The Parker Guitars Forum

General Discussion => ANNOUNCEMENTS AND NEWS => Topic started by: JamieCrain on December 30, 2017, 04:00:40 PM

Title: Bad news for 2018?
Post by: JamieCrain on December 30, 2017, 04:00:40 PM
Hi all
The Facebook page “Parker guitar owners and lovers” is reporting that Parker will *not* be returning in 2018.

Can anyone confirm?

I was really looking forward to the new year... :(
Title: Re: Bad news for 2018?
Post by: sybersitizen on December 30, 2017, 04:15:07 PM
Whatever grapevine relays such news, it should come as no surprise. When the Parker landing page 'announcement' was changed from 2017 to 2018 - with no other communication whatsoever - the real message was pretty clear to me.
Title: Re: Bad news for 2018?
Post by: marcwormjim on December 30, 2017, 06:21:40 PM
I’ve been on the news mailing list for several years now, with zero news.

Phil McKnight (Parker owner and YouTube personality who keeps up with this stuff in a professional capacity) recently touched on this in a QnA in which he lamented how little business sense it makes for JAM group to revive a brand with (comparatively) no brand value, at enormous startup cost. He claimed he’d ask exhibitors about Parker if enough people request he do so, but that the lack of NAMM presence will already say it all.
Title: Re: Bad news for 2018?
Post by: billy on January 01, 2018, 10:14:50 AM
Jam seemed to be moving away from any direct manufacturing. I doubt they will revive the brand themselves.

My understanding is the Parker brand sale fell through somehow.

The startup cost imho would not be very high, but that primarily assumes a reasonable t&c of the sale.
Title: Re: Bad news for 2018?
Post by: sonikk71 on January 02, 2018, 04:33:08 PM
I’ve been on the news mailing list for several years now, with zero news.

Same here... Has anyone ever got an email? So far I haven't heard about it.
Title: Re: Bad news for 2018?
Post by: JamieCrain on January 02, 2018, 10:01:26 PM
Have never received an email. Registered more than once too in case the site wasn't working. But there are still occasional facebook posts...
Title: Re: Bad news for 2018?
Post by: billy on January 05, 2018, 11:56:24 AM
I’ve been on the news mailing list for several years now, with zero news.

Phil McKnight (Parker owner and YouTube personality who keeps up with this stuff in a professional capacity) recently touched on this in a QnA in which he lamented how little business sense it makes for JAM group to revive a brand with (comparatively) no brand value, at enormous startup cost. He claimed he’d ask exhibitors about Parker if enough people request he do so, but that the lack of NAMM presence will already say it all.

Also on the mailing list with no news.

I was at NAMM last year, the USM people were not very interested in talking to anybody beyond themselves it seemed.  The booth didn't have much there beyond acoustics and ukes, and very little traffic.  The most exciting stuff was the Randall amps. 

Also, I like Phil's vids but relatively speaking I don't consider him an authority on Parkers.  Oddly enough, I passed by him there and was going to say hello but it was at the PRS section, which was absolutely packed to bursting.  Telling indeed.

One last item of note is that an old friend ordered a PRS custom nearly a year ago, and he's still waiting, expecting delivery in Feb I think.  Much later than the 3-4 months expected.  Not sure if it may be a sales rep error too.  Just made me think about the waiting time when Parker was doing customs.
Title: Re: Bad news for 2018?
Post by: john duval on April 18, 2018, 03:30:38 PM
Does anyone know of a guitar shop on the west coast that knows how to work on Pre-refined Parker Fly?. .my only hope was Cascade Guitar Labs ( now Cascade Guitar) in Seattle but they no longer have any
dealings with or have a tech who knows Parker guitars. I have a faulty Piezo system and am in need of a 10 gauge tension spring.
anyone out there can help?
johnduval@gmail.com
thanks
Title: Re: Bad news for 2018?
Post by: ChrisNB on April 20, 2018, 06:04:25 PM
I can’t help you regarding local techs (hopefully someone will), but since I repair some original Parkers here in the UK, what are the symptoms with your piezo system, out of interest?

