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Author Topic: New Parker Owner  (Read 2583 times)

Offline axejock

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New Parker Owner
« on: May 14, 2018, 11:28:25 PM »
I just bought a "like new" (rarely played) Parker guitar from a friend who is quite ill and selling off his herd. I own lots of guitars, but this my first Parker. It was bought new from Sweetwater in 2012 and is a DF-724 (radial) model in the "Black Burst" color. Can anyone decipher from my serial number the exact date of production? The serial number is: 111006 and it was made in the USA. It is truly a remarkable guitar....I'm surprised that I never ran into one before! Thanks

Re: New Parker Owner

Offline axejock

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Re: New Parker Owner
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2018, 11:39:31 PM »
Oops, that serial number in my post just above is 1110006. (Three 0's instead of two).

Re: New Parker Owner

Offline sybersitizen

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Re: New Parker Owner
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2018, 12:53:20 AM »
I think you can be confident that it was made in 2011 (11) in October (10). The meaning of (006) is unclear - possibly the 6th instrument of the month.
'01 Fly Deluxe|'69 SG Standard|'69 EB-3|Pignose Strat|Savannah SGO-16CE|Fishman Aura Spectrum|Roland Amplifiers

Re: New Parker Owner

Offline axejock

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Re: New Parker Owner
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2018, 03:18:07 PM »
Thanks for that information. I have read more about these guitars, and found out that my guitar is called a "Maxx Fly, Radial". Now I am wondering where this guitar fits in the Parker family. I know that it is a newer model that was made in the USA, has Seymore Duncans in HSS arrangement, a piezo set up at the bridge, a tremolo arm, and quite a few other things, but a less radical look on the upper horn than the original Fly series. I also know that the original owner paid $2750 for it new in 2012. So, where does this guitar "fit" in the Parker line-up? Is it a desirable model and where does it fit in the pricing structure for other models of the Parker guitars? I know that I sure like it, but also realize that I am woefully ignorant about this brand! Any info or opinions appreciated. Thanks.

Re: New Parker Owner

Offline billy

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Re: New Parker Owner
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2018, 04:33:19 PM »
Pretty nice guitar in my opinion, not sure they made too many of them before they stopped all production.  I wish I could've bought one.

The body shape reflects an offering intended to eliminate the sharp corner of the upper horn on the original flys- some found it uncomfortable and/or unattractive.

They don't have the carbon fiber fretboard, back, and the glued in neck joint that most fly owners swear by, but USA made.  So all things considered, I'd say it's towards the "higher" end of the line up, but not at the top.

Some specs here:
http://www.parkerguitars.com/products/mfradial/DF724.html

Post some pictures!  You have to host the image elsewhere, and then paste the link using the little button under the "B" for bold type.

Billy

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

Re: New Parker Owner

Offline Mr303

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Re: New Parker Owner
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2018, 05:36:25 PM »
Pretty nice guitar in my opinion, not sure they made too many of them before they stopped all production.  I wish I could've bought one.

The body shape reflects an offering intended to eliminate the sharp corner of the upper horn on the original flys- some found it uncomfortable and/or unattractive.

They don't have the carbon fiber fretboard, back, and the glued in neck joint that most fly owners swear by, but USA made.  So all things considered, I'd say it's towards the "higher" end of the line up, but not at the top.

Some specs here:
http://www.parkerguitars.com/products/mfradial/DF724.html

Post some pictures!  You have to host the image elsewhere, and then paste the link using the little button under the "B" for bold type.


I believe long time forum member and working musician Notes_Norton uses his custom DF performing.

Paste this

http://www.parkerguitars.com/support/catalogs

And search the catalogs.....it’s good reading sorta like Scientific American or an encyclopedia but for Parker’s.

I downloaded all the catalogs I could just in case the website goes toes up sometime in the future.

