Plek

Spazeack

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Anyone ever have thier guitar setup/ scanned by a Plek machine? If so do you feel it was worth it?
 

jvin248

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.

Gibsons are supposed to be PLEK'd at the factory.
Any other guitar ... certainly. It helps playability.

You can buy a $50 beater guitar, get a pro-level fret level/crown/polish and it will play like a $2,000 guitar (or at the skill level of the guitar tech you locate, which could even be Custom Shop grade). You won't be able to sell that beater guitar for more than $50 but you won't need to get rid of the spiffed up guitar because practically anything else you buy will be a downgrade in playability.

Fretwork and setup are the highest value mods you can do on a guitar -- easy playability.

While a Gibson may have left the factory with a PLEK job ... if it's been used and abused it likely will need attention to play again like it once did.


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Lhdr

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Highly worth it for me. In the hands of a the right guys as jvin248 says, it’s a game changer. I did it on my 1 year old standard. It’s a beautiful feel.
 

diogoguitar

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depends on your region. My plek guy charges $290 + tax for a plek. For that kind of money, I can get my other guy level the frets twice. And this other guy is really good.

In some regions I've researched, a plek job is $200 and a fret level is like $140. In that case, i'd do the plek no problem.
 

diogoguitar

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Also, I don't know if Gibson USA still does Plek these days.

I recently bought a Standard 60's and a Modern LP... They either had enough demo time to wear down the frets OR they weren't plek'd. My standard 60's was like 1-2 months old when I bought it... so maybe not plek'd.

I know how a plek'd guitar should play like... I've had 3 guitars with this treatment so far... and the two Gibson USA's I bought recently didn't look like they've been through plek
 
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Spazeack

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I might be better off leaving it be then. I have an older aria pro single cut that needs some tlc. Sounds like best to try that first. The hours of this place closest to me are horrible. Regular 9-5 hours m-f no weekends. So not sure how I would get there to drop off and pick it up a few days later without burning some ever so valuable vacation time! I wish I knew a good local spot I am sure there are a few anyone from the Philly suburbs lol.
 

Platte City Paul

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I have had two Pleked out at Mass Street Music in Lawrence, KS. When they re-fretted the 94 standard, they Pleked both the fret board and the new frets. I also had them to round the profile and Plek the frets on the '19 Classic.

Love 'em both now.
 
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Big electric cat

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All I can say is I've bought 20 high end Gibson guitars that were plecked and the fret heights where nowhere near correct. I'd bring it to my Luthier who is a friend of mine and we'd actually laugh out loud how the Pleck thing was just laughable. And for the last 35 years every new Gibson I bought has always needed a fret levelling. I don't know, IMO if the frets are installed properly there should be no need to have a Pleck job done to a guitar.
 

Roxy13

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I took a cheap MIC Ibanez semi hollow for a trade from someone who works at Sweetwater. He had it PLEKked there and it seems to be really nice compared to what I'm used to from Gibson. So I would say someone who knows how to run the PLEK can do a really good job.
 

dspelman

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From what I've read, G is not a real full Plek

It's not. Gibson has variously used its PLEK machines as a rudimentary fret mill, etc., and rarely as a true PLEK process.

I've had Gary Brawer in SF do PLEK jobs on my guitars (including a brand new Gibson that had a couple of high frets). He's also superglued the frets on a couple of them before running them on the PLEK to make sure that I have no "flyer" fret down the road. Those guitars have been excellent since they left the shop, and I highly recommend him *and* his PLEK machine.
 

Mojojones

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It's not. Gibson has variously used its PLEK machines as a rudimentary fret mill, etc., and rarely as a true PLEK process.

I've had Gary Brawer in SF do PLEK jobs on my guitars (including a brand new Gibson that had a couple of high frets). He's also superglued the frets on a couple of them before running them on the PLEK to make sure that I have no "flyer" fret down the road. Those guitars have been excellent since they left the shop, and I highly recommend him *and* his PLEK machine.
I had Gary Plek my ES 335 when he first got the Plek machine and he did a phenomenal job, but he's a phenomenal guitar tech and really knows what he's doing.... get a recommendation first don't just buy into the hype of the technology...
 

Brian N

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Also, I don't know if Gibson USA still does Plek these days.

I recently bought a Standard 60's and a Modern LP... They either had enough demo time to wear down the frets OR they weren't plek'd. My standard 60's was like 2 months old when I bought it... so maybe not plek'd.
They sure do, on every guitar. They invested in the machines and they use them. Honestly, it takes them less time and costs them less money to run those machines than to hire 10 full-time luthiers to hand-level the frets. Yes, the machines themselves cost around a quarter of a million bucks, but each one does the work of 2 or 3 luthiers, each who they would have to pay around $80,000 or more (including payroll tax, social security, workers comp, etc) every single year. It's much cheaper to just buy the machines and have 2 low-paid techs run all 10 of them. Plus, a PLEK machine will never get tired or rush a job because it wanted to go go home early. A PLEK machine won't do a slightly worse job right before lunch.

So yeah, they put all of their instruments through the PLEK machine, although they generally will only advertise it on the higher-end models.
 

LocoTex

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Put them on two USB SSD drives for redundancy. They will be OK for a LOT longer than you will be.
They sure do, on every guitar. They invested in the machines and they use them. Honestly, it takes them less time and costs them less money to run those machines than to hire 10 full-time luthiers to hand-level the frets. Yes, the machines themselves cost around a quarter of a million bucks, but each one does the work of 2 or 3 luthiers, each who they would have to pay around $80,000 or more (including payroll tax, social security, workers comp, etc) every single year. It's much cheaper to just buy the machines and have 2 low-paid techs run all 10 of them. Plus, a PLEK machine will never get tired or rush a job because it wanted to go go home early. A PLEK machine won't do a slightly worse job right before lunch.

So yeah, they put all of their instruments through the PLEK machine, although they generally will only advertise it on the higher-end models.
But the Plek job is only as good as those low paid techs can produce from the machine.
 

Brian N

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But the Plek job is only as good as those low paid techs can produce from the machine.
Ive heard people say that, but it's hogwash. That's like saying Google's self-driving car crashed because the technician sitting inside it didn't press the start button correctly. It's a robot; you put the guitar in, and it does its thing. It's not brain surgery here.
 

diogoguitar

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They sure do, on every guitar. They invested in the machines and they use them. Honestly, it takes them less time and costs them less money to run those machines than to hire 10 full-time luthiers to hand-level the frets. Yes, the machines themselves cost around a quarter of a million bucks, but each one does the work of 2 or 3 luthiers, each who they would have to pay around $80,000 or more (including payroll tax, social security, workers comp, etc) every single year. It's much cheaper to just buy the machines and have 2 low-paid techs run all 10 of them. Plus, a PLEK machine will never get tired or rush a job because it wanted to go go home early. A PLEK machine won't do a slightly worse job right before lunch.

So yeah, they put all of their instruments through the PLEK machine, although they generally will only advertise it on the higher-end models.
I agree with your logic, but isn't it true that Plek should level the frets perfectly?
I recently got 2 Gibson USA guitars with frets rocking (one of which had been produced only a month before it got to me - apparently it wasn't even played when at the store).
 

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