Future interest in Parker - up or down?

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jamiecrain
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Future interest in Parker - up or down?

Post by jamiecrain » Sun Oct 20, 2019 1:51 am

Hi all,
It might be my imagination, but since the recent disappearance of the Parker website and forum there seems to be more interest in the brand, at least on Facebook. Lots of fans worldwide.
What does everyone else think? Will it lead to Parker becoming a collector item, or even a resurrection of the brand? I have no inside info but i’m still curious and would love to see the brand come to life again once again.
My Parkers are awesome guitars but I feel that the decline of the brand takes the shine off a little.
Thoughts?
J

Mr303
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Re: Future interest in Parker - up or down?

Post by Mr303 » Sun Oct 20, 2019 9:34 am

As with anything FB I suspect any uptick is due to social media contagiousness in the relatively small number of Parker enthusiasts on there. But I’m not on FB either.
Even though there are lots of fans now there were obviously never enough people to keep the brand viable.
For someone like me that plays with friends or at home a fine light instrument that costs more than common guitars wouldn’t generally make economic or practical sense if the guitar sits most of the time.
I feel for a gigging/working musician Parker’s are like a fine tool more needed than wanted but many folks didn’t know about them or wouldn’t justify the cost. I rationalized getting my ‘97 because my fingers go numb quickly and my shoulders hurt from years of construction and of course the Parker alleviated many of those issues right away for a longer period of time than using even light SG styles etc.

The prices on Reverb make me think people do consider the collector value of the line and there is something to that line of thinking. However the brand in its final form will never be revived do to tooling etc and the ongoing ignorance of the general guitar playing populous.

I showed pictures of my Deluxe to a couple “ weekend band” musician friends I haven’t seen in years yesterday, (they both have old Les Paul’s and they are very much still enamored with the “classic” they’ve had since high school). They’ve never given a thought or felt the need to find a lighter better guitar, the status quo is ok and easy to live with. That was true until I told them my ‘97 weighs 5lbs 8 oz. “my LP is almost 15lbs!” was one comment.
Parker’s shine and always will.
I’m really disappointed I never had a Parker when I was young, it would have allowed me to be a much better player.
Ok that’s my 2 cents worth.
Cheers

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vjmanzo
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Re: Future interest in Parker - up or down?

Post by vjmanzo » Sun Oct 20, 2019 3:25 pm

I think what we're perceiving as renewed interest in the Parker guitars has more to do with it being on our radar than it does with any sort of large-scale interest. I've seen the used prices fluctuate on Flys since 2015 when USM shut down, but, unlike other brands with more established "collector value" status, you can, even now, get a Fly in near-mint condition for a little less than what it sold for new. The prices on Reverb also do fluctuate quite a bit, and, if you're quick to the draw, you can snag a good deal; part of me thinks that it's really just the same couple-hundred or so of us out there selling our guitars to eachother over and over again! :lol:

Part of the effort of "Fly Clone" was to help with the "Oh crap: my fretboard is lifting!" scenarios that will likely creep up regardless of whether Parker Guitars ever resurfaces; I think some of what we're perceiving as a sudden resurgence in Parker interest in these small social groups may also be related to those types of concerns. Hard to say.

I wouldn't rule out a Parker Guitars comeback, but, as @Mr303 noted: the original tooling is lost and would need to be rebuilt in order to service the Flys and NiteFlys we have. However, Ken has said several times: "we were making $10,000 guitars and trying to sell them for $3000"; he also told me, to paraphrase: "if there was a way to make money with a Fly, we would have figured that out". Unlike the marketplace for nearly all other instruments, someone can buy an electric guitar at nearly any pricepoint; the $700-ish price point for a good guitar is normalized, so why would someone buy a Fly for five times that amount? :| The electric guitar marketplace is unusual because, if you're a violinist, a $700 budget is a joke! I'm not really sure where a new Parker Fly would stand today and it would be odd to think that, without cutting major corners, the Fly would somehow, now, be a profitable product. The "$10,000" Ken was referring to was not the cost of materials; it was the cost of the sweat equity required to make the Fly!
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jamiecrain
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Re: Future interest in Parker - up or down?