Gauge 10 springs seem to be in short supply: has anyone with the necessary machinery managed to fabricate Fly springs?
Title: Re: Bad news for 2018?
Post by: Patzag on April 22, 2018, 12:16:53 PM
Mike Lull Guitar works in Seattle.  He can do pretty much anything with a Fly.
Title: Re: Bad news for 2018?
Post by: billy on April 25, 2018, 04:34:11 PM
unfortunately, bending and tempering a spring like these with any consistency is beyond the scope of most diy'ers.  There was a lot of effort that went into developing a more consistent spring 10-12 years ago.

wiguitar on ebay might have some 10 springs, otherwise, you might find someone here who's willing to part with a spare.

as for the piezo, there's lots of posts here that you might read through and be able to fix it yourself.  In some cases you might not even need to do any soldering.  Post some of your symptoms and we can probably help.
Title: Re: Bad news for 2018?
Post by: ChrisNB on April 25, 2018, 08:28:06 PM
Quote
unfortunately, bending and tempering a spring like these with any consistency is beyond the scope of most diy'ers.
Without a doubt: there may be some metalwork engineers who could look into it, although it probably wouldn’t be a profitable venture!

I think wiguitar is out of 10s now, but it is certainly worth keeping a eye on eBay and Reverb.
Title: Re: Bad news for 2018?
Post by: billy on April 26, 2018, 12:49:59 PM
It's even beyond that- they went through a number of spring suppliers before they found one who figured out how to do it efficiently and with repeatability.

some springtime (ha ha!) bedtime reading for those so inclined

http://forums.parkerguitars.com/index.php/topic,16635.msg143283.html#msg143283

http://forums.parkerguitars.com/index.php/topic,16618.msg143237.html#msg143237

Title: Re: Bad news for 2018?
Post by: Mr303 on April 26, 2018, 05:57:29 PM
“Bad news for 2018”.....

I emailed Adrian Belew through his website the other day and asked if he knew anything about Parker guitars in 2018 and to get back with me when he had time.

Nothing!  I got nothin!, no reply, no snarky remark from an underling, nuttin honey....cue the crickets.......dang it!



Hold your friends close
Hold your Parker closer
Title: Re: Bad news for 2018?
Post by: jefsummers on April 27, 2018, 03:42:38 PM
Well, Adrian is still playing them. I saw him twice on Cruise to the Edge in Februatry as the Adrian Belew Power Trio, and then as he ran from Customs to a van to get a ride to the airport in Tampa.
Title: Re: Bad news for 2018?
Post by: ParkerPlayer on April 27, 2018, 04:44:10 PM
I got nothin!, no reply, no snarky remark from an underling, nuttin honey....cue the crickets.......dang it!

That Belows. 

 :)
Title: Re: Bad news for 2018?
Post by: bembamboo on May 07, 2018, 06:22:38 PM
the other most elegant guitar on the planet, Gibson is filing for bankruptcy of some kind. High quality mass production is a problem.  the light simplicity and resonance of an SG or a Fly as a platform for all the best hardware is a great way to play a good guitar.  but for the high prices they ask for, the durability has to be there. imo
Title: Re: Bad news for 2018?
Post by: bembamboo on September 21, 2018, 10:31:08 PM
 sad to hear the news :'(
Title: Re: Bad news for 2018?
Post by: ParkerSrg on September 23, 2018, 12:01:14 PM
Anyone wanna take bets on when the Parker website is going to change 2018 to 2019?  I'm gonna go ahead and bet that it will take them until mid January for someone to realize "Oh crap we need to change it AGAIN"

Seriously though, what happened since "We'll be back in 2016" until now?
The sale of the company fell through, looks like?

And just commenting on above, the startup costs would absolutely be enormous.
IIRC they sold all of their equipment, all the ovens and the epoxy curing stuff...
They even sold off all of the overstock parts, like bridges, etc.
Probably sold everything that wasn't nailed down.

