Any opinions on the machines? I have a potential customer who emailed me and mentioned he was considering going out of town so he could go to a shop with a plek machine. What are the pros/cons of these? I'd like a few informed opinions. Thanks!
It seems pretty whiz-bang and I gotta' love the technology.... but (when all's said and done) it's just a CNC'd version of Dan Erlewine's concept of his neck-jig, where the guitars parameters are measured while the strings and neck are at their normal playing tensions, etc.
Nonetheless, if there were a spare $100K kicking-around, it sure looks like a whole lot of fun.
Martin Guitar uses the procedure on every new guitar that goes out. The repair department, however, doesn't feel that it is useful for guitars that go through them. I think it's kind of silly to apply that level of precision to something made of wood. Six months of temperature and humidity changes, fret wear, and the guitar simply adjusting to being under tension and your precision is out the window.
We had a look at this system and decided that the cost and upkeep didn't add up for a small custom maker/repair shop unless you got a good tax position out of it and had a lot of customers who wished to part with twice the price of a normal fret level and recrown. It makes sense if you are running a large production facility and wish to save time and money by having a machine do the initial fret level and nut setup (they cut the nut as well on the later machines) but having setup Plec'd instruments (Gibson say they use it for their custom shop instruments) I'm ambivalent - it's better than most amateurs can do and as good as professional luthiers (generally speaking) should do.
But, there is a lot to like about the general principles of this machine even if , at the moment, they are not cost effective for us.
you mean I am loosing my job to a machine forget it my grand mother said this would happen to me but that in the end we will survive, so I like what Greg had to say that 6 months it s out of wack needing a human to fix it .it has also been my experience with these guitars and set ups even on a $3000 Gibson I see highs and lows in the frets with in a year or two of the process
I am in total awe of the fact that people can justify building a machine like this. I wonder how long the procedure takes........ You know, I think I'll rely on the most amazing machine in the galaxy...... my brain along with my hands.
I've been using the machine for over 20 tears now, and I can't tell you how my chest swells with pride after I give a customers guitar a plerfect plekin'..A simple man cannot do what a perfect machine can do per do per do per do per fectly..