Just got my guitar PLEK'd

Just picked up my beloved Artist Les Paul back today from Rob at PortMac Guitars, after having it PLEKed, complete maintenance overhaul, full setup. I finally took the plunge on getting it PLEKed after a lot of consideration over a period of time, as most of the frets were starting to get too flat, and choke a bit here and there.
I was a bit concerned some of the frets were too worn, but Rob said I had plenty of height left, but they’d obviously seen plenty of use over the last few years. ( Mis-use more like it :nerd_face:).

Well, I’m absolutely blown away at the result, even with my high expectations. I can’t explain adequately in words the unbelievable difference. Literally much better than brand new. I never knew a guitar could feel so comfortable in my hands. Considerably better than any guitar I’ve ever picked up. The feel, the clarity, the susssstaaaaainnnnn etc, all superb :sunglasses:.

Now this is not a ‘high end’ guitar in the normal sense that it cost thousands of $s, but it is a quality instrument that I’m quite fond of; so certainly worth getting PLEKed, even though the whole process is not relatively cheap.

The central part of the process was leveling/crowning/polishing all the frets. I had a new bone nut put in as well. 30 or so other checks, refinements done as well; eg. Neck, fretboard, electronics, machine heads, jack, knobs/ switches etc.

My LP has had a lot of use over the last 3 ½ years; it was with me at the beginning, with all my struggles and frustrations; before I could even bend a string; so it seems fitting that she is renewed, with the PLEK process restoring her to beyond brand new.

For those unfamiliar with PLEK machines, here’s a link to my local shop.

There’s relatively few of these PLEK machines in the world, outside of the big name factories. And at about $AUS 250K each, its a serious investment. These guys do a roaring trade Australia-wide, and have PLEKed over 10,000 guitars. I believe there are only 4-5 machines here in Australia; and these guys own 2 of them.
Can’t recommend the process high enough. Nothing can match the precision of these machines (1/1000th mm), and what they can achieve in experienced hands. And thats the key I think; having a highly skilled luthier at the helm.

The only downside to all this? My Artist Telecaster sounds ‘shite’ to me now, and I’ve got no more ‘guitar’ money, probably for a while :sunglasses:.

Here’s a couple of before/ after shots.

BEFORE

About to go in for surgery

Closeups of fretboard condition (look at all that old ‘deathgrip’, and all that bending practice :rofl:).

AFTER

Cheers, Shane

23 Likes

Interesting to read about the outcome of the Plek process, thanks for sharing, Shane! Happy you got a real improvement on your guitar. Thomann’s in Germany is offering a Plek Service too but I haven’t heard about any experiences with that so far.
Enjoy your “new” guitar!

1 Like

Interesting to read that Shane and a great result. I’m curious, what kind of fret wire does your guitar have (because I’m curious what kind of wear to expect on mine), and had you had a luthier setup on it before you’d had it PLEKed? Also, have you considered stainless steel frets? I’ve heard from a luthier stainless steel are really good.

1 Like

Thanks for the share Shane, it’s very interesting to read about your experience and how positive it has been for you.
Does that mean you’ll be leaving your Tele alone now until you can get it PLEKed?

Of course we now need to see a video of your old/new guitar and you in action. :wink:

I have SS on my warmoth tele and they don’t feel or play much different but they should last a lot longer

Hey JK,

Yep mate, more than thrilled with the result.

My frets are just the standard nickel compound.
The guitar has had a couple of luthier setups in the 3 years, and I’ve done some basic maintenance. Cetainly no fretwork though, other than a few good polishes in that time. So you could say 3 solid years playing it everyday is not bad, given they are foundational years with all the sloppy technique etc.

Have I thought about stainless steel frets? Yes, I think about SS frets all the time. If I’m ever financial again, my next guitar’s very first spec will be stainless steel frets for sure.
Unfortunately, my financial life changed catastrophically 2 years ago, so anything beyond the basics of anything is rare in recent years. I got this guitar PLEK’d with a oneoff cash windfall. Deemed it the best way to have the greatest impact on my guitars. Seems I got it right this time.
Getting a guitar refretted with stainless steel frets is going to set you back between AUS $800-$1000.

Cheers, Shane

2 Likes

Nice Share, Shane :smiley:
Always good to have someone’s personal experience, as opposed to a link with review.
So glad you’re happy with it.
Glad I don’t have to go down that path yet- I’m still at that death-grip phase of cowboy & barre chords and have avoided the soft-touch/light-fingered lead work you do so well. (Also, my workhorse electric came with SS frets preinstalled :smiley:)
Happy Plek-Day :sunglasses:

Thanks for sharing, Shane. Glad it turned out beyond expectations. Being the cheeky so and so I am … now I am looking forward to hearing the results :rofl:

Thanks for sharing, it’s more affordable than I thought it would be. And PortMac is close enough to be doable for me.

:star_struck: like a new one … Happy sort of new gitaar day :sunglasses: :partying_face:
Greetings

@roger_holland I guess you meant to write nieuwe-gitaardag. Or your autocorrect was set to Dutch… anyway nice to read about new ways to extend the life of our guitars. Sustainable sustain!?

1 Like

:joy: I don’t use Google translate when you read things like that from me… I think 'what could go wrong with such short and simple sentences 'but I mixed I things up :see_no_evil:… I think it has certainly happened more than 100 keren :rofl:

Guitar - gitaar is a little like potato patato :grin:

Not to mention aardappel-guitar