Have fun with that axe!
'94 Fly hard tail
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and a few others that are boat anchors.
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Re: New Parker Owner

Offline axejock

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Re: New Parker Owner
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2018, 07:43:48 PM »
I don't have any photos of this axe yet, but if you look at the link that SHAZAM posted above, it shows all specs and colors that the guitar has. Mine is the black burst which is absolutely gorgeous....from a distance, it looks plain black, but up close and in bright lights it is easy to see the woodgrain on the center part of the top and how it blends out into the black borders. I looked this guitar over very closely today, and it is in absolutely new condition....not even a nick or a scratch anywhere. Even the custom Parker case is in perfect shape. The seller really never used this thing!! I know that the guitar has never been serviced or adjusted since it left Sweetwater, and the strings are the originals. Funny, but the G string on the guitar is unwound, so the 3 high strings are all single wire. Is that a Parker thing? Also, the instructions for adjusting the trem bridge if you do a string size change are fairly complex. I love stuff like that! And the tuners are amazing....again, a new realization for me. And everything on the guitar works and is set up perfectly. And the sound is incredible. I can see why there is a devoted following of these guitars!

Re: New Parker Owner

Offline Notes_Norton

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Re: New Parker Owner
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2018, 03:07:15 PM »
<...snip...>
I believe long time forum member and working musician Notes_Norton uses his custom DF performing.

<...>
Correct. I have two DFs. A DF524NS that has the same pickup configuration that you have and a DF522NN (NN for Notes Norton) that I had the factory install Duncan P-Rails with Triple Shot Rings.

The 724 is higher end than mine, but I think only for the finish. I prefer natural wood so it worked out fine for me. What you have is IMHO an improved version of an SSH Strat design. The neck has a longer radius (which I personally like), the frets are hardened stainless steel, and with the Sperzal tuners, Graph Tech nut and Parker Whammy Bridge the tuning stability is excellent.

I think the DF series is the high-end non-carbon encased guitars that Parker made. I also think it's a shame they went under, because they are excellent guitars.

The Duncan pickups give you everything a Strat can, and the ability to blend the piezo with the mag pickups gives you many more tone options.

The Radial Design is the fact that the bolt-on neck is curved instead of square so it fits in the pocket without shifting.

I loved my DF522NS but I was missing the sound of P90 pickups. There is something about the bite and the clarity of tone of the P90, especially when playing clean (with a little reverb) that spoils me. If I don't have it, everything else sounds dull. So I had the factory make one with P-Rail pickups. With the Triple Shot rings they give me P90, Rail, Series Humbucker and Parallel Humbucker tones. Blending the Piezo gives me grit and twang when I need it. So the 522 is my only gigging guitar.

On stage I play sax, flute, wind synthesizer, guitar, vocals, and MIDI percussion controller (I also play bass, keys and drums but one can only schlep so much to the gig).  The light weight of the guitar is welcome. Before Parker I was playing a faux-Les Paul that weighed 8 pounds. I sometimes switch instruments every song or two so you can see why light weight is a benefit. And I sacrifice nothing in either tone or sustain.

So IMHO you have an excellent gigging guitar that can do anything a strat can do, plus a few things a strat cannot do.



Insights and incites by Notes
------------------

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: New Parker Owner

Offline JamieCrain

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Re: New Parker Owner
« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2018, 05:01:22 PM »
Thanks for that information. I have read more about these guitars, and found out that my guitar is called a "Maxx Fly, Radial". Now I am wondering where this guitar fits in the Parker family.

You should also look at the newer Nitefly Radial models. They are exactly the same guitar as the Maxxfly Radials, but with a Fly body shape and different mag pickup switch. I had one of each in my possession and they were both outstanding guitars for a "traditional" build (bolt on neck). About $2k when new, so cheaper than a carbon fly, but definitely not a cheap guitar.
Parker NiteFly RF622
Parker DFMV7
EB Music Man Majesty 6
Ibanez UV777BK

Re: New Parker Owner

Offline axejock

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Re: New Parker Owner
« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2018, 08:21:51 PM »
I have a LOT of guitars including Strats, Teles, Les Pauls, ES339, PRS S2 Stella, Martin, and even some Yamaha's and custom brands. I enjoy them all, but this Parker is definitely in a class of its own. It is like an HSS Strat in ways, but has capabilities that I have not seen embodied in a single guitar. And the light weight is amazing. I really like this guitar, and it is definitely "stage ready".  I really appreciate all the info you guys are providing on this axe, as I really just bought it to help a friend out and because it looked cool. But I really had no idea what it was all about. I guess even a blind dog finds a bone once in a while!

