Gibson giving PLEK a bad name?

Discussion in 'The Custom Shop' started by dspelman, Feb 8, 2010.

  1. Victory Pete

    Victory Pete Member

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    The bridge they sent me for my SG 12 string is completely slotted for all 12 strings. They are also set for depth.


    VP
     
  2. VDeuce

    VDeuce Senior Member

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    I've purchased many new VOS Les Pauls and often times the 21st and 22nd frets are high, even after the Plek process.

    And just like the OP observed, more often than not, the truss rod requires tightening right out of the box due to way too much relief.
     
  3. ll IrOn CiTy ll

    ll IrOn CiTy ll Banned

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    I just googled the pro's and con's of Plek'ed guitars by gibson 2 days ago,and this exact thread came up..NOW ITS BACK FROM THE DEAD!!this post was created in 2010,and since then I can only assume that gibson has made improvements since.My question is have they made improvements???hahaha and are the gibsons that have the Plek'd now up to par?And are the guitars that have it in say 2010 garbage?I know it sounds like a dumb question,but I was looking at a few from that time,and I dont want to buy a turd..Im looking at the Traditionals
    Thanks
     
  4. chrisuk

    chrisuk Senior Member

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    :hmm: There is no trick to this or hidden knowledge: you have to evaluate each guitar on it's own merits - if it plays great then it plays great.
     
  5. HOT-BRIT

    HOT-BRIT V.I.P. Member

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    there are good & bad Plek jobs, looks like Gibson are doing some bad ones
     
  6. tdarian

    tdarian Premium Member

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    I wish Gibson would affix the frets to the board after the board has been affixed to the neck and pre-leveled. Then all of the frets might actually be .045 tall and require only minimal dressing from stock form. Plek or human, I had frets ranging from .039 tall to .45 tall on a new R7.

    Come on.:hmm:

    Gibson is giving Gibson a bad name.
     
  7. Penny Dreadful

    Penny Dreadful Banned

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    It seems to me that I have seen pictures of a finished Les Paul inside a Plek machine getting the treatment. Perhaps Gibson started out doing it properly, but then cut corners.
    That would not surprise me at all.
     
  8. thegaindeli

    thegaindeli Banned

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    I proper PLEK job takes around 1 1/2 to 2 hours to do correctly... The Gibson process takes about 20 minutes... :(
     
  9. reedy

    reedy Senior Member

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    I agree that the PLEK is a tool, good or bad, it's how it's used that is of concern. It's really no different than taking you're guitar to a tech/luthier to set up. I used to take my guitar into the local tech to get it set up and he did a good job, he set it up as I asked and I never had any complaints. Then I needed some work done when he wasn't available and I took my guitar to a luthier in town to have the work done. When I got the guitar back it was like a completly differnt guitar - it plays and feels amazing!
    The point of this is that the tech and the luthier had the same tools, more or less, but the luthier has more expereince and understanding of the guitar.
    From what I've here read a good PLEK job takes upto 2 hours. If Gibson was doing that they would get 4 guitars done in one 8hr shift. I don't know how many guitars Gibson rolls out a day but my guess it's more than 4.
     
  10. Neodustin

    Neodustin Senior Member

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    In my experience, Plek is and always has been a gimmick. Never have I played a Pleked.guitar I've cared for. Nothing beats a fret level/dress from a great tech or Luthier.
     
  11. vegasaxx

    vegasaxx Junior Member

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    I am a 2014 Gibson USA SG Special owner ( walnut finish ) I paid a grand for and I can tell you first hand Plek sucks, my nut slots were cut too shallow for the D & G strings leaving the strings too high off the fretboard and the 1st fret so when I play anything in the 1st fret on those 2 strings it bows the strings backward making the notes going out of tune because the string is getting stretched, Thanks Gibson my friggin squier I paid like $120.00 for a project guitar had the nut slots cut better and it was made in china PS also the fret ends on the SG are like cheese graders and the squier is as smooth as butter, what is going on with our country everyone wants more money yet they do substandard work to a guy in china making a buck-fifty per day.
     
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  12. Victory Pete

    Victory Pete Member

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    "Made in USA" is not what it used to be. I find people do not take responsibility for their actions anymore.
     
  13. Inside Guy

    Inside Guy I am no longer @ Gibson V.I.P. Member

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    If you would like to know how Gibson runs their plek machines, call Joe Glaser.

    Joe is in the Gibson Factory on a weekly-ish basis.
     
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  14. RAG7890

    RAG7890 Premium Member

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    Gibson - making Plek look bad since 2007.

