Plek Setup


  • $299.00

  • Availability:28
  • Brand: Plek
  • Product Code: plek



Click for full size image.
 

GET YOUR

 

GUITAR TO PLAY

 

 

THE ABSOLUTE BEST IT

 

EVER CAN.

This sale is for 1 setup & service on a

Classical,Electric,Bass or Acoustic, that will

include

 

 

Computer controlled fret dress ( to .001 mm precision ).

Computer controlled nut cut ( to .001 mm precision ).

Neck diagnostic scan with truss rod adjustment.

Intonation setup.

Height adjustment of all strings to maximum lowest setting.

Servicing of all electronics.

For acoustics it will also include, computer controlled saddle height adjustment.

Please note strings are at extra cost.

We at Plek have developed a method which takes all the factors at play on the neck into account in order to calculate and create the perfect action for your guitar. The Plek Profile individualizes every guitar perfectly, whether it is vintage or new, a classic or just second hand. The dynamic relation between the vibration of the strings, the curvature of the neck and the height of every fret will be adjusted and can be reproduced at any time with .001 mm precision.

The style of the individual guitarist is also a crucial factor in our process. Through experiment and observation we have development five standard adjustments: Super Low, Low, Medium, High and XtraHigh action. Of course, individual adjustments are also possible.

Every guitarist notices it right away: a Plek'ed guitar is easier to play and perfectly adjusted.

You can bring you guitar to us at our shop a Annandale in Sydney or you can have it sent to us by courier or Australia post.

Frequently asked Questions

When my action is adjusted to the height I would like, the strings buzz more than I think they should. What can be done?
The harder you play, the higher the action you need, but no matter what your attack is like, the fret plane, which is made up of the tops of all the frets, needs to be extremely precise in order for all the notes to ring cleanly. When you play a note, you activate the string and part of its motion is up and down, toward the frets. If the fret surface is inaccurate and there are high or low frets, the string will hit those and rattle. Therefore the frets need to be as precisely level as possble since very small irregularities may be audible as buzz. Also, the fret plane between the note you play and the bridge needs to have a gentle curve similar to the curved shape of the string in motion, as that will allow allow maximum attack. Once the truss rod has been adjusted - if there is one - and the nut and the saddle are also set, the frets should be leveled or "dressed" in order to get the fret surface as even as possible. This can be done manually or, for the best possible results, using the Plek
technology.

 

What is so special about the Plek fret dress?
Besides having measurement and dressing capabilities many times more accurate than the human eye allows, the Plek has two particularly great advantages over manual fretwork. First, it scans and dresses a guitar while it is tuned to pitch. This is a major breakthrough since necks are under 100 or so pounds of string tension and that tension invariably affects the shape of the fret plane, creating curves and humps that change when the strings are removed for dressing. The Plek identifies precisely what needs to be done for perfect results when restrung whereas even an expert human, dressing the neck with the tension released, has to guess about how to compensate for the effect of string tension. Secondly, the Plek applies very sophisticated formulas for optimum neck curve or relief, and adjusts the calculations for the actual string height and each string gauge, something that is different for each guitar and actually different within one guitar as you go from the treble side to the bass.In other words, the fret surface under the high e is treated differently than under the low E. Achieving these same results by hand would be lucky and extremely rare at best.

 

I have a trussrod - does that mean I don't need the Plek?
The problem with trussrods is that they often don't affect the neck uniformly or where correction is needed. This is no surprise as truss rod design is usually simple and the stresses on wood are complex. Furthermore, wood is not a very uniform material and may react to string tension stress irregularly. Also, a wood neck does not bend as much in those places where the it is thicker nor does it adjust as readily there. This applies especially to the area where the neck meets the body. In the case of steel-string guitars, for example, the end of the fretboard is glued to the soundboard, and the truss rod often ends just before the neck-body joint anyway, so adjustment is limited. The Plek generates graphics that allow you to see what is going on so that the truss rod can be adjusted the best it can be. At that point, whatever work is necessary can be done with the truss rod at its best setting or in a position that allows a little fine tuning one way or another. If the fingerboard has too many problems to allow a successful fret dress, the scan graphic will show this and provide a map for any fingerboard work that needs to be done.

