The Parker Guitars Forum

General Discussion => GENERAL DISCUSSION => Topic started by: Sean on May 21, 2011, 08:50:37 PM

Title: Lefty Parkers for all!!!
Post by: Sean on May 21, 2011, 08:50:37 PM
Just finished watching the "Factory Tour" video on Parker TV.  Pretty cool to see.  Good for USM and Parker to let the general public see how the "sausage is made", so to speak. It was definitely more of a "This is a guitar FACTORY." perspective as opposed to what I've seen from other companies' videos.  HOWEVER...
...After watching the vid and seeing the processes involved in making a Parker I CANNOT believe that this company is unable to produce a left handed guitar, even as a custom option. For example the dragonfly body is manufactured entirely on a CNC machine.  There are two steps. Machine the top, flip it and machine the back.  Done.  I can't believe it's impossible to program that machine to perform those two operations for a lefty.  For any company with a custom shop to not offer even a single lefty option is ridiculous (yeah, I'm talking to you PRS!)  I've got a PM20 Pro on the way and I've always admired the fly and its many innovations.  Not trying to Troll, and definitely not looking to start a flame war.  I'm just surprised that such an innovative, forward looking company is taking such an old school stance on Lefty guitars.  I understand they are looking at the bottom line and minimizing labor and production cost.  I can see the argument that the time needed to retool or reprogram for the differences in a lefty will increase the labor cost, which will increase the final unit cost.  I can also see the possibility that stopping the production line to make a few lefties here and there could delay normal production.  That would probably add to the cost as well.  All that does is make a lefty Parker more expensive to produce, not impossible to produce.
Title: Lefty Parkers for all!!!
Post by: Strandwolf on May 21, 2011, 10:22:32 PM
http://youtu.be/TNpLSaCirj8  [}:)]
Title: Lefty Parkers for all!!!
Post by: Sean on May 21, 2011, 10:25:28 PM
???
Title: Lefty Parkers for all!!!
Post by: Strandwolf on May 21, 2011, 10:37:09 PM
Lame attempt at humor, Sean. Substitute 'Ken' for 'Hank'.
Title: Lefty Parkers for all!!!
Post by: BillyT on May 22, 2011, 09:41:13 AM
The problem is the bridge. They aren't symmetrical and would not be able to be flipped leefty.
Title: Lefty Parkers for all!!!
Post by: Strandwolf on May 22, 2011, 11:17:51 AM
quote:
Originally posted by BillyT

The problem is the bridge. They aren't symmetrical and would not be able to be flipped leefty.


Yeah, so?

tip: make leefty bridges
Title: Lefty Parkers for all!!!
Post by: BillyT on May 22, 2011, 12:29:10 PM
Tip: You make a lefty bridge and I'll put it on the guitar.
Title: Lefty Parkers for all!!!
Post by: bno on May 22, 2011, 12:59:51 PM
quote:
Originally posted by BillyT

Tip: You make a lefty bridge and I'll put it on the guitar.

Careful. You are implying that a lefty Vernon Reed is a possibility...... better check with the boss. [;)]

Hendrix could play true lefty - tuned upside down - High to low.
Title: Lefty Parkers for all!!!
Post by: sybersitizen on May 22, 2011, 02:54:42 PM
What about those Parker Floyd Rose variants? You could get a lefty FR put on.

'01 Fly Deluxe|'69 SG Standard
Title: Lefty Parkers for all!!!
Post by: Sean on May 22, 2011, 04:12:32 PM
Or a lefty wilkinson with fishman saddles....
Title: Lefty Parkers for all!!!
Post by: lucgravely on May 22, 2011, 08:54:08 PM
http://www.dalymusic.com/lefthandedguitars.html

according to the percentages, it's really not a profitable thing to be in the business of making left handed guitars. BUT, I'm sure a custom order for non carb or low carb Maxx Flys with a lefty floyd-rose wouldn't be to hard to make. But a full carbon wrap Fly? Seems there would be issue with flipping the fret boards and things such as that.

Luc Gravely
Parker Fly Mojo Single Cut
Parker Fly Deluxe
Mesa/Boogie Mark I
A few pedals...
Title: Lefty Parkers for all!!!
Post by: billy on May 23, 2011, 01:13:27 PM
yeah, if I was a lefty, I'd definitely want a left hand version of a fly.

Flipping and restringing the guitar means that horn might be uncomfortable in a whole new way...[:0]

Unfortunately, I can't really see it being cost effective to produce in anything but a custom or maybe import versions.  Maybe some mix of the two...