Re: New Parker Owner

Offline Mr303

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Re: New Parker Owner
« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2018, 07:53:11 AM »
I wasn’t ever able to test drive a Parker until I met TaxguyDave on here and got to play my ‘97 deluxe that I eventually bought from him. 

These guitars are unlike any other and until you have one to use that fact doesn’t really hit home....but afterwards, I’ll never let mine go now.

Are we going to see a new design in 2018?, I hope so but I’m skeptical because it would be hard to improve on the old versions imho.
'94 Fly hard tail
'97 Fly Deluxe
'08 PM20 Pro 3x3 headstock
PDF 105
PDF 70 modded
and a few others that are boat anchors.
‘43 Epi Blackstone
Godin 5th ave p90

Re: New Parker Owner

Offline Notes_Norton

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Re: New Parker Owner
« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2018, 06:44:22 PM »
My duo partner got a PM10, and I was very impressed with the build and quality. A couple of years later when the Dragonfly came out (before it was renamed to Maxxfly) I saw an ad and started thinking about it.

My duo partner who is also my wife heard me talking and immediately told me I needed a better guitar (having a guitarist wife is good) so I bought one at Musician's Friend. They sent the wrong guitar a MIDI ready Fly that was way more than I wanted. They told me I could keep it for the price I paid for the DF. I sold the MIDI guitar, bought my first DF, and ended up with $85 more than I started with. What's better than a free guitar? A free guitar and $85.

Musician's friend said they would take it back, but didn't have what I wanted anymore and wouldn't get it for months, which is why I took up their generous offer.

Then when I decided I wanted the custom job, I called Parker and waited 7 months for it to arrive (I suspect they were already in deep trouble by then). But it was worth the wait. I bring the DF522NN to the gig and love it.

There is one problem, I'm so in love with the Parkers, that I no longer have GAS. I can look at cool new guitars, admire their beauty, but I have no urge to buy them. The Parker is extremely comfortable to play and sounds great.

Notes
------------------

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: New Parker Owner

Offline axejock

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Re: New Parker Owner
« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2018, 11:13:09 PM »
Boy, Notes_Norton, you sound like the kind of musician that many of us would like to aspire to be, but I could never master the sax or keyboards! Very impressive! I've played bass, some drums, but let a darn business career get in my way for a long time and am just now really getting back into music, but limited to 6 string guitars. I have to admit that playing this Parker makes me look at my other guitars a little differently. Your SD equipped DF looks exactly like mine without the fancy paint work. But like you, I like the "bare wood" look too.
Here's a fundamental question that maybe someone could answer. What is the difference between a DF guitar and a PDF guitar? Also, when did the original Parker company start to have operating troubles and stop delivering guitars? I see that they have a 2018 catalogue out....is it for the same guitars made the same way, or did someone buy them out? Around my small town, this Parker is a real curiosity to my jamming friends!

Re: New Parker Owner

Offline billy

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Re: New Parker Owner
« Reply #13 on: May 18, 2018, 09:26:02 AM »
The pdf series were manufactured overseas in various east asian factories.  Quality might vary a bit as a result.  The pdf heel is less contoured than the DF series.

The DF were made in the US, with different options designated by the series number, ie 524, 624, 724, 842, 1024.  The last two digits refers to the pickup options, usually a 24 or 42.

The 800 series are the only ones with the carbon skin and fretboard, all the other DFs have bolt on necks. 

The 1000 series had "premium" woods, like koa, and a carbon fiber fretboard w/stainless frets but not the carbon skin.  I'm not sure if any of the other bolt on DFs have the carbon fretboard too, but you can check the specs on the parker site.

