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Parker Bass in BP Mag...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Bassmanbob, Jul 1, 2003.


  1. Bassmanbob

    Bassmanbob Supporting Member

    I noticed the Parker Bass in Bass Player magazine this month. The construction is quite unique in that they have basically made a multilayered plywood bass. I think they said that it has 21 layers of wood at some point. Correct me if I'm wrong. I don't have the mag with me right now. The neck fits into the body of the bass also. Is that what a set neck is?

    Any way, they say that it has excellent resonance. I would tend to doubt that. I mean, how much resonance does 20 layers of glue have? I refer to the MTD website article on, "The Quest for Tone" that Mike Tobias wrote. They say that the different layers of wood arrainged in different configurations cancels out any imperfections in the wood, thus making the sound of the instrument more consistant than other bass manufacturers'. But what does it sound like? I wonder.

    The Parker guitars are supposed to be great versitile guitars. Is this how the guitars are made?

    Please remember that I have not played the bass and have no knowledge of them. I am somewhat skeptical about the instrument, though you never know until you've tried it. I would hesitate to purchase one until a few years worth of experience have been reported by some of you guys. Then again, Leo Fender was told he was nuts for making a solid body guitar. And the rest, they say, is history.:confused: :meh: :rolleyes:
     
  2. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    My Hohner J fretless (plywood body) has unbelievable resonance(s) too. :meh:

    Having said that, it can sound good IME.
    But that Parker bass is still fugly and 10 years of "R&D" is plain ridiculous.

    Some guitar designs just don't translate well onto bass, see PRS or Gibson...
     
  3. RAM

    RAM

    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    I don't think it's a particularly good-looking bass, either. But, if the review is accurate, that bass must be smokin'!

    The neck being inserted into the body is a variation on neck-thru. A set-neck is different, basically similar to a bolt-on in that it's attached to the body instead of running through the body. A set-neck generally is attached with glue and sometimes a dovetail-joint (a la Fodera).
     
  4. I dont know about the basses, but a friend of mine has a Parker Fly guitar and I dont like it - way too bright.
     
  5. dragonbass

    dragonbass Commercial User

    Feb 17, 2003
    N.Y.
    Owner/Builder of LoPrinzi Basses.........................................EX-Sadowsky Guitars Builder
    Ugliest Bass (if you can call it that) I have ever seen......what was parker thinking!
     
  6. mark beem

    mark beem Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2001
    New Hope, Alabama
    I have to agree... That bodystyle doesn't translate very well to bass..
     
  7. sdguyman

    sdguyman

    Jan 31, 2003
    San Diego
    I too read the article in BP Mag. I think that it is weird looking but the review was good. Heck I'd be willing to buy the BONGO if it sounds good. This guy in my church band plays a Parker Guitar and I think that it's an awsome guitar, expecially when he uses only the Piezo pickup. It sound better than any real acoustic guitar I've ever heard.
     
  8. jokerjkny

    jokerjkny

    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PA
    i saw the review too, and eversince, i've been drooling to try one.

    at first i didnt like the futuristic looks of Ken's guitars, but they've since grown on me. and you cant fault the guy for trying to do daring different things. pretty much trying to trail blaze much in the same way Ken Smith and the Alembic guys did in the early '80s.

    btw, here's a cool interview with Ken:

    http://www.tonequest.com/pdf_pubs/samples/TQRParker.pdf
     
  9. jokerjkny

    jokerjkny

    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PA
    btw, its kinda funny we're all thinkin' the Parker looks weird, when we're the same guys who dig Pedulla's, Elrick's, Fodera's, Alembic's, Eshenbaugh's, Jerzy Drozd, etc. ;) :D
     
  10. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    ...and his tone is an acquired taste, ahem. :meh:
     
  11. Tung

    Tung

    Jun 26, 2003
    I am not sure what happened with the parker bass. I read the same review in BP magazine.

    It is basically a plywood bass with the Ibanez Mono Rail bridge. I find this very strange since the first Parker guitars were made with incredible care. I am a guitar player too and own a Parker supreme. Everything on that guitar was well thought out. well implemented and well designed.

    The bass looks like he cut some corners.
     
  12. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    I'm very interested in how the bass was constructed-especially the neck. It was a multi-laminate mahogany neck where the laminates are parallel to the fretboard. JP of JP Basses has spoken of this type of lamination before as being a superior method to build a neck sonically.

    Have to agree however that it has a hideous design. My old guitarist used a Fly as his main guitar before he got a Gledura, and it's a fantastic axe for tight metal music. Not too warm a sound to it. I don't know if it's built the same as the bass version, but I doubt it, otherwise it wouldn't have taken them ten years to research the design for the bass.
     
  13. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    I think the real weak point of the Parker bass (besides its looks) is the fretboard. While it's design is innovative, if any damage occurs to it, you pretty much have to order a new one, as the frets are permanently attached to a super-thin board.

    And speaking of MTD, Mike Tobias' "tone quest" has seemed to change drastically. Instead of the exotic wood 'hippie sandwich' neck-throughs he used to make, he builds bolt-ons with very standard wood choices nowadays. Anyone know the reason for that?
     
  14. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Maybe it's what his customers want :D

    I once spoke with Mike Pedulla about why he reduced the number of controls on his basses in the early 80s from 4-5 knobs and 3 toggles to just 3 knobs and no switches. He told me it was because customers kept telling him "make the controls work just like my Jazz Bass".
     
  15. Malcom

    Malcom

    Oct 21, 2002
    The Midwest
    I like the Parker headstock quite a bit.

    And if the bass is as light as the guitars, it may be worth a look regardless.

    But man is the body an eyesore, and is the bridge really an Ibanez? Or is it just another 4 individual bridges arrangement?
     
  16. KPO2000

    KPO2000 Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Sep 5, 2001
    MA
    I don't own one, but I've played one quite a bit. If you can get past or like the design, I suspect many of you will be pleasantly surprised, if not completely blown away. It's effortless to play and sounds great!
     
  17. Tung

    Tung

    Jun 26, 2003

    Yes the bridge is really Ibanez. I have to admitt that the Mono Rail bridge is a nice idea. I don't actually know if it helps any.
     
  18. vanselus

    vanselus

    Sep 20, 2000
    Boulder, CO
    None
    I don't mind the body style necessarily, but there's nothing better than innovation in the bass industry - whether it ends up being successful or not. It might just be the spark that paves the way for the next great thing we ALL love.

    As for BP, to say that a bass must be smokin because BP wrote a good review is asinine. Those reviews :rolleyes: are so bias and skewed it's not even funny - even though they are SO self-proclaimed unbiased since they kicked out some of the best columnists that ever wrote in BP.

    For example, check out the Epifani reviews - Nick must have really pissed them off! :)

    That's it.
     
  19. RAM

    RAM

    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    I've also heard that Mike stopped building neck-throughs because of his non-compete clause with Tobias, but he supposedly still likes them.
     
  20. godoze

    godoze

    Oct 21, 2002
    I played a bass just like the one in Bp for about 2 hours. My overall impression is that it is not a very versatile instrument. not only does it seem limited sonically but the body shape is anything but ergonomic.

    Having said that, I own a Parker fly guitar that i love. It sounds great and feels great.