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Parker

Ken Parker has described himself as a "toolmaker" although he primarily builds guitars these days (he once built clocks). In the early nineties after years of tinkering in upstate NY, he unveiled the Parker Fly Guitar, and it has remained iconic and perhaps even a bit infamous to this day. Parker Guitars can safely assume Gibson is not going to sue them for patent violations.

There is no guitar in the world that looks or feels like a Parker Fly.

Seemingly determined to rewrite the rule book, Parker designed the Fly using an extremely sleek and light design. He used woods (basswood & poplar, initially) that weren't staples in modern electric guitar manufacturing (although most would agree poplar sounds much like alder). He designed his own extremely unique and effective trem system complete, with a "Step Stop" and a "Tension Wheel." He used a Carbon-Glass exoskelton to reinforce the wooden frame of the guitar. He used hardened Stainless Steel frets on a Carbon Fiber fretboard and developed a patented process of bonding the fret wire to the fretboard. He worked with Larry Fishman to create a combination of standard magnetic pickups and piezo pickups that came standard on all Fly's and has now become common in the music industry.

Korg USA invested in the line, but Parker and Korg parted ways in 2000. In 2003 Ken Parker sold his stake in the company he founded and disappeared, only resurfacing fairly recently building custom archtops. Around the time Ken Parker bowed out a NAMM '03 press release announced the "Refined Fly." Some great new features were added, but some Parker fans felt it was simply an effort to create the guitar's electronics more cost effectively. In 2004 the Parker Brand was acquired by US Music Corp. Production of Parker Guitars was moved from New England to Illinois and a number of people from the original production team moved as well. Still, many assume US Music will do to Ken Parker what CBS did to Leo Fender. This is unlikely. US Music is relatively small and since there aren't posters of Jimi Hendrix playing a Fly in many bedrooms... it is probably a good idea for USM to keep producing a high quality overall product.

Players have described the Fly as everything from "fugly" to "a masterful work of art and design melded together to make an instrument beyond anything ever created before."

 


PARKER LINKS
Parker Color Chart 1

Parker Color Chart 2
(unofficial but better)

The Ken Parker Story

Parker Guitars Forum

Refined Fly vs. Original

Adrian Belew Sig TANG

Parker Guitars
ESP Custom Shop Tele Parker Bronze Fly     ...$1999...

2008. EX. Fishman Preamp. Acoustic Strings. Sitka Spruce body. Basswood neck. Only 3.7 lbs. Formerly known as the 'Concert Fly.' Limited edition Sunburst finish.

This 'Flyweight' guitar is dream to hold and play. So light you'll hardly believe it's real. Sports the low fast action that Parker is famous for.

Comes with OHSC.

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Parker Lime Gold Parker DF824, Lime Gold     ...Sold...

New. Solid Alder body! Seymour Duncan HSS pickup config. Graphtech Ghost saddles. Precision designed flat spring tremelo. Graphtech AcoustiPhonic Preamp. Sperzel Locking Tuners. New headstock desgin. 22 stainless steel frets.

Warranty. Parker Hardshell Case. New.

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Parker DF824 Parker DF824, Tobacco Burst     ...Sold...

New. Solid Alder body! Seymour Duncan HSS pickup config. Graphtech Ghost saddles. Precision designed flat spring tremelo. Graphtech AcoustiPhonic Preamp. Sperzel Locking Tuners. New headstock desgin. 22 stainless steel frets.

Warranty. Parker Hardshell Case. New. $3399

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Parker Fly Deluxe Parker Fly Artist     ...Sold...

New. Solid Sitka Spruce body! Graphtech Ghost saddles. Precision designed flat spring tremelo. Graphtech AcoustiPhonic Preamp. Sperzel Locking Tuners. New headstcok desgin. 24 Stainless steel frets.

Feather light at only 4.5 lbs. A ripping player... One of the first Graphtech equipped Fly's ever built.

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Parker Fly Mojo Quilt Parker Fly Mojo    ...Sold...

