There is no one single way of using a Plek Station. The Plek Station is a versatile tool system that fulfils a wide variety of roles, and as such, can be found in a broad range of different contexts. These include:
Setup and repair
Setup and repair is probably one of the most common scenarios for a Plek Station.
“I was thrilled to discover that the Plek machine is more amazing than I could have imagined. It does much more than just dress frets. It can repeatably and reliably execute a long list of complex operations that allow me to better meet the special needs of my most demanding clients….It’s a game changer.”
TJ Thompson, US guitar repair expert
A repair shop typically brings a number of specific requirements to the Plek machine. The repair tech needs to be able:
- to quickly analyze the customer’s instrument, and identify problem areas
- to feed customer-specific requirements (action, string gauge, attack) into the mix
- to visualize the effects of proposed changes to the instrument
- to have a basis for informed discussion with the customer and share intuitive visual insight to aid in cooperative decisions and best practices
- to implement the agreed changes precisely and quicklyto save, recover and compare invaluable customer and instrument histories
The Plek Station is the perfect partner in all of these requirements. The machine’s scanning capabilities make it an incredibly accurate diagnostic tool. Scan results can be discussed with the instrument owner to highlight problem areas. Possible solutions can be talked through in Virtual Fret Dress mode before being implemented. Final scans give clear proof of the state of the instrument after the work has been carried out. Additional functionality such as board plan-ing or nut cutting rounds off the palette of typical repair tools. From trussrod adjustment through to setup, buzz elimination or a complete refret, the Plek Station covers all aspects of neck-related setup and repair tasks.
For the custom builder, the Plek Station not only provides a great way to deal quickly and effectively with tasks where there is a risk of repetitive strain injury – such as fret dressing or fingerboard planing – but also gives you a whole new way of approaching questions of fingerboard design. The accuracy of the Plek scan, coupled with the design capabilities of the Virtual Fret Dress, makes it possible for you to precisely create fingerboards to any specifications of your choosing. Necks can be planed for a continuity of individual relief under each string; frets can be dressed to comply with any radius or compound radius measurements that you specify. The Plek helps you to achieve optimal neck relief and playability for any combination of string gauge and action, and to implement any fall-off in the upper ranges that you might require. On top of that, fret slot, nut pocket and nut slot cutting can all be dealt with quickly, accurately significantly since scans and work are done without string de-tuning, relocation and re-tuning. In addition, it also reduces handling of buffed and assembled components.
Custom-made fretcutter heads can also be supplied that are precisely matched to your instrument model fretwire specs. The Plek Station, configured for small manufacture, is a production ready tool that can also be used for service and completed-instrument R&D without any modification.
"We wanted to lift our guitar to be a serious world-class instrument, and we felt that this was one way that we could really make a difference. Since we've done this, the Plek has made it into an absolutely premium product that people just love. The actions are absolutely impeccable, the nut work is impeccable, and it's lifted us absolutely to the next level."
One of the great strengths of a Plek machine is its ability to provide precise and reliable data about the state of a guitar neck. In this respect, the Plek machine becomes an invaluable tool for quality control in any scenario. The data that the Plek machine produces during scanning and processing can be accessed remotely by final inspection and quality control persons to enhance final setup. In addition, the Plek machine can be used to provide feedback to earlier parts of the production process, such as neck blank manufacture, fingerboard assembly, fret seating and specs for nut and saddle heights. For custom builders and repair experts, a final QC scan is a quick and easy way of ensuring that all target specs have been met. Later post-production scans can aid in understanding of long term stability.
An optional online database of all guitar processing information is also available for further enhancement of final QC checks.
Research & Development
The Plek Station is the perfect tool for anyone looking to push the boundaries of guitar playability. Its remarkable three-dimensional analysis of the fingerboard and fret-plane, which factors in data about fret radiuses with measured and projected optimal relief under indi-vidual strings, makes it possible to achieve what has been described as an “hybrid parabolic radius”. In essence, the Plek provides a tool for fingerboard design which allows the builder to investigate the effects of any envisaged changes before putting them into action. In addition, different string actions, gauges and setups can be implemented and analyzed with a minimum of changes to the actual guitar itself.
For wholesale instrument distributors, the Plek Station offers a reliable means of ensuring consistent and optimal setup for all instruments that pass through your company, as well as providing an in-valuable resource when dealing with returns.