Plek fret dress - £135 + Cost of Strings
A fret dress can be required for a number of reasons. If the current frets are worn and pitted, if you are having trouble achieving your required action with the frets and neck relief as is, or if you simply want to maximise the playability and set-up of a new guitar our Plek fret dress and set-up service will help.
Pioneered in the U.K. by Charlie Chandler the Plek system gives you the ultimate set-up optimised for your exact string gauge and playing style. The revolutionary Plek technology scans your guitar’s neck whilst strung up and tuned to pitch, allowing it to record the exact state of your fingerboard and frets in playing conditions. The machine scans to an accuracy of 1000th of a millimetre and can help to highlight any high or low frets, poor neck relief, twists, bumps and excessive fingerboard kick-up or fall-off. The detailed graphs produced allow us to adjust each string’s action to suit. The guitar is then de-strung and the Plek machine processes the frets to our set quality. The instrument is then final finished and set-up by hand.
Our unit is only the second in service worldwide, and the first in Europe, and THE ONLY ONE CURRENTLY IN THE UK! The Station is the workshop/service version of the Plek Pro and it is superseeding our Plek Basic. Currently Gibson Custom Shop are running two Pros, Gibson Montana have two, Martin run the majority of their production through four Pros, while other Pro users include Takamine, legendary Nashville luthier Joe Glaser and Suhr Guitars. Guitar repair author, consultant and luthier Dan Erlewine has just taken delivery of a PlekStation too.
For the last eight years we have championed the quality and accuracy of the Plek technology and the advances in the Pro/Station software and hardware have further ‘raised the bar’ in terms of accuracy, fret shape, playability and intonation. Exemplary nut cutting using a high frequency spindle cutter is now a feature of the Station too. No more poorly spaced, angled, pinching or sloppy nut slots.
For more information on how the Plek process can improve playability, tone and intonation on your guitar feel free to get in touch.
It's a situation any guitarist can relate to...
the instrument is well-balanced, looks great and sounds excellent, but somehow it's hard to play. But it's a problem that can be solved.
Next to the tone, the playability is one of the most important characteristics that determines the quality of a musical instrument. The plek process guarantees the best possible string action for each instrument, matching the individual style of the musician. A guitar with optimised playability just sounds better: the strings do not strike the frets during playing and any intonation problems that may occur due to too low a string action are eliminated.
The plek scan
Let's take a look at the guitar neck. It is important that the guitar is under string tension and in playing condition when measured. The computer ascertains a 3-D like graph of the fretboard surface, including the position and height of the strings. Thanks to the plek scan the relief of the neck created by the string tension is taken into account while calculating the process parameters.
The virtual Fretboard
In the Virtual Fret Dress menu the operator can not only determine how much needs to be cut off from each fret but can also set the fretboard radius and amount of fall-off suited for the instrument or player. You can see the height of each fret, how high each fret will be after processing as well as where fretboard buzz occurs because of frets being too high or too low. The first step would be to adjust the neck relief with help of the truss rod.
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 and nut will be cut as well as the saddle on acoustic guitars. With the new generation ofplek Machines (plek pro, plek station) the frets are cut, on its predecessor (plek basic) the frets are ground. The fundamental concepts and the control software are essentially the same. But although the basic achieved the same level of quality as the pro and thestation, the fretwork process took longer and nut work had to be done by hand.
When frets, nut, and saddle have been processed, the instrument is strung up and tuned. The final scan checks to see if the result corresponds with the set specifications. If that is the case, then the process ends with the frets being polished to a high gloss finish.