Image via Wikipedia
by M A N @roquesdoodle
The first time I saw a Parker Fly, I didn't know what to think. It doesn't have quite the conservative look of a strat or Les Paul, nor does it have the severe stylings of a B.C. Rich. Its traditional shape is modified with futuristic contours and has a minimalistic flair. It truly looks like a guitar of the future. And its appearance isn't the only thing next-gen about this guitar.
The Fly Classic model has a Mahogany body and a basswood neck. Pretty typical, right? Well, this is where the wonders of science come in. The back of the body and neck are coated with a composite material made from carbon fiber, glass, and epoxy. The composite used for this exoskeleton is also the material used for the fretboard. No rosewood or maple or ebony. JustParker's futuristic science-y goo molded into a sleek, high performance fretboard designed to make your fingers happy. It's also designed in a way to keep intonation throughout the entire fretboard. A C# on the 21st fret is just as pitch-perfect as a C# on the 4th fret. That in and of itself is pretty damn amazing.
What's also interesting is that the Fly's minimalist design is not an aesthetic choice. All extraneous wood was carved away and its shape configured to allow the guitar the greatest amount of resonance and tone possible. This is also the reason why the Fly clocks in at a mere 5 pounds, making it perfect for long sets on stage. But how does it sound?
In a word? Epic.
The Fly has a Fishman piezo pickup in the bridge and two DiMarzio humbuckers. This set-up allows you to get great acoustic sounds without having to switch guitars in the middle of a song. It can go from a mellow coffee house acoustic to full-on buffalo hunting stadium shredder in the time it takes you to flip the toggle switch. And the Sperzel locking tuners keep the guitar in tune no matter how hard you abuse the custom vibrato system. The Fly is versatile with a great look and an even greater sound.
The Parker Fly came out in 1992, but Parker has been pushing the envelope ever since. They have several models based on the classic Fly design, each as technically and audibly marvelous as the first (I'm rather fond of the Dragonfly). The Adrian Belew model even has the Line 6 Variax modeling built in for even more amazing sounds.
The only downside to Parker guitars is that they are not cheap. They range from just over two grand at the low end to $9,000 at the top end. Not exactly chump change. But if you can swing it, the Parker Fly will not disappoint.