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Sweetwater Plek- “Worth It”???

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by El_Charro, Apr 10, 2021.

  1. El_Charro


    Aug 11, 2020
    Hi Everybody,

    Has anyone here ever had their bass setup with a Plek machine like the one Sweetwater is advertising???:

    Plek Your New Guitar | Sweetwater

    If so-Was that service “worth it”???

    $250 seems a bit steep in my book-About half that price and I’d probably be more onboard, but the next bass I get I was thinking about potentially adding it especially if I go with something under $1000 (I would think that as a general rule higher end instruments probably don’t necessarily need quite as much attention)...

    I’m not associated with them or any one else, so not trying to “sell” anyone on it-Just wondering if anyone on here has used this or a similiar machine service on their neck and if so I’m curious how it impacted your instrument’s playability...

    Thanks! \m/
    Brich likes this.
  2. Lenny JG

    Lenny JG

    Aug 3, 2019
    Woah dude that's kinda crazy
    El_Charro likes this.
  3. El_Charro


    Aug 11, 2020
    Lol-Crazy as in potentially a good idea or crazy as in potentially overpriced???

    Thanks! \m/
  4. SJan3


    Dec 8, 2010
    The only instrument I bought brand new that was factory pleked, it was a $3000 bass, played no better than my other basses that are on average 50% to 75% less money and not pleked. YMMV
    legalbass, Artman, Jeff Scott and 4 others like this.
  5. Ampslut


    May 15, 2017
    My G&L JB-5 I traded a PB-5 for came with a paper saying it had been factory plek'd. I didn't find it playing any better than my other basses I have setup myself.
  6. El_Charro


    Aug 11, 2020
    Thank you (helpful)...

    Agree that a more expensive bass is not necessarily “better” over something less expensive that’s functional (like many things you can purchase), but thank you for sharing your experience...

    Follow up question-What kind of bass did you buy (pictures?)...

    Thanks! \m/
    mcnach likes this.
  7. SJan3


    Dec 8, 2010
    It's gone now so no pics. It was a Suhr Classic J. It played very well, but no better than my Fenders. The point is I didn't notice any appreciable difference from my less expensive basses. I've bought and sold many basses over the years and if I kept one it wasn't because it was pleked.
  8. elgranluis


    Feb 14, 2003
    Vail, CO
    Jaco didn’t plek his bass.

    Leo fender didn’t plek the 1951 precision.

    now that I have your attention, I think that SW offering this service is Brilliant. You can Plek absolutely anything on their catalogue. Even if the price seems expensive , I’m always happy to pay more for what I want , if It’s a one stop solution.
  9. mmbongo

    mmbongo Regular Human Bartender Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    That's actually a pretty good price compared to other places that do a Plek. I sent my Roscoe back to Keith for him to Plek it, but my Roscoe was also 20 years old. Made a great difference in that bass.

    Is it worth it on a new bass? Well, something like a Squier or Ibanez would probably benefit from it but then a $300 bass becomes a $550 bass. Might as well just buy a $550 bass.

    In other words, I think it's great for older instruments that need light fretwork.
    backin82, El_Charro, ajkula66 and 3 others like this.
  10. ajkula66


    Sep 23, 2016
    I've owned a couple of basses that were plek'd at the factory, not by Sweetwater so I can't comment on the quality of their particular offering.

    It is a nice touch BUT like with many other things in life, the quality of the work performed depends on the operator of the machine.

    To me personally, a brand new bass that requires/can benefit from a SW plek is a bass that would be going back where it came from on day one. There should be no need for such work on a brand new instrument IMO.

    With that being said, I'd have no problem spending $250 or possibly a bit more on a plek job on a valuable (to me) used instrument.

    My $0.02 only...
  11. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    I'm thinking of having several instruments PLEKed to address fretwork problems. I agree with the comments above, it shouldn't be necessary on a brand new bass.
    MCF, Mastermold and El_Charro like this.
  12. Chrisk-K


    Jan 20, 2010
    AZ, USA
    It’s worth as much as their 55 point inspection.
    9c1ny, OregonJim, BadJazz and 15 others like this.
  13. staurosjohn

    staurosjohn Supporting Member

    Jun 15, 2010
    Nottingham, MD
    I, pretty much, get all my basses Plek’d (by Phil Jacoby @ www.philtone.com ) - once I’m fairly certain I’ll keep (it) for awhile. It is an investment - but really helps with playability! For the $250.00 he charges he’ll also roll the fretboard & dress frets. Maybe he ‘throws that in’ since I give him business - but really make a noticeable difference!

