PLEK Guitar Service at Andertons Music Co.

Do you want your electric, acoustic or bass guitar to play perfectly? A PLEK machine will perform the most comprehensive possible setup for your instrument, so that it'll feel better than ever before! Andertons is one of just a handful of UK retailers that proudly offers this premium service.

What is PLEK?

A PLEK machine is a computer-controlled, state-of-the-art fret levelling tool/system which, in the hands of an experienced tech, can provide the best possible fret job for your guitar. It accurately levels/dresses frets to within one-thousandth of an inch, cuts nut slots for the ideal string height/action, and offers extremely advanced setup functions to ultimately enhance the playability of your guitar.


This incredibly sophisticated, computer-controlled machine scans and evaluates the frets along the length of the neck — precisely capturing over 6000 data points and diagnosing any faults or inconsistencies that it finds. It will then compare the neck to stored optimal values, and using precision robotic tools, imparts the best balance of playability with minimum string height. The result is a faultless fingerboard that feels like it has been lovingly crafted by an expert luthier, with every note ringing out clearly.


In PLEK’s own words, they’re “making the world’s best guitars even better” with their pioneering German engineering and expertise. This is why PLEK machines are widely used across the industry by some of the world’s biggest guitar brands, including Gibson, Martin and Taylor. And now, more and more musical instrument retailers like ourselves are investing in guitar PLEK machines and offering this stellar service to customers and their guitars.


How Do I Know If My Guitar Should Be PLEK’d?

Many musicians will purchase brand new guitars that play almost perfectly out of the box. But over time, issues will inevitably crop up that affect their setup — ultimately hindering how they play. This is normal, and often the result of general wear-and-tear and a guitar’s exposure to varying conditions and climates.


There are a few tell-tale signs that indicate whether your guitar is in need of some work, such as buzzing areas on the fingerboard, string bends choking (sometimes referred to as “fretting-out”), or just the action being too high/low for your preferred style. If any of these issues apply to your guitar, then it is clear that your instrument has some sort of setup issue that can probably be resolved via a guitar PLEK machine.


Is PLEK Worth It?

In our opinion, yes — absolutely. We might sound biased saying that, of course, but we know that combining the expertise of an experienced guitar tech with the laser-accurate PLEK process yields spectacular results. For guitar technicians, a PLEK machine is a tool that can take their skills to a whole new level — taking a lot of the effort out of fretwork and raising the bar in terms of exactness and overall quality control.


Having said that, the outcome of a PLEK job really does depend on the state of the instrument beforehand. On a cheap and poorly-setup guitar with substandard fretwork, the difference can be dramatic. However, on a good-quality instrument with a semi-decent setup, the results may be more subtle with just some slightly noticeable refinement.


What if you have an instrument that was PLEK’d during production? Even if that is the case, getting a guitar PLEK’d again for your individual playing style and requirements can be a good idea, because no instrument factory can ever truly know the individual guitarist that they are building for. A PLEK service can therefore be a way of further personalising your guitar to suit your own needs.


What Does a PLEK Machine Do To My Guitar?

We’d understand if you felt daunted by the prospect of a machine handling your precious guitar. But don’t worry, it will be safe and sound during the entire PLEK process! First of all, your guitar will be loaded into the machine by one of our experts. There would be no need to adjust the instrument beforehand, as the PLEK will perform an initial scan to identify any issues that the instrument may have. The strings are left on, as this preliminary scan needs to be performed under normal string tension.


After it has completed the first scan, our technicians will know:


  • Whether the truss rod needs to be tightened and by how much.
  • Whether the nut and bridge need to be adjusted or replaced — overall or for individual strings.
  • What the overall shape of the fingerboard is.
  • What the neck relief is under each individual string, and whether it is as good as it could be.
  • The height of the frets, and whether there are any potential buzzing issues*.
  • Whether the fret radius needs to be changed anywhere on the fingerboard.


*If there are buzzing issues, then our technicians will see how much fret material needs to be removed to achieve optimal playability. Or perhaps, they'll realise that your frets are so worn down that they will need to be partially or completely replaced.


In addition, we can also try out various fret dressing options and solutions in the safety of the software environment. This is known as a “Virtual Fret Dress”.


Once we have performed a virtual fret dress, the strings will be removed, and the guitar will be placed back into the PLEK machine. It will then perform another scan and use these measurements to begin the fret dress. After completion, the guitar will be removed, re-strung, and tuned. It is then loaded back into the PLEK machine for a final scan to check that the desired standards have been achieved. The guitar is then removed and the fret polishing, action height adjustment, and intonation settings will be performed by one of our skilled guitar technicians.


How Much Does It Cost To PLEK a Guitar?

Andertons is one of just a few exclusive retailers in the UK with a PLEK machine. As you can imagine, this was a luxury investment, so a PLEK service will therefore cost £100 more than our standard setup charges:


All PLEK services will require new strings that will be added to the cost, unless provided. We cannot offer a guitar PLEK service without the rest of the setup for a lower fee. At this time, we are only offering PLEK bookings in our Guildford store.


Due to the risk of shipping damage, we are also unable to ship guitars back after the service is completed. We normally process and complete PLEK setups within 7-10 business days of receipt at our warehouse, provided other work or spare parts are not required. This may change subject to our current workload.


Want To Learn More?

For more information on our PLEK guitar service and additional terms & conditions, please click here. If you have any further questions, contact our customer service team via our online contact form.