrzys New
    Posts: 136

    Yes, it's new.

    When I had an old GJ guitar refretted, the zero fret was stainless while the rest were nickel to avoid these issues.

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