    I use all of my basses as a platform for modding - as I have specific ‘things’ I want on them & out of them... so, once I mod to my liking - I Plek. The only ‘keeper’ I haven’t had to Plek is my first FrankenFender - which has a GL (MIJ) neck (modded with a P waterslide as I put it on a P body)... that neck is solid - as is!!

    I just got my 2021 Fender Player P back (with the above mentioned treatment)... very smooth!! I’ve also had a few Squiers that I’ve had it done on... (you) have to ‘toss out’ of your brain that you’re paying $250.00 to treat a bass you paid $250.00 for - or it seems a waste. Phil let’s me know if ‘it’s a good piece of wood’ before he does it... I buy a lot from SW - but not sure you’d get advice such as this.

    My (final thoughts) :D are... if you like the instrument & think you’ll keep it for awhile (this is TB after all :smug:) go for it!!

    All of these Plek’d except the GL (blackie) :thumbsup: (I’ve Plek’d 3 or 4 others that have, since, been sold)
    Oly White neck is American Special
    3TSB is, aforementioned, Player
    50’s is an Allparts (modded by a company in Cali)

  14. Smooth_bass88

    Smooth_bass88 vaxx! Supporting Member

    Oct 31, 2006
    North AMERICA, USA
    All a PLEK machine does is replce a highly skilled luthier. It does the work in a fraction of the tme. So in theory, it should be impossible to tell whether your instrument has been plek'ed vs. having been worked on by hand.
  15. Geri O

    Geri O Endorsing Artist, Mike Lull Guitars and Basses Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 6, 2013
    Florence, MS
    There had to be one….
  16. Despite the software, it's only as good as the operator. Personally speaking, if a brand new bass NEEDS it, I need to be looking at another bass, and I'd agree it's a great way to double the price of an inexpensive Squier, Ibanez, etc. I understand the process, but I'm not convinced: For a bass that's a little off, I'd take it to a first-class tech, and I'm not sure how much PLEK could reel in a truly 'off' axe on its own. I far prefer a really qualified tech.
    Artman, El_Charro and fhm555 like this.
  17. oaklandthumb


    Nov 12, 2014
    Midwest USA
    Yes, it's worth it. I've had around 7 basses Plekd from them over the last 5 years, most times owning the same model without a Plek to compare. Unless it's a high end bass (which doesn't mean it'll be perfect either) I will usually just wait for Sweetwater to get it in stock so they can Plek it and/or install one of their bone nuts.

    A good tech can get the same results, but I've lived in places for the last 10 years where they aren't readily available, and even then the turn around is usually a month. Of the 5 best playing basses I've owned, 3 of them were Plekd and relatively inexpensive.
  18. Huw Phillips

    Huw Phillips Life is like TV if the channel sucks change it Supporting Member

    Jan 4, 2019
    Some charge double that
    El_Charro likes this.
  19. RichSnyder

    RichSnyder Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    Don’t look at it as a percentage of the instruments value. $250 is the cost of the service and a full fret leveling by a competent luthier is probably going to cost you more. One thing to consider if done by Sweetwater is that it’s now a modified instrument, can you still return it if you don’t like something else about it? And if so, unlikely that you’ll be refunded your PLEK cost. But on the flip side, if you don’t have someone nearby that can PLEK instruments, your cost is going to be a lot higher with shipping added both ways.
  20. JeezyMcNuggles


    Feb 23, 2018
    Santa Maria, CA
    I suck, but nobody really notices
    That'd be worth it if you can get it done for $100. Because a fret leveling at a shop is about $100. And dude spends time with your instrument. It's not a machine that pops the frets down and hands it back to you. It's a person who feels the instrument, and dresses it according to experience, needs, and expectations.
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2021
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