Parker Guitars Feature Set and Factory Tour 2005

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vjmanzo
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Parker Guitars Feature Set and Factory Tour 2005

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mmmguitar
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Re: Parker Guitars Feature Set and Factory Tour 2005

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Hadn’t seen this. Interesting to see John doing his best to avoid stepping on corporate toes throughout (I counted at least one instance where he slipped up and credited Ken, rather than the owned brand, with inventing a particular jig or machine).

Fascinating to see how they rout the truss channel diagonally from the back of the neck, install and fill, then laminate a skunk stripe layer of CF along the center line, followed by a full rear covering of fiberglass over that. Edit: Thank you to VJ and Ken for confirming that it’s glass over carbon.

Too bad the brand didn’t last to take advantage of the recent trend of marketing “roasted” woods (which the guitars certainly appear to be after a few hours in the pizza oven).

A few years ago, an unfortunate gentleman blocked me on a messageboard after he bought a raw Fly body and neck from Mike and asked how to complete it (He I assumed I was trolling with the freezer and pizza oven comments). I wish I’d been aware of this video to have linked him to it. His head might have exploded!
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Re: Parker Guitars Feature Set and Factory Tour 2005

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mmmguitar wrote: Mon Mar 29, 2021 8:57 am Interesting to see John doing his best to avoid stepping on corporate toes throughout
Agreed; it was also a little cringey for me, watching this now in 2021, knowing the changes USM made to the original Fly production when they moved from Wilmington, and all they changes they would make in the years to come. For instance, John goes to great length to discuss the importance of the lightweight truss system Ken designed, and, after this video was shot, that feature was changed without improvement.
mmmguitar wrote: Mon Mar 29, 2021 8:57 am A few years ago, an unfortunate gentleman blocked me on a messageboard after he bought a raw Fly body and neck from Mike and asked how to complete it (He assumed I was trolling with the freezer and pizza oven comments). I wish I’d been aware of this video to have linked him to it. His head might have exploded!
Yeah, I've had similar interactions...you watch one of these videos and, whether it was from in Wilmington or Mundelein, you have to just say: look at how complex this was! Nobody was making guitars like this! Making a Fly body from CNC was the easy part--everything else was close to impossible!!
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Re: Parker Guitars Feature Set and Factory Tour 2005

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The “impossible” aspects are likely why we haven’t seen any of the talented people from the video(s) carrying the torch with their own instrument builds. If anyone’s aware of any ex-employees now building featherweight or stability-minded guitars, please let me know.
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Re: Parker Guitars Feature Set and Factory Tour 2005

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mmmguitar wrote: Mon Mar 29, 2021 3:47 pm If anyone’s aware of any ex-employees now building featherweight or stability-minded guitars, please let me know.
The only ex-employee I know of that’s striving for both of those things is Ken, but you already knew that. 😑 I have been compiling a “who’s who” list of people that worked with @Ken Parker in Wilmington, which sounds kind of stalker-ish, I suppose. Regardless, I’ve learned about some of the really terrific and talented folks that helped make the Fly; one in particular, Jerome Little who still builds basses and guitars with a very unique and ergonomic twisted neck!!

https://torzalguitars.com/

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Mr303
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Re: Parker Guitars Feature Set and Factory Tour 2005

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I want to try a twisted neck like that on a six string!
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Re: Parker Guitars Feature Set and Factory Tour 2005

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Me too, @Mr303! It looks like their website has changed a bit since I last visited, so their bass models are shown more prominently, but I do remember seeing the six strings up there. So cool...and this way of getting a guitar with a twisted neck seems way better than the usual approaches 🤣

At Parker Guitars, Jerome Little, among many other things, designed the wooden knobs for the Fly Nylon guitar. Seems like an incredible builder!
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Re: Parker Guitars Feature Set and Factory Tour 2005

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mmmguitar wrote: Mon Mar 29, 2021 3:47 pm If anyone’s aware of any ex-employees now building featherweight or stability-minded guitars, please let me know.
I should have mentioned, @mmmguitar: Gus Guitars, though not at all affiliated with Parker Guitars, has employed some of the same ideas that Ken did with the Fly to make lightweight instruments.
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mark74
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Re: Parker Guitars Feature Set and Factory Tour 2005

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Wow that is incredible, thanks for posting. Amazing craftsmanship. Can certainly appreciate the technology and precision involved when these were manufactured vs a traditional slab of wood like a les paul. Such a dedication to QC and consistency.

I wonder how many Parker guitars were even sold? Between the R&D to develop them, the ongoing operating costs, artist endorsements (I think), etc and the price of the guitar at the time, it's amazing they stayed around as long as they did. Either people hold on to them or there just weren't many sold...I don't see a lot of fly mojos on reverb. Lot of maxxflys though.

:lol: Best part:

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Re: Parker Guitars Feature Set and Factory Tour 2005

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That is a great moment, @mark74; are they holding your guitar???? 😉

@Ken Parker and his team estimate 30,000 Flys were made in Wilmington between 1993 and 2003, and production in Mundelin was likely about 20,000 Flys between 2004 and 2015 (100 - 150 Flys a month).
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