I kinda want to buy a used one, it's very tempting, but the realist in me tells me it's not a good idea to buy a guitar that has many known issues in terms of things not working / falling apart after years and years of playing it, especially at a time when it's getting harder and harder to get official parts for it.
Title: Re: Bad news for 2018?
Post by: Big Swifty on September 23, 2018, 05:22:58 PM
Not to mention the actual intellectual...whatever it's called, the loss of the people who knew how it all worked.

Really, IF the Parker brand re-emerges, it will bear little relation to the original ideas/concepts/ethos.

It may as well be a new start-up guitar company.

So sure it'll be interesting to see what comes next, but you know...meh.

They've blown it.

Big time.

B.S.

EDIT: "intellectual capital" That's it!..ah coffee, where would we be without thou...
Title: Re: Bad news for 2018?
Post by: Patzag on September 23, 2018, 06:24:45 PM
Anyone wanna take bets on when the Parker website is going to change 2018 to 2019?  I'm gonna go ahead and bet that it will take them until mid January for someone to realize "Oh crap we need to change it AGAIN"

Seriously though, what happened since "We'll be back in 2016" until now?
The sale of the company fell through, looks like?

And just commenting on above, the startup costs would absolutely be enormous.
IIRC they sold all of their equipment, all the ovens and the epoxy curing stuff...
They even sold off all of the overstock parts, like bridges, etc.
Probably sold everything that wasn't nailed down.

I kinda want to buy a used one, it's very tempting, but the realist in me tells me it's not a good idea to buy a guitar that has many known issues in terms of things not working / falling apart after years and years of playing it, especially at a time when it's getting harder and harder to get official parts for it.

My Parkers are from 1994 and 1996.  They are as beautiful as on the day they were made.  A little scuffing on the aluminum bridge is the most wear you'll see.  The frets are as shiny as the day they came out of the factory.  And if the ribbon on one of them got cut by stupid (mine) handling, a few soldered wires was all it took to get the sound flowing again.

These guitars will outlast me.

If you find a good condition used PRE REFINED Parker, jump in.  They are the best guitars ever.  every day that goes by and every guitar I try tells this to me again and again.
Title: Re: Bad news for 2018?
Post by: vjmanzo on September 23, 2018, 06:34:20 PM
+1 Patzag's comment
Title: Re: Bad news for 2018?
Post by: sybersitizen on September 23, 2018, 07:03:03 PM
I was also going to tell the new guy how my '01 Deluxe (bought used on eBay in 2009) has held up perfectly with not a single failure of anything. But I'm an at-home player and I don't subject any of my gear to the rigors of 'real life out there'.

I do know that Dave Martone, who is at the extreme opposite end of the spectrum, did actually wear out his first Fly after several years, then bought another one.

I don't know what sort of treatment ParkerSrg expects to give his stuff.
Title: Re: Bad news for 2018?
Post by: JamieCrain on September 24, 2018, 03:05:37 AM
I doubt they’ll come back though it would be great to think they could, even with a new product range and manufacturing technique.
Title: Re: Bad news for 2018?
Post by: billy on September 24, 2018, 11:56:34 AM
If I had the $$ I would totally buy the brand and relaunch, though I'd need to do more market research and costing.  It'd be great to get someone like VJ and his team involved.  Donations accepted!

There's a few things that I have figured out along the way which I could replicate, a few things I'd do a little different (e.g. not painting the nut sides), and a few things I'd outsource. 

I can think of some cool new options (eg 12 string? 24.5" scale length?), body shapes, and a business model that is similar to some of today's boutique builders.
Title: Re: Bad news for 2018?
Post by: vjmanzo on September 24, 2018, 12:44:15 PM
Believe me: I thought the same exact thing!!! I mentioned it to Ken recently that, if I had the capital, I’d be all over that! :)

The concept of the Fly is still good! Even if it went to a boutique company model, I still think it’d be a viable business, but, as others mentioned: it’d be a complete rebuild of both tooling and training. Ouch!!!
Title: Re: Bad news for 2018?
Post by: JamieCrain on September 24, 2018, 04:44:10 PM
The concept of the Fly is still good! Even if it went to a boutique company model, I still think it’d be a viable business, but, as others mentioned: it’d be a complete rebuild of both tooling and training. Ouch!!!