Billy

[Always the beautiful answer who asks a more beautiful question.  e. e. cummings]
Title: Lefty Parkers for all!!!
Post by: Paul Marossy on May 23, 2011, 01:57:54 PM
The only thing I can see being a problem is the bridge. Otherwise, it's just a mirror image of the Fly. How much could it cost to make a left handed bridge? It's just a casting, isn't it?

EDIT: Oh snap! The saddles would also have to be mirrored. [B)]

__/\\/\\__PJM__/\\/\\__
http://www.DIYguitarist.com
http://www.myspace.com/j201jams
Title: Lefty Parkers for all!!!
Post by: BillyT on May 23, 2011, 03:47:49 PM
Just a casting would cost well into the many tens of thousands for one mold. The first guy who wants to give me the mold cost can have the lefty for free.
Title: Lefty Parkers for all!!!
Post by: bno on May 23, 2011, 03:58:12 PM
quote:
Originally posted by billy

Flipping and restringing the guitar means that horn might be uncomfortable in a whole new way...[:0]
Owww![V]
Title: Lefty Parkers for all!!!
Post by: Paul Marossy on May 23, 2011, 04:11:03 PM
quote:
Originally posted by BillyT

Just a casting would cost well into the many tens of thousands for one mold. The first guy who wants to give me the mold cost can have the lefty for free.


Yes, but if you sold 50 lefty Flys at @ $2500 each, it would pay for itself. [;)]

__/\\/\\__PJM__/\\/\\__
http://www.DIYguitarist.com
http://www.myspace.com/j201jams
Title: Lefty Parkers for all!!!
Post by: BillyT on May 23, 2011, 04:46:25 PM
No, it wouldn't.
Title: Lefty Parkers for all!!!
Post by: Paul Marossy on May 23, 2011, 04:58:06 PM
quote:
Originally posted by BillyT

No, it wouldn't.



Oh, right, I wasn't thinking about overhead, cost of materials, etc. OK, so how about 100 left Flys then? There's got to be at least 100 left handed guitarists out there that wish they could get a Fly.

I know, I'm probably not living in the real world. [:I]

__/\\/\\__PJM__/\\/\\__
http://www.DIYguitarist.com
http://www.myspace.com/j201jams
Title: Lefty Parkers for all!!!
Post by: billy on May 23, 2011, 04:59:23 PM
BNO, At least someone gets my sense of humor...

Terry- just a thought, have you explored DSLS aluminum casting methods?  (I briefly looked into it a while ago but unfortunately all of our parts are much smaller than the process can do.)  Might be perfect for low volume "prototype" runs in non-ferous castings but I don't know all your constraints.

EDIT:  there's also DMLS (digital metal laser sintering), which might work for one or two-sie parts too.  I think there's a few other metals that work with this method.  Again though, I don't know all your constraints.

The rapid prototyping methods may still be a bit expensive, but conceivably, you could pass that cost directly to the customer, even if it were only 1 or 2 people.  

I'm not trying to belabor anything, but its my hope that these methods could be helpful in future product developments, if you weren't aware of them already.

Billy

[Always the beautiful answer who asks a more beautiful question.  e. e. cummings]
Title: Lefty Parkers for all!!!
Post by: Sean on May 23, 2011, 07:53:27 PM
All right, now we're getting somewhere!  If the bridge is the sticking point why can't we go for off the shelf, readily available models?  While the Parker bridge is cool, it's not the defining feature of the guitars (for me, at least).  Wilkinson, Gotoh, maybe even a fixed bridge, etc.  Tons of options here, and pretty much all would be available with piezo saddles.
Title: Lefty Parkers for all!!!
Post by: BillyT on May 23, 2011, 09:37:28 PM
Let's be realistic about a thing or two as we push the conversation forward. We are working on a seven string Parker with a seven string parker bridge for NAMM. The advantage of that is that I can use the same saddles without any re engineering of the bridge dynamics. We are now good enough machining aluminum that we are taking a stab at machining a short run of bridges for a limited edition guitar. We took it to a premier dealer and am having a difficult time getting a commitment for twelve pieces. If I can' t sell twelve, why spend the effort to engineer it?
Now we get to how this would play into the lefty conversation. I had much more interest in the seven string before I took it on than I have had in Lefty Parkers. Amortizing costs of molds acrosss 100 pieces would take me fifteen or twenty years. I can make a lefty given the financial incentive to make it happen. If I do it once that person would pay twenty thousand dollars. If I do it ten times the upcharge is two thousand dollars ABOVE THE COST OF THE GUITAR and that is still beyound what  Lefty players think is reasonable. I wouldd need three dozen people to commit to purchasing one to make it cost effective, and to make finacnial sense. I know I will sell more than three dozen basses when they are released so I am spending my development dollars there.I know I will sell the dozen or two dozen 7 strings when I make them and the cost of making theem is just the cost of machining the bridge and plating it. When I am convinced there is a reason to make them, I will. There will be no lefty before its time.
Title: Lefty Parkers for all!!!
Post by: bno on May 23, 2011, 10:08:18 PM
quote:
Originally posted by BillyT

