US Music is shutting down Parker USA.

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by PiRaSSiC, Jan 30, 2016.

  1. Help!I'maRock!

    Help!I'maRock! Member

    Messages:
    9,972
    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2008
    Location:
    Capital City
    My fault, I should have been more specific. IMO, it was only a matter of time before US Music shuttered the brand. They had no idea what to do with it from the start. This is just the inevitable ending. Which is sad, because Ken Parker is a true visionary.
     
    PiRaSSiC likes this.
  2. PiRaSSiC

    PiRaSSiC Member

    Messages:
    122
    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2015
    Fun. I find Parker Necks (from the Ken Parker era) the best necks in the industry.
     
    DR5Guy likes this.
  3. RJLII

    RJLII Member

    Messages:
    9,870
    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2009
    Location:
    Michiana
    The craftsmanship was amazing. They just didn't fit my hand well. I'm a Nocaster kind of guy.
     
    PiRaSSiC likes this.
  4. monwobobbo

    monwobobbo Member

    Messages:
    5,534
    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2010
    Location:
    North Chili, NY
    always sad to see US guitars not being made any more. i've only played 2 Parkers over the years and found them to be high quality guitars. the feel etc wasn't for me though. saw a blues band a couple of years back with the guitar player playing one. not the first guitar i think of when playing blues but it sounded pretty good.
     
    PiRaSSiC likes this.
  5. King Loudness

    King Loudness Member

    Messages:
    712
    Joined:
    May 13, 2008
    Location:
    Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Well, I had two "refined" Deluxe models that ran into a whole host of problems that I've never had on any other instrument, which at this point the tally is close to 200.

    1. The electronics malfunctioned on both models within a very short time (a month or two at least). This included piezo saddles going bad, switches going bad, and I believe even the volume and tone pots had some issues.

    2. The hardware (tuners, bridge, pickup pole pieces even) oxidized and corroded to varying levels within a very short time on both of my guitars. I've never had issues with rust on any other instrument I've owned, unless it was already there when I acquired it; perhaps a used or vintage model. Given that I've never had this happen on another guitar even with heavy use, I can only chalk it up to some issue with the guitars I had and the metals used.

    3. The frets ended up falling off at least one of mine, and by then the dealer where I bought the guitar had gone out of business and the Parker company/distributor was of no help, so we had to do the repair ourselves. I later traded the guitar (with full disclosure) to a friend who had the same thing happen. Last I heard it was traded into a GC somewhere in the States and good luck to whomever was the final purchaser...

    Also, brownie points to the Canadian distributor for being nearly useless to work with. When it became obvious that my first instrument was defective, they did send the required parts to have it fixed, but after numerous part failures (within a year) I told them I wanted a new guitar. It took the dealer several months to procure one and it wasn't without major grievance on the distributor's part. I can't say that was mine or USM's problem specifically but it certainly added a lot of undue tension.

    It's a shame, really. I loved the guitar for the weight, the playability, and the tonal variation, but I can't even look at one without remembering all that hassle. I was very young at the time and this was my first experience getting a "good" guitar (previous to this, I had almost entirely played used import model guitars). C'est la vie...

    W.
     
  6. 9fingers

    9fingers Supporting Member

    Messages:
    6,744
    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2005
    Location:
    Hills of WV
    I have 2 Ken Parker era Flys and they have ruined me for other guitars. It is certainly a matter of personal taste though. They have playability and clarity of tone that is unequalled for me, humbucker oomph with single coil clarity. As a designer I love the shape but it is certainly a departure form 50s designs.

    It is very hard guitar to make properly. Ken Parker is a unique genius and I wouldn't envy anyone else trying to build a Fly "right". In an interview, he said that one of the reasons he sold the company is that he got tired of makning $10,000 guitars that he had to sell for $3,000.

    I'm very glad a have a couple and I totally understand USM not wanting to try to live up the Ken Parker vision with them. It would be pretty impossible.
     
    DR5Guy likes this.
  7. Kurt L

    Kurt L Member

    Messages:
    3,756
    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2007
    Location:
    Outer Austin, TX
    My condolences to Parker fans. I remember how bummed I was when Hamer shut down...
     
    Hbom likes this.
  8. John C

    John C Supporting Member

    Messages:
    5,010
    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2002
    Location:
    Kansas City
  9. PiRaSSiC

    PiRaSSiC Member

    Messages:
    122
    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2015
    This is exactly the kind of lacklustre management US Music put into the brand.
    Why buying it in the first place if you can't put a vision in it?
     
  10. PiRaSSiC

    PiRaSSiC Member

    Messages:
    122
    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2015
    They kind of carried on until the end of 2015.
    They stopped taking custom shop orders and they officially are "looking for a new production facility" for US made guitars.
    They will continue producing the imports, which are a totally different cup of tea.
     
  11. JPIndustrie

    JPIndustrie Member

    Messages:
    958
    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2007
    Location:
    NYC
    Exactly - another textbook example of bad business -

    me too foreign-production based product marketing techniques and a failure to innovate and capitalize on their core brand led to this be a bomb in the making - these failings were probably more apparent during the shrinkage of years '08-10 and left them unable to recover..

    I hope a lot of the executives there that moved on learned some lessons
     
  12. Help!I'maRock!

    Help!I'maRock! Member

    Messages:
    9,972
    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2008
    Location:
    Capital City
    highly unlikely.
     
  13. Matt L

    Matt L Supporting Member

    Messages:
    11,052
    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2011
    Location:
    Southern Maine
    I made this same comparison to a friend who owns a Majesty. He added a Fly not long after that..lol.

    I had an early Fly Deluxe (95-96?). Loved playing it, but couldn't deal with that horn.
     
  14. Tim Plains

    Tim Plains Supporting Member

    Messages:
    5,011
    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2009
    Location:
    ON
    I always liked the design and the thin neck is the only reason I never bought one.
     
  15. PiRaSSiC

    PiRaSSiC Member

    Messages:
    122
    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2015
    You should check a Nitelfy out then :)
     
  16. mc5nrg

    mc5nrg Member

    Messages:
    8,838
    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2004
    Location:
    DC, Philly, Asquared, Upper Michigan
    Circa late 80s more or less, Korg and Parker had some sort of connection. When I was then working MI retail, our Korg rep, Ken C., talked up these new advanced guitars that were coming out with a projected price point of around $500.In the same general ballpark we sold Am Std stratocasters. That never quite materialized as predicted, probably because of production costs. Quite a contrast to the above info.

    IIRC, US Music has ended USA production for other brands they have acquired.
     
  17. PiRaSSiC

    PiRaSSiC Member

    Messages:
    122
    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2015
    I think (but I may be wrong) that Korg kind of "backed" Parker financially because their guitar making process required specialized machinery that was very unusual at the time ... and still is I guess.
     
  18. technomancer

    technomancer Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,302
    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2007
    They closed the US factory months ago, it was the same facility as the US Washburn custom shop... this isn't new.
     
    Cal Webway likes this.
  19. Deed_Poll

    Deed_Poll Member

    Messages:
    3,080
    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2013
    I hated the only one I ever played, but I am sad they are gone. I actually think they look super cool.
     
  20. PiRaSSiC

    PiRaSSiC Member

    Messages:
    122
    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2015
    sorry for posting old news then .. any updates about US (or high end) production coming back anytime soon?
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice