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What the heck is "PLEK"?

Posted by on July 21, 2015 . 0 Comments.

frets

Almost every guitarist knows this feeling: your guitar sounds excellent, looks great and sits well in your hand, but still somehow manages to be hard to play. What you may not know is that this problem has a solution. 

The "PLEK" process, developed in Germany, produces the most optimal string action possible for each instrument, depending on the individual style of the musician. An optimally playable guitar sounds better: the strings don't hit the frets while playing, and intonation problems that occur because string action is too low are eliminated.

Using a "PLEK" station (a compact machine developed around the high speed, high accuracy PLEK technology but small enough to be used in repair shops), the guitar neck is scanned with strings on, and the computer makes a 3-Dish graph of the fretboard, including the position and height of the strings. The neck relief made by string tension is also taken into account.

The PLEK station operator determines not only how much should be cut off from each fret but also sets the fretboard radius and amount of fall-off suited for the instrument or player. They can see the height of each fret, how high they will be after processing and where on the fretboard it would buzz because of frets being too high or too low. 

When all the parameters for processing are set, the PLEK operator takes off the strings and starts the processing procedure. Depending on what parameters were entered, the frets will be cut as well as the nut. With the new generation of PLEK Machines (PLEK Pro) the frets are cut, unlike older machines where they were ground.

When frets, nut, and saddle have been processed, the instrument is strung up and tuned. Another scan is run to make sure it's done to spec, and then the frets are polished.

The result of this "science meeting art" is that your guitar just sounds and plays BETTER! 

Last update: July 21, 2015

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