Plek on Bass Guitar?

Hey Everyone,

I recently got a fender jazz bass, but it was some weird string buzz issues I have never faced before. I got the guitar for a deal and planning on getting it Plek’d. I searched the forum and we do not have a thread on this but did see @T_dub got it done and liked it. I take some pictures before and after. Anyone got this service done before? In Portland you cant get a set-up for less than $80 and the last one I got done they chipped my neck swapping the guitar nut… So I would rather pay for a legit service that works. LMK your thoughts.

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It’s awesome; Gibson pleks almost everything from the factory now. Definitely takes the human element out of the equation, but it’s probably more expensive than just getting a few high frets leveled. If you have to ship your guitar to have it done it’s still going to be a gamble just like an incompetent luthier tho

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I think any bass can benefit from being plek’d, but it is expensive ($200-$300). I would really have to be committed to a bass to sink in that additional cost, and it would be tough to do if I was chasing down a buzz that I couldn’t identify the cause. You should be able to check how far out of wack your frets are by using a small straight edge or fret rocker and checking three frets at a time. If I just found one out of wack, I would just address that one fret with a file. If I found multiple fret problems, I really would want to have a good luthier look at it to make sure there isn’t something else wrong before sending it off. By then you are already in for $100!

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IMHO, chances are that a good pro setup would cure your Jazz buzzing ills. Plek is great, especially if your bass has mechanical issues, e.g., needs multiple fret leveling, neck work, etc. Either way you go, your bass will play better. Good luck.

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I was gonna drive to Seattle and have Mike Lull guitars do it for me. Mabey catch a krakens match while I am up there.

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Plek’ing may not fix the fret buzz, you might have another issue other than the frets. Best to find the root before investing in a plek job.

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I have a bass guitar that was Plek’d. It came from the factory liked that. I know Sweetwater does Plek’ing and got good reviews for their work. I liked the Plek’d bass a lot. As far as fixing the bass for buzz, I was able to get this bass pretty cheap because someone had the action way too low and that was causing buzzing.

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I totally understand. I set up both my guitars and my ibanez ehb. they play like butter, but the jazz bass is just weird for some reason. Also its a copy of a 60’s bass. So every time I adjust the truss rod, I have to take the neck off and its a total PITA. I have done it like 4 times and am throwing in the towel lol. The buzz is also a backbuzz. So when I play an octave with 8th fret E string and 10th fret d string its buzz’s on the 7th fret of the E string so I can mute it with my index finger and play the root with my middle. I’d rather not change my technique for the guitar lol

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Lol yeah I liked my p basses but Gibson puts their truss rod nut in the right place

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Someone cares to explain to a beginner what “Plek”/“Pleking” is or does? I thought it was slang for pick :smiley: (which in italian is “Plettro”)

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Basically a computer levels the frets.

It does a few other things like saddle and string alignment but fret alignment seems to be the main benefit.

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This is the TL;DR version, @f.guerrieri yes :smiley:

https://www.sweetwater.com/shop/guitars/plek/index.php

Sweetwater charges $250 ($250 was a year ago… FFS it’s a computerized process, what’s with the $50 upcharge? lol jerks…) $300 for that, too. Interestingly enough, I had no idea they did at all and that link they just want you to call. I only found this when looking for what plek’ing was…

Current pricing:
https://www.sweetwater.com/shop/guitars/guitar-repair-shop/

Some opinions, but this is just one thread (and where the $250 in 2021 came from):

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Amazing that manufacturers want customers to pay for their manufacturing irregularities so that an instrument plays properly.
So much for quality control :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

When I purchased my Yamaha TRBX504, in Feb 2021, I talked to Yamaha directly about this and they assured me that this was something that was done by Yamaha after the manufacturing of all their Basses, they said it was just part of their normal quality control. Makes sense. :+1: :+1: :+1:

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Lakland Plek all their basses too, even the Skyline range. I’ve only ever played one of their basses (very recently) and it was pretty much perfect.

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Yep was just about to mention that my two Laklands were both Plek’d at the factory, and felt great out of the box

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Here is a good video that shows the whole process and explains what Plek does and what it doesn’t do.

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lol this is the next video on YouTube after another video I am watching XD

I’ve noticed a LOT of people seem to equate a plek job and a setup as the same thing. But it isn’t. The Plek machine levels/crowns the frets. A human comes in afterward and dresses/polishes and does a setup.

My biggest takeaway from all this is: do not get an instrument plek’d unless you are dead set on your string brand and gauge, and the tuning. And it’s still prone to operator error :eyes: But it might also tell you it only needs a better setup XD $300 to be told that would be a big oof (lol not that anyone doing the plek’ing would tell you :eyes: Edit apparently the company in that video only charges $35 if it scans perfect and just needs a setup)

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It just makes sense to do this before a customer makes a purchase IMHO.
Another good reason to be able to try before buying but that is not possible for a lot of people.

I only have 1 music store within 60 miles of my house and learned the hard way many years ago that setups were just a cash grab for them.

Bass setups are one thing but acoustic guitar set ups can be a lot more involved.

When I was looking to buy an $800 Taylor Electric acoustic guitar the one I wanted had level frets but did have fret sprout and the intonation was way off. I was told that to fix the fret sprout and intonation issues I would have to pay $200-300 to fix the issues. So I purchased a Yamaha Electric Acoustic, from a different store, and all was fine right out of the box.

I feel sorry for first time buyers that do not know what to check when purchasing an instrument and have always told them to take somebody with them that can give them advice.

I own a few Yamaha stringed instruments and have never had issues with quality and I cannot say enough good things about their customer service for aftermarket parts. As a case in point, I purchased a couple of replacement nuts for my TRBX504, direct from Yamaha, and the total price including shipping was only $15 Canadian.

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This person kinda did as they call “a poor man’s plek” doing manual measurements:

Edit There is one shop in my area that does this service, I’m intrigued but not committed… maybe for the C-5 GT, it’s just about perfect with EB Cobalts so I could consider getting it done with those.

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I plek a few of my basses. The service is not that much more than or same as what you pay the same people to do the job. My shop charge $80 for setup and $100-$140 for fret work mainly leveling(fret replacement starts at $400. Plek service is $200 that’s includes setup.

So with that logic, sometimes it’s just easier just to pay the $200 and get the setup and fret service and polish. Now, I either set aside time and do it myself the leveling/polish and setup or just sent it out. In general I’d do it myself but last few times I found myself thinking at about the second hour mark “why didn’t I pay someone to do this?”

Since it usually includes setup it’s nice to know what you like, so your instrument could be setup just how you like it.

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