|This article does not cite any sources. (February 2008)|
Parker guitars are characterized by being thin and ultra-lightweight guitars; they are generally made from lighter woods like poplar, Basswood, and spruce, although there is a mahogany Fly. They have composite materials (resin and carbon glass skin), to reinforce a thin carved body and neck. Fingerboards are composite, and use stainless steel frets which typically last the lifetime of the owner. The combination of composite fingerboard and stainless steel frets has led to Parker’s reputation for the fastest neck in the business. Electronics include the integrated use of coil split humbuckers, single coil and piezo pickups with active circuitry. The proprietary vibrato bridge uses a unique flat steel spring which returns the guitar to perfect pitch every time. The vibrato has 3 settings; bend down only, full floating and locked.
In October 2002, Parker initiated the first production run of the Fly bass guitar, in both 4-string and 5-string versions. The 5-strings were noted for their ease of use for 4-string players, both with respect to weight and string spacing. Parker basses produced in the original factory in Wilmington, MA have seven digit serial numbers using the same formula for dating at the original Nite Fly guitars. Basses made by U.S. Music Corporation have serial numbers that begin with 092. As with other Parker guitars, they offered both magnetic and piezoelectric pickups, with the ability to blend the two. The Fly Bass was discontinued in 2008 and Parker currently offers 4 and 5 string basses with the newer MaxxFly shape.
2003 was the last year of the original Flys, with the balance wheel on the face of the guitar and the 4 knob setup. In 2003 the Fly was "refined" with a new control layout consisting of a master volume, a master tone [coil split function is on this control as well] and a master volume for the piezo eliminating the separate volume control for the magnet pickups and the piezo tone control. Numerous other changes were made as well.
The original Parker factory was located in Massachusetts, but in 2004 the company was sold to U.S. Music Corporation based in Illinois, and manufacturing was moved there. The Parker custom shop opened at the U.S. Music Corp. headquarters factory in 2005.
In 2009 US Music was sold to Jam Industries, Ltd., a Canadian Musical Instrument distributor.
In 2010 the MaxxFly model was introduced. Based on the Fly model, it features a refined headstock, allowing the guitar to be hung on a standard guitar wall hanger, a refined top horn, which is more ergonomically and traditionally shaped, standardized pickup cavities, 22 frets instead of 24 and a slightly thicker, heavier body. It shares the same construction as the standard Fly.
In 2015 company representatives unofficially announced that Parker's US factory had ceased operations, saying a search for a new manufacturing facility was underway. Since then, no new Fly models have been produced, but it is unclear whether other Parker-branded imports are still being manufactured in Asia.
Current and past Parker players include Adrian Belew, Juliette Valduriez, Johnny Clegg, Reeves Gabrels, Vernon Reid, Trent Reznor, Dave Martone, Joni Mitchell, Mark Farner, Andre Tonelli and touring guitarists Robin Finck, Danny Lohner & Aaron North of Nine Inch Nails, Adam Dutkiewicz of Killswitch Engage, Vince Genella, Saul Zonana, Stephen Rockford Hammond and Deron Miller of CKY. As of late, Parker has released several special edition Flys. There has been the Fly Mojo Snakeskin where a stock Fly Mojo was covered in snakeskin. Also were the 4 seasons Fly Mojos which were Mojos made corresponding to the season. Also released under the select series was the koa Fly Mojo.
Current Production Model Line-Up
- Parker Fly Mojo
- Parker Fly Deluxe
- Parker Fly Classic
- Parker MaxxFly DF824
- Parker MaxxFly DF842
Parker Select Series:
- Fly Artist
- Fly Supreme
Radial Neck Joint USA models:
- Parker MaxxFly DF1024
- Parker MaxxFly DF724
- Parker MaxxFly DF624
- Parker MaxxFly DF524
- Parker MaxxFly DF523
USA Nitefly Series:
- Parker Nitefly RF722
- Parker Nitefly RF622
- Parker Nitefly RF522
PDF Radial Neck Joint Models (Models ending in 5 feature the Graph Tech Ghost piezo system):
- Parker MaxxFly PDF105
- Parker MaxxFly PDF100
- Parker MaxxFly PDF85
- Parker MaxxFly PDF80
- Parker MaxxFly PDF70
- Parker MaxxFly PDF60
- Parker MaxxFly PDF35
- Parker MaxxFly PDF30
New and Other Models:
- Adrian Belew signature model DFAB842 MaxxFly
- Vernon Reid signature model MaxxFly
- Parker MaxxFly 4 & 5 String and fretless Basses
- Adam Dutkiewicz signature model MaxxFly (Discontinued)
- Parker SC and SC Mojo- the single-cut version of the Fly, also known as the PM60 (Discontinued in 2010)
- Parker P-Series acoustics (Discontinued in 2009)
- Parker P-Basses (Discontinued in 2009)
Parker Select Series:
- Fly Bronze (Discontinued)
- Fly Nylon (Spanish Fly)(Discontinued)
Bolt on USA models:
Parker Nitefly Classic(Discontinued in 2010) Parker Nitefly Swamp Ash(Discontinued in 2010) Parker Nitefly Mojo(Discontinued in 2010)
- Parker P44 PRO (Discontinued in 2010)
- Parker P44 V (Discontinued in 2010)
- Parker P-42 (Discontinued in 2010)
- Parker P-40 (Discontinued in 2010)
- Parker P-30 (Discontinued in 2010)
- Parker P-36 (Discontinued in 2010)
- Parker P-38 (Discontinued in 2010)
- Parker PM20PRO (Discontinued in 2010)
- Parker PM24V (Discontinued in 2010)
- Parker PM20 (Discontinued in 2010)
- Parker PM10 (Discontinued in 2010)