Plek is a registered
trademark of A+D Gitarrentechnologie GmbH, Berlin, Germany
Weber Custom Guitars
While we can't guarantee
that you'll be a guitar god or the next American Idol, we do
guarantee our work. We take pride in our work to insure everything
is done to your satisfaction. Should you have a problem or issue,
please contact us so we can make it right. Your satisfaction
is our reputation.
Weber Custom Guitars, LLC
4808 Deeds Rd
Granville, OH 43023
What Is Plek?
Plek is a computerized, three axis, CNC (computer numeric controlled)
machine designed and programmed for precision guitar measurement,
fret dressing, nut cutting, and saddle cutting for acoustics,
electrics, classicals, and basses.
One size DOES NOT fit all. The beauty
of the Plek is that it allows the technician to customize and
optimize a guitar set-up to suit the individual player. I don't
like to setup any instrument without talking to the player about
what is right or wrong with their guitar. What would they change
if they could? And are these changes realistic and possible?
For instance, the setup for the jazz player is completely different
from that of the metal player. The machine takes into consideration
everything from string gauge to tuning. As the technician and
operator of the Plek, I can custom tailor a setup to suit the
individual instrument/player. Again I emphasize the relationship
between a musician and their instrument. Your music is yours
alone, and your guitar should be also.
After the interview, the instrument
is placed in the machine's cradle. Strung up and tuned to pitch
- standard, dropped, or alternate. (If you use coated strings,
like Elixir, D'addario EXP, Clearcoat brand, please be sure to
include a new set, as your set will be ruined in this process.
We need to scrape away the coating at the first and twelfth frets
for conductivity.) This is the only process that can precisely
measure the neck, strings, and frets while under full tension.
A sensor finger glides safely over the fretboard, measuring fret
height, string height at the first and twelfth frets, fretboard
radius and width, and truss rod adjustment. These measurements
are then shown graphically on a computer screen for careful evaluation.
The technician then makes adjustments to the settings based on
current measurements and the players' preference. A truss rod
adjustment may be needed here, and the guitar would be remeasured.
The strings are loosened and moved carefully off of the fretboard.
The fret cutter starts and the dressing process begins. Three
fret profiles are available to accurately crown fret sizes from
vintage to jumbo, with the minimal amount of metal being removed
from the frets. After cutting, the nut is cut by the high frequency
spindle if requested. New nuts are also available. I prefer to
use bone nuts for most applications, and Corian or Tusq nuts
on tremolo equipped guitars. These nut types assure crisp tone
and excellent transfer of string vibration to the neck.
The guitar is re-strung, tuned, and
measured again to insure that the finished fret dress matches
the virtual fret dress. The guitar is then removed from the cradle,
and the final setup begins.
Again, the strings are moved off of
the fretboard. I recommend a new set of strings be installed
with the final set-up. (Please send a set of YOUR favorite strings,
and I'll install them as part of the process.) The frets are
then polished smooth, restrung with the strings you sent, intonation
and bridge are set precisely, and the nut is filed to final shape
as needed. The action is then measured for quality assurance,
and of course, the guitar is played.
Having been a luthier for many years,
I've tried all the different ways of fret dressing and setup.
From precision straight edges and radiused sanding blocks (the
most common method), to neck jigs that "simulate" the
neck under full tension. These methods can give very good results
for the experienced luthier. But these methods aren't nearly
as accurate and repeatable as the Plek.
My customers have been amazed at the
difference in the playability of their instruments after being
Plek'd. Notes ring clearer, have more sustain, and the instrument
generally plays easier and truer. Google Plek, or visit www.harmonycentral.com
for some very positive reviews of this process..