Parker What do you Think????

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Tuxx, Aug 18, 2005.

  1. Tuxx

    Tuxx Member

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    It seems there are a ton out there and you dont see a whole lot for sale used.... In the trade here or ebay and such People must be happy with them what do you think?????
     
  2. 908SSP

    908SSP Supporting Member

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    I assume your talking about Parker Guitars? If so those that have really really tried them with an open mind and are prepared to give up on the traditional construction of the guitar since the 50's like them. If you are ready for a Parker you will know, if you aren't that's cool too. Just to clarify when I refer to a Parker I mean the Fly and it's American made siblings.
     
  3. onemind

    onemind Member

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    I love my Fly Deluxe, not always the first axe I reach for, but always a revelation when it comes out of its gig bag. Great sounding, great playing, versatile. For the record the top horn does dig into my ribs when sitting as it does most people though!:eek:
     
  4. Chrome Dinette

    Chrome Dinette Silver Supporting Member

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    I have had a Nite Fly for about 8 years. It's one of the old ones with the basswood neck. I love the thing. I have had many other guitars and, so far, this suits me best. The only thing that I almost liked better was a Steinberger I had for about a year and a half, though the string spacing was narrower and made me crazy. The only other guitars that came close that I have owned were a Hamer Prototype 2 and a T51. The Kahler in one and lack of a bridge humbucker in the other eventually put me off.

    Because of the Steinberger experience, I am having a headless guitar built with stainless frets. In the year and a half I had my Steinberger, I played it so much that the frets wore down to the point I thought they could not be recrowned.

    Thanks to Parker, I only want stainless frets.

    The stock pu's in the Nite Fly were awful, btw. I replaced them with EMG's(81-sa-sa).

    There are some drawbacks. Strung up with 10-46 strings, the neck has what might be a little too much relief for some folks, even with the truss rod as tight as it goes. I assume this is not a problem on the mahogany necked models. Also, the Nite Fly bridge uses two small ball bearings where the string passes over the saddle. I have had these pop out on more than one occasion, rendering the guitar unplayable. I bought a stach of ball bearings and superglued them in place. This may screw up the piezo performance, but mine is an old one without the preamp and I never use them, anyway.
     
  5. cvansickle

    cvansickle Supporting Member

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    I played one of the first production model Flys at the 1994 Summer NAMM show. Aside from the whisper thin neck, I thought it was very well balanced a comfortable to play. The bridge stayed in tune, and the electronics were top notch. It took a little getting used to, but so has every new guitar I've ever tried. They had it hooked up to a Marshall tube combo with a Vox Tone Bender pedal in front and a Vox Valve Effects Loop Buffer in the loop (not sure what other effects were being buffered). This rig was capable of old and new rock sounds. A fine guitar.
     
  6. Crazyquilt

    Crazyquilt Guitar Dad Silver Supporting Member

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    I owned a Fly Deluxe for about a year, after having lusted after them pretty much since I first saw/heard about them. I found it to be among the most comfortable guitars I've ever played, andi I loved the piezo pups.

    However, I wound up selling it for two reasons: The stock DiMarzios, imnsho, were terrible, and changing pickups on a Parker is not a simple process. Also, because it was an older Parker (bought used) the middle position had a distinct volume drop, which I really, really disliked.

    Finally, I'm just temperamentally more a single-coil guy. I've considered a NiteFly or a Southern Fly (or the import, less expensive, P38) but it's not likely.
     
  7. mbratch

    mbratch Member

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    I have a NiteFly SA, 2000 model I think. So it's got the latest pickups and goodies, but just not the "auto sensing" stereo thing.

    I purchased this guitar because it has received really great reviews in general, and I was looking for the H/S/S configuration and acoustic transducer selection. Very versatile.

    I think the guitar design and looks are really nice. I have a transparent red model with ash body, and it looks simply beautiful. The style is not for everyone, but I find them appealing (I'm not hung up on the traditional). The horn never bothered me as I don't lean into my guitar when I play sitting down. The stainless steel frets and neck are awesome for playability and durability.

    On the down-side, I don't play this guitar much. It has the stock DiMarzio pickups. I find the single coils to be very harsh in the high register, so I have to turn the tone knob down to about 5 out of 10. But when I do that, the HB in the bridge loses crispness and grind. The Bridge + Middle position has weak output as admitted by Parker support when I contacted them. In short, I couldn't find any settings that were inspiring to me.

    I did a lot of querying regarding replacing the pickups of support and others. Most people told me that it's the nature of the construction of the guitar and if I was open minded I would get used to it and love it. This never happened.

    I was very concerned about spending a bunch of time and money trying different pickups in this guitar, so I simply haven't played it and am considering selling it.
     
  8. malabarmusic

    malabarmusic Member

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    All I know is watching Adrian Belew live, working his Parker Fly, was an astonishing experience. Even running through modeling amps, he got downright righteous tones. Every time I've picked one up, though, the thin neck carve makes it a non-starter. Has Parker ever offered different neck shapes?

    - DB
     
  9. 908SSP

    908SSP Supporting Member

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    The new Dimarzios for the Fly since 2000 are a big improvement over the old and are a piece of cake to change. The weak output in the middle magnetic pickup selector can be fixed in about ten minutes another piece of cake. I changed to Kinman single coils and an Airzone pickup on my Nitefly makes a nice improvement. No one should give up on a guitar that plays as well as these. There is a dedicated Parker forum now so those of us that are or should be committed have a place to find some kindred spirits. Being an outsider in the guitar world is probably the Flys biggest negative.


