Plek job on a 2016 R9 ?

Discussion in 'Historics & Reissues' started by zaqintosh, Sep 20, 2017.

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  1. zaqintosh

    zaqintosh Junior Member

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    Hi Folks,

    I recently bought a 2016 1959 LP Reissue. Love the guitar, but certain notes fretted at certain spots on the neck aren't really sustaining as much as they should. Also I'm feeling some sharp edges on frets on different spots of the neck. My guess is that my standard LP got a plek job at the factory (and plays amazing), but my reissue didn't because the frets are all hand leveled at the custom shop??

    I'm guessing I need a set-up, but also considering getting a plek job. Is this a bad idea on a reissue? Anyone else have experience getting this done? Also I think my R9 has small height frets, whereas my LP standard has big / taller frets .. is this true and is this a factor ?
     
  2. fretnot

    fretnot Senior Member

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    Not a bad idea at all. A Plek job is only as good as the person doing it.
     
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  3. RAG7890

    RAG7890 Premium Member

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    What you probably have is Guitar that should never have left the Gibson Custom Shop.

    If you put Frets on Boards & then Glue the Boards to the Neck you often have issues which is probably why Gibson introduced the Plek Machine.

    They want fast & they want the "issues" ironed out so we're all happy campers.

    I'd take it to a good Tech or Luthier who knows what he's doing to check the Guitar & do a set up. Once that has been done you'll have a way better idea of what the issues may be.

    Good luck.

    :cheers2:
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2017
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  4. Dilver

    Dilver Senior Member

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    An experienced tech won't use a Plek machine and will get it right by hand. Is this guitar new or used? AFAIK, all the recent reissues coming out of Gibson ARE plek'd, so your R9 was already plek'd once

    http://www.gibson.com/News-Lifestyle/Gear-Tech/en-us/What-the-Heck-is-PLEK.aspx

    Even if it's a 2016, if someone played it a lot, there'd be some fret wear, usually in some spots more than others. Take it to a good tech and they'll sort it out. And to answer your question, no, your R9 should not have particularly small frets.
     
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  5. Tim Plains

    Tim Plains Senior Member

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    They're all Plekd. That guitar could already be over a year old and may have sat in a warehouse for some time. Reissues have lower/wider frets than USAs.
     
  6. jamman

    jamman Premium Member

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    The plek question was answered above ....
    Please add the info asked for above .
    If you bought the guitar NEW , take it to a Trusted ,good tech for an evaluation , Do nothing to it . If issues are noted by the tech , have documentation to email to Gibson showing the findings . Then I would take it to a Gibson Authorized tech (most cases , Gibson will want this done from you (CYA for Gibson). If that tech finds the same issues , He (maybe you ,depending on where you are) would send the guitar back to Gibson for inspection and possible repairs or replacement ...
    Or Return it to the Dealer you purchased it from ,for above eval .... At the least contact the dealer about the issues . They will be able to help you dealing with Gibson. It might help in speeding up the process .

    If bought used ..... S**t out of luck , basically (private sale) and any repair costs .
    The Dealer should be contacted to work out any help getting the guitar correct . If not what is the return policy ? It maybe some to consider as an option , if the guitar is serious flawed or defective beyond repair.
    Set ups ,imo are always needed ,so the guitar works for you, as you like . New or used . But that really depends on the persons demands . Learning how to do basic sets ups for yourself , will pay off in the long run , If possible . It could save a lot of time and $$$ .
     
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  7. zaqintosh

    zaqintosh Junior Member

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    To answer the question, yes I bought brand new from GC. OF course you never know if it was a 1 week return that they just restock as new, but as far as my receipt and Gibson are concerned, it's brand new. I'm surprised to hear they plek reissue's, but ok.

    Either way I'm taking it to a very good tech (I think) in San Francisco that has a plek machine, they'll do an evaluation and decide if a plek job is needed or maybe something else going on. These guys have a good reputation I think: http://sfguitarworks.com. But someone can confirm if they know better :)

    For all I know, there isn't enough neck relief and it has nothing to do with uneven frets. If they say they can fix it with an adjustment or another plek job, I'd rather just pay to get it done and move on. If they say there's something more fundamentally wrong with the guitar that would involve some expensive surgery, I'll be dealing with the Gibson factory I suppose. In many respects the issue is subtle, some locations (on the neck for certain strings) sustain more than others, but it's perfectly playable and seems well intonated. But I'm obsessive about these things, and it frustrates me that my LP standard plays better than my more expensive R9 :)
     
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  8. jamman

    jamman Premium Member

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    Thanks for the info . Sounds good to me . I normally don't like to think of drastic "fixes" before ruling out the small stuff 1st. And Plek'ing new already plek'ed guitar fits into that ,imo. Absolutely, it's possible it needs it ,since nothing is perfect and life happens . Sounds like you got the guitar shipped from GC's Stock inventory warehouse(guess) vs. buying in store. How long it was there is anyone's guess . But that could cause issues.

