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Author Topic: Parker guitar case angst  (Read 816 times)

Offline sybersitizen

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Parker guitar case angst
« on: April 12, 2018, 11:24:04 AM »
In another recent thread there have been comments made about Parker guitar cases:

"At some point they started shipping these guitars in cheap, Chinese-made cases. I would describe this case as a kind of toy, not something you want to ship a $3000 guitar in. Fortunately you can buy a top notch Hiscox case, which I would recommend if you have the money."

"... a later ("Refined" era, I believe) case, which has a thin, floppy shell, and a feeble styrofoam inner."

"As identified above, the new cases are pretty cheap, not well-fitting. For a $5k guitar it's below par."

I've been a forum member since 2009 and a guitar (and guitar case) owner since the early 1970s, and I'm mystified by this seemingly sudden flow of concerns about case designs. Have I missed similar criticisms in the past here?

I have to wonder what the criteria are for determining the characteristics of a case that 'belongs' with a guitar of a certain price. I've seen many expensive guitars supplied with cases made of cardboard. Some have been supplied with plywood cases. Others use molded synthetic materials. Some have been supplied with gig bags. Is it just a matter of perceived monetary value?

I can understand a real concern if a guitar is transported frequently and/or subjected to unusually rough handling. In those situations it's up to the owner to choose a case that is designed for extreme protection; that's why optional flight cases are available from specialty sources. But the need for extreme protection is not the norm in my experience, so why should it be an expectation with every instrument that leaves the factory?

Finally, what exactly are people here in the forum doing with their cases that causes them to focus on such things? Have there been actual problems? I've never had an instrument of any kind damaged in any way because the case or gig bag was somehow inadequate.
'01 Fly Deluxe|'69 SG Standard|'69 EB-3|Pignose Strat|Savannah SGO-16CE|Glen Burton GE47|Dean Vendetta 7-String|Loog 3-String|Fishman Aura Spectrum|Roland Amplifiers

Re: Parker guitar case angst

Offline ParkerPlayer

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Re: Parker guitar case angst
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2018, 03:06:38 PM »
Sybersitizen,
I think we are talking about the FHC2 case, right?  Anyway, I was not trying to insult anyone who owns this case and I sincerely apologize if I offended your or others here.
However, I should have taken the time to give my reasons for not liking it.  The first one I bought was basically brand new though 7-years old.  When I opened it, the foam insert fell out, apparently it wasn't glued in well enough, so I re-glued it.  Now the case works fine for me since I don't travel with it.  The second one I bought was definitely used and had a large crack in the corner and the Styrofoam core was disintegrating and falling out.  The Fly Artist inside the case was dented and apparently damaged as a result of the case failing. 
Here's why the Hiscox case is fantastic:
1. It is basically crush-proof (can hold 1000 lbs).
2. It is thermally insulated.
3. It is lightweight (especially the original version).
4. It is more rigid than any rectangular case I've tried out.
5. The only case I'm aware of that is shaped specifically for the Fly (others are shaped to fit a variety of Parker models).
6. Overall, they are made of high-quality materials and are well-designed.
'95 Fly Deluxe, Majik Blue, Hard Tail
'96 Fly Classic, Transparent Red 
'98 Fly Classic, Transparent Red
'99 Fly Supreme, Honey
'09 Fly Artist, Custom Hard Tail

Re: Parker guitar case angst

Offline sybersitizen

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Re: Parker guitar case angst
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2018, 04:29:25 PM »
Sybersitizen,
I think we are talking about the FHC2 case, right?

My intention was to talk about all the Parker cases, depending on who has what.

Quote
However, I should have taken the time to give my reasons for not liking it.  The first one I bought was basically brand new though 7-years old.  When I opened it, the foam insert fell out, apparently it wasn't glued in well enough, so I re-glued it.  Now the case works fine for me since I don't travel with it.  The second one I bought was definitely used and had a large crack in the corner and the Styrofoam core was disintegrating and falling out.  The Fly Artist inside the case was dented and apparently damaged as a result of the case failing.

Okay, so there is one answer to one of my questions: a situation where a case was broken (in transit or before it was even shipped?), resulting in damage to the guitar.

Quote
Here's why the Hiscox case is fantastic:
1. It is basically crush-proof (can hold 1000 lbs).
2. It is thermally insulated.
3. It is lightweight (especially the original version).
4. It is more rigid than any rectangular case I've tried out.
5. The only case I'm aware of that is shaped specifically for the Fly (others are shaped to fit a variety of Parker models).
6. Overall, they are made of high-quality materials and are well-designed.