Let's be realistic about a thing or two as we push the conversation forward. We are working on a seven string Parker with a seven string parker bridge for NAMM. The advantage of that is that I can use the same saddles without any re engineering of the bridge dynamics. We are now good enough machining aluminum that we are taking a stab at machining a short run of bridges for a limited edition guitar. We took it to a premier dealer and am having a difficult time getting a commitment for twelve pieces. If I can' t sell twelve, why spend the effort to engineer it?
Now we get to how this would play into the lefty conversation. I had much more interest in the seven string before I took it on than I have had in Lefty Parkers. Amortizing costs of molds acrosss 100 pieces would take me fifteen or twenty years. I can make a lefty given the financial incentive to make it happen. If I do it once that person would pay twenty thousand dollars. If I do it ten times the upcharge is two thousand dollars ABOVE THE COST OF THE GUITAR and that is still beyound what  Lefty players think is reasonable. I wouldd need three dozen people to commit to purchasing one to make it cost effective, and to make finacnial sense. I know I will sell more than three dozen basses when they are released so I am spending my development dollars there.I know I will sell the dozen or two dozen 7 strings when I make them and the cost of making theem is just the cost of machining the bridge and plating it. When I am convinced there is a reason to make them, I will. There will be no lefty before its time.

Wow.  Just wow.
Title: Lefty Parkers for all!!!
Post by: lucgravely on May 23, 2011, 10:34:58 PM
quote:
Originally posted by BillyT

Let's be realistic about a thing or two as we push the conversation forward. We are working on a seven string Parker with a seven string parker bridge for NAMM. The advantage of that is that I can use the same saddles without any re engineering of the bridge dynamics. We are now good enough machining aluminum that we are taking a stab at machining a short run of bridges for a limited edition guitar. We took it to a premier dealer and am having a difficult time getting a commitment for twelve pieces. If I can' t sell twelve, why spend the effort to engineer it?
Now we get to how this would play into the lefty conversation. I had much more interest in the seven string before I took it on than I have had in Lefty Parkers. Amortizing costs of molds acrosss 100 pieces would take me fifteen or twenty years. I can make a lefty given the financial incentive to make it happen. If I do it once that person would pay twenty thousand dollars. If I do it ten times the upcharge is two thousand dollars ABOVE THE COST OF THE GUITAR and that is still beyound what  Lefty players think is reasonable. I wouldd need three dozen people to commit to purchasing one to make it cost effective, and to make finacnial sense. I know I will sell more than three dozen basses when they are released so I am spending my development dollars there.I know I will sell the dozen or two dozen 7 strings when I make them and the cost of making theem is just the cost of machining the bridge and plating it. When I am convinced there is a reason to make them, I will. There will be no lefty before its time.



Great explanation. realistically I'm even interested in the bass. So I think all this is the correct call for Parker at the moment.


Luc Gravely
Parker Fly Mojo Single Cut
Parker Fly Deluxe
Mesa/Boogie Mark I
A few pedals...
Title: Lefty Parkers for all!!!
Post by: Paul Marossy on May 24, 2011, 08:53:06 AM
I think the 7-string is the best bet. There will be a market for that. Unfortunately, the lefty Fly is not really viable. I guess big companies like Fender or even Ibanez can absorb whatever costs and it's not that big a deal.

I want to get my 7-year old son a 3/4 size electric guitar someday, but he is a lefty. Try getting a 3/4 size lefty guitar, nearly impossible. I thought that he could probably do the Jimi Hendrix thing and turn a 3/4 size Strat upside down, but then I saw that Ibanez makes a 3/4 size lefty guitar! And he actually likes it better. But like I said, Ibanez is a big company, they can offer products like that and not sweat it.