Yes, It’s now just a concept, no assets and limited IP. A loyal but but very small customer base. A saturated market. It would require not just retooling and training but a complete reboot. As it stands, the company is worth close to $1.

Maybe some of the more entrepreneurial types here could offer the current owners $1 for the brand, with a small and time-capped royalty from future sales back to them as an incentive as well, subject to certain success metrics of course.

If I knew anything about building guitars, I’d definitely think seriously about it.

Title: Re: Bad news for 2018?
Post by: jefsummers on September 24, 2018, 07:52:56 PM
Shark Tank.
Title: Re: Bad news for 2018?
Post by: alber.t on September 29, 2018, 05:49:36 AM
I just wrote my friend Billy and told him it would be great if he and VJ re-released the Parker guitars. I know it's difficult but I also know that Ken would be proud of the work they would do. It would even be likely that Ken would like to help with some crazy ideas. I think it would work like Boutique guitars because the PArker guitar always was. It was a guitar that could not fight against the prices of "normal" guitars because Parker is not a normal guitar. They are great guitars for musicians who know how to love them and use their special sound. Not for guitarists who want to turn it into a Fender or a Gibson. Korg and USM did not understand it. Although USM also made excellent guitars, they changed so much the original design and this displeased many old lovers of the brand. It is true that there are others who loved the new designs. A balance between the original design and new ideas could be really interesting.

I have currently found a Parker Fly Hardtail that was modified and looks like a guitar released that year. The current color and the modifications are totally new but the design is the same as always and looked like a new and sexy guitar. If I imagine Billy's ideas included in it, I can only relate it to success. You just have to see Billy's work in other PArkers. Amazing

http://www.sevenstring.org/threads/ngd-modernized-1993-parker-fly-deluxe-hardtail-w-bkp.323529/

With the great ideas and experience of Billy I dream of a brilliant future for PArker.
Title: Re: Bad news for 2018?
Post by: Big Swifty on September 29, 2018, 09:20:39 AM

I have currently found a Parker Fly Hardtail that was modified and looks like a guitar released that year. The current color and the modifications are totally new but the design is the same as always and looked like a new and sexy guitar. If I imagine Billy's ideas included in it, I can only relate it to success. You just have to see Billy's work in other PArkers. Amazing

http://www.sevenstring.org/threads/ngd-modernized-1993-parker-fly-deluxe-hardtail-w-bkp.323529/


That is one seriously good looking guitar, great work!

B.S.
Title: Re: Bad news for 2018?
Post by: vjmanzo on September 29, 2018, 09:43:34 AM
Thanks, alber.t. I saw that post just a few weeks ago; totally agree: looks very modern, and, of course, has all the innovative Fly features!

I think about a “Parker reboot” a lot. Like many of us here, I’m ruined for other guitars, so being able to buy/build new Flys is the dream! A much better alternative to staring at eBay and a Reverb listings every day!  :D
Title: Re: Bad news for 2018?
Post by: billy on September 29, 2018, 10:21:39 AM
Man, that matt black looks amazing.  Very understated and elegant, I love it.  Thanks for posting- I hadn't seen it.

Thanks so much for all your kind words Alberto!  I swear I think about the stuff involved in Parkers quite often, and I'm pretty sure I have recently been able to figure out most of how they did it (or at least why!) 

VJ is doing some great stuff and I'd love to be involved.  But at the least it'd be fun to see if we can't put our heads together and learn something.  The universe has a way of pulling things together and who knows what might come out of it... 
Title: Re: Bad news for 2018?
Post by: vjmanzo on September 29, 2018, 05:19:41 PM
While we're all fantasizing about a Parker relaunch, I'm curious: if Parker Guitars re-launched tomorrow what would people want/expect/be okay with?