Okay, my responses:

1. Interesting, but I've never subjected a guitar case to 1000 pounds of pressure. No plans to do so.
2. For how long - and compared to what? Eventually the inside will get just as cold or as hot as any other guitar case.
3. Other cases are even lighter.
4. Rigidity measured how? What sort of potentially harmful flexing will other cases exhibit?
5. Why do you say that? My Fly fits exactly into special contours in my FHC2 case. How could a different case fit it any better?
6. What are the materials? I don't recall the details about the Hiscox I had.

Looking at the bigger picture: Although you have a definite preference, do you think a large percentage of Parker buyers have such strong feelings about the case they receive? Lots of Parker owners never use anything other than a gig bag and are quite happy with that.
'01 Fly Deluxe|'69 SG Standard|'69 EB-3|Pignose Strat|Savannah SGO-16CE|Glen Burton GE47|Dean Vendetta 7-String|Loog 3-String|Fishman Aura Spectrum|Roland Amplifiers

Re: Parker guitar case angst

Offline sybersitizen

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Re: Parker guitar case angst
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2018, 04:56:08 PM »
My Fly fits exactly into special contours in my FHC2 case. How could a different case fit it any better?



As you can see, it is clearly made for a Fly.
'01 Fly Deluxe|'69 SG Standard|'69 EB-3|Pignose Strat|Savannah SGO-16CE|Glen Burton GE47|Dean Vendetta 7-String|Loog 3-String|Fishman Aura Spectrum|Roland Amplifiers

Re: Parker guitar case angst

Offline ParkerPlayer

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Re: Parker guitar case angst
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2018, 05:24:03 PM »
2.  Here's a temperature test plot from the Hiscox website:
https://www.hiscoxcases.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/hot_test_large01.jpg
So the answer to "how long?" in this test it's 60-minutes.  You are right, eventually every case will heat up or cool down to the ambient temperature.  Many times, I have needed to leave my guitar in a hot car for a couple of hours.  So, for that period of time, my Hiscox case does make a difference in how hot the guitar gets.

4. When closing the case, rigidity keeps the latches aligned.  This is especially important if your case is on anything but a flat surface.  Mostly though, rigidity makes it feel like a quality product vs. a loosely-combined collection of parts.  This is why I like Parker Fly's over Strats.  Fly's have fully-integrated neck-body joint whereas Strats have the bolt-on neck.

5. Niteflys have different body contours than a Fly.  The FHC2 is designed to fit both Flys and NiteFlys, which means it cannot possibly be a perfect fit for either one.  The Hiscox case is formed to closely fit the back of the Fly guitar, which means it will support it better and keep it from moving around as much.

6. I'm pretty sure the materials used in the Hiscox are ABS plastic shell and Urethane foam core.  Here's the video: https://www.hiscoxcases.com/build-quality/

I have to admit that I did assume there was a general agreement that Hiscox cases are awesome, and the FHC2 was not.  But I do respect your opinion.
'95 Fly Deluxe, Majik Blue, Hard Tail
'96 Fly Classic, Transparent Red 
'98 Fly Classic, Transparent Red
'99 Fly Supreme, Honey
'09 Fly Artist, Custom Hard Tail

Re: Parker guitar case angst

Offline sybersitizen

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Re: Parker guitar case angst
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2018, 07:40:49 PM »
I have to admit that I did assume there was a general agreement that Hiscox cases are awesome, and the FHC2 was not.  But I do respect your opinion.

There might be such a general agreement ... but if so, I don't recall it being expressed in the forum until this month.

There was also a recent opinion expressed about a preference for the SKB case. I don't know why. Is it awesome too? I've never had one of those.

How about the 'luxury' DFHC case? Never had one of those either.

My opinion is that every Parker case or gig bag I know of appears fully capable of doing the job of protecting the guitar under most conditions that a typical user will encounter. Mine does that for me. If a buyer wants something he considers awesome, well, that's a different matter. Options are out there.

