Plek'ing: Worth it?

August 2019 is the first KVR Guitar Month so here's a new forum for discussion of all things guitar!
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vurt
addled muppet weed
51992 posts since 26 Jan, 2003 from through the looking glass

Post Fri Sep 20, 2019 7:03 am

Hink wrote: ↑
Fri Sep 20, 2019 6:59 am
guitar is not a vsti,
what if its a vsti guitar?

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Hink
Rad Grandad
29327 posts since 6 Sep, 2003 from Downeast Maine

Re: Plek'ing: Worth it?

Post Fri Sep 20, 2019 7:12 am

vurt wrote: ↑
Fri Sep 20, 2019 7:03 am
Hink wrote: ↑
Fri Sep 20, 2019 6:59 am
guitar is not a vsti,
what if its a vsti guitar?
it's not a guitar, it's an emulation
Albert Einstein may have been a genius but his brother Frank was a monster

tapper mike
KVRAF
5110 posts since 20 Jan, 2008

Re: Plek'ing: Worth it?

Post Fri Sep 20, 2019 9:13 am

Plecking....

While some techs may take the time to measure all the values before they start... A plek machine will do it faster and with more accuracy than achievable by humans. That doesn't mean the plek machine makes all the decisions. However once those decisions are made a plek machine will provide the most accurate representation of those choices on the end product.

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Hink
Rad Grandad
29327 posts since 6 Sep, 2003 from Downeast Maine

Re: Plek'ing: Worth it?

Post Fri Sep 20, 2019 7:23 pm

tapper mike wrote: ↑
Fri Sep 20, 2019 9:13 am
Plecking....

While some techs may take the time to measure all the values before they start... A plek machine will do it faster and with more accuracy than achievable by humans. That doesn't mean the plek machine makes all the decisions. However once those decisions are made a plek machine will provide the most accurate representation of those choices on the end product.
yay and then every guitar will be perfect, um yeah, no thanx
Albert Einstein may have been a genius but his brother Frank was a monster

Mats Eriksson
KVRist
127 posts since 4 Sep, 2016

Re: Plek'ing: Worth it?

Post Sat Sep 21, 2019 9:49 am

The newer Plek systems actually does nuts too, as well as fanned frets I think. For which I think is even more overkill. It seems that people hasn't really got the general or specific idea of what a Plek machine does.

As for how low action it can be, it depends on the picking hand. If you remove picking hand with a pick or plucking fingers you'll end up just TAPPING as they do a lot these days on multiscale and extended range instruments, as well as the Chapman Stick et al. The same with stainless steel frets. I've heard that tapping people favors plek'd instruments with very very low action. You can't play these instruments regularly. Just tap.

When Plek came around, luthiers, and repairmen automatically saw a threat. They would be out of jobs. Or so they thought. Like they exist dime a dozen. Having going to send instruments abroad and so on, it's not worthwhile, and will not threaten any luthier, or repairmen that does manual fret job. However, they thought so. So they ramped up their skills, and did manual labor to get just as close as the Plek machine. This was on reglar nickel frets though. Now, think Plek stations. There are 2 of them in Sweden now. What for? The need ain't that big. Once you've done it, especially on SS frets, it's a keeper and you don't have to repeat it. That there have been an increasing number of people leaving their guitars for plekking that doesn't need to be plekk'd because they're already as good as it gets, tells you that either has the coockie cutter factories invested in a machine anyway, or the luthiers has manually learned how to do as exact as possible as a Plek machine, which they very well can do, but it takes "ages" to them.

I happen to be acquaintanced with the people in Bromma/Stockholm Scandinavia Guitar Labs, and my first instrument was a guinea pig of theirs. Another company has started up a Plek machine in north of Sweden, In UmeΓ₯, and I think this is very overkill, as I think supply and demand isn't that balanced. The people and guitars in need for a Plek is diminishing instead of the other way around. Mainly due or thanks to that both Gibson, Fender, Martin has them in their higher segment series. If there's any Asian companies that owns and runs Plek systems I don't know. You have to know the Plek machine, and fret dressing and levelling just as thoroughly as any luthier, and the guitar. So the people running it doesn't just press a button, and start rolling their thumbs.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kDKVUZa_eVY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FrG4BnvfXsQ

Mats Eriksson
KVRist
127 posts since 4 Sep, 2016

Re: Plek'ing: Worth it?

Post Sat Sep 21, 2019 9:56 am

AnX wrote: ↑
Thu Sep 19, 2019 9:34 pm
what's plek ing?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PG4BOLlKOb4

Mats Eriksson
KVRist
127 posts since 4 Sep, 2016

Re: Plek'ing: Worth it?

Post Sat Sep 21, 2019 10:06 am

Another thing with Plek.
You can have an old favorite guitar of yours that has frets worn down. Now, you don't want to do a complete refret job, just file them down so you get rid of the wear, dents and spots. Now a normal luthier (skilled) may claim that there's not enough fret material to file them all down without refretting it. Now a Plek CAN do this since it doesn't need to remove that much material on any given situation. So you - instead - might save you a complete refret on some guitars. So there's another scenario that a Plek might come in as a perfect remedy.

Mats Eriksson
KVRist
127 posts since 4 Sep, 2016

Re: Plek'ing: Worth it?

Post Sat Sep 21, 2019 10:44 am

lfm wrote: ↑
Thu Sep 19, 2019 10:48 am
So how low action can you get?
Answer is in some of my rumbling over harmonic content.
It depends. On a lot of things, as shown in the video. if you pluck the string at the bridge you will nary whack the string. If you TAP the string, with tapping (which is different from pulloffs and hammerons actually), you can have way lower action. You can have lower action if you're using thick barbed wire strings, like 012, or 014 if anyone does that. A 009 or 008 low e strings wobbles and vibrates and fret buzzes way more than any 012 set with a spun third, provided all the action and string height and relief is exactly the same.

Also, on a heavily radiused neck (below 2 digit, say 7" radius or 9" radius) you can still have not lower action because you will fret out when bending the outermost strings such as the high e. You have to have higher action. Also, which some people doesn't get, is that fret buzz occurs on the "uphill" of the fret residing to the left or right of the string, not always the fret part that is residing directly under the string. Such things are definitely a deciding factor on both relief and string action. Thus: The lowest string action can only be performed on necks which doesn't have any radius at all, completely flat. Which I think only Chapman Stick and classical nylon strings guitars have. Which is a slight anomaly and quirk I have, but it's another topic. I e that on an instrument that a flat neck (non radius) is most needed is where you do a lot of bending strings. And...on a classical nylon you don't bend, and play music that includes a lot of bending (they don't in classical music). But as fast as you go blues and country and rock music, instruments are equipped with radius which CHOKES and hinders bending strings... beats me...sorry for digressing... :wink:
lfm wrote: ↑
Thu Sep 19, 2019 10:48 am
How much does the string wobble between the nodes(nut and bridge, or fretted string and bridge)?
How much space does that take, and need distance from fretwires?
Depends. String gauge, how hard you pluck, where on the string you pluck. See video above. Some bassists that thumbs, slaps, pops, strikes their strings FROM ABOVE and thus, the string oscillates more in an in and out from the guitar body fashion. Rather than rotates or oscillates evenly. If you do with a PICK, you whack it from side to side, and not so much up-down, or "in-out". Don't believe me? Take out your friends bass, or your own plug it in. Hook it up to any level meter inside a DAW or a mixer. Now with a heavy pick, pick and whack the string as hardas you can and record the level, if the vu-meter hits red. And then...take a drumstick from your drummer at the reaharsal space and whack the string from above and make another reading from the vu-meter... :wink: It's automatically much louder even though you haven't used the same amount of force.
lfm wrote: ↑
Thu Sep 19, 2019 10:48 am
So some of this is in neck relief, as a start - with some relief you can do lower action since string gets some extra space where it needs it. But some of us prefer straigther neck and higher action instead.
There's only one benefit from this, that it may render a more consise and optimal intonation all along and across the neck. Since more often than not, most guitars have radius, either small or big, and all those compound radius, and conical radius, it depends. Whatever your take is on that harmonics should change if you alter relief is beyond me. As I am mostly talking about electric solidbody guitars, here, the harmonics you seem to be mistaking for proper fret buzz. Acoustic guitars needs way more higher action and even more relief but it still has very little to do with harmonics. All you do with all fret levelling, manual or plek, is to remove fret buzz at certain spots, and in case of a neck without a trussrod, you're building relief into the neck by filing the frets the steepest in the middle at 12th fret.
lfm wrote: ↑
Thu Sep 19, 2019 10:48 am
Then you come into to finer details - how much space does the first even harmonic take?
This is added to fundamental of the pitch - and actually takes some physical space, as a professor explained.
That depends a lot on the material in the guitar parts.

Mahogany gives a more softer warmer tone - so more first even harmonic is my assumption.
Warmer often means first even harmonic is rather high in volume. Typical Gibson.