If you're willing (and if it's not a violation of the forum rules), would you fill out this totally informal survey?

https://goo.gl/forms/Z1VO1yKDbACcLc6L2 (https://goo.gl/forms/Z1VO1yKDbACcLc6L2)

This is just for curiosity-sake; I have no affiliation with Parker Guitars (wish I did!). I'd like to keep the link active for a long while and then, eventually, share the results. I know what kind of company I'd want to see re-emerge, but I'd like to see what our community thinks.
Title: Re: Bad news for 2018?
Post by: JamieCrain on September 29, 2018, 06:12:24 PM
Done
Title: Re: Bad news for 2018?
Post by: vjmanzo on September 29, 2018, 09:20:25 PM
Thanks, Jamie and everyone!
Title: Re: Bad news for 2018?
Post by: Patzag on September 30, 2018, 09:42:01 AM
Done too. That's pretty cool.
Title: Re: Bad news for 2018?
Post by: alber.t on September 30, 2018, 04:27:19 PM
It's a pleasure that people with as much talent as you are interested in giving Parker a future. Thank you very much. I've been watching your work on your website and it's really amazing. You are also a great player with excellent guitars. Congratulations.

I have already completed the survey. ;)
Title: Re: Bad news for 2018?
Post by: vjmanzo on September 30, 2018, 05:54:58 PM
Thanks, man!

I think we all would agree that we we’d love to see Parker Guitars come back to life in some capacity!
Title: Re: Bad news for 2018?
Post by: Tangerine~Fly on September 30, 2018, 11:20:42 PM
DONE.

Thank you.
Title: Re: Bad news for 2018?
Post by: ParkerPlayer on October 01, 2018, 01:51:01 PM
I also did the survey. Fun !
Title: Re: Bad news for 2018?
Post by: JamieCrain on October 01, 2018, 04:43:46 PM
I had to edit the answers in my survey because I forgot to mention a critical feature for new Parkers: the “new” headstock!

VJ - Maybe you could get your survey on the Facebook pages too?
Title: Re: Bad news for 2018?
Post by: vjmanzo on October 01, 2018, 06:15:03 PM
Ahh the ol’ headstock debate!  ;) An important consideration, so thanks for adding that in!

I’ll message the FB group moderator; good thought!
Title: Re: Bad news for 2018?
Post by: Patzag on October 01, 2018, 06:22:19 PM
Is there a debate on the headstock?

I really tried to like the refined Parkers.  I bought and used 4 of them.  I helped others get them.  I eventually sold them all.  Nothing plays and handles like a KP era Parker.  And I would wish that if Parker is revived somehow, it would be in with the reimplementing of the amazing qualities of the original.

I don't want to bash USM because they really tried to keep the brand going.  But IMO they went about it the wrong way.  Just look at the new headstock and the fact that every one of the New Parkers low E string tuning peg was misaligned from the nut resulting in binding.  That is so lame it hurts.  Even after carefully going over this with Terry at the time of my custom orders, this was ignored and the same low quality misalignment came with my new Custom guitar!

So in my opinion, there is no debate about which headstock should go on a Parker.  Too bad if it does not fit on a hanger.

/endrant
Title: Re: Bad news for 2018?
Post by: vjmanzo on October 01, 2018, 06:29:52 PM
I agree with you, Patzag. I think some others, however (in different forum threads), do like the more traditional headstock look.

I think the reality is that USM wasn’t at liberty to run Parker Guitars like a boutique company. If they were selling a few hundred guitars a year with a small staff and only a few models to produce, things would have been different. 
Title: Re: Bad news for 2018?
Post by: JamieCrain on October 01, 2018, 06:50:52 PM

So in my opinion, there is no debate about which headstock should go on a Parker.  Too bad if it does not fit on a hanger.


Yes everyone will have an opinion on this, and there is no right answer. I would make the point though that if the objective of Parker 2.0 is to be commercially successful, the guitars need to have features that appeal to a broader audience. The original headstock, whilst unique, is a limiting factor.
Title: Re: Bad news for 2018?
Post by: Big Swifty on October 01, 2018, 07:26:20 PM
YEah, i'd go with the more guitar stand/hanger friendly headstock, only because playing at the odd festival here and there, the backline guitar stand inevitably is something that requires normal size headstock for a sure grip...and other like situations.