Post by jamiecrain » Sun Oct 20, 2019 4:44 pm

vjmanzo wrote:
Sun Oct 20, 2019 3:25 pm
I think what we're perceiving as renewed interest in the Parker guitars has more to do with it being on our radar than it does with any sort of large-scale interest.
Very possible you are right.

I find it interesting though that there are brands out there like Aristides who are innovating with materials and *appear* to be profitable. And they aren't cheap. They are different to a Fly of course in design and spec but even so, there are lots of people willing to drop $3k+ on a non-traditional guitar. I may even get one myself one day if they make them light enough...

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Re: Future interest in Parker - up or down?

Post by vjmanzo » Sun Oct 20, 2019 5:07 pm

jamiecrain wrote:
Sun Oct 20, 2019 4:44 pm
I find it interesting though that there are brands out there like Aristides who are innovating with materials and *appear* to be profitable.
I think you make a good point with Aristides; it looks like they sell direct to customers, a model which, of course, didn’t really exist when Parker Guitars was on the ascent. I’m sure the injection-molded approach makes production a lot easier/cheaper too!

Somewhat related note: does anyone remember Switch Vibracell guitars? I have one of them (similar concept of injection-molded synthetic material); it’s a good-sounding guitar FWIW, but Switch also went under. It didn’t have high-end finishings, but it also was priced at around $300.

It’s hard to innovative with guitars, and, it seems, most guitarists are not into innovation—“ouch” if you’re a manufacturer!
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Re: Future interest in Parker - up or down?

Post by Mr303 » Mon Oct 21, 2019 8:10 am

VJ wrote

Somewhat related note: does anyone remember Switch Vibracell guitars? I have one of them (similar concept of injection-molded synthetic material); it’s a good-sounding guitar FWIW, but Switch also went under. It didn’t have high-end finishings, but it also was priced at around $300.


I had a vibracell for awhile. Interesting concept for injection molding a guitar body.
Pseudo Parker shape and it weighed a ton, but had good tone and sustain.
Played well but heavy as a boat anchor. Get the theme?
Mine was bright green. Bought it for 180 from Music Go Round sold it on Craigslist for 300.
A rarity indeed to make money from an off brand like that Switch.
I see them every once in awhile for sale.

Ok those aristides guitars are very nice but they’re like a Parker, rare enough I probably will never get to fondle one and that price point hurts.

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Re: Future interest in Parker - up or down?

Post by Notes_Norton » Mon Oct 21, 2019 3:37 pm

I agree, most guitarists are not into innovation on shapes or brands, but instead many are open to modding.

I think if a few 'guitar gods' decided to play Parkers exclusively, there would have been enough sales to sustain the company. So many players are influenced by what their idols play.

I bought my Parker DFs because they are light weight, contoured, balanced, stay in tune well, have only one volume and tone control, are built well, and have a scale and radius that fit's me and how I play.

They are workingman's tools, and now that Parkers are no more, I hope they last until I get to the final coda of life.

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Re: Future interest in Parker - up or down?

Post by Mr303 » Tue Oct 22, 2019 7:01 pm

Notes_Norton wrote:
Mon Oct 21, 2019 3:37 pm

They are workingman's tools, and now that Parkers are no more, I hope they last until I get to the final coda of life.
Ain’t it da truth man!

Thus the need for a CLONE project eh?

Hopefully old Fly’s never die they just sustain away.

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Re: Future interest in Parker - up or down?

Post by vjmanzo » Tue Oct 22, 2019 9:00 pm

Mr303 wrote:
Tue Oct 22, 2019 7:01 pm
old Fly’s never die they just sustain away.
:lol:
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