Maple all the way - another story since so much harder material - a bit thinner trebly sounding. Typical Fender.
Still hasn't got anything to do with any relief, fret levelling, or crowning, Plekkd or manually done. Beats me, what you're after. Start another thread with that ruminating of yours, please.

Mats Eriksson
KVRist
127 posts since 4 Sep, 2016

Re: Plek'ing: Worth it?

Post Sat Sep 21, 2019 10:59 am

If you think I work for Plek I don't... I've highlighted its "necessity" so to speak. Maybe for guitar players that are vain. Some are. That's ok with me.

lfm
KVRAF
5028 posts since 22 Jan, 2005 from Sweden

Re: Plek'ing: Worth it?

Post Sat Sep 21, 2019 12:37 pm

Mats Eriksson wrote: ↑
Sat Sep 21, 2019 10:44 am
Still hasn't got anything to do with any relief, fret levelling, or crowning, Plekkd or manually done. Beats me, what you're after. Start another thread with that ruminating of yours, please.
It belongs here, even if it beats you, because it has everything to do with neck relief and fret leveling. The space taken up by the string as it vibrates correspond to all frequency content in the string. At a given playing style and attack of course.

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Hink
Rad Grandad
29327 posts since 6 Sep, 2003 from Downeast Maine

Re: Plek'ing: Worth it?

Post Sat Sep 21, 2019 1:18 pm

lfm wrote: ↑
Sat Sep 21, 2019 12:37 pm
Mats Eriksson wrote: ↑
Sat Sep 21, 2019 10:44 am
Still hasn't got anything to do with any relief, fret levelling, or crowning, Plekkd or manually done. Beats me, what you're after. Start another thread with that ruminating of yours, please.
It belongs here, even if it beats you, because it has everything to do with neck relief and fret leveling. The space taken up by the string as it vibrates correspond to all frequency content in the string. At a given playing style and attack of course.
Neck relief refers to a small amount of concave bow intentionally created in the neck of a guitar or bass by adjusting the truss rod.
does the plek machine adjust the truss rod?
Albert Einstein may have been a genius but his brother Frank was a monster

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The Noodlist
KVRian
1174 posts since 16 Aug, 2017 from UK

Re: Plek'ing: Worth it?

Post Sat Sep 21, 2019 1:42 pm

Low action ain't everybody's cup of tea, playability is more important to me.
I'll like a bit of resistance. I also use 10 gauge strings.
Currently trying to turn noise into music. :neutral:

reggie1979
KVRAF
1691 posts since 26 Nov, 2018

Re: Plek'ing: Worth it?

Post Sat Sep 21, 2019 1:54 pm

Yeah, I'm of this mind. On my bass, I want the LOWEST POSSIBLE ACTION, ya dig? :lol:

On guitars, I want something to get a hold of. I can't bend the strings if there isn't a little bit of height. I do use lighter strings though.

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Hink
Rad Grandad
29327 posts since 6 Sep, 2003 from Downeast Maine

Re: Plek'ing: Worth it?

Post Sat Sep 21, 2019 2:07 pm

gary moore preferred higher action with lighter strings, my action often is a reflection of the tuning my guitar is in. A higher action imo often does open up the sound, but I also prefer the ease of lower action. If I am tuned to a higher tuning based on a low E (like standard, open E, open A and many others) I'll keep the action lower. If I drop down to a D based tuning (open G, Open D and many many more but note not drop D), the action is much looser obviously so raising the action is beneficial in a few ways...but I dont need a machines help with that :shrug:
Albert Einstein may have been a genius but his brother Frank was a monster

lfm
KVRAF
5028 posts since 22 Jan, 2005 from Sweden

Re: Plek'ing: Worth it?

Post Sat Sep 21, 2019 2:11 pm

reggie1979 wrote: ↑
Sat Sep 21, 2019 1:54 pm
On guitars, I want something to get a hold of. I can't bend the strings if there isn't a little bit of height. I do use lighter strings though.
You can remedy some of that with a bit higher fretwires. It can give a feel of almost scalloped fretboard, even, if you overdo it.

One guitar I bought had only 0.6mm height of fretwires left, it was really worn and old 70's guitar. It was impossible to bend almost, fingers stuck in fretboard.
So refretted with 1.2mm medium jumbo and it became lovely. Good grip of string before touching fretboard. But have to consider playing style, if doing inside chords in particular not pressing too hard, it goes out of pitch earlier.

Fender American Professional series has higher frets on those necks, to mention one shipped standard like that. Not sure how high though.

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