Getting guitar Plekked, I'm a believer

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by bgwicks, Mar 27, 2008.

  1. bgwicks

    bgwicks Member

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    I had a 63 strat refinished by RS guitarworks who did an excellent job. I ran a post on it.

    http://www.thegearpage.net/board/showthread.php?t=333932

    I had the frets replaced, however the guitar was not playing too well. So I thought I would try getting the guitar plekked, as I had heard about it and it seemed like a logical idea.

    I took it to Joe Glaser in Nashville, and was able to hang out while it was being done. Joe asked me questions about how I like to play, and my preferred set up. Then the guitar was strapped into the plek machine. The first thing the machine did was locate the strings. That way it could focus on any wear. Then it measured the frets and produced a graph for each fret, where each string would touch.

    So we looked at 6 graphs which showed how much of a roller coaster the frets were. I think they might have moved around. They were re-glued in.

    The machine then milled and polished the frets and the graphs afterwards showed a very smooth line, with nice fade.

    So the test is in the playing right. The guitar was completely transformed. I mean completely. No buzz, much lower action, very solid feel. Even Billy Gibbons thumb and pick harmonics were zinging up and down the neck. The sound is totally different, and the pickups have more a distinct sound.

    I can't stop playing this thing now.

    Getting plekked is certainly the real deal. The cost was $129 which I thought was a bargain.

    Here is a photo which probably doesn't do it justice.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. gkoelling

    gkoelling Member

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    Interesting! That's a very reasonable price too.

    I'm glad it turned out so nicely.

    How about a full pic? Sorry, I can't get enough of a Strat/Tele fix.
     
  3. edward

    edward Supporting Member

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    $129?!!! I heard a quote of about $250 here on the Left Coast. Ugh ...I'd pay that for a PLEK in a heartbeat. Congrats!!

    Edward
     
  4. infiniteposse

    infiniteposse Member

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    Anybody know anywhere in the Pacific NW to get this done? That sounds great!

    Congrats on your new/old guitar.
     
  5. Jon C

    Jon C Silver Supporting Member

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    the skill of the Plek operator matters and he has had one a long time so I'm not surprised he knows how to program it; glad it came out well.
     
  6. mge80

    mge80 Member

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    Yessir. Mike Lull
     
  7. Flyin' Brian

    Flyin' Brian Member

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    I'm a believer too, but yes, the operator counts too. Joe did two of my guitars. He was the first in the US to have the PLEK and has become the master.
     
  8. bgwicks

    bgwicks Member

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    It was really nice spending the time with Joe. He was very friendly and showed me how to do a lot of things with my guitar. He also has the methods very finely tuned, and so can bring an old guitar back from the dead with what seems to be little effort.

    As for this guitar, when I got it, I thought the neck must be warped it was so hammered.

    Now it is fully restored not only back to an original color, but also as an instrument. The plekking has brought out tones that I didn't know were there. It is also now sounding very strat like, and can be quite quacky. It didn't have that before as I think the whole neck was a shambles. I just thought it has pickups that distorted easily.

    One of the things I liked about Joe was that he knew how to set up the strat perfectly. Chasing harmonics, pickup heights etc. He aso rebuilt the nut and cut new slots which is not visible.

    Here are some shots. I feel like a new dad again.


    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  9. studiodunn

    studiodunn Member

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    Sweet strat!

    $129 is a bargain.
     
  10. gkoelling

    gkoelling Member

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    Beautiful!

    Is that a very tastefully done relic, or the real thing?
     
  11. Stratofuzz

    Stratofuzz Supporting Member

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    Yes, that's a great price! I payed almost double of that and feel it was money well spent. The guitar plays perfectly (so now what's my excuse?), and notes/the pitch/the timbre sound the same played either fretted or struck open.

    P.S. - Very nice guitar
     
  12. bgwicks

    bgwicks Member

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    Its the real deal. 1963.
     
  13. Tommy Tourbus

    Tommy Tourbus Senior Member

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    Mike Lull's Guitar Works in Bellevue, WA has a plek machine
     
  14. pickaguitar

    pickaguitar 2011 TGP Silver Medalist Silver Supporting Member

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  15. PKAZ

    PKAZ Member

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    Holy crap! $129 for a PLEK job? WOW! It would be cheaper to ship my guitars to Joe Glaser to get them done.

    In NYC a PLEK job is $198, ($180 for PLEK plus an automatic $18 more to "recut the saddles to radius") plus 8.375% sales tax, plus $20 to park the car to drop off the guitar, and $20 more to park the car in order to pick up the guitar.

    (That would be $254.58 for those who don't want to do the math)

    But, I agree, a PLEK job is totally worth it. I've had all my guitars done. Main ones get done once a year.
     
  16. creamedcorn

    creamedcorn Member

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    My pleked VOS '58 LP plays great!
     
  17. zenfreud

    zenfreud Member

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    Wow, a perfectly set up '63 Strat, it doesn't get much better than that. And that seems like a great price for the service, I might contact Joe Glaser to do some work. Were the replacement frets original vintage size? How much did it cost to replace the frets?
     
  18. fumbler

    fumbler Member

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    Hey, anyone know if there's an upcharge for stainless frets?

    Can you even do stainless frets on a PLEK machine?
     
  19. Mrjoelv

    Mrjoelv Member

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    I've had four guitars plekked and it made a huge difference on three of them. The other one played better afterward but the improvement wasn't as obvious. It's a great bang for the buck improvement IMO but I agree the operator's skill level is an important factor. Rodney at Fret Tek in Los Angeles did all four of my guitars.
     
  20. Soapbarstrat

    Soapbarstrat Senior Member

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    Looks like someone deepened the fret-slots through the rosewood board right down into the maple. I'll just assume that mistake had been done long ago by a non-pro.
     

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