Maximize Your Guitar’s Performance and Playability

Maximize Your Guitar’s Performance and Playability

Sponsored by Santa Cruz Guitar Company:

Over nearly 50 years, Santa Cruz Guitar Company has set the standards for modern acoustic guitar building. For over a decade, part of that standard has been pioneering the use of Plek technology to maximize precision in our builds. Every single instrument that leaves our doors is treated with the Plek machine. Now, we’ve opened the doors to general Plek servicing for your guitar along the Central California Coast. Not just SCGC models – we will also accept other brands for Plek servicing.

The Plek’s ability to modify frets and a fretboard’s surface to the actual shape of the string excursion allows us to achieve ease of play, accuracy of intonation, and improvement of tone unavailable from conventional methods.

The technology isn’t based on opinion or market trends… This is the science of achieving unquestionable precision in your guitar! Existing frets can be precisely aligned and, if a refret is warranted, even more benefits can be achieved!

The Plek itself does not create the added value. It is the precision machinery in combination with the half-a-century knowledge of the master technicians at Santa Cruz Guitar Company. Decades of crafting instruments to the individual tastes and preferences of our customers has given us an advantage in understanding the methods needed to achieve the perfect results every time. 

The Plek and what we do with it is a result of actually watching the string move. Watching a string movement under strobe light is like putting it into slow motion. You can actually see the shape of the string – and it’s not what you’d expect! 

It doesn’t move the most in the middle. In fact when you pluck the string with your right hand it sends a bundle of energy up towards the nut and that bundle of energy is moving the most as it approaches the end of the finger board, not the center. So right above the sound hole to the body of the guitar where the neck joins the body is the most movement and the place where you need the most room between the string and the top of the fret. 

It’s almost what you don’t want to see when you look down your neck – which is like a ski slope. A curvature from the nut to the 14th fret up to a hump and dumping down again. It’s actually exactly what you need but the measurements are so small that the neck can LOOK straight even if you have that slope present. 

This can be done by hand, but the problem for us is twofold: to do this takes at least the better part of a year of experience and training to get good enough to be very intuitive about this and accommodate individual player styles. The next problem is you have about that much time, maybe a little longer of doing this process every day before you develop carpal tunnel syndrome. Really, the ability to ruin your career by hurting yourself. It’s not only unethical but it’s bad business and really really costly.

The Plek machine comes in at this point. What we needed is to do exactly what we wanted as luthiers but eliminate the stress that comes from the hand work of it. The guitar initially goes into the machine and the fretboard surface is scanned under the weight of string tension. The scan gets the shape of the board and the scan shows up on the monitor. The luthier looks at that scan and puts his preferred template on top of that and registers it so the machine now cuts what the luthier wants to see, and it does this automatically and no one gets hurt.

When this is done properly, the guitar plays well, stays in tune, it sounds better, the tone is consistent and you get a level of sophistication that you haven’t found in guitars before. This is a cool thing. We not only keep people from injury but we improve the sound of the instrument.

Contact us at service@santacruzguitar.com to Plek your guitar today!

Subject to demand and capacity your instrument may be serviced at either our Santa Cruz or Clovis California Plek Service stations.

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