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Where Purchased: ZeroGlide.com
I got my March Banjo Newsletter on Saturday and I saw that Gold Tone has an ad for their new Zero Glide nut. Coincidentally, I had spent last Thursday evening installing a Zero Glide nut on my '77 Ibanez Artist and spent 3 hours playing it at a band practice on Friday. I have to say the Zero Glide really lives up to the hype, at least in my opinion.
1. The overall tone of my banjo is noticeably improved. The tone of the open strings is a little brighter than before, and there is no difference in tone between an open string and a fretted one.
2. Tuning is much easier and smoother. I use Steinberger gearless tuners on my banjo, so tuning was already a lot easier than a standard planetary geared tuner. Now it feels like there is no resistance when tuning to pitch and the tuner knobs turn with almost no effort. I had to made one or two minor adjustments the first 20 minutes of playing (brand new strings) and after that I never touched the tuners again.
3. The strings stay in tune even after severe bending. That was never the case with my original bone nut. I can now bend the B string up a full step at the 10th fret and when released it returns to correct pitch every time. I verified this with my Stroboclip tuner, not just by ear.
4. This one was the biggest benefit of all to me. I DON'T HAVE TO RETUNE AFTER CAPOING. Using my old Kayser capo, the strings stayed in perfect tune when capoed at 2, 4 and even the 7th fret. Again, I verified this with my Stroboclip tuner, because I couldn't believe what I was hearing, I've had this banjo for 36 years and I've ALWAYS had to retune to some degree after capoing. In my mind, this alone was worth the time and trouble to install the Zero Glide.
5. Regarding installation, the Zero Glide web site has a very good video of the entire installation process. The actual installation process was a little more difficult. You have to remove a LOT of the Zero Glide blank to get it down to banjo size. The video says the nut is "slightly" oversized and needs to be sanded to fit. I ended up clamping mine in a vise and sawing off about 1/4" of height, and it still took 2 hours of careful sanding and fitting and refitting to make it the right size.
This was the best $30 I've spent on my banjo in a long time. Highly recommended!
Overall Rating: 9
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