PLEK is a computer-controlled machine that can perform incredibly accurate scans of frets and fretboards, fret dressing and recrowns, nut and bridge cutting, and fretboard planning. It can even cut fret slots and neck pockets. It allows the operator unprecedented control when working on any of these procedures, resulting in a level of precision not achievable by hand. PLEK is powered by an extremely powerful software suite that gives the operator an exact insight into what a guitar neck is actually doing before laying a tool on it. The operator can then use the Virtual Fretdress function to superimpose any corrective work onto the neck measurements on screen before deciding to go ahead and work on the actual instrument. Let's see what the workflow is like for a PLEK fretdress:
The guitar is tuned up to the pitch required by the player and the neck is straightened out via the trussrod. The guitar is then loaded into the PLEK cradle and secured. The PLEK then uses a sensor to measure the individual fret heights per string, string spacing, fretboard and fret radius, and edges of the fretboard. Once complete this data is displayed on the PLEK's computer monitor giving a great amount of detail about the various parameters measured. It is at this stage where the operator can see issues that would cause buzzing, fretouts and poor intonation. The operator can now start planning on how to rectify any issues with the powerful suite of tools at their disposal.
This is where the operator can superimpose the proposed work onto the virtual scan of the guitar neck in the software. Changes can be easily made to allow for various ways to attack the issues as well as meet the desired playing surface the customer requires. This is the stage where having operators with a vast knowledge of fretboard geometry comes into play. As with any high precision tool, the skill of the operator is still the biggest factor in getting an amazing result.
Once the plan of attack has been decided, the guitar's strings are detuned and removed to the side. No adjustment to the truss rod is required. The PLEK then rescans the neck in its new stringless state and builds a map of the neck with and without string tension. Once this is complete the PLEK then uses a special custom-built rotary cutter head to begin levelling and recrowning each fret to match the data specified in the Virtual Fretdress.
Scan, Polish and Restring.
Once the fretdress is complete the PLEK rescans the neck to ensure the work has been completed correctly and to the spec specified. The guitar is then removed from the machine and goes through a series of manual polishing procedures to deliver a highly polished and smooth playing surface. The guitar can then be restrung and brought back up to the requested tuning and be set up to the player's action height without worrying about the fret issues causing a compromise in the setup.
The GEniuS™ Guitar Enhancement System with PLEK is available through Port Mac Guitars to have done to your guitar. Click HERE to take your guitar to the best it can be.