    :cheers:
     
  15. Frogfur

    Frogfur Senior Member

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    This is nothing more than more rumor BS. Can you verify?
    i just bought a new Midtown custom with a nut as nice as anything
    i have seen in the last fifty years.. where's the beef...?

    look at my recent post. That is my verification.

    peace brother.
     
  16. Bristol Posse

    Bristol Posse Senior Member

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    I think it may depend a lot on the price tag of the guitar as to the level of detailing it gets.

    I think it also has gotten a lot better.

    My 2012 was F'ing horrible with flat top, rough to the touch but pleck'd frets. It's like they forgot to crown them before it got sent out. (it worked in my favor though because you could feel the rough frets with your fingertip, the store knocked another $100 off the price and I already had the tools to fix it)
    But it was the bargain basement, cheapest guitar that the pleck went on at the time (trad pro) and they have to save money somewhere in production

    All of the 2014s and 2015s I've played on the last few months had really nice fretwork (the '15s especially) so maybe things have gotten better( and they cost a heck of a lot more).
    In the case of the '15s they'd only been in store a matter of days and hadn't been torn apart by the 14 year old shredders yet
     
  17. Custom53

    Custom53 Senior Member

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    I have owned Gibson "plekked" Les Pauls.. And own a 2004 Les Paul Standard that a friend/luthier of mine "plekked"..

    World of difference.. And he confirmed that Gibson just runs them through before any type of completion or set up. They just "Slam" them thru.. He does his under tension. I would recommend having it done to any Les Paul, even if Gibson did it before.. Or Especially if Gibson did it before..
     
  18. Tetrikon

    Tetrikon Banned

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    I run onto so many people who call me a bonehead because I tell them that Gibson's plek'ing is mostly a marketing crock. I've seen two 1959 Historics costing $4,500 and $5,000 that had buzzing frets up past the 12th fret only on the low strings, and one also had buzzing on the low frets of the high E and B strings. If you have buzzing diagonally across the fingerboard like that, what you have is a twisted neck and that's the fact Jack. I've seen many other Gibsons, mostly Les Pauls (because those are usually what I play most) with various fret and nut problems.

    My local retailer commented to me by adding, "it doesn't matter if fret leveling is done by a lifelong professional luthier or a machine, there's still no way to predict how the wood will change in the near future". I believe that. Guitars take time to settle into their given environment(s). Fortunately most guitars do very well. I find most often if a new guitar is used regularly and does well for the first three to five years, it's going to remain stable as long as it's taken care of properly.

    I have no way of knowing, but after continuing to see problems with some of Gibson's "plek'ed" guitars, I have to wonder what the heck could be going wrong. The sense that I get is that they're either not curing the wood well enough (such as the case where kiln drying dries wood too rapidly for it to remain stable afterward), they're not plek'ing them very well, or they're doing something to the guitars after the plek'ing process. Again, I don't know, it's just the best sense I can make of it this side of heaven.

    I've got a late 2010 LP Traditional that has perfect fretwork and is among the best I've ever seen. It was plek'd, and now that it's approached the three year mark without any sign of problems, I'm thinking it's going to be stable. On the other hand, my first 1959 Historic had a twisted neck that I didn't detect until a week later. Fortunately I was able to exchange it for one that was much better. I say "better" because although it has no buzzing, it's still not up to the quality fret work I expect from a $5,000 guitar. Especially not when I've seen perfect fret work on a $500 Ibanez or Mexican Fender.

    I have a small handful of Gibsons now, and Gibson's always been my dream brand. But it took me over a quarter of a century to find guitars good enough for me to want to keep for the rest of my life. That search cost me thousands of wasted dollars to arrive at the guitars I have today. For that reason, and also because of all the changes Gibson is sending down the 2015 pipeline, I highly doubt I'll be buying any more of them. I'm keeping what I have until I die, and from here on out it's probably going to be Fenders and Martins for me.
     
  19. zendriveseven

    zendriveseven Senior Member

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    '08 Standard owner here. I found my Plek to be ok as far as the frets and overall action are concerned. With that said, I am having trouble intonating it correctly. The open A string seems to be sharp even when intonated correctly from the saddles. Perfect pitch at the 12th fret, but an open A5 chord I notice the A is definitely slightly sharp. I'm guessing it's the nut, and by pressing down on the string it makes the A sharp, but not sure...not to derail, but any advice would be appreciated :)
     
  20. Limehouse Blues

    Limehouse Blues Senior Member

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    The factory setup on my R0 was awful (plek I think). A regular setup fixed it. I recently had an old Tokai plekked at Charlie Chandler - amazing setup. I do think Gibson fail to make the best of plek.
     

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