Understand that I don't intend this to be an argumentative discussion at all. I personally just can't see the case situation as something of pressing importance.
'01 Fly Deluxe|'69 SG Standard|'69 EB-3|Pignose Strat|Savannah SGO-16CE|Glen Burton GE47|Dean Vendetta 7-String|Loog 3-String|Fishman Aura Spectrum|Roland Amplifiers

Re: Parker guitar case angst

Offline billy

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Re: Parker guitar case angst
« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2018, 11:11:25 AM »
I personally love the gig bag.  I would not use it in the event that roadies would be handling it, or say if it would be loaded with other luggage below deck on an airplane by baggage handlers.  In the past I've had hard shell cases get trashed by baggage handlers.  A flight case is probably the best bet there, but man that's a lot of extra weight and expense- probably not an issue if you do it often though.

But I think what case you choose has much to do with how you need to use it. 

If you're a gigging musician in a place like NYC, or fly often on airlines that allow you to place in the overhead, the gig bag will probably be your best bet.  If you travel by van then a good hardshell case is probably best, since it allows for other ways to pack up gear in the back of a van, etc.  A rectangular case might be just the thing in that instance.

The vehicle can play a part too, my mini cooper and honda crx (when I had them) had some issues with certain rectangular hardshell cases. 

So what I'm trying to say is there's a few cases that people seem to like, all probably add protection that is good enough for most users.  If you're not most users, you'll know what you need regardless.   For me at this point in time, the gig bag works best.
Billy

[always the beautiful answer who asks a more beautiful question.  e. e. cummings]

Re: Parker guitar case angst

Offline JamieCrain

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Re: Parker guitar case angst
« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2018, 04:28:58 PM »
Yes it’s about perceived value and the total package.

I don’t gig with my Parkers and so the Chinese cases are perfectly adequate but it reminds me of the story about a certain luxury car brand from a couple of decades ago.

Cigarette smoking became a habit of the few, so the luxury car brand made the cigarette lighter and ashtray an optional accessory. However as they now believed it was non-core to the central product (the car) they made it very cheaply. Essentially an afterthought and purely functional. Those few customers who did order the option were completely disappointed because the cheap plastic accessory looked totally out of place in a luxury car. There were so many complaints from the minority it forced a redesign of the product.

J
Parker NiteFly RF622
Parker DFMV7
EB Music Man Majesty 6
Ibanez UV777BK

Re: Parker guitar case angst

Offline Notes_Norton

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Re: Parker guitar case angst
« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2018, 08:51:49 PM »
I wish I could find a flight case for my Dragonfly/Maxxfly.

The plywood/tolex case protects it well, but I gig for a living, and play sax, guitar, wind synth, flute, drum controller and vocals on the gig so there is a lot to carry.

My partner plays guitar, synth and sings.

And we carry a PA set, all in a minivan.

We do one-nighthers for a living, and no matter how hard we try, no matter how careful we are, cases get dinged.

I would never use what they call a gig-back, and I think calling them gig bags should be a criminal offense. They are not gig worthy. Fortunately both my USA Parkers came in plywood/tolex cases.

But the plywood is heavier than a plastic flight case, and the latches are not as strong and as recessed as the are on flight cases.

If anyone knows where to get one for a DF, I'd appreciate knowing.

Notes
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Bob "Notes" Norton

Norton Music http://www.nortonmusic.com aftermarket styles for Band-in-a-Box and Microsoft Songsmith

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Re: Parker guitar case angst

Offline Big Swifty

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Re: Parker guitar case angst
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2018, 05:00:08 PM »
My DF 524 fits ok in a standard SKB case made for a strat style guitar.

There's a fair bit of room left over, but there's enough contact to keep it snug; doesn't rattle around etc.

B.S.
94 Fly Deluxe
2010 DF 524
The system can't get you in your dreams.

Re: Parker guitar case angst

Offline billy

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Re: Parker guitar case angst
« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2018, 04:45:42 PM »
The best flight/road cases imho are the ones that you put another case/bag inside of.  There's no way to know what else is in the cargo hold though, so anything I was able to do to avoid doing that seemed well worth it.

As for gig bags, if you've ever done a gig in NYC and took the subway or a cab to get there, it makes all the sense in the world.  Especially if you're also carrying music/charts, cables, pedals, and a combo amp.

I know your pain about the minivan too, and absolutely agree a hardshell case is best for that.  Every case, speaker, amp, etc gets dinged up for sure.
Billy

[always the beautiful answer who asks a more beautiful question.  e. e. cummings]

Re: Parker guitar case angst

Offline Notes_Norton

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Re: Parker guitar case angst
« Reply #11 on: April 20, 2018, 06:47:47 PM »
My DF 524 fits ok in a standard SKB case made for a strat style guitar.