I was unaware of the misaligned E tuner issue, gonna have to check my DF now...shows how much i use it i guess...

B.S.
Title: Re: Bad news for 2018?
Post by: sybersitizen on October 01, 2018, 07:45:20 PM
Just look at the new headstock and the fact that every one of the New Parkers low E string tuning peg was misaligned from the nut resulting in binding.  That is so lame it hurts.  Even after carefully going over this with Terry at the time of my custom orders, this was ignored and the same low quality misalignment came with my new Custom guitar!

I don't recall ever hearing about that either.

What is the exact nature of the misalignment? And is it somehow a direct result of the headstock change? In photos the posts seem to sit in the same relative positions as before.
Title: Re: Bad news for 2018?
Post by: Patzag on October 01, 2018, 08:21:37 PM
I have no current way to post pictures but the low E post is not in line with the nut slot resulting in a break in the string direction.
I had this problem with my first custom and asked Terry - when we were going over the second one - to ensure this would not happen.  No dice despite promises.

Whatever - this is water under the bridge. And not really the result of the change in headstock design.  Just that the tuner positioning CNC template was screwed up and I could never get them to correct it.

I don't say that the headstock should ONLY be the original. I don't really care.  I just would be very disappointed if some group-think committee diluted Ken's ideas again.

Title: Re: Bad news for 2018?
Post by: vjmanzo on October 01, 2018, 10:36:25 PM
I just would be very disappointed if some group-think committee diluted Ken's ideas again.

Agreed! The Fly was/is truly innovative; I'd love to see a literal reissue!  :o
Title: Re: Bad news for 2018?
Post by: alber.t on October 02, 2018, 02:34:39 AM
I am a great admirer of classic design and Pre-USM guitars. I have played guitars from both worlds and in the end I always liked the first ones. I also think that USM managed to make good guitars especially when they had experience.

I think the difference is that the first PArkers were built thinking of the guitarists and the passion for music. USM were built thinking mainly of money. It's the difference between creative artist and big company.

I think the same as V.J. It is better to sell few but great guitars that sell many and many with errors. The guitarists always respected Parker, his comfortable neck, his stability ... but when creating other defective models especially the Asian series, PArker stopped having his magic and stained his legend.

IMO Parker is a Parker and the ideal would be to respect the design and include great new ideas that attract new users. If the guitar is well built and there is talent in it, users will appreciate and value it. And never forget that Parker will always be a different guitar with its own sound. Many guitarists wanted to turn it into Gibson or Fender and for that reason they did not want Parkers guitars. It takes a little time to learn how to use these guitars and when you get it, the rest of the guitars look like pieces of wood with strings.

I have great hopes in the talent of Billy and V.J
Title: Re: Bad news for 2018?
Post by: billy on October 02, 2018, 10:47:25 AM
I have no current way to post pictures but the low E post is not in line with the nut slot resulting in a break in the string direction.
I had this problem with my first custom and asked Terry - when we were going over the second one - to ensure this would not happen.  No dice despite promises.

Whatever - this is water under the bridge. And not really the result of the change in headstock design.  Just that the tuner positioning CNC template was screwed up and I could never get them to correct it.

I don't say that the headstock should ONLY be the original. I don't really care.  I just would be very disappointed if some group-think committee diluted Ken's ideas again.

I'm sure you remember Patrick, but for everyone else, I own that white custom DF now.  For the life of me, I can never remember what the number is.  845, 842, etc? Also not sure if that was the first or the second, but it's a great guitar.  There is a slight misalignment at the low e behind the nut.

But the cause isn't a wrong CNC template.  USM decided to make the neck and nut very slightly wider (and thicker) and didn't adjust the tuner centers to match.  This means both e strings are slightly out from the nut- the low e is thicker and shorter so it's easier to see.  The A and B strings are also very slightly out but very hard to notice.

