Any guitar companies a spiritual successor to Parker?

Discussion in 'Standard Guitars' started by jco5055, Feb 24, 2021.

  1. jco5055

    jco5055 SS.org Regular

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    I do need to try Relish, their main US distributor is in Chicago and I even talked to the head of sales about trying all the various models sometime soon so I should try them out.
     
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  2. stinkoman

    stinkoman SS.org Regular

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    The back of that guitar reminds me of a nice watch. I'm sure it's intentional.

    Nothing is quiet like a parker. The classic and supreme fly is still my all time favorite 6 string guitars I ever touched . They are amazing, but they are also nightmares. Pickup swaps though not impossible, are limited and big pain in the ass to mod to make happen. I've had and seen more than once the classic neck separation and frets fall off. They had to be cared for a certain way that a lot of people didnt and you don't know what you are getting sometimes when buying one if it was cared for properly or not The old truss rod wasn't a double action, and the electronics can go bad and be expensive to replace if not impossible currently to find. As I said I LOVE them, and i don't think they are worth the rising prices with the issues they come with.
     
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  3. ScottThunes1960

    ScottThunes1960 SS.org Regular

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    Good to know. I want to try one of their headless offerings at some point, and was concerned they wouldn’t be as light as some of the alternatives in that price range.
     
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  4. Floppystrings

    Floppystrings SS.org Regular

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    I think I remember reading an interview with Adam D saying his Parker basically started falling apart. Michael Keene said something similar about the carbon fiber fretboards on his Washburn guitars. The impression I have is simply gluing carbon fiber to wood is a no no.

    The thing about carbon fiber is that is dries out over time, and shifts. High modulus carbon fiber is a different story, but it has it's issues as well because it is very expensive and very brittle. The only real success stories I have heard using carbon have been old OG Steinberger guitars and basses, and Status bass necks. Moses necks were very heavy and I have heard of warping, they have since gone out of business.

    The issue with using alternative materials is weight, you want something light, strong, that can handle sitting in the trunk of a hot car without warping, or handle string tension without warping. There are high temperature carbon fiber options, but the price is bonkers. I have broken pieces of carbon fiber with my bare hands before and to me it's kind of like really strong but brittle plastic, I couldn't do the same with a piece of acrylic that was the same thickness, it bent more but never just snapped into a bunch of sharp pieces.

    The idea is cool, but the execution of design, and quality of materials used means everything. I am very skeptical about Aristide guitars at the moment, I have heard some things, you can look into it yourself if you are interested.
     
  5. Floppystrings

    Floppystrings SS.org Regular

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    double post sorry.
     
  6. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    Parkers had a bunch of quirks for sure.

    Once you breach the epoxy on Parker boards they're susceptible to further deterioration, it's important to get it fixed quickly.

    The epoxy itself can get brittle depending on its environment and upkeep, enough so that small impacts can pop whole frets off, leaving a gaping hole into the carbon sub layer.

    Moses' problem was thier vaccum process. It left voids and that lead to incontinuity of rigidity. It worked for smaller components, hence the shift to orchestral string parts, but they still closed.
     
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  7. Floppystrings

    Floppystrings SS.org Regular

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    Cheap or counterfeit mountain bike frames have the same issues. Air craft quality carbon fiber is X-rayed to make sure it is void free.
     
  8. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    Yeah, he definitely wasn't doing that in his garage. :lol:

    The best applications of mixed wood/CF parts I've seen have been Modulus Genesis series basses and Vigier's 90/10 necks. It's likely because neither makes the CF in-house, at least they didn't.

    There was a company, name escapes me, that was using glass filled nylon, like knife handles, for fretboards and tops. Always wanted to check it out.
     
  9. A-Branger

    A-Branger SS.org Regular

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    donno why people always classify Strandberg as "ergonomic" (or any headless for that matter), having no headstock doesnt equal to ergonomics. The only thing that guitar has is an extra leg cutout, which no many people use either. I would find more ergonomics on a JP with the scoop shape bevel than a strandberg. You could argue the enduroneck is ergonomic, but its a 100% love/hate. Its something different for sure, but not necessary "ergonomic". They do are light weight guitars tho (as most headless are)

    they do use man-made materials and are amazing guitars, but they arent light, nor heavy either, but (in my experience) I was expecting the guitar to be much lighter than it actually is


    as for thin/lightweight body you have Ibanez S series and some headless
    man-made materials Aristides
    electronics, JP or Majesty (mostly for the piezo system, which you can add it to most guitars too)
    fret access, something like a Majesty
    Shape/looks.... nothing comes close
     