    Parker Forum
     
  10. RickC

    RickC Gold Supporting Member

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    The Nitefly does have a chunkier neck than the standard thin neck carve; not a huge difference, but enough to make it playable for me.

    Sounds like all the Niteflys mentioned so far have been H-S-S. Mine has two humbuckers; I like this configuration on Niteflys the best.

    /rick
     
  11. Redbell

    Redbell Member

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    I like mine, It's a great Gig guitar!
    It took me awhile to get used to it though.
     
  12. I think my Parker Fly Classic is the easiest playing guitar I've ever had the pleasure of handling. I play jazz but I needed a lightweight guitar and therefore bought the Fly. It is a joy to play every single time I pick it up and sounds very good for jazz. I can't comment on its tone as a rock guitar since that's not my bag, but for playing the Fly is sheer pleasure.

    Good luck with your search.

    Alan Tomlinson
     
  13. mbratch

    mbratch Member

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    I had checked with Parker on my specific model and they said I had the latest stock pickups.

    I had and have no predisposed opinions against parker. I think their guitars are works of art. My NiteFly SA (H/S/S configuration) is so good looking and has such a nice neck, it makes me want to play it. But, when I do, it just doesn't yield satisfying tones.

    What support people at both Parker and DiMarzio told me when I complained about the sound of the pickups. They basically told me, "well, you can try other pickups if you want, but be aware that the Parker is fundamentally different than others so don't expect other pickups will do what you think they're going to do to improve the tone." And I corresponded with a Parker employee who supposedly was involved in the pickup selection for the NiteFly SA, and he said that the stock pickups were the best sounding ones they could find, having tried it through various amps. These factors discouraged me from going on what could be a long, expensive hunt for the right pickups.

    The middle pickup is actually OK by itself. The weakest sound was bridge plus middle. I helped it along by rewiring slightly to keep the HB in full HB mode (not split) when in that position. But it was still not a satisfying sound. I was able to coax a nice sound out of the neck, but I had to turn the tone down to about 1/2 to rid it of a very harsh, shrill high end. But with the tone knob there, the mixes positions and the bridge position lost all their sparkle.

    I really wanted to like this guitar. Like I said, I had no predisposed notions or thoughts against parker. I was just simply very dissatisfied with the tone, and didn't see an assured path to improving it. Maybe there's a way to rewire everything to make it better as well, but then again, why is it necessary?

    Again, this is with one particular Parker model. They make many, and I'm sure some of them sound awesome out of the box.
     
  14. drolling

    drolling Member

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    As a longtime tele player, I got sucked in by the looks of the new P-36 model (2 parker single coil alnico p-ups w/ fishman piezo in the bridge) and have been having lots of fun with it. Neck profile's a lot chunkier than a Fly, med-jumbo traditional frets (not glued-on stainless steel, like the Flys) and a control layout that's just like a tele, with an extra vol. knob for the fishman p-up.

    The magnetic pickups are pretty weak, but because they're 'humbucking' in the middle position, I can use tons of compression & distortion without all the buzz & hum that I get from my tele. The Fishman piezo pickup sounds really good (to me) and I run that clean thru' an acoustic amp.

    The P series are made in Korea and set up at their US plant. Cool, cheap guitars with a *different* look.

    I use mine for my one-man looping excursions. For normal music, I still prefer a telecaster.
     
  15. Chrome Dinette

    Chrome Dinette Silver Supporting Member

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  16. Tuxx

    Tuxx Member

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    Thanks for the info guys ...... It helped
     
  17. Lucidology

    Lucidology Member

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    The split coil tone of the Older Parker Fly's
    is one of the best/stronger humbucker split's I've ever experenced...

    Actually prefer the 1st generation pickups to the newer versions...
    The 1st generation DiMarzio humbuckers take on a very hi-fly
    like quality in the Parker's very thin body...
    Moi's preference... :YinYang
     
  18. thelionsden

    thelionsden Member

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  19. thelionsden

    thelionsden Member

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    My guitar is a late 90's model, dunno if it has what you refer to as the first generation p/ups but I agree about the split tone..sparkling, probably the best tone that comes out of this guitar.. There was a time where I would just leave it there for everything.. part of the reason tho was because the switch was so hard to access to change to something else on the (dare I say it) fly. :)

    I really need to change out that switch. Its not in a good spot but even worse you have to get both finger and thumb on it to switch it..Easy to bump the knobs while doing so.

    The humbucker tones sound just a bit sterile to me clean, but they overdrive pretty well IMO.
     
  20. ZenFly06

    ZenFly06 Member

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    My '99 is my goto guitar for everything. (also have a '76 Yamaha SG2000). It is a Parker Fly Classic natural mahagony, and I had it modded with RMC pickups/13 pin out. I also moved the pickup switch to a more convenient area, tapped both pickups and went point to point wiring in the whole thing.

    THere is no better neck on the planet. The p/us are just fine, but you have to know to use the tone control (which actually works on Parkers) to tame the bright a bit.

    Can't go back after you bond with a Parker, IMHO. My only option would be another one.

    If you want more feedback, they have a forum at the Parker guitar website that's worth checking out.

    Good luck, and have fun!
     

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