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Author Topic: Ken Parker Archtop Soundclips  (Read 6451 times)

Offline uburoibob

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Ken Parker Archtop Soundclips
« Reply #15 on: February 24, 2007, 10:13:16 AM »
Hey Chris,

Re-read my original post above. I kept going back and adding to it after posting. In particular, read the part about the recording. I think that may explain it.

Bob

1999 Parker Fly Artist Custom Hardtail  â€¢ 1998 Fly Classic in Transparent Dark Blue (thanks, Darren!) •  1998 Fly Classic in Cherry Red with DiBurro Roland Mod • Now on a signature reduction program! Just the Flies, maam. •  www.rtmadvertising.com
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Ken Parker Archtop Soundclips

Offline uburoibob

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« Reply #16 on: February 24, 2007, 10:21:00 AM »
quote:
Update:  I listened to the some of the samples again through my studio headphones and I guess what bothers me is that the bass end seems to lack immediacy.  It might be the playing (which sounds fantastic) but for example I have a Huss & Dalton CM, small body steel string that is a wonderful jazz guitar.  The low E is crisp and fast to respond. I love a bright sounding guitar, in fact I demand it but I'm just not hearing the balance you describe.  Maybe my ears are just not used to this kind of guitar.  I wish I had more experience with archtops.



It could be just that, Chris. Archtops are definitely an acquired taste. When I first went looking for one, my criteria was much more flat-top oriented. As I played more and more of them, the quality that links them to a violin/viola/cello/bass began to reveal itself. Then I started to hear what makes a mandolin sound as it does. The archtop descends from those instruments in construction and intended sound. It is something that will always sound better in person, although I've had the good fortune of having had someone show me how to mic them to get that quality to come through. An archtop is designed to sound best from out in front of it, rather than sitting behind it. From the beginning, it was designed to shoot the sound out past the brass, bass, piano and drums - to be loud enough to sit next to them on a stage and be heard unamplified. Once you "hear" it, you'll know, and you won't be able to get enough. But it takes some getting used to. It's like beer, or wine, or caviar, or anything that doesn't necessarily make sense at first. Eventually, though, you gotta have more...

Bob

1999 Parker Fly Artist Custom Hardtail  â€¢ 1998 Fly Classic in Transparent Dark Blue (thanks, Darren!) •  1998 Fly Classic in Cherry Red with DiBurro Roland Mod • Now on a signature reduction program! Just the Flies, maam. •  www.rtmadvertising.com
1999 Parker Fly Artist Custom Hardtail Butterscotch -   2000 Fly Standard Classic in Cherry Red - http://bobmartin1111.com

Ken Parker Archtop Soundclips

Offline loumt123

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Ken Parker Archtop Soundclips
« Reply #17 on: February 24, 2007, 10:39:42 AM »
The easy adjustable action is just too cool.
 

Ken Parker Archtop Soundclips

Offline bno

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Ken Parker Archtop Soundclips
« Reply #18 on: February 24, 2007, 10:41:16 AM »
quote:
Originally posted by uburoibob

So, I still stand by my offer to time share a Ken Parker archtop - 30 of us could chip in $1000 each and own it. I'd get it for the first year...

I'll be last and I get to keep it.  I figure in 30 years its going to be worth quite a bit more than the purchase price.

Thanks for sharing Bob.  Taken in a larger context, this next phase of Ken's illustrious career just further serves to cement his legacy as a true innovator and icon.  We seem to forget that the real way to appreciate any guitar is to close your eyes and listen - or if you're lucky enough, do that while you're playing it...

Without knowing more about the recording environment, it is probably impossible to relate to the true sound of the guitar.  I don't have a context in which to place it.  It is truly unique.  Having a photo of you playing gives a perspective on the instruments form.  Its not a jumbo body and yet its kicking out a tremendous about of sound.

I think its beautiful.  And the musicians in the clips ain't no slackers either...
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Ken Parker Archtop Soundclips

Offline cy2989

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Ken Parker Archtop Soundclips
« Reply #19 on: February 24, 2007, 11:03:11 AM »
It looks so elegant in your hands Bob.  I know exactly what you are talking about with regard to our Cedar Bronze Flys.  It's so strange to pick this guitar up and play it, unamplified, and feel it vibrate against your body.  You really get the sense that the transformation of energy from the pluck of the string to sound is extremely efficient.  No waste, no damping effect.  You look good playing it too Bob.  What a wonderful experience to have been there for this session.



« Last Edit: February 24, 2007, 11:03:36 AM by cy2989 »

Ken Parker Archtop Soundclips

Offline WKG

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« Reply #20 on: February 24, 2007, 12:43:51 PM »
I listened to some of the clips again, this time on my nearfields. Excellent separation and clarity and very balanced tone. I like it alot. The clips with the bass give a better example of how it would sit in an ensemble, which if I understand Bob's explanation, is the original intent in regards to archtop design and function. The Michelle clip is running right now as I'm typing and the ability of the guitar to blend into the background during the bass solos and still convey complexity in the tone in really nice. It projects right back out front when needed too, nice range of dynamic response.

I'm curious as to what they used and how it was mic'd for the clips.

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Ken Parker Archtop Soundclips

Offline uburoibob

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Ken Parker Archtop Soundclips
« Reply #21 on: February 24, 2007, 01:26:46 PM »
I am trying to find out how it was miked, and will let you know when I do. The other thing to consider - MP3's are the ultimate in mediocre recreation of audio. They tend to ignore most of the dynamic range.