There's a fair bit of room left over, but there's enough contact to keep it snug; doesn't rattle around etc.

B.S.
Thanks.
------------------

Bob "Notes" Norton

Norton Music http://www.nortonmusic.com aftermarket styles for Band-in-a-Box and Microsoft Songsmith

The Sophisticats http://www.s-cats.com the best duo in South FLorida

Re: Parker guitar case angst

Offline That_is_a_Knoife

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Re: Parker guitar case angst
« Reply #12 on: May 19, 2018, 06:06:13 PM »
I thought the same about my Case (like the picture from sybersitizen). The latches are closing but it seems really weak. I also have to glue back the insert (which isn't a big deal)...the previous owner just had it in the studio and one of the feet got shoved into the case. The structure underneath the glued on resting points can take any force at all. So i got a hole at that spot...maybe fixable with some glass fibre. A plus point is the weight compared to wooden cases i got from other Guitars.

If I'd be travelling with it, I'd grab some money and buy a different case.
I just have a refined Fly, did the really expensive orignal Flys also came in that kind of case?

What I also found weirid was the Manual. It's nice to look at, but the 2007 Manual leaves out important Information.
There is not a word about how to change the spring. I had to look in the available PDF version of the 1993 Manual to find the info.

Re: Parker guitar case angst

Offline Tangerine~Fly

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Re: Parker guitar case angst
« Reply #13 on: May 20, 2018, 10:08:44 AM »
I'm a sofa-plucker and don't gig so my guitars don't get exposed to travel/transportation extremes - except in the rare event they are shipped.

The HFC2 cases do fit like a glove and provide very solid protection - no doubt about that.  The DF and Supreme wood cases are more durable as an overall case shell but do not fit the guitar itself as well.  With a CF shelled guitfiddle like the Fly's, it isn't really a concern for me, but its still unsettling to have it rattling around in a case - its just not ideal for any guitar.

To the plastic/polymer case exteriors like the HFC2 - when they get cracked or mashed - they are done.  The case for my EBMM Armada is very similar.  When I bought it on line, during shipping the loading dock gorilla's at Fed Ex must have played catch with it - literally.  It arrived with the corner if the case crushed in almost three inches and foam loose - plastic chunks broken out.  A definite "Oh sh!t" moment when I opened the outer box.  Most importantly the guitar was still perfect.  Undamaged.  The case fulfilled its primary function.   

The plastic cases are "one and done" when the aluminum trim gets sprung or the outer case gets mashed.  But absent being run over by a car - they'll clearly get the job done. 

The wood cases' outer shells are harder/stronger and tend to take hard impacts better, but I don't know if they actually protect the guitar any better.  I own cases that have had the sh!t beat out of them and are still good.  Now, I much prefer the larger wooden/tolex cases aesthetically to the HFC2 cases, but that just my personal tastes.

Regarding temperature stability and such - If you own a Fly Deluxe, you own one of the most temperature/humidity stable, sturdy electric guitars ever made (second to the Viktorian's).  I think there is a story about Willie Nelsons' or some famous musician that had his brand new Parker Fly delivered and left under the deck at his home by the delivery guy and it sat there for weeks while they were on tour and it was still undamaged.  So, if you figure out a way to screw  up a Fly Deluxe that way - the case wont save you or your guitfiddle.

Just my two cents worth.
 
« Last Edit: May 20, 2018, 10:16:31 AM by Tangerine~Fly »
1996 Tangerine Fly Deluxe

Re: Parker guitar case angst

Offline ParkerPlayer

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Re: Parker guitar case angst
« Reply #14 on: May 21, 2018, 01:29:46 PM »
did the really expensive orignal Flys also came in that kind of case?

As far as I know, the original Fly guitars from the 90's shipped in a high-quality gig bag.  Then there was an up charge if you wanted a hard-shell case, which was the Hiscox LiteFlite custom Parker fly case.  The FHC2 shown in the picture was something that came along after 2003.
'95 Fly Deluxe, Majik Blue, Hard Tail
'96 Fly Classic, Transparent Red 
'98 Fly Classic, Transparent Red
'99 Fly Supreme, Honey
'09 Fly Artist, Custom Hard Tail