__/\\/\\__PJM__/\\/\\__
http://www.DIYguitarist.com
http://www.myspace.com/j201jams
Title: Lefty Parkers for all!!!
Post by: bno on May 24, 2011, 09:18:47 AM
quote:
Originally posted by Paul Marossy

I think the 7-string is the best bet. There will be a market for that. Unfortunately, the lefty Fly is not really viable. I guess big companies like Fender or even Ibanez can absorb whatever costs and it's not that big a deal.

I want to get my 7-year old son a 3/4 size electric guitar someday, but he is a lefty. Try getting a 3/4 size lefty guitar, nearly impossible. I thought that he could probably do the Jimi Hendrix thing and turn a 3/4 size Strat upside down, but then I saw that Ibanez makes a 3/4 size lefty guitar! And he actually likes it better. But like I said, Ibanez is a big company, they can offer products like that and not sweat it.

__/\\/\\__PJM__/\\/\\__
http://www.DIYguitarist.com
http://www.myspace.com/j201jams

My unsolicited advice is to not get him a lefty.  Left handed piano players have one choice - a piano.  Left handed saxophone players have one choice - a saxophone. Left handed violinists.... you get my drift (and there's only one way to drive a car).  As we know, playing any musical instrument involves getting both hands to work in synchronization (sometimes with breathing, yikes!), just with different mechanical requirements.  If anything left hand dominance on his fretting hand may be an advantage; fretting with your strong hand and strumming with your weak.  I know many lefty's out there will disagree with me.  What we need to hear from is a lefty who plays righty.  But this becomes a different thread all together (hijack alert - I'm going to start a new thread - don't respond here.)
Title: Lefty Parkers for all!!!
Post by: billy on May 24, 2011, 10:30:16 AM
quote:
Originally posted by lucgravely
Great explanation. realistically I'm even interested in the bass. So I think all this is the correct call for Parker at the moment.



+1. You won't get a straighter shot than that...
Title: Lefty Parkers for all!!!
Post by: Sean on May 25, 2011, 11:22:25 AM
BillyT,
Thanks for such a frank, honest response.  While it might not be what I wanted to hear at least its the truth.  I admire and appreciate hearing that level of honesty from a company.  It doesn't happen often.
Sean
Title: Lefty Parkers for all!!!
Post by: Paul Marossy on May 25, 2011, 03:03:46 PM
quote:
Originally posted by Sean

BillyT,
Thanks for such a frank, honest response.  While it not be want I wanted to hear at least its the truth.  I admire and appreciate hearing that level of honesty from a company.  It doesn't happen often.
Sean


Yes, that IS refreshing, isn't it?

__/\\/\\__PJM__/\\/\\__
http://www.DIYguitarist.com
http://www.myspace.com/j201jams
Title: Lefty Parkers for all!!!
Post by: JoelAnair on June 05, 2012, 12:02:12 PM
Just curious if anybody at Parker or anyone on this list knows of any way to get in touch with Paul McCartney. Sir Paul has always played iconic instruments, from the Hofner violin bass to his Rickenbacker 4001, and was an early adopter of the fairly radical Ovation acoustics IIRC. I bet he would LOVE to play a Fly, and between his vast resources and the marketing potential for Parker I bet he could be the one to make a lefty happen.

Unfortunately I don't have Macca's email address handy, but if anybody knows how to get in touch with his people he might be the best hope for those of us who have been dreaming of a lefty Fly.

