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Author Topic: Plek, Playability and Tone improvement to your Guitar!!!!!  (Read 755 times)
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« on: June 25, 2006, 04:06:27 PM »

Thought you guys might be interested in this...

 FAQ’s on Plek
The Ultimate in Tone & Playability

What exactly is  PLEK?
Plek is German for “pick”

The plek is a  German made computer-controlled machine tool that scans an instrument, 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., is far more accurate than manual work, and is consistent every time.

Figure above (taken  from a scanned guitar) shows the Neck Data with phenomenal  accuracy.

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.


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.


What other things can the plek do?There are a lot of things the plek can do; for example, while the plek is doing its scan, it is also measuring the fret placement -- information that can be used in many ways.  Most importantly, it shows how accurately an instrument is fretted, and while  there is no such thing as perfect, one can quickly see if the deviation from ideal is great enough to cause audible tuning problems.

The plek can show if the truss rod adjusts the neck properly, and where it affects the neck.  This can be helpful to a player but also to an instrument builder. There are  quite a few more things like this.


What makes PLEK different?

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.
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