To plek or not to plek?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by nickthenail, Aug 11, 2019 at 5:02 PM.

  1. nickthenail

    nickthenail Member

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    I want to hear from anyone who has had experience leveling their frets traditionally and via plek machine. In retrospect, what is your preference?
     
  2. Bluzeboy

    Bluzeboy Gold Supporting Member

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    Plek. With a plek you can lay a hair on the fretboard and the machine “sees” it..
     
  3. jvin248

    jvin248 Member

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    .

    The Plek puts the neck in simulated string tension and then levels the frets.
    You can use a 'fret leveling jig' that does the same thing. I found the jig does a lot better fret leveling jobs than the regular bench style. So if you have a choice between two guitar techs, one using a jig and the other essentially free-handing it (which most are doing) then go with the jig. The Plek is an automated way of consistently using a jig, taking the operator out of the equation, but also adding a lot more price to the job.

    .
     
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  4. 2teles

    2teles Member

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    I had one guitar plekked. (The engineering principles behind it seem good.)

    I can’t put my finger on why I didn’t particularly like the result.

    (Maybe I was expecting something very special..)

    I’ve stuck with a good luthier ever since.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2019 at 5:27 PM
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  5. nickthenail

    nickthenail Member

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    Interesting. I do realize that not all plek jobs are created equal and that the experience of the operator is crucial to the final result.
     
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  6. DRS

    DRS Member

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    I had 2 guitars pleked locally and they were both great
    I waited 1 week

    I had another guitar get a fret level by a local top luthier and it was great. I waited 3 weeks because she was slammed
     
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  7. cap10kirk

    cap10kirk Member

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    Either way can give either great or less than stellar results. It all depends on the skill of the luthier or person operating the machine.

    I really don't have much of a preference for traditional vs PLEK, other than I can't afford a PLEK machine. And since I do all my own fret work, that means it's the traditional way for my guitars.
     
  8. sonhenry

    sonhenry Member

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    I had my strat plek'ed after another guy did a fret level I was unhappy with. Strings stay on, machine worked under real string tension and the results were great, far better than I expected.

    A lot depends on the skill of the operator. In my case Danny at Straight Frets in Austin did a great job with mine and talked me through it in painful detail bc I asked. So I'd do it again no question. Worth every penny to have that old strat play like it does.
     
  9. Misterbulbous

    Misterbulbous Member

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    I have a Fender Road Worn with a 7.25" neck radius. Love it, but it had several dead spots and fret buzz. Had it plek'd down in Nashville and it's perfect now. Doesn't fret out, no buzz, decent action. I'd recommend it.
     
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  10. Bryan T

    Bryan T guitar owner Silver Supporting Member

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  11. jwguitar

    jwguitar Supporting Member

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    I have heard that too. I have heard that some Gibson guitars that were plekked from the factory had to be replekked again. That might have to do with how the frets are seated or if the wood had not been dried correctly.
     
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  12. RicardoDiazHimself

    RicardoDiazHimself Member

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    The best traditional leveling won't be as good as the best plek job.
    Having said that: not every plek job is as good as it gets. So find the right one, and it's worth it!
     
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  13. gkoelling

    gkoelling Member

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    I've had Plek done on a couple guitars and one refret/Plek on one of those because I played the snot out of it for 2 years after the Plek. Yep, it's all that and more.
     
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  14. jbviper4

    jbviper4 Supporting Member

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    Big fan of the Plek. Saved my LP. Was ready to give up.
     
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  15. RCM78

    RCM78 Member

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    I love it! I’ve had two guitars re-fretted and Plek’d with outstanding results. Both felt and played better than new. My Suhr was Plek’d at the factory. It also plays excellent.
    The only guitars I’ve played that feel as good as a quality Plek job we’re my Hamers and my Anderson. The Anderson is really something special and I don’t think they use a Plek. At least they don’t advertise using it.
     
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  16. Flyin' Brian

    Flyin' Brian Member

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  17. juxtapolice

    juxtapolice Member

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    Anyone recommend a plek setup in NYC?
     
  18. Trebor Renkluaf

    Trebor Renkluaf I was hit by a parked car, what's your excuse? Silver Supporting Member

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    It's just a tool. Remember "A fool with a cool tool is still a fool."
    Michael Tuttle does my fret work. He's fixed several guitars that were all pleked up.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2019 at 10:40 AM
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  19. eoengineer

    eoengineer Supporting Member

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    This thread is relevant for me as I’m wrapping up a partscaster that will need a level, and have an issue with my main gig guitar.

    I don’t want to hijack so feel free to pm, but I’d be interested in recommendations for a PLEK provider. Bonus points if they are in the Northern Virginia/DC area.
     
  20. TylerE

    TylerE Member

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    Plek is a tool for minimally trained workers to do an ok fret job.

    Like, it's *fine*.

    But I'll take fretwork done the old fashioned way by someone who knows what they are doing 7 days a week and twice on Sunday.

    Remember: All Gibsons are Pleked in the factory... whens the last time you saw someone raving about how awesome the fretwork on a new Gibson is. Unremarkable at best.
     
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