When it comes to buying/ordering new acoustic and classical guitars, getting a properly intonated guitar seems to be quite a gamble; something I've noticed even on more expensive guitars and it's an element that often gets neglected by guitar makers/factories (at this day and age and with all the technology, optimizing the saddle and making sure that the guitar plays in tune so when you tune the open strings it stays in tune on the 5th, 7th and 12th fret as well, or in other words; along the neck, it really should be a given. If you bought a new synth or some other instrument that cannot be ''tuned'' you would return it, but somehow in the guitar making industry it gets considered normal to sell new guitars with expectation that we should carry a new guitar to some local guitar shop to have it fixed... Not all people have guitar shops with such a service in the vicinity, you know! Besides, it's a new guitar! New products should come properly working from the start). Ok, enough of the rant, now to the Thomann Plek Service.
I've bought a 400euro nylon-string guitar and since I've expected it might come with bad intonation (also, I don't really have a local guitar shop where I might take the instrument so the saddle could be fixed), I've decided to order the Plek service too. It was my first time ordering it, so I really didn't know what to expect and what's the procedure. On the service page it says that ''after orders have been placed, a personal consultation with the specialist department is required''. I wasn't contacted by any department specialist nor I was given any instructions about who should I contact if I need to do it myself. After a week or so of waiting, the service appeared to be done and soon, the guitar arrived.
I cannot make before/after comparisons; it was a new guitar, ordered from Thomann at the same time, on which the PLEK service was performed. I was pretty much pleased with the saddle and the intonation; I can say that among all the new guitars that I've tried (with some in the 1600 price range), this one finally had a properly adjusted saddle where every string seemed to be in tune when comparing the open string harmonics and 12th fret. Also, since I didn't got the chance to give my preferences to the department specialist, I was afraid about how they'll set the string action and that it might be too low (I am a classically trained guitarist with strong attack, so I prefer the nylon-string guitars to be set up in such way to be able to handle loud playing), My fears proved unwarranted; they did a good job with the string action; it wasn't low but also not too high. I could play reasonably loud without strings buzzing, but still the guitar was reasonably easy to play.
What is this room for improvement I've mentioned in the heading? Well first, you Thomann should be more clear and give detailed instructions about how this ''personal consultation'' will be performed. If the instructions should be put in the ''Special message'' area when placing the order (or an email should be sent somewhere or anything), then you should say so on the PLEK service page. It will prevent possible misunderstandings regarding the service itself and the customers will know exactly what to do.
Also, presumably the PLEK service is being performed by creating a new saddle? After the service is done and when you ship the guitar, I think it would be fair to include the ''old'' saddle with which the guitar originally came from the factory and to send it together with the guitar. (I've got only the new saddle that was installed on the guitar). I think people would like to have the original one as well; I certainly would, for comparison purposes or to serve as a spare. Besides; we did pay for it when we bought the guitar, right?