Jump to content

Plek Machine Setup


aggravated_alien
 Share

Recommended Posts

I know this topic has come up before this is more of a rant than anything else. They claim this machine can do better work than an experienced Luthier.

I can't argue that this machine can do and better job faster but what about the Luthier that takes his time and takes pride in his work. They claim that this is better but no one ever explains why it is better.

If this machine can do a better job should we be worried.

Feel free to tear into the machine tell everyone about its pitfalls if there are any.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

we hand crafting luthiers can never expect to compete with a machine that is programmed for pinpoint accuracy... and i don't believe that we should want to either. There are the people who want to buy a decent guitar from ibanez but dont want to spend 2 grand because its just a guitar to them... and those people wouldn't be our target audience anyway. Its the people looking for the personalized, custom, hand crafted piece of art that will and would be buying our hand crafted instruments. Just my 2 cents

Link to comment
Share on other sites

hmm... I don't have any problem with the idea of the PLEK. In fact, I've been wanting to get one of my guitars PLEK'd just to see how good the thing really is. I know some luthiers have their instruments PLEK'd before sending them out. I don't see what there is to be worried about. It's just a fretwork machine. It's not like it eats the soul of the guitar or anything.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Progress and innovation are inherent in any manufactured product, which a guitar is. Hell, I bet there was a similar furore when luthier started using template guided router bits to cut from templates - "ooh, it takes the soul out of the shape!!".

I think it's a good thing, but it's far too expensive and impractical for real guitar techs and luthiers to use in a small scale context. Great for manufacturers however. If it improves QA and QC then great. Gibson could do with that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It a newer and more innovative way to do things, so generally it is going to be feared by those in a competing business. Just like CNC machining. There are many that argue that CNC cut guitars have no soul because a machine made them. Both machines have their place and their market.

In reality the PLEK machine is probably a great idea, because most people are afraid to take their guitar to just anyone for fret work, and for good reason. There are plenty of guitar techs capable of doing the fretwork, it is just a question of the quality of the fretwork. That is why some people will send their guitar across the country to a luthier that is knnow for top quality fretwork. This machine at least allows the average guitar player to take their instrument to a more local shop and will have it returned with a known result.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you ask around enough, you will find techs who've had their hands on enough Pleked guitars to know that the results vary. There's good plek jobs and really bad ones. So much for the machine doing all the work. That would be ideal ; for the machine to know how to do everything just right, and a minimum-wage bozo just has to be there to push some buttons. No, the operator has to make all kinds of correct decisions and do a little hand-work to finish off the pleks job.

It's certainly not an optimal job, if the guitar comes in, is set up on the plek, t-rod adjusted, and plek process done all as fast as possible. Problem with that is after you do any major, or moderate truss-rod tweaking (which a lot of guitars need to have done), it's going to take at least a day for that adjusted neck to show if it's going to hold that adjustment you made (they'll often creep a little and you need to tweak the adjustment more). If this "settling in" time is skipped, then I think the Plek fret-leveling is going to be less than ideal after the neck has settled a little.

You'll find some players who have both pleked and non-pleked guitars that they say are every bit as good as one another. These guys don't seem to spend a lot of time on message boards.

What you'll find even more of, is players that had a hack non-plek fret-job, then a good plek job, and then think they can call every non-pleked job inferior to a pleked job. They'll say *no* human can do as good a job as this machine, even though they've actually never had their hands on work done by most of those humans. Seems paying the Plek fee gives one the right to judge anyone's work if they don't use a Plek. Funny thing about these guys is they spend a huge amount of time on message boards. You'd think with their amazing pleked guitar, they'd be spending less time posting and more time playing.

But, yeah, I would not want to be just starting out with doing fret-work for money, with that machine around. It will certainly take business away from you and even more so as the Plek machines get cheaper and newer versions come out, then the big boys sell their older Pleks to smaller guys.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...