PLEK Service

At The Fellowship of Acoustics, you will find one of two PLEK machines in the Netherlands. This technology is often used by top guitar manufacturers to achieve the perfect tuning and flawless playability of their instruments. We do not use our PLEK machine to build guitars, but rather to tune acoustic and electric guitars with ultimate precision. Besides sound, playability is the most important factor for a quality instrument. Our PLEK service ensures that your dream guitar fits you perfectly!

What is a PLEK machine?

Every guitar has, or develops over time, imperfections. Think of frets that are not quite flat, a neck that is slightly crooked or intonation that is no longer quite right. Thanks to this German technique, you can detect and fix all these imperfections at lightning speed.

A PLEK machine looks like a large, glass display cabinet with a large rack where you can hang an acoustic or electric guitar. But a lot happens in that cabinet, thanks to super-smart, laser-controlled scanning techniques and fine-tuning tools.

​You could think of it as an extra pair of super-sharp eyes AND some extra tools for guitar builders and repairers. The precision offered by a PLEK machine, to a thousandth of a millimetre, is unique.

How does a PLEK machine work?

Firstly, the PLEK machine will analyse the guitar in ‘playing condition’, meaning under full string tension. From here starts the PLEK process:

 The PLEK Process

Data

The PLEK machine evaluates the data and makes a graphic image of this: you can see the difference between the ideal curve (green) and the actual position of the string above each fret (red). Using the collected data, the PLEK machine analyzes the current condition of the neck and determines the optimal adjustment for playability. This includes identifying heights and curvatures of the frets, checking the neck curve and spotting any unevenness in the frets.

Processing

With this data the luthier can set all parameters for processing. With extremely accurate precision, the PLEK uses special milling techniques to place the frets at the ideal height and distance from each other. After milling, the frets are polished and the neck is rescanned to verify that the desired adjustments have been made correctly.

The Scan

The machine scans the guitar neck using advanced sensors. These sensors measure the exact shape and condition of the neck, including any irregularities.



Check and Final Work

 





​When the guitar comes out of the PLEK machine, a luthier does a final check before the finalizing the work.

​While this may sound futuristic, and even a little scary, we're certainly not sacrificing your guitar (and our luthiers' jobs) for this "smart robot." A PLEK machine does nothing by itself. First, the machine only scans the instrument. Only then does a PLEK machine get to work with clear instructions and a push of a button from one of our trained Fellows. All luthiers who operate our PLEK machine have followed training and work with it every week.

Does my guitar need PLEK Service?


With our 'TFOA Gold Standard', every guitar goes out the door ready to play. However, our PLEK option goes one step further.

You can feel the difference because the set-up is the most refined and personal. So even if your guitar is due for a set-up or if you are looking for your sweet spot, the PLEK service will make sure your guitar is a perfect match. With these three 'PLEK guarantees', we can recommend this service to everyone:

The Best Of Man And Machine

Our professional luthiers deliver great work with all their expertise and experience. However, human hands cannot compete with PLEK's consistent precision. With every guitar, the neck and frets can be adjusted to a thousandth of a millimetre. When these two forces come together, you can be sure to get the ideal set-up!

A Set-Up Tailored To Your Taste

A perfect set-up is different for every guitarist/bassist. Do you want a high or just a low action? Are there imperfections that define the very character of an instrument that you want to keep? That's why the PLEK service is tailored to your preferences so you can get the best out of your guitar!

Your Ideal Set-Up Made Visible

​A guitar that matches your exact requirements has a great feeling that you'll notice immediately! But thanks to the PLEK you can also see that magic feeling. The PLEK machine makes a scan of the neck and frets, allowing you to see exactly the state of the neck before and after the PLEK service. Besides valuable information about your guitar, you also have visual proof of your ideal set-up.

How much does a PLEK setup cost?

What a PLEK setup costs depends, among other things, on where you bought the guitar. If you bought it at The Fellowship of Acoustics, our PLEK service is 149 euros. For other guitars we charge 199 euros. The price is the same for acoustic and electric guitars, but please note that some guitars, with (very) offset shapes, without a truss rod or 12-string guitars cannot be placed in the PLEK machine.

Make An Appointment

Want to have your guitar PLEK'd, or have other questions about the setup of your instrument? Feel free to contact us, our Fellows will be happy to help. Of course, we would also love to see you in Dedemsvaart, the coffee is warm!

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