 

How do I know if my guitar needs to be refretted?
There are several reasons why a guitar might need new frets, but mostly it is a matter of wear or personal preference. First of all, if your frets are worn down too far to feel good or worn too much to be dressed and still end up as high as you like, then you would have them replaced. Sometimes a Plek scan shows that the fingerboard has an irregularity that the truss rod cannot eliminate. In this situation it is a good idea to dress that problem out of the fingerboard before the new frets go back in so that there can be an optimum fingerboard surface for the frets to sit on. That way they will end up uniform in height and have a longer potential life since they can be dressed more often as they get worn, without some of frets being lower than others. This process is easy because the Plek scan graphics show the fingerboard in detail.
You also might need new frets if you prefer frets that are taller, wider or narrower than what you have. Taller frets make it easier to bend strings but may make it harder to play in tune if you grip hard, particularly in the first position, near the nut. Wider frets can feel a little smoother as you slide up and down the neck, they may sustain a litlle more if they are fairly tall, but they can be a little noisier when the center wears flat and they may not tune as well when that happens. With the Plek, for example, it is also possible to dress frets a little lower in the first position to keep chords in tune while leaving them higher as you go up the neck, for easier string bending, to further deal with this. The software program is designed to create any complex compound radius. There are more details about that in a later question.

 

What is the best fret size?
This is just personal preference. Fret wire comes in many widths and heights. Widths are generally categorized as narrow, medium and wide and the same with heights. Fingerboard condition, installation, and dressing technique can affect the actual height of fret wire no matter how it starts out. One great thing about the Plek scan technology is that it very accurately shows the height of the fret wire under each string at each fret. Not only does this allow you to pick the exact height of the finished frets, but it is also possible to scan a favorite guitar and set another one up precisely the same way. This used to involve art, guess work and mixed results, but is now a simple exact science.

 

What exactly does the Plek do?
The Plek is a computer controlled machine tool that scans and dresses an instrument as it is, strung and tuned to pitch. The scan generates many graphic images, complete with extensive dimensional data regarding the neck, fingerboard, frets, strings, nut and bridge. In other words, it allows you to choose and view any aspect of the neck, frets and strings in detail while providing measurements of everything. The technician can then do a virtual fret dress on the computer monitor, applying any of the usual preferences and styles that go into an ideal fret dress for that instrument. Then, when this virtual fret dress is ready, the loosened strings are moved to the side of the neck so that the Plek can dress and shape the frets. The Plek then does that exact fret dress extremely accurately and referenced to its original scan so that, when restrung, the fret plane is level, the relief is ideal and the finished fret shape is very consistent. All of this is done to tolerances as tight as .0004in., far more accurate than manual work and consistent every time.

 

What is the difference between the Plek fret dress and the usual fret dressing procedure?

 

  • Precision: The Plek sands to the nearest .001mm (1/100mm) or .00039in.. Work done by hand has a precision of approximately .1mm. Differences in fret height of ca. 0.03-0.04mm or more can be felt by a guitarist (as buzzing). Making this possible is extensive research into the physics and theory behind strings, sound and instrument design.
  • Guitar-friendly processing: This precision also allows minimal material removal because it is so accurate. With the Plek it is possible to perform more fret dress procedures before it becomes necessary to replace the frets. Thus the service life of the instrument is extended.
  • Individuality: The Plek Profile is a "customized" solution, adjusted to the personal style of the player, not an arbitrary "one size fits all" approach.
  • Balance: "Low", for instance, not only means that the saddle and nut are set lower, but also that the curve of the neck is reduced. The neck curvature or relief, is more pronounced along the length of the lower (thicker) strings than the higher (thinner) strings.
  • Standard: We guarantee a consistent standard. Any setup will be reproducible with precisely the same quality in three months or three years.

 

  • Clarity: Since it is possible to know beforehand what the result is going to look like, the player can see this and be involved in determining the final specs. The measurement graphics clearly show how the neck relief, fret height and string action will have changed.

 

How will a Plek dress affect the sound of an instrument?
While the original idea of the Plek was to get rid of fret buzz, a surprising number of people have reported that their instruments sound better. This can be explained a couple of ways. Since the the fret plane contour is calculated to be the optimum shape and the frets are precisely leveled, this allows maximum attack without buzz in random places. The player has a better note to noise ratio. Players also report that the notes blend better and it seems that this might be due to the very uniform shape of the finished frets.