  10. Bite the Strings

    Bite the Strings SS.org Regular

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    I will put Flaxwood in here. They had their hype >10 years ago but still exist. The guitar design was never out-there enough to attract the modern guys and the conservative ones didnt like alternative materials i guess. However, i recently bought two of them for <1000 bucks each(thats the low end of mexico strats here atm) and they are flatout amazing. Most comfortable Guitars ive ever played. Light enough so you can feel the difference between different pickup configurations but not ridiculously light(just above 3kg).
    Regarding the desolving of composite materials, i can tell you that mine were made in 2008/2009 and neither show any issues. Necks as straight as an Arrow. The material seems to be pretty stiff but not overly so. You can pull on the neck for a slight detune as you could with about every glued on guitar. That might be the very thin neck joint though. That aside, one of them got two small dings on the body that broke the finish, the body itself is completely fine though - not a scratch. I checked with my fingernail on the inside and you cant leave an impression on the raw material like you could on wood. The really nice part is that the raw material feels like perfectly smooth wood. They leave some variation in the material, so some parts have a bit of structure, but the parts without could be described as unfinished, perfectly sanded maple with about 1/10 of maples grainsize.
     
  11. Musiscience

    Musiscience Hail the Ibbyborn!

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    As mentionned by so many in this thread, there is no real successor to Parker. However, they are popping often on the used market. If you are gasing for a Parker, I'm sure you can find one in great condition if you look around.

    I know there was plans for a relaunch a few years ago, but it didn't happen. Does anyone know what happened with that and the brand rights? Who owns Parker at this point, and what are the chances we see a rebirth at some point?
     
  12. jco5055

    jco5055 SS.org Regular

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    do you mean you've heard negative stories about Aristides? Or to look up the issue with Parker/other CF necks you mentioned?
     
  13. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    The brand is still owned by USMusicCorp, and there was a contingent of employees trying to get something going, but from what I understand they've all moved on.

    Parker is dead.

    Parkers were weird guitars. A great concept, but the refinement seemed to stop when Ken left in the early 00's to pursue his archtops. I'll always view them as about 80% done. There were just little quirks that could have been ironed out.
     
  14. Viginez

    Viginez SS.org Regular

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    the marilyn model weighs little over 6lbs, also has that phenolic fretboard, but it's their more extreme shape.
     
  15. soliloquy

    soliloquy SS.org Regular

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    wait, are we all really forgetting the only right answer to this?
    [​IMG]



    but in all seriousness, as mentioned above, i think flaxwood is the closest it comes in terms of materials and all
    [​IMG]
     
  16. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    /thread (yet thread continues for 34 more posts)

    I used to be the biggest Parker fan. Throughout the 90's, they were exceptional guitars. I was convinced the '94 Parker Fly was going to be the next '59 Les Paul. Then they started having trouble in the 2000's, and those got worse, little by little, and now the company is entirely defunct.

    Nobody makes a lighter production guitar. Nobody makes as cool a combination of materials, electronics, and trem in a production guitar. In fact, the Parker trem was my favourite trem of all time. I loved the look of them and everything.

    But they only barely caught on and now few people care about them. I doubt we will ever see anything at all like a Parker ever again. Guitars just don't generate the interest they used to.
     
  17. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    Ken Parker is a genius and it's downright tragic that Parker Guitars wound up pushing him out of the mainstream electric guitar market to focus on $20k archtops exclusively. Good for him though. The Fly has so much potential still.

    Oh well. :shrug:
     
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  18. Sermo Lupi

    Sermo Lupi SS.org Regular

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    Archtops (or anything acoustic, really) require more sophisticated design solutions that are better deserving of Ken Parker's talents anyway.

    As for the Fly, just fixing the frets would be enough to solve the main issues with that guitar. Other problems, such as how the pickups were mounted, were minor annoyances in comparison. That one small decision completely unravelled any credit that could be given to other advancements of the design and basically destroyed any hope for the Parker Fly to be known as a reliable and materially superior instrument. I know the discussion is old hat, but man, why would such an innovative company pick that hill to die on once the flaw became obvious.
     
  19. ScottThunes1960

    ScottThunes1960 SS.org Regular

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    Is the “main issue” and “obvious flaw” you’re referring to the bad batch of fret glue USM used and repaired under warranty, in which frets were falling off?

    I agree that the glue-on fret system is most definitely not what I’d have done, but its use has never been a head-scratcher: According to Ken, the wire made specifically for Parker frets was too hard to be extruded with tangs; and thus had to be glued to a prepped surface.

    99% of all Flys built, from 1993 to 2015, have their original frets. This is because the durability of the frets was prioritized above the convenience of installing or replacing them. Those Jescar stainless frets everyone uses these days are nowhere near as tough as Parker fretwire - Not that they need to be, but that’s where Ken seemed to be coming from.

    The head scratcher for me is why they didn’t just go exclusively with phenolic boards once they got to the point of producing Flys with ebony boards upon request. I mean, they ended up selling all the equipment for the CF stuff off anyway, and switching to a constant 14” radius in production produced string spacing problems with some of guitars they were still building the old way.
     
  20. Tonefinder

    Tonefinder SS.org Regular

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    Off topic: In the early 80s, they really lit up the guitar magazines with endless Parker Fly ads
     

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