What to look for when buying a fly

Discussions of every Fly in every variation including Deluxe, Classic, Mojo, Artist, Supreme, Stealth, Concert/Bronze, and custom Flys
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Stinkoman
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What to look for when buying a fly

Post by Stinkoman »

So I been wanting a Fly for 20 years and played my share of them and I’m either today or tomorrow morning finally going to buy one,a 2011 deluxe. I know loose frets,lifted fingerboard, and electronic issues are most common, but anything else I need to look for? And on the topic of fingerboard lifting is this something that has been happening more or common and something that will probably become inevitable thing for Parker’s or something I shouldn’t worry about?
mmmguitar
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Re: What to look for when buying a fly

Post by mmmguitar »

Is there a listing or any photos that can be linked to? Are any accessories included (bar, spare spring, tools, etc.)?

The structural aesthetics you’re looking out for include chips or cracks along the edge of the fingerboard, the trem posts, and the wood between the trem and strap button. You generally don’t need to worry about the fingerboard or frets lifting on a guitar that shows no signs of it years after being built - The bad batch of glue used in the USM era made itself apparent almost right away, and lifting frets tend to be a symptom of players cleaning their Flys with something other than some warm water on a clean cloth or rag,

Here’s a bit pasted from another post of mine:

Once the Fly you’ve purchased is unboxed and inspected for superficial damage not mentioned in the listing and inventoried for all items specified in the listing, you’ll want to perform the following steps:

1. Plug in and ensure full functionality of circuits, elements and (notoriously iffy) switching - Put in a new battery if necessary
2. Check fretboard for any obvious humps, lifting frets, or chips along carbon joint
3. Check the nut for any chips and the saddles/elements for any corrosion or missing pieces
4. Remove back plate and inspect electronics assembly, then the spring for condition and appropriate gauge-pairing
5. Insert bar, ensure bushing and set-screw are intact and functional, then check trem for smooth movement, non-leaning of posts, and ability to be blocked

Not to scare you away from purchasing, but I found my recently acquired 2011 Supreme’s pots and switches to be pretty junky - So be prepared for that. Thankfully, they’re the cheapest and simplest problems to repair on a refined Fly (just replace each component that isn’t fixed by spraying with deoxit with some better pots and 3-way switches).
Summary of the current Parker Guitars market: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greater_fool_theory
Stinkoman
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Re: What to look for when buying a fly

Post by Stinkoman »

Thank you for your reply and insight and eased some of my fears. I made a mistake it’s a 2001 not a 2011
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vjmanzo
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Re: What to look for when buying a fly

Post by vjmanzo »

Hi @Stinkoman, and welcome to the forum.

+1 for all of @mmmguitar’s comments.

I’ll just add: if you maintain 40-50% relative humidity in your place, you’ll never run into issues with the fretboard or the frets, and you’ll never have to adjust the truss rod. No aspect of the Fly “goes bad” over time with age; the refined Fly electronics are, as mmmguitar noted, unreliable.
mmmguitar
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Re: What to look for when buying a fly

Post by mmmguitar »

Stinkoman wrote: Sat Jun 20, 2020 6:16 pm Thank you for your reply and insight and eased some of my fears. I made a mistake it’s a 2001 not a 2011
In this case, if the guitar's glue has been holding solid for nineteen years, then you should be fine. Does the Fly have the wheel on the front of the body (pre-refined) or not (refined)? If pre-refined, you have limited modding options for the electronics assembly, and will likely have to replace everything except for the jack, piezo elements, and pickups if components begin to fail. Alternatively, you can hound VJ relentlessly to fabricate new parts for it.

Note that many Fly owners' 1990's electronics still function perfectly. I suspect component failure is largely to do with potentiometer nuts loosening up enough for knob-turning to pull on the (brittled by age) wires.

It's also worth noting if your preferred string gauge is 9s, 10s, etc.; being as essentially no spare springs are available (for now).
Summary of the current Parker Guitars market: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greater_fool_theory
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vjmanzo
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Re: What to look for when buying a fly

Post by vjmanzo »

mmmguitar wrote: Sun Jun 21, 2020 9:38 am Alternatively, you can hound VJ relentlessly to fabricate new parts for the old Fishman ribbon assembly.
:lol:

We’re working on it!
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