Why no PLEK?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by DHW, Mar 17, 2015.

  1. HANGAR18

    HANGAR18 What Would Evel Knievel Do?

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    Using something like that would not guarantee a perfect fret dress but it does save time. Heritage guitar uses that method but they need to be plek'd as much a Gibsons need to be plek'd.
    There was a video on the virtual factory tour page which showed the PRS fret dress method. It's pretty good as it is now.
     
  2. Huggy B

    Huggy B Hmm... kinda tangy.

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    When I got my 2000 Mccarty hollowbody it had the best fretwork I'd ever held in my hand, a coincidence that today I'm taking it to Gary Brawer to see if its a candidate to be PLEK'd.
    15 years of recording & playing have taken its toll on that fret wire, hope there's still enough meat on there to avoid a re-fret job.
     
  3. Huggy B

    Huggy B Hmm... kinda tangy.

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    Well my opportunity to get PLEK'd has passed me by, had to go with a complete re-fret job.
     
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  4. John Beef

    John Beef Opaque

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    Well, that's an expensive bummer, but hey, 15 years on a set of frets is pretty good. I wore out a Fender's frets in about 4 years back in the 90s, but it was my only guitar and I played every day for a long time.
     
  5. Huggy B

    Huggy B Hmm... kinda tangy.

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    It is my main axe, gotta $300 used SE sgl cut as a backup but it's kinda "eh" to me, so I'll be counting the days. The blessing is Gary is in my city and if he's good enough for Satriani, he's good enough for Huggy. Looking forward to a new/old guitar.
     
  6. alantig

    alantig Zombie Four, DFZ

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    I was rereading this, and I think what it was wasn't a press, but the block they use for the initial sanding. But I could be wrong again.

    I should have taken notes.
     
  7. rugerpc

    rugerpc A♥ hoards guitars ♥A Soldier 25, DFZ
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    To me it sounds like PRS is saying, "We don't need no stinkin' PLEK!"

    [video]https://m.youtube.com/watch?list=PLf7UCObHG14HQlaR8xRp536Sqt0Zu5Dpl&v=5mA6UVS-PWc[/video]
     
  8. Tarot

    Tarot New Member

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    For what its worth,I have a recently aquird brand new Suhr Cassic Pro that is the best strat I have ever played along with the DC3...and maybe some James Tylers and Tom Andersons.The frets are very smoth and well finished,but,make no mistake,the leveling is not even in the same league as both of my Prs custom22.In other words,I like pretty low action,as low as I can get it(lol).On a PRS I can always get the action rediculessly low before it starts to fret out,and when it does its incredibly consistent all over the neck,it doesn’t just start to happen in two or three frets...
    On the the Suhr its a diferent story,As soon as I get it to my perfect sweet spot it starts to fret out on two or three frets,and all I have to do is just fret these notes,no bends requird for it to happen...and we are talking about a guitar that is Plekd...so if it ain’t broken don’t fix it...
     
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  9. 11top

    11top Cousin Eddie's cousin

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    I’m curious as to the number of R9s you’ve played beginning with 2013. Maybe what you have stated above is true, but I don’t care. I’ve yet to play a 2013+ R9 that didn’t play incredibly, and I’ve played a bunch. My comments in no way are meant to suggest that PRS needs to plek, because they fret incredibly too. But whatever Gibson is doing in Custom, they’re doing it right.
     
  10. Drew

    Drew New Member

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    Gibson production is also doing a great job with fret work. I have a 2016 flying V that plays flawlessly. Everything that I've noodled around on from 2015 to present has been similar. They may have other QC issues but they are getting frets right these days.
     
  11. andy474x

    andy474x Knows the Drill

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    Interesting... I guess I've never considered PRS doing PLEK. Personally, I've never had a problem with bum frets on a PRS, usually the first problem I have with lowering my action is adjacent strings get caught under my fretting hand fingers when I bend a note, and then I sound bad... er, worse.

    Ah, I see you're married too.
     
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  12. rugerpc

    rugerpc A♥ hoards guitars ♥A Soldier 25, DFZ
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    I did say it was conjecture on my part. I don't have a lot of experience with R9s. I've had trouble finding a Gibson that spoke to me. The same way I've had had a hard time bonding with Fenders.

    I don't doubt that there are very good examples of each, or that the R9s you have played have great playing necks owing to PLEK. But I have see firsthand the care PRS takes to produce a neck. Perhaps if I were to tour the Gibson factory and see their process start to finish I might appreciate them a bit more. I dunno.