The trig involved isn't too bad, but really I imagine that the 3D CAD files were a little touchy and so they decided not to mess with it.  Or maybe they didn't have room.  Or it was assigned to someone who never got around to it- there weren't that many people there who could do it and no doubt they were busy trying to make 7 strings, washburns, customs, etc.  One thing I know from miserable experience is Solidworks in those days didn't handle imported files as well as they do now.  (Which actually isn't saying much... lol)

It has not been a problem for me with binding at the nut.  One issue I have noticed is that the open high e buzzes very slightly if I tune to Eb, which now that I think about it could be due to the slight bend behind the nut. 

The survey is a great idea VJ, filled it out already!  In all, I find the top of the DF body shape more comfortable, but I like the pre-ref necks and overall pre-ref body thickness better.  And fwiw I love the old headstock with the old body, and the new headstock on the new body.  I don't like the new headstock on the old body at all.

I would also love to see and help with a parker reboot, though there are definitely some hurdles..! 

I definitely caution against "design by committee." I'm a product designer and try as hard as you can, you can't please everyone and usually end up pleasing no one.  Better to identify the problems, then find the solution that also fits all the other problems and solutions best.  Wherever possible, be Gestalt, and do no harm. 
Title: Re: Bad news for 2018?
Post by: sybersitizen on October 02, 2018, 10:59:03 AM
While we're all fantasizing about a Parker relaunch, I'm curious: if Parker Guitars re-launched tomorrow what would people want/expect/be okay with?

I wonder who would support the further use of flex cables for the electronics. Maybe they were good for initial manufacturing (time/cost/space savings, presumably?) ... but didn't they disappear from every Parker after 'refining' occurred? Smart move or not?
Title: Re: Bad news for 2018?
Post by: vjmanzo on October 02, 2018, 11:15:47 AM
I wonder who would support the further use of flex cables for the electronics.

I think that’s the “million-dollar idea”: reboot production of the flex cables and sell them to all of us forumites!!  :D
Title: Re: Bad news for 2018?
Post by: billy on October 02, 2018, 12:21:58 PM
While we're all fantasizing about a Parker relaunch, I'm curious: if Parker Guitars re-launched tomorrow what would people want/expect/be okay with?

I wonder who would support the further use of flex cables for the electronics. Maybe they were good for initial manufacturing (time/cost/space savings, presumably?) ... but didn't they disappear from every Parker after 'refining' occurred? Smart move or not?

They were extremely cutting edge at the time, and saved a rat's nest of complicated wiring.  Meaning huge savings in space and assembly times/efficiencies- the old pcb took up a lot more space than the newer ones.  It's genius, but they didn't know what they didn't know. 

E.g.:
In the early 90's I was working at a military radio assembly factory during my college summers.  Their brand new product at the time involved three pcbs joined by two flex cables, just like the ones in the fly.  These were like $1200 a set and no one wanted to work on them because they tore so easily and resulted in scrap.  So, they never told "the college kid" what they were worth until the end of the summer when they gave me a bunch of movie passes/dinner coupons as a reward for only trashing one set that summer, and dropping the assembly times to 30% of what they were before.  (Kind of cheap when you think about it but they also didn't have to do anything.)

Since that time, the industry has made many refinements to the design guidelines and materials for flex cables.  There is a much better industry standard of how to use flex effectively and today they could be made in a way that you would have to really try hard to tear them.  The old ones in the fly didn't have any type of strain relief, had tight radii, and weren't laid out quite right.

We could definitely do a complete reboot of the original cables. I personally think it's more appropriate to do something you could buy for say $15 and save your existing setup with wires only where you need/want them.  Maybe it makes it possible change up the wiring scheme too, without all the crazy connections to the pcb you'd have to do otherwise, but I don't know atm.  Either way, its a potential option, and you don't have to use one if you don't want one. ;)
Title: Re: Bad news for 2018?
Post by: sybersitizen on October 02, 2018, 01:52:42 PM
^ So ... old flex bad - new flex good?

I've had no trouble with mine, BTW. I'm just aware of the grief and annoyance expressed by others when they tear as a result of loose pots or cause issues during modifications.
Title: Re: Bad news for 2018?
Post by: billy on October 10, 2018, 12:26:12 PM
^ So ... old flex bad - new flex good?

