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Parker's Fly Deluxe

  • 1998 1 Nov
Parker's Fly Deluxe
by Bruce Adolph, courtesy of %%Christian Musician%%

I remember playing the prototype of the Parker guitar years ago at a NAMM Show. The buzz on the instrument was this whole new concept for a guitar, encompassing play-ability, sound and looks. As I walked into the demo area I heard a classic guitar sound coming out of this wild looking electric guitar body. The Parker product specialist ran through a number of great guitar sounds, a whole gamut of electric tones and then seemingly on the fly, would switch to acoustic sounds. I remember thinking to myself, "Now this is a totally new animal, how do they do that?" The answer lies in two different pick-up systems (2 DiMarzio humbuckers for the magnetic side and a Fishman for the Piezos). Yes, you can combine them as well. This neck-thru-body guitar was full of surprises. I bent over to pick one up and it was so light (from five to seven lbs. depending on which model). No more sore shoulders from hours of having a 22 lb. axe hanging around your neck. "What is this made of?" I asked. Tonewood was the answer. No, there are no tonewood trees, the guitar's exoskeleton (body) is made of a patented material (high-modulus carbon and glass fiber) which optimizes the ability to respond to the strings' vibrations. Parker's philosophy lies in the fact that the character of both acoustic and electric guitars is determined by their materials and proportions. I remember thinking, "Time will tell, either this is too far out there to catch on, or it is a whole new horizon for guitarists."

Now, years later, we see several of our favorite guitarists sporting Parker Fly guitars ({{Phil Keaggy}}, {{Jerry McPherson}}, {{Dann Huff}}, etc.) and we are beginning to see how this innovative guitar is making serious in-roads among professional players.

We thought it was high-time we reviewed "The Fly". First off, the guitar's stylistic looks are truly unique. The finishes available are rich in color and well applied. Ergonomically speaking, the Parker is masterfully shaped, contoured well to the body. It's like sitting in a luxury automobile and saying, "So this is why this car costs so much." The fretboard has Parker's patented stainless steel no-tang frets bonded to a laminated fingerboard. The neck felt a little different at first (oddly enough, it felt too exact) but after spending some time on it, it became quite comfortable. One advantage to its design is that the 24 fret neck didn't seem to have a dead spot in sight. The guitar's control section of knobs and toggle switches for tone, pick-up selections and choice of pick-up systems puts artistic expression at your fingertips. The Fly Deluxe model comes with a smooth vibrato system (whammy bar) that even includes a balance wheel so you can have instant access to the springs tension on the bridge. The bridge is custom designed as well. There is a stereo/mono switch on board and a "Y" cable is provided (one signal for the Piezo and the other for the magnetic pick-ups). So you can send the acoustic signal to your P.A. and the magnetic signal to your guitar amp. All in all, we are very impressed with the thoughtful design and versatility of the Parker Fly Deluxe. Two thumbs up! Retail is $2,575.00 (a very nice gig bag is included). Contact Parker Guitars at 516-333-9100.