    IMO , If a tech tells me I need to Plek a brand new guitar ,Among other things , and depending on what the cost would be , I'd be getting a 2nd opinion ( no $$$ to be made in adjusting a TR 1/2 turn :hmm:). Unless Gibson pays for it . That would be under your new guitar coverage as I understand it ...
    I would contact Gibson and have the issue documented so ,if in the future , so you don't void your warranty. I believe you will if an unauthorized tech does a Plek ,again on the guitar . For whatever it's worth . Some value the Gibson Warranty more then others .

    Big or small , I've been treated well by Gibson for warranty service , so @ the price we pay for New Historics , I feel it has some value ... And better the $$$ stays in your pocket than someone else's.
    You've paid a big price for a Historic and Gibson should make you whole and the guitar right /correct , imo .

    We get being picky here(that's what we do :rofl:) ,,,, I can be that way also ... 1 guitar I have(Gibson , took me 3 months(off and on , I'd rather play then fixing it :lol: ) to get it perfectly intonated up and down the FB ....
     
  9. zaqintosh

    zaqintosh Junior Member

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    Fixed my poorly resonating G string issue... But not how I expected!

    I did take it to SF Guitarworks. They did recommend a plek job (but I get the impression they tell all of their clients to do it), however the tech did notice the neck was a bit back-bowed, so instead I opted to do a regular set-up (Sans plek).

    Afterwards my R9 seemed a bit better overall, however the G-string still didn't resonate well when fretted at the 5th fret, 7th fret and a few other spots. I took the guitar home because the set-up took hours and I didn't feel like leaving it behind to get plek'd.

    So here's the interesting part! this guitar has 10-46 gauge strings (new strings!), I had a pack of 9-46s (a hybrid gauge string set) that I would typically use, and swapped the .017 gauge G string for a lighter .016 gauge G string on the guitar. It made a noticeable difference! The string rings out more, without question.

    So here's my theory, perhaps there's no fret leveling issue at all with my R9 and the "notch" in the tune-o-matic bridge is poorly cut ? AND more specifically, the angle is poorly cut? That would be the only way to explain why G was ringing out fine when open, but when fretted more or less in the middle area of the fretboard it was farting out? Somehow the slightly lighter string isn't experiencing the same "pinch" in that notch of the bridge?!

    Pretty surprised by the outcome here, but works for me :) If anyone has other theories, I'm all eyes !
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2017
  10. Biddlin

    Biddlin Senior Member

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    I've taken a couple of guitars to SF Guitarworks for plek and have been very very pleased. my most recent purchase from Gibson included a picture of my guitar at the Plek station as part of the case candy. I'd show it, but there is a blatantly political poster showing in it. I'll leave the party to your imagination.
     
  11. zaqintosh

    zaqintosh Junior Member

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    Glad to hear the Plek job satisfied you. I guess in my case I'll probably avoid it now that I seem to be getting better sustain with a lighter string gauge.
     
  12. jamman

    jamman Premium Member

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    If that helped the issue (light gauge strings), IMO , it's the set up and you could raise the action a little if you wanted to put 10's on the guitar .... wasn't the .017 string a "wound" string ? I don't recall what's what on that set . .016 is the "standard" Gibson uses in the 10-46 sets . Sometimes , guitars have their own personality . They work with some gauges of strings and don't (work well) with others . PITA
    Either way,, glad it worked out for you .:yesway:
     
  13. Mustard Caps

    Mustard Caps Senior Member

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    Could it be the G string now fits down into the nut better?? May check the Nut? Plek does the nut., but doesn't do fret edges.
     
  14. zaqintosh

    zaqintosh Junior Member

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    Doubtful, because if I've fretted the G string at the 5th fret.. the fret itself is effectively the nut and the nut is out of the equation. That's what's leading me to believe it's actually the bridge slot...
     
  15. fretnot

    fretnot Senior Member

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    I received a new Gibson that was Plek'd, and because of the nature of the way Gibson builds guitars, the fret heights varied by pretty large amounts. Plus, the nut was cut too low and needed replacement.
     
  16. Wizard of Ozz

    Wizard of Ozz Member

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    I'd also check the slot in the nut for the G. That maybe the issue. Might be too deep.
     

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