Parker Fly Mojo - Natural Mahogany Finish with Deluxe Parker Hardshell Case Review

Posted by Sherrie Kearney on Thursday, December 22, 2011

Parker Fly Mojo - Natural Mahogany Finish with Deluxe Parker Hardshell Case
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My guitar is the Parker Fly Mojo model in clear coat Honduran Mahogany and with the metal flake brown-bronze back. My comments do not apply to any of Parker's bolt-on neck or foreign made guitars - I have only played two and both were in a different league from a set neck, domestically made Fly.

After the odyssey through Fenders, Gibsons, a Rick, and a Hofner, I have been finding myself using this guitar most of all. You should know that I have not gigged in years, I rarely take a guitar out of the house, and I play daily for my own enjoyment and occasionally with a friend, so my preferences and needs may not be the same as yours.

Some real plusses for me:

1.Truly great craftsmanship. The guitars made since Parker sold out are at least as well made as those before. Fit and finish are second to none.

2.Very versatile array of sounds. The Seymour Duncan humbuckers can replicate so many guitars, and the proprietary piezo-tremolo unit works better than any I have used. The piezo sounds a lot like an acoustic guitar that is equipped with a piezo bridge and it would come in handy for those who only want to schlep one guitar to a gig. Using the stereo cord that comes with the fly, and doing what they suggest, playing the humbuckers through your guitar amp and the piezo through the PA, you get a really nice differentiation of electric and acoustic.

3.The way the carbon fiber fretboard reinforces the neck is great. This guitar stays in tune, even with the tremolo unlocked. The fret board is always smooth when doing extreme bends (I just played my Tele with a one-piece cocobolo neck and noticed the difference right away.) Stainless steel frets are a plus for longer wear and are easy to keep shiny, particularly since they came from the factory without needing any dressing.

4.I like Sperzel tuners a lot and have put them on most of my Fenders. This also contributes to staying in tune.

5.The guitar is light at no more than 5 pounds. With many of the most popular guitars weighing in at twice that weight or more, the difference is very noticeable when grabbing it off the stand by the heck from the coach, for example (I do that a lot), or when standing up with it on for a while. I had though that sustain was greatly influenced by the weight of the guitar as physics suggests it should, but I have come to think that rigidity is a much more significant factor in sustain based on my experience with this Fly.

6.The neck is very thin. I like this for `living-room playing' and it can help my speed in reaching for a fret or jumping around the positions on the neck. When people try the Fly they always remark on the thinness of the neck and how `playable' it is compared to their favorite guitars.

7.Balance is tremendous. That long top bout puts the strap button just where is should be to let you take your hand off the neck without fear of the neck nose-diving towards the floor.

8.Visual appeal. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but even those who do not relish the design have to admit that it is a great piece of sculpture.

On the not-so-plus side:

1.The case. Although this is a guitar review, since the case comes with it I feel that is is fair game. The case is poor quality, poor design, and flimsy. There are two Parker hard shell cases and I am panning the one with the big "Parker" embossed on the front. There is another Parker HSC with a small "Parker" embossed in the lower left corner of the front and I am thinking that I will get one of those. Parker sells the big logo version on their website; the one I am looking for is available from the big music stores for a little over a hundred.

2.The thin neck. Okay, you're right, I listed this as a plus, too, but I find that my hand can get a little cramped-up when playing long and hard. Otherwise, no problem. I take breaks, and besides, my hand cramps-up sometimes when I'm not playing the Parker.

3.Battery. Although it is easy to get to and swap for a new one, and the piezo requires it, and it's expected to last for over a hundred hours, it seems that I am replacing it more frequently than I should have to; maybe I'm inaccurate on this. A second battery holder might be nice. For now, I just keep a spare in the case (yeah, the case I hate.) When considering new guitars for the collection, I tend to shy away from those requiring a battery; I also have become much fonder of hard-tails - I hardly ever use a tremolo anyway.

4.Slide. This is a poor choice to set-up as a slide guitar. For slide use, I favor the old and heavy solid bodies where the neck is thick and the frets aren't so great any more. Also, I don't like to get myslides (I use the big, thick, heavy brass slides) anywhere near a guitar with a finish I want to preserve. They eventually will take a toll.

I really like this guitar and if it disappeared, I would buy another. If you see one in a music shop, by all means, pick it up and try it. You won't pull any muscles in your arm when you lift it!

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Product Description:
A solid mahogany body and neck provide warm resonance to the thick, bold tone generated by genuine Seymour Duncan Jazz and JB pickups. It's light in weight but far from a lightweight, churning out creamy, luscious sounds with enhanced lower mids. Famous Fly playability and comfort is combined with simpler knobs and a more ergonomic control layout, easier-to-use vibrato, improved electronics, carbon glass fretboard, Fishman 6-element piezo system, and Sperzel locking tuners.Includes hardshell case.

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