2003. Natural. NM. Seymour Duncan, Fishman Piezo, Roland GK3. Precision designed flat spring tremelo. Fishman Acoustic Preamp. Sperzel Locking Tuners. 24 Stainless steel frets.

A very rare Ken Parker era Fly Mojo. One of only a few made - the very first Mojo's built just before KP sold the brand.

Parker Hardshell Case. EX.

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Parker Fly Mojo Parker Fly Mojo     ...Sold...

New. Tangerine. Seymour Duncan & Fishman Piezo pickups. Precision designed flat spring tremelo. Fishman Acoustic Preamp. Sperzel Locking Tuners. 24 Stainless steel frets.

Special order guitar. One of very few Tangerine Fly Mojo's ever built (under a dozen). This is the first one ever with new revised headstock design.

Comes with complete new Hardshell Case, Tools, Trem Arm, Parker .010 spring, Warranty.

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Parker Fly Mojo Quilt Parker Fly Artist LTD Virtuosso    ...Sold...

New. Tobacco Burst! Seymour Duncan & Fishman Piezo pickups. Precision designed flat spring tremelo. Fishman Acoustic Preamp. Sperzel Locking Tuners. 24 Stainless steel frets.

LTD edition guitar. Custom Shop. Spruce body. Spruce neck. Flamed-maple.

Warranty. Parker Hardshell Case. New.

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Parker Fly Classic Parker Fly Classic    ...Sold...

New. Natural Mahogany. Magnetic & Piezo Pickups. Precision designed flat spring tremelo. Fishman Acoustic Preamp. Sperzel Locking Tuners. 24 frets.

1-Year Warranty. Parker Hardshell Case, New.

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Parker Fly Deluxe Parker Fly Deluxe     ...Sold...

NOS. Emerald Green. Magnetic & Piezo Pickups. Precision designed flat spring tremelo. Fishman Acoustic Preamp. Sperzel Locking Tuners. Fly hanger. 24 frets.

1-Year Warranty. Parker Hardshell Case, NOS.

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Parker Fly Mojo Quilt Parker Fly Mojo Quilt    ...Sold...

NOS. Black Cherry. Quilted maple top. Magnetic & Piezo Pickups. Precision designed flat spring tremelo. Fishman Acoustic Preamp. Sperzel Locking Tuners. 24 frets.

1 year Warranty. Parker Hardshell Case, New.

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Parker Fly Mojo Parker Fly Mojo    ...Sold...

2003. Trans Cherry. Magnetic & Piezo Pickups. Precision designed flat spring tremelo. Fishman Acoustic Preamp. Sperzel Locking Tuners. 24 frets.

NM. Parker Hardshell Case, NM. $1899.

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Parker Fly Mojo MIDI Parker Fly Mojo MIDI

New. Gold. Magnetic & Piezo and Roland GK3 pickups. Precision designed flat spring tremelo. Fishman Acoustic Preamp. Sperzel Locking Tuners. 24 frets.

Only Mojo MIDI ever made in this finish (AG).

1-Year Warranty. Parker Hardshell Case, New. $4199.

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Parker Fly MIDI Dragonfly Parker Fly MIDI Dragonfly    ...Sold...

New. Sunburst. Magnetic & Piezo Pickups and Roland GK3 pickups. Precision designed flat spring tremelo. Fishman Acoustic Preamp. Sperzel Locking Tuners. 24 frets.

From the first batch of Dragonfly MIDIs ever made.

1-Year Warranty. Parker Deluxe Hardshell Case, New.

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Parker Nitefly-A Parker Nitefly-A

N0S. Arctic White. Magnetic Pickups (no Piezos). Sperzel Locking Tuners. Bolt-on neck. Rare Alder body Fly. 22 frets.

1-Year Warranty. Parker Hardshell Case, New. $1199.

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Parker PM20 Parker PM20    ...Sold...

NOS. Goldtop. Magnetic Pickups. String through Tune-Omatic style bridge. Sperzel Locking Tuners. 22 frets.

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E-mail:  info@cascadeguitars.com


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