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Thread: Review: Parker P-42

  1. #1
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    Default Review: Parker P-42

    I've never done a gear review before, and I'm certainly no expert at anything, so this probably won't be the best review you've ever read. Sorry. If you have additional questions I'll be happy to answer them to the best of my ability. I have a post in the showroom titled "Here she is" with pictures. I am not going to try posting more pics right now because I'm an idiot. Again, if there's something specific you'd like to see, I'll try to put up a pic of it. Here goes:

    Parker is probably best known for their radical looks and design. They came onto my radar several years ago. I saw one at a store and immediately fell in love with their look and feel. Of course I didn't see a lefty and never did until mine arrived this past Monday. The Parker Fly Boasts stainless steel frets, carbon-glass-epoxy fretboard, neck through mahogany body and a piezo pickup (among about a million other features). It also had a price tag starting at a couple grand.

    Fast-forward a couple years and Parker introduces the P series. Stripped down import models at an affordable (for those of us in the real world) price. Their website says they set up all their imports at their factory in Mundelein, IL. I will attest to that fact. My P-42 says it was made in Indonesia. Right out of the box it played great. It was almost perfectly in tune, but the nice thing was the action was right where I like it. Alright, I'm getting a little ahead of myself.

    I bought the guitar from Adirondack Guitars in New York. Put a $25 deposit down about a month ago, as they were still waiting for them to arrive (Dennis told me after they arrived they were about 5 months late). They finally got in last week, and after paying my balance Adirondack had Parker drop ship it to me since I'm closer to Illinois than New York (I'm in Michigan). Now I haven't done any real intensive research on the subject, but I have gathered that this is the first batch of lefties they've done. Only select dealers across the country were getting them. Adirondack was only getting 8, and when I called 5 had already been reserved. The price was $459, which is the same price they're charging for the "righties."

    Let's get some specs out of the way:

    Body: One piece mahogany
    Neck: Bolt-on maple
    Fretboard: Ebony
    Frets: 22 nickel silver
    Bridge: Stop tailpiece
    Pickups: Parker Stinger HH configuration
    Controls: Three-way selector, volume, tone with push/pull coil tap
    Tuners: Grover 18:1
    Finish: Metallic black

    So what's the bottom line? I absolutely LOVE this guitar. My biggest concern was the pickups. I have to say, though, they sound just fine. I had it delivered to my work (Elderly Instruments) and when I had a minute I headed up to the amp room. I plugged into a Line 6 and cranked it. Great crunch on the bridge pickup. Seemingly endless sustain up past the 12th fret. I switched to a clean channel on the amp, switched to the neck pickup, pulled the coil tap and she sparkled. I will have no need to change out the pickups (sorry lostinthemasses, but I did check out that website and those Bill Lawrence pickups do sound really cool).

    The neck is pretty thin and definitely built for speed. I've had a bunch of mediocre guitars and a few really nice ones, and the closest I can compare this one to is the Carvin DC127 I used to have (which cost twice as much). It's probably the ebony fretboard, because in my opinion nothing compares to an ebony fretboard. I have inspected this thing very closely looking for a flaw and I've found nothing. The paint job is pretty much perfect. The frets are incredibly smooth. For the price this thing is just...I don't know. Just beyond.

    The only real negative about the guitar is it doesn't have a sculpted heel. Kinda feels like it makes my left arm stick out weird. I might just have to play with where the guitar hangs. Also, the black finish attracts every little piece of dust and stray hair. Minor complaint.

    I'm probably forgetting a dozen things, and I'm sure I'm not explaining myself well, but there it is. I will honestly say I am completely in love with this guitar. Of course being left handed I'm a little different anyway, add onto that the fact that you don't see many Parkers, and certainly no lefty Parkers. This guitar stands out. I dig that. But it plays and sounds great, which is more important, but being different is cool, too. If there's anything you want to ask about or comment on, please do so. I'd appreciate the feedback. Thanks for reading.

  2. #2
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    nothing beats an ebony fretboard

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    I bought mine from that guy on ebay. Because I was always curious about these. Pretty okay guitar for the money. I have a lot of guitars. The pups on mine are not bad. Neck is tiny and mine needed a TR adjustment and a set up something fierce. But that's probably why that guy sells them for $285.00. But it's certainly worth having. I then bought a Parker PM20Pro from the same seller and I really like that guitar A LOT. If he ever gets any more of those at that $450 price I would say jump on it.

  4. #4
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    Default My P42 beats James Bond's P38 anyday

    As I mentioned elsewhere, I sold my Tele, which was a mistake, because a Strat just isn't the same. Being a lefty is bad enough, I also have a couple of physical disabilities (left wrist is missing three bones and won't bend) which make guitar playing a challenge - I cannot play a Dreadnought acoustic for example, I can't get my are around the body. As a result I saw a hell of a lot of guitars over the last six months!

    Then I ran into two shops in the same city that carried left handed Parkers. I did my testing with an IPad/IRig combination and Sony Monitor headphones, so different amplifiers weren't an issue. Parkers tested were the PM10, PM20, P42, and P44. I'm not a Parker expert, so I can't tell you the details, but there was a significant sound difference between the four guitars. The PM10 and PM20 didn't sparkle. The P44 wasn't bad.

    But the P42 was incredible. I love the sounds I can get out of it. And I really like the controls, especially the push-pull knob which cuts out the humbuckers, and can really change a song in midstride.


    Caveats - first, the damned high e string gets caught on the bridge pickup sometimes. Of course I've only had the guitar since Monday, and I'll learn to play around that issue.

    Second it's black. This is a plus and a minus. I love black, but it is a fingerprint magnet, never mind a dog nose print magnet. Of course this may end up being a plus, because it may make me polish my guitars more, which I really should do anyway.

    I've heard of Indonesian, Korean, and Chinese Parkers. Mine is Korean. Build is good. I have been unable to find any flaws, other than the damned string catching on the pickups, which can be blamed on me being too aggressive.

    This is the most fun guitar I've ever had to play. It's also damned comfortable, which as I said is a major issue for me. I like it.

    Would I recommend it? Yes, if you like the sound. My wife says it's very me. She also said that if she ever decided to go electric, she'd consider a Parker.

  5. #5
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    congrats on your new guitar...just lower the pickup a tad and your issue will be solved

  6. #6
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    I'm happy another lefty is happy ... lol
    Since nobody posted a pic, I looked one up for posterity ; )

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by kramerfan View Post
    congrats on your new guitar...just lower the pickup a tad and your issue will be solved
    Um, any idea how? Guitar has been put to bed for the night, and I don't feel up to digging it out right now. Suggestions to get me headed in the right direction would be appreciated.

    I assume that this would change the sound, any idea how?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Mad Hatter View Post
    Um, any idea how? Guitar has been put to bed for the night, and I don't feel up to digging it out right now. Suggestions to get me headed in the right direction would be appreciated.

    I assume that this would change the sound, any idea how?
    Usually face-mount pickups have foam pads on the under side of the pickup to allow for height adjustment. So it should be as simple as screwing the high E screw side into a body a bit more.
    Last edited by AllroyPA; 11-26-2010 at 03:39 AM.

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