Did any of you ever own the Parker Fly guitar?

SRHmusic

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I fixed up one that a local guitar teacher has, a Nite Fly. It was well built, but had a scratchy jack or switch to fix up. Great neck and fingerboard, though totally synthetic. And that horn is a problem if trying to sit with it. Sounds like @Mike_LA figured out a fix for that. 20190815_110748.jpg
 

24 track

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my nefew had 2 a red one and a blue one , weighed about a pound each , I wanted a left handed but could not find one both had the fishbern pickups , nice guitars
 

Rick330man

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I still have an H/S/S Nite Fly with the piezo. It was set up when I bought it for Ernie Ball .10/.46s. It is an excellent guitar in every way. My only complaint is that the humbucker on the bridge has a little too much midrange bite. The thought of replacing it with a Gibson 490T or a PAF type has crossed my mind several times, but have held off.
 

naveed211

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I liked them quite a bit years ago. I recently decided to look into them and then I saw the prices they’re listing for. Feel like you used to be able to get a basic USA Nitefly for around 700-800 used not that long ago. They’re listed for twice that on Reverb with the fancier Flys much more.

I don’t want one that badly. I seem to recall playing an import one at some point that was pretty good. Maybe that’s worth a look again.
 

Zoso420

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I got a parker fly about 9 years ago back when they were a lot cheaper.I paid 1400. It was my main giging guitar for 6 years. I liked it a lot. I tried the stereo pizeo setup at first but found it was too much hassle. I played lead and my rhythm player could cover the acoustic stuff. I just recently found how awesome teles are because I wanted something simple that didn't need a 9 volt battery to operate.
 

Zoso420

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I've definitely been intrigued, but the fact that only a small handful of pro players use them kept me from investigating further. Only two come to mind.....Jakko Jakszyk (of 21st Century Schizoid Band) and Reeves Gabrel (?) with David Bowie.
The guitar player from grand funk too
 

knopflerfan

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I have been wanting one for 15 years now. Just can't begin to afford them. Played a nice one at, of all places, Sam Ash - superlight, fast neck, really solid feel, sounded great. Someday(maybe), someday(maybe).
 

Mikecito

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I had a red 95 I think. Gigged with it for a couple years then sold it. Fun guitar but tone had a plastic quality that I couldn't get along with. Plus got sick of the horn in my ribs and weird looks.
I don't miss it.
 

ronzhd

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Like a lot of others on here I thought they looked cool, but I couldn't afford to buy one, and never had a chance to play one. Call me vanilla, but it seems like I'm more a traditionalist with Fender (Squier), Gibson (Epiphone).
 

Bobbyoso

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Bought one new (Fly Deluxe) in ~2003, when a GC near me was blowing them out for $800 when they abandoned the line. Still have and use it, it's a very fine instrument, stays in tune for months (literally), and sounds wonderful, although if you are looking for iconic 60-year old sounds, there are better choices, like iconic 60-year old guitars. Great tremelo system, world class neck, best neck joint I've ever seen (tied with David Myka's design), and lighter than just about anything.

Downsides are 1) due to the shallow body depth and config, swapping out pickups might be problematic; 2) I personally don't like having a ~$3k guitar at the mercy of the potential for a $3.00 battery leaking inside it, and 3) the guitar community, reactionary as it is, being uncomfortable with an instrument that isn't an LP, Strat, or Tele (I actually think this is an advantage, not a drawback).

There were three Fly Deluxes being sold that day at the $800 blowout price; my only regret is not having bought all three. It isn't my only really great guitar, but it IS a really great guitar, especially if you're not trying to mimic old classic tones done on very different (and IMO, far less evolved) instruments.

Never had the "rib digging" issue.
 

Blazer

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People who played the Fly?


Dave Navarro, when he was a Red Hot Chili Pepper. In fact it was thanks to Navarro that I discovered the Fly.


Reeves Gabrels (and David Bowie himself too.)


Babyface played one but he took care of that awkward horn you guys mentioned...
 

Mojotron

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I was crazy about Parkers for a few years - I had a '98 Classic Fly an early NiteFly and an Alder Fly (basically a strat-like NiteFly). On the Fly, I did everything to get the best playability across the entire fretboard and was never really happy with the relief adjustments to get the low and upper frets to be at a relatively low action. The NiteFly's were a bit better getting the action where I wanted it. Finally I got my Fly Classic PLEKed (which I highly recommend) and it was better.

I was never quite happy with the tone either - the attack was always too quick - I think that came from the SS frets and the lightness of the guitar body.

Then my Alder Fly's truss rod broke and I had to get a replacement neck... And I decided that what I really needed to do was to start making my own guitars so I did. I've integrated a lot of the ideas that Ken Parker put into his guitars. The one idea that really stuck was to have a convex/concave carve to the top/bottom of the guitar - this is one that I made a few years ago:
IMG_0558.jpg
IMG_0561.jpg
good_6.jpg


I was happier with the Parker ideas on the guitars I made - that way I could get the necks exactly the way (a bit wider than Fender necks, 22 frets with a 12" radius...) I wanted them and also get the tone I wanted. I eventually sold all of my Parkers. They were great guitars, but they were not exactly what I wanted as they were still not as playable as I wanted.
 

Bobbyoso

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Still have a Fly Deluxe I bought new about 18 years ago. So light, plays effortlessly, incredibly stable intonation and tuning, and sounds really good too, no thinness at all--in fact, the notes seem to build after picking them.

I love old guitars with "mojo", but the Parker Flys are brilliant designs. At some point, when the lowslung LP into Marshall mystique has dimmed and people buy instruments for capability and not image or nostalgia, someone's going to pick one up and go "whoa! Where have YOU been all my musical life?"

There's a reason there is a Parker Fly in the Smithsonian, and it has little to do with rock mythology.
 




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