Bob

1999 Parker Fly Artist Custom Hardtail  â€¢ 1998 Fly Classic in Transparent Dark Blue (thanks, Darren!) •  1998 Fly Classic in Cherry Red with DiBurro Roland Mod • Now on a signature reduction program! Just the Flies, maam. •  www.rtmadvertising.com
1999 Parker Fly Artist Custom Hardtail Butterscotch -   2000 Fly Standard Classic in Cherry Red - http://bobmartin1111.com

Ken Parker Archtop Soundclips

Offline jamrcat

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« Reply #22 on: February 24, 2007, 01:32:47 PM »
This guitar really grows on ya' I think I'm in love! [:p] I am hoping that somewhere in the future the design of this guitar will show up in the market place. If it was somewhere in the 5K to 10K range, I wouldn't be sleeping at night until this baby was in my hands! [^]

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Ken Parker Archtop Soundclips

Offline kwcabs

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« Reply #23 on: February 24, 2007, 06:18:44 PM »
After reading what Chris and Bob have to say I would say they capture my feelings as well.  The instrument is gorgeous and I really like it, but the sound from the clips didn't impress me much.  I think it is most certainly one of those guitars you have to see and hear for yourself unless of course there are other clips in the future that are more indicative.  The high end sounded very nice from the clips, clear powerful accurate sound, on the other band the bass sounded very low-fi so to speak.  It almost sounded nylon to me.  And the bass response is something I really look for on any guitar.  Not simply deep but bright bass as well but having a wide bandwidth that is very balanced.  I was under the impression that this was aimed as a Jazz Archtop, not simply and acoustic.  Is that a wrong assumption?  Overall though, I would still very much like to get my hands on one of these to try some day.


Owner of KWCABS guitar speaker cabinets.  We specialize in making simply the best speaker cabinets out there, constructed out of top-quality hardwoods, standard lines as well as custom work.  WWW.KWCABS.COM

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Ken Parker Archtop Soundclips

Offline loumt123

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Ken Parker Archtop Soundclips
« Reply #24 on: February 24, 2007, 06:29:46 PM »
I'm sure Ken will build different archtops with different things he's looking to accomplish with it in mind.

One day, I'd like to thank him personally for his contributions to the guitar world. I can only imagine what he'll come up with in the future.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2007, 06:33:53 PM by loumt123 »
 

Ken Parker Archtop Soundclips

Offline jfdana

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« Reply #25 on: February 24, 2007, 06:33:38 PM »
Hi Bob, Jeez, please call me John; "Mr." makes me feel old and nervous.

Thanks for the review. Acoustic guitars seem to fall into two broad categories. First, incredibly light and responsive (29 OM prototype batch; Hauser I and II), or heavy back and sides with the top acoustically separated to "hold and release" all the energy from the strings (Smallman, McGill). Sounds as if Ken is dedicated to the light approach, which is tops in my book. It's great to pick up a featherweight responsive guitar and start playing.

One risk of light guitars is that the bass can be boomy, sounds as if Ken has worked this out. Having an arch (steel and nylon guitars have arches built in through bracing) allows for strength and lightness.

The downside of recordings is that the true sound of the guitar can be lost in the electronics, even with high end mics. However, I really like the recordings, and sounds as if you had a first class "guitar adventure!"

Best,

John Dana
 

Ken Parker Archtop Soundclips

Offline Paul Marossy

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Ken Parker Archtop Soundclips
« Reply #26 on: February 24, 2007, 06:41:26 PM »
Well, I personally think that's the best archtop jazz tones I've ever heard! It sounds very well balanced to me, without the boomy, mushy bass that archtops sometimes have. Viva Ken Parker! [^]

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Ken Parker Archtop Soundclips

Offline cy2989

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« Reply #27 on: February 24, 2007, 08:05:40 PM »
You know...this is one great forum!  The depth of knowledge here is far beyond any other single source I've encountered.  The experience available here is priceless.  It's an honor to be a part of it.  For some reason I just felt compelled to share that.


Ken Parker Archtop Soundclips

Offline Paul Marossy

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« Reply #28 on: February 25, 2007, 08:04:52 AM »
quote:
You know...this is one great forum! The depth of knowledge here is far beyond any other single source I've encountered. The experience available here is priceless. It's an honor to be a part of it.


+1

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Ken Parker Archtop Soundclips

Offline kwcabs

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« Reply #29 on: February 25, 2007, 01:06:32 PM »
I have one little question, obviously this is being called an archtop, but from the pics I just looked at it looks like a flat top.  I assume Bob might be the best one to answer this.  Is there an arch???


Owner of KWCABS guitar speaker cabinets.  We specialize in making simply the best speaker cabinets out there, constructed out of top-quality hardwoods, standard lines as well as custom work.  WWW.KWCABS.COM

Check out my Parker Supreme here www.kwcabs.com/parker%20page.htm

Kurt Wyberanec
Owner of KWCABS guitar speaker cabinets.  We specialize in making simply the best speaker cabinets out there, constructed out of top-quality hardwoods, standard lines as well as custom work.  WWW.KWCABS.COM

Check out my Parker Supreme here www.kwcabs.com/parker%20page.htm