 

After a Plek dress, how low can I have my action?
This depends on your playing style. The harder you want to hit the string when you dig in, the higher your action needs to be. This is because the harder you hit, the more the string travels and if it needs more room than there is in the setup, it will rattle on the frets. Obviously, if you use a very light attack you can have very low action and so forth. Often people say they want their guitar as low as it can go with no buzzing. This means different things for different people. But for everyone, a good fret dress means the cleanest possible sound for the instrument, however you play and whatever the action is.

 

Does the Plek shape the frets so that they are round or flat?
Both. As the frets are dressed down to the calculated finished height, the Plek shapes the sides or shoulders and can leave them rounder or flatter. Ordinarily, there is a very narrow plateau left in the center or top which is calculated to be narrow enough to sound good and to center the contact point for good tuning, but wide enough so that it will not wear away too quickly. While the Plek automatically defaults to a standard fret shape based on studies of the frets and strings, this shape can be modified for any player´s preference as needed.
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Can I trust my instrument to a machine? What happens if the computer malfunctions or the electricity fails.
Since this is so critically important, the Plek system has a zero mistake tolerance built in at every level. This means that it will only act on information that has positive proof. Before the first scan begins, the instrument is located or indexed to the machine and measurements are taken that are then checked by the Plek. For instance, this includes the number of frets. When the Plek checks all of this information it counts the frets. If there is a discrepancy it stops and requests that the operator recheck the data entered. At every step of the way, it checks itself, its location and the known points on the instrument. If there is anything that is not right, it stops. There are layers of safety checks to prevent damage due to power failure or computer problems.
Because the Plek is constantly checking its work, it can detect loose frets and other things that affect its expected progress and this stops the process and notifies the operator.
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Can the Plek dress Classical guitars? How about basses or instruments with unusual numbers of strings?
Yes. The Plek can do Classical guitars and has a special program for nylon strings. It will also work on basses. Currently, it has the capability of dealing with instruments that have up to 7 strings and 30 frets.

 

Can the Plek deal with left handed instruments?
Yes. This is a good question because it reemphasizes that the bass and treble sides of the neck are treated differently. Therefore, a finished left handed neck is a true mirror image of a right handed neck.

 

Are instruments with alternate tunings treated differently than ones with standard tuning?
Yes. It is best if the primary tuning is taken into account when dressing the frets by this process. For example, an instrument that is tuned a half step lower than standard needs slightly more neck bow or relief and slightly higher action to play the same. Of course these are extremely small differences but since the Plek can dress frets so accurately, why not aim for the optimum results each time. However, as a rule, it is best to dress for the center or average tuning and gauge range,or the lower of two being used.

 

I have a guitar with a shorter scale length - Is that a problem for Plek?
No, but scale length is measured and identified since it is an important parameter in the process, regardless of action and scale length. It is important because the action and the string tension calculation, which affects the string vibrations and thus the optimal neck relief shape and action, are integrated with the scale length calculation to arrive at the formula for the optimum dress for a particular instrument.

 

What happens if I change the string gauge that I use.
This is not a very big deal. While the Plek process optimizes a neck for specific gauges, even if you go to the neck set gauge it will still be very close to the ideal and an excellent fret dress. In fact, a lighter gauge set a little higher works perfectly and vice versa. A considerable string gauge change would, of course, benefit from a rescan and possible slight touchup. String brand changes will make little or no difference.

 

How does the Plek Process affect the nut and bridge?
The nut is really just another fret with grooves in it to keep the strings in their preferred location side to side. If frets need to be a precise height, logically the nut height must be just as important. Actually it may be more important since not only will a nut cause buzzing at the first fret if it is too low, but one that is too high can create significant tuning problems in the first few frets or first position as well as making the action unnecessarily stiff. Since the Plek measures everything, it also evaluates the height of the strings in the nut and allows it to be cut precisely. The bridge can also be adjusted using this information, since it is possible to tell what the neck and fret plane radius is and what the string radius should ideally be at the bridge. Of course not everyone wants the same bridge radius, but if you truly know what is there, the better you can acheive what you would like.

 

What about a compound radius? What is it and how does it affect the Plek?
Because

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