PLEK: The Best Your Guitar Can Be

| More in Acoustic Guitars, Bass Guitars, Electric Guitars, Repairs
PLEK: The Best Your Guitar Can Be Image

Whatever your playing abilities are, if you are serious about your playing it is worth asking yourself the question:

Is my instrument as good as it could be?

And if the answer to that question is not a resounding “yes”, then the Plek Station might be able to help.

Over the years, Plek has devised a way of measuring the curvature of the neck - known as neck relief - as well as the height and relief of the frets and the fret radius over the entire neck, all in microscopic detail.



The Plek Station is the absolute cutting edge of guitar repair technology. Used by manufacturers and repair technicians world-wide, the Plek Station delivers results that are second to none.

Using high-precision computer controlled cutters, the Plek Station can level frets and fingerboards and cut nut and saddle slots with unmatched precision. The diagnostic tools provide the player with a comprehensive map of every relevant measurement on their guitar, from string spacing to bridge location, fret placement to saddle slot depth, the Plek machine analyzes your guitar to a level that most technicians would never consider. Operated by a skilled guitar technician working to your exact specifications, you can rest assured that after having your guitar Plek'd, there will be no stone left unturned in your quest for the perfect playing experience.




There are a number of tell-tale, give-away signs that your guitar is in need of help. These may be any of the following:

  • Buzz areas on the fingerboard
  • Fret wear, uneven fret heights
  • Uneven fingerboard
  • Action is too high/too low for my playing style.
  • Fret-Out: String tone dies away during bending due to unwanted contact with a fret.

In general, if any of these issues apply, your instrument basically has poor playability due to a setup problem.



But how do I get the best possible setup for my instrument?
Basically, that depends on you.

Setups are the combination of string action adjustment, trussrod adjustment, and changes in the heights of the nut, bridge, and frets that are made to make the instrument as well- -suited to the playing style of the individual player as possible.

Individual setups totally depend on the playing style of the player. If for example, you play with a lot of attack, you are going to need a higher string action to avoid buzzing than someone with a gentler style.



You might ask yourself “Why should I get my guitar Plek'd, rather than serviced by a guitar tech?”

Having a good guitar tech on hand is a wonderful thing. If you’re happy with your guitar tech, then by all means stick with him or her.

But a good guitar tech equipped with a Plek machine is a killer combination.

For our technicians, a Plek machine is a tool that can take their skills to a whole new level, taking a lot of the effort out of fret work and raising the bar in terms of exactness and quality control.

For you, the guitar player, having your guitar Plek'd means that you can not only feel the improvements, you can also see the difference. In addition, you have a record of before and after, and you can repeat exactly that setup on a different guitar or again on the same instrument whenever additional work needs to be done.



The results of a Plek job really depend on the state of the instrument beforehand. On a cheap, poorly-setup instrument with substandard fretwork, the difference can be dramatic.

On a good-quality instrument with a good setup, the results may be more subtle.

Maybe you even have an instrument that was Plek'd during production. Even here, a Plek job for your individual playing style and requirements can be a good idea, because no instrument factory can ever truly know the individual guitarist they are building for. So a Plek job can be a way of further personalizing your guitar to your own needs.



Once you have decided that you want to improve your instrument, you can take it to your local Long & McQuade and have it shipped to Yorkville Sound in Pickering, Ontario for a diagnostic scan.

The scan will tell our technician all there is to know about the issues your instrument has.



After it has completed, our technician will know:

  • Whether the trussrod needs to be tightened and by how much.
  • Whether the nut and bridge need to be adjusted or replaced - overall or for individual strings.
  • What the overall shape of the fingerboard is.
  • What the neck relief is under each individual string, and whether it is as good as it could be.
  • The height of the frets, and whether there are any potential buzzing issues.
  • Whether the fret radius needs to be changed anywhere on the fingerboard.
  • If there are buzzing issues, our technicians can see how much fret material needs to be removed to achieve optimal playability.
  • Or perhaps your frets are so worn down that they need to be partially or completely replaced.



In addition, our Plek technician can also try out various fret dressing options and solutions in the safety of the software environment. This is known as a “Virtual Fret Dress”.

This gives our technician another opportunity to discuss the results with you before he or she implements the changes that you decide on.




The effect of all this work is like turbo-charging your fingers.

Obviously, it’s not like having your guitar Plek'd will make you a better player. Only hours of practice, dedication, and maybe a good teacher can do that.

But what the Plek Station can do is to remove some of the obstacles to your playing, and eliminate some of the things standing in the way of improvement.



To better service our customers, and allow guitarists the opportunity to have their beloved instrument in the best playable condition possible, Long & McQuade is now offering the option to get your guitar Plek'd.  Our Plek Station has been installed in the Guitar QC and Repairs department of Yorkville Sound in Pickering, Ontario. For more information about how you can get your guitar Plek'd through Long & McQuade, visit our Repair section.  Rates for our Plek services can be found on page 11 of our Guitar Repair Price List & Guide.


Keywords: guitarelectric guitarbass guitarrepairstechniqueserviceplekfret dressing

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