I've had no trouble with mine, BTW. I'm just aware of the grief and annoyance expressed by others when they tear as a result of loose pots or cause issues during modifications.

It's all relative.  There's a few things that can predispose a pre-ref ribbon to early failure, including well intentioned adjustment of pot/jack fasteners a few years in, or even the initial positions that the outboard components were in when first assembled.  FWIW I never had any issues with the flex in the deluxe I used to own either but definitely sympathize with those who have.

A new flex design could certainly be done in a way that is significantly better in terms of reliability, and possibly customization options too, but perception based on past issues is a funny thing and difficult to change. 

My point is the flex cables were ingenious in the efficiencies they offered. But important failure mode knowledge didn't exist at the time of conception, and is often born of miserable experience.  So again, perception...

Alternatives from newer pcb designs available today make traditional wiring more efficient, though with it comes fewer control options, ie master vol, piezo tone. 

So IMHO flex would be a tough sell in guitars these days, but the right kind of approach and solid marketing (perhaps aimed at making "modular" circuit mods nearly on the fly) could help a lot too.
Title: Re: Bad news for 2018?
Post by: jefsummers on October 14, 2018, 08:50:55 PM
My vote, original headstock and ship them with a Bullwinkle. Probably costs 2c in bulk.
Title: Re: Bad news for 2018?
Post by: Paul Marossy on October 15, 2018, 10:09:34 AM
So IMHO flex would be a tough sell in guitars these days, but the right kind of approach and solid marketing (perhaps aimed at making "modular" circuit mods nearly on the fly) could help a lot too.

I don't think it would be that hard, they could use something like a low profile computer cable & connector. Just would require a little redesigning of the PCB for a different style of connector. Problem is that some day that probably will be unavailable too.
Title: Re: Bad news for 2018?
Post by: billy on October 15, 2018, 12:36:17 PM
I don't think doing such a cable/pcb would be hard at all. 

I'm saying it would be hard to get people to buy into it, as evidenced by many recent posts concerning the old electronics vs p2p.  You'd need some very good marketing reasons to make it attractive.
Title: Re: Bad news for 2018?
Post by: JamieCrain on October 15, 2018, 04:24:04 PM
Re cable, companies like Ernie Ball Music Man already do it. I replaced all the hardware in my EBMM Majesty recently and many of the electronics are connected using 3 or 4 pin cables, even the pickups. So easy to work with, I don't understand why it isn't the norm for more brands.

Re headstock, the original headstock would be a show-stopper for me because of practicality, however I can't imagine it's that hard for a good designer to find a way to tastefully incorporate a built-in "fan blade" that is hidden within or behind the headstock, and swivels out/retracts when you want to hang it/play it.
Title: Re: Bad news for 2018?
Post by: billy on October 15, 2018, 05:30:48 PM
yeah, this fits.  I'd argue Ernie Ball does a much better job on marketing than USM does.  Doesn't hurt credibility to have this wiring approach in John P's sig model either.

Parker perception though is imho skewed due to the issues some have had.  Not saying it's impossible just that they'd need to do a better job on the info and marketing story. 

FWIW, I am one of the people who thinks that a flex can be a good way to do this, especially as you've illustrated, Jamie.  I'm also a fan of how the graphtech pcbs stack together using headers.  Combining those approaches could be a great way to make things easy. 

Probably all a moot point at the moment given the info/title of this thread.
Title: Re: Bad news for 2018?
Post by: JamieCrain on October 15, 2018, 05:57:43 PM
Probably all a moot point at the moment given the info/title of this thread.

Probably. But I remain hopeful that the brand will return some day, and in a way that is both innovative and commercially sustainable without dishonouring the Parker legacy.
Title: Re: Bad news for 2018?
Post by: billy on October 15, 2018, 08:54:51 PM
Me too, Jamie! But I get bummed when I think about the woeful marketing they did. Still though, I am optimistic and believe the universe has a way of pulling things together. Hoping I can help somehow.