    But I think we agree that there is no need for PRS to change the way they make necks to incorporate PLEK.
    yup.
     
  13. Johnny Rigs

    Johnny Rigs Have you tried restarting?

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    My 2016 SG begs to differ. Disappointing to say the least.
     
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  14. Mark Ray

    Mark Ray New Member

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    Every PRS I've had/have has been nothing less than perfect in the fret area.

    I bought one of the GC exclusive Goldtops w/P-90's that were tappable in 2012, mainly because besides it looking and sounding really good, it had been Plek'd and played flawlessly and IN TUNE from the factory! Not like every other Gibson I had ever owned up to that point.
     
  15. bluefade

    bluefade New Member

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    No plek for the same reason no stainless frets...not needed...
     
  16. JJJ

    JJJ asleep

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    Well, I now own a Plek'd PRS.

    It really is the same as having a good experienced tech do a good level and dress for you. A human still has to do the groundwork, end filing and polishing. The machines are expensive, and if you use them the right way (so not the way Gibson apply them to cheaper lines) it is still very time consuming and each guitar still needs a technician present to work on them before, during and after the process. The machines are ******* cool, don't get me wrong, and I geek out over them. Just incredible. But for a company to purchase and implement them would just mean higher costs. The sort of cost a big company, or one who really loves debt like Gibson, would afford. And I am not convinced that they do any better a job than a good experienced technician.

    I know all about the tolerances and it is mind blowing. But you don't notice it in your hands. The plek job on my starla really is top notch, but to the point that it reminds me of my other axes when they were fresh from my tech. And if you play a lot, the advantages of 0.00001 whatever tolerance disappears with the first wear you put on your freshly levelled wire. I only had my PRS plek'd because it was free with the purchase, otherwise I think I will always go to my tech, who can spend a few hours with a diamond file, filing and crowning and polishing to the exact spec I ask for, for much less money.

    Factory fretwork can really be the bare minimum no matter what price range you are in, I guess if you wanted some closer attention paid it should just come from extra labour time and the people already doing it just spending more time on it. Just my 2c though, and bear in mind I am spoiled having access to a very prominent and experienced local tech/repairman, I know not everyone does, and some people might like an absolutely perfect job from the factory for this reason
     
    #36 JJJ, Apr 8, 2018
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 9, 2018
  17. JJJ

    JJJ asleep

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    Wait is there someone in this thread claiming Gibson fretwork in the 2010s is good? Not satire? I wan't what you're on mate :)
     
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  18. ieso

    ieso New Member

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    I have two Suhr guitars that were Plek'd at the factory (both SS frets) and this has been my experience as well. All my PRSi (including the Vela I got for $800) have better action than the Suhr guitars. I got my Suhr classic pro thinking it would be a big step up over my other S-style guitars (including a couple of G&L models) but it didn't work out that way.
     
  19. Ironwolf

    Ironwolf I'm a Dog! I do Dog Things!

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    I often put jumbo frets, in many of my guitar purchases, there several luthiers in San Francisco with PLEK machines.
    I've been extremely satisfied with every one it does a remarkable job. can a human equal it yes, it is simply measuring and cutting each fret.
    just think about the time required to accurately measure the height of the string relative to each fret 6×22= 132 individual measurements. the machine can measure and cut once. your average luthier, would have to cut and polish and level recheck, 10 times each to get it perfect. super labor-intensive. I think both approaches could be somewhat equal quality wise, but at some volume or number of guitars, not enough skilled people.

    you can string up the guitar put in just the right amount of truss rod. and it uses a laser to measure the height of each fret to within 10 thousandths of an inch, relative to a perfect string. so player preference for action height, may be different than what was set into the machine.
    because they generally try to set it quite low. so that's why some players might say I had to adjust the guitar after I got it, but there's no doubt the fretboard and frets are extremely perfectly leveled relative to each other. this is a really good quick profile how it works look at the computer graphics, control screen. it magnifies the curvature of the fret board 10 X like putting it under a microscope so you can see the tiniest deviations.
    https://www.sweetwater.com/shop/guitars/plek/index.php

    I have a feeling Gibson makes 3 times the volume of guitars, as PRS does, when you reach that kind of Volume you just cannot find people with that level of skill, to turn out 900 guitars in a day.
    so I think it's one approach to quality control especially in a high-volume, setting.
    check out the rate they're making bodies and tops unbelievable.
     

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