FWIW, if Parker offered a lefty with a Floyd Rose, a Wilkinson, a Strat bridge, a fixed bridge, or a dried dog turd for a bridge, I'd be first in line. I get that the bridge on a Fly is a work of art, but so is the whole rest of the guitar. 80% of the world's finest guitar is still better than nothing.
Title: Lefty Parkers for all!!!
Post by: jerrysleftyguitars on June 07, 2012, 02:48:59 PM
I was sent this link by one of my fellow leftys and I thought I would add my 2 cents to this discussion. I sell only lefty guitars. I sell almost all high end instruments, Suhr, Anderson, Duesenberg, PRS, Nik Huber, etc. I understand the costs involved in making leftys. If you can use off the shelf parts (Gotoh bridges, CTS lefty pots, etc), leftys are no more expensive than rightys other than the extra time it takes to twist your brain around the opposite way as you build them. Many of the builders who had upcharges (Collings, Santa Cruz, etc) for leftys have dropped those charges for me as I've given them an outlet to sell enough instruments to make the extra work/cost negligible. I had Hallmark Guitars make 12 Custom '60 guitars in left handed with the understanding that I would would make the vibratos for them because it was not cost effective for them to do so. I made molds, cast them in aluminum, did the machine work,  had them plated, and installed them on the guitars myself. The Hallmark vibrato was fairly easy to duplicate in lefty from the righty. The Fly vibrato would require much more precision so sand castings would be out of the question. I understand the reluctance to to put resources toward something that is likely to make little return. I do want to add a few things to the conversation however. PRS did a run of lefty Custom 22s last year. 125 for the US. I was able to get 16 and sold them all. They are taking orders for a run of Custom 24s right now that will likely not hit 125, but enough to make it worth their efforts. So even companies like PRS that have a contentious history with leftys have been able to make leftys AND make money. If I can be of any help in getting lefty Flys made, I'll do what I can.
Note: bno, never tell a lefty to play righty (and there are lefty pianos). Yes, there are many leftys who play righty (Mark Knopfler), but so what. I'm a righty who plays lefty.
Title: Lefty Parkers for all!!!
Post by: Paul Marossy on June 07, 2012, 05:13:40 PM
There's more to it than just having a left handed bridge made, but that seems to be the biggest most cost prohibitive factor. They also would need to have left-handed versions of the composite material that goes on the back as well as programming the CNC machine to do a lefty body and neck. Otherwise the process of building a Fly is much the same between standard or theoritical left hand models.

__/\\/\\__PJM__/\\/\\__
http://www.DIYguitarist.com
http://www.myspace.com/j201jams
Title: Lefty Parkers for all!!!
Post by: billy on June 07, 2012, 07:03:29 PM
Not exactly,  The main issue is the fixturing involved (&costs) second is the cost of a mold to cast the bridge.  Add the engineering time in to support those issues plus the  cnc work, no way you can do it and meets your costs with the relatively small market.

Same reason there's no 24.75 scale fly, minus the bridge which could be the same.

Wish it was otherwise.

Small consolation, but I thought I saw some pm20 leftys on eBay not long ago.
Title: Lefty Parkers for all!!!
Post by: Paul Marossy on June 08, 2012, 08:35:06 PM
quote:
Originally posted by billy

Not exactly,  The main issue is the fixturing involved (&costs) second is the cost of a mold to cast the bridge.  Add the engineering time in to support those issues plus the  cnc work, no way you can do it and meets your costs with the relatively small market.


Well yeah, the fixturing is obviously part of the picture, just didn't think to mention that. Are molds really that expensive? Seems like they could something like that with a CNC milling machine. But I really don't know anything about that subject...

__/\\/\\__PJM__/\\/\\__
http://www.DIYguitarist.com
http://www.myspace.com/j201jams
Title: Lefty Parkers for all!!!
Post by: billy on June 09, 2012, 07:49:44 AM
Yeah, a fly has a few more fixtures involved, including inside the cnc.  Cnc is a great time saver once its set up and proven to be repeatable, but there's a bit of front end CAD/CAM work involved, probably a few days for each part, more if there wasn't the right hand version already.  We've got two CNC machines in our shop and I'm always surprised at how much extra setup time is involved for even simple parts.

The fixtures are not cheap because they are custom, have some tight tolerances, and have to hold up over time.  A fixture like those required is likely $5-10k ea, plus a new bridge mold (or cnc them individually).  So obviously fixtures are required, but considering everything, it's probably by my very rough, outside looking in estimate, at least $50k by time things are done.  Not trivial for a small brand, to say the least!

So if you made 10 lefty flies, it would need to cost probably an extra $5k min per guitar just to break even.  At that price I really doubt there is a market to justify the development time and expense, especially considering the limited resources available at USM at the moment.  Maybe I'm wrong about the demand but given the likely margin, any brand would put their resources on something with bigger, repeatable margins.
Title: Lefty Parkers for all!!!
Post by: bno on June 11, 2012, 11:08:34 AM
quote:
Originally posted by jerrysleftyguitars

Note: bno, never tell a lefty to play righty (and there are lefty pianos).
Sure, lets beat this dead horse.  Exactly one company makes custom left handed pianos.  Learning to play a left handed piano would mean you could only play the piano in your house.  A lefty guitarist cannot casually pick up someone elses guitar as a guest.  I personally see learning an ambidextrous skill in a fashion that limits your opportunities to be less than optimal.  

As I sit here typing this on my archaic qwerty keyboard, it begs the question - do you use one of those left handed computer keyboard?  Just asking.