They stopped production in early 2015 or so I think, after years of slow sales, relocations, etc. 

Many of the USM brands suffered around the same time frame but without more inside info, I won't speculate on why.  There's at least a few other threads here that offer opinions, and lots of other more useful info too. Looking forward to a relaunch, if it happens.
Billy

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

Re: New Parker Owner

Offline Notes_Norton

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Re: New Parker Owner
« Reply #14 on: May 18, 2018, 10:11:49 AM »
Boy, Notes_Norton, you sound like the kind of musician that many of us would like to aspire to be, but I could never master the sax or keyboards! <...>
I've been playing pro since 1964. When you don't have to have a day job, and can devote your life to music, the time you put in yields rewards. If you have any talent at all, it just takes putting the time in. I also don't watch TV at all - zero - zilch (no cable, no antenna, no digital converter) - but probably waste too much time on the Internet ;) I probably spend at least 15 hours a day doing music. And I love it.

I gig for a living, I've played everything from seedy dives to show clubs to cruise ships to casinos to the opening act for major stars in concert and just about anything in between. I learned woodwinds, drums, and theory in school -- and in all the bands I've been in, I was taught guitar, bass, and keys by the people who played those instruments for a living.

Not every songwriter has the good sense to put a sax part in every song, so gigging for a living meant either tambourine or learn to play other instruments. I chose other instruments. So if there was no sax part, I could play bass, rhythm guitar, or keys. In one band the drummer also sang lead and played trombone, so I could do a few songs on the drums while he went out front.

I'm currently in a duo with my wife, who plays guitar and synth plus sings like an angel. We are mated extremely well, and although we work hard, it feels like we are just goofing off. http://www.s-cats.com

The world is downsized, and the pay for a duo is almost as much as a 5 piece band around here. I make my own backing tracks so they can be done in our key, our arrangement, and leave plenty of room for me to solo on sax, flute, wind synth, or guitar (self-indulgent I know, but it's fun).

BTW, I don't think I've mastered anything, because the more I learn, the more I realize there is more to know. However on sax, wind synth, I think I'm way better than average (I was first sax in the all-state band every year I was in school), I played bass for a few years when sax wasn't in demand, I sing OK, and I do enough guitar, drums, and keys to double on the instruments, but wouldn't audition in a band to do only one of those instruments.

I also write aftermarket styles for Band-in-a-Box. It lets me apply the musical arranging and theory I learned in school to some degree. http://www.nortonmusic.com

But there is no job security, no sick leave, no paid vacations, no employer contributions to a pension, and 15% self-employment tax here in the USA. It's not for everybody. Fortunately, I got lucky enough to be able to make a decent but by no means luxurious living from music. I paid off the mortgage, and take a vacation every year, often overseas.

* * *

On PDF guitars, they are made overseas, someone please correct me if I'm wrong about these things (1) the frets aren't hardened stainless steel (2) the fingerboard isn't ebony (3) the body wood is different resulting in a heavier guitar (4) the hardware isn't as good as the USA guitars.

That doesn't mean they are bad guitars, just not as good, and not as expensive.

* * *

It's too bad too few guitar players tried Parkers. Everybody seems to be in the "major brand camp". I did a recording session (on sax) with a guitarist. I told him about my Parker and his attitude was anything that wasn't Gibson or Fender was crap. How are  you going to find anything better if your mind is closed? And I have a Gibson and Epiphone and I've tried a few Fenders (hate the short neck radius but the rest of the guitar is OK), and I've played quite a few guitars that belonged to the guitarist in the bands I was in. I think the Parker is at least as good and IMHO better than most anything out there.

My other guitars are jealous because I hardly ever touch them. I'm slowly selling them off. I'll probably get down to one archtop electric and my two Parkers.

I hope my Parkers will last for the rest of my life, or until somebody comes up with something even better for my needs.

Insights and incites by Notes.
------------------

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