Parker Event Series P8EN Electric Acoustic Guitar (Natural) Review

Posted by Sherrie Kearney on Monday, April 25, 2011

Parker Event Series P8EN Electric Acoustic Guitar
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This guitar is strikingly beautiful.And the sounds that pour out of it are just as fine - and unique.The music I play is improvisational stuff: blues, jazz, Irish and Celtic music, fingerstyle country blues... and when you're playing this Parker guitar, and sailing about on the ebony fingerboard, the treble notes seem to pour out of it.They cut through and project like sirens, but in a wonderful blend with the bass and middle-range of the guitar.The Parker P8EN sits on my leg and beneath my arm the way I've always wanted an acoustic guitar to do. I'd never found that comfort until now, and I can't stop playing the thing!

There are so many "pros" to recommend this guitar.Even its case is a work of art.Faux-suede, the smell of something "vintage" when you open it... an elegant top cloth of green satin, embroidered with "Parker Guitars" - wait till you see this thing.

The guitar stays in tune like a battle axe.Play it, pound it, thrash it, do anything short of abuse it - and it's still in tune.How do they do that?I don't know.I know my 1981 Martin won't do that, but that's a different kind of instrument.

This P8EN has the best intonation I've yet encountered on an acoustic guitar.I checked, with an electronic tuner, all over the neck - not just at the 12th fret.Play a chord, it sounds sweet every time.The Parker has a compensated bone saddle and bone nut, plus a "zero fret." The strings must pass over this zero fret, just beyond the nut, so that the open position has the super-low action of a fretted position... if that makes sense.And the zero fret gives you oodles of extra sustain.

I think it's important that potential buyers don't take the impression that the Parker is a "stage guitar," because of the built-in pickups.This guitar is an acoustic playground.Since I got it a few weeks ago, I haven't touched my other guitars, haven't needed to.I sit back on the couch in acoustic bliss, no amp, just me and this medieval-looking axe.

But I did plug into an amp just to hear what the fuss was all about.Let me fuss now.The two (yep, two) built-in pickups - one at the base of the neck, the other hidden beneath the saddle - give you very nearly the same sound, amplified, that you get acoustically.It doesn't sound amplified, the way most acoustics with pickups sound.It doesn't have that "tin" or metallic edge that so often ruins acoustic tones when played through built-in pickups.I'd never heard an "electrified" acoustic that gave the sound of a good old mic-to-sound-hole acoustic guitar.They always sounded fake.But the Fishman combo in this Parker guitar has changed my mind.It can be done.It can be done amazingly well.I've been playing thirty years, and if my back were turned, I wouldn't know this guitar was relying on built-in electronics, and not being played straight through a mic.Parker's Fishman system is that good.

The neck of this guitar blows me away, too.It's slim, but not too slim, it's fast, it's absolutely straight, the 19 nickel frets are just the right size - it's as if everything about the P8EN is unique in a very fine way.Its' different, even a bit odd; but I love it, love it, love it.It's one of those rare guitars I know I'll never sell.And if I were to lose it somehow, I'd buy another one really fast.

I honestly have nothing to gripe about with this instrument.I know this threatens to make my review sound like a commercial, but I really like it this much.Okay, I probably would prefer sealed tuners.These gold Grovers are the old-ish open-back "kluson" tuners, which many players prefer, but I'm not one of them.They work fine, but I'd rather not see the gears.But the gold keys are too pretty to get rid of!That's my gripe.

This is one excellent guitar.Get one, fall in love.

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Product Description:
Solid Cedar Top, Solid Flame Maple back, Ebony fingerboard

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