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Parker Fly Bass... Opinions?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Baird6869, Sep 9, 2008.

  1. Baird6869

    Baird6869 RIP Gord Downey. A True Canadian Icon.

    I have the opportunity to pick up a Parker Fly bass for dirt cheap but I have never played one amplified.

    I know they look terrible (or great depending on what you like) but I was thinking of adding it to my P/J/SR stable to try something different.

    Anyone love or hate these basses?

    Also, what do they sound like?

  2. Please check out the kneck and truss rod before you buy it.

    I bought one used about 2 years ago and the action was a bit high but I didn't worry about it.

    My tech told me the truss rod had failed and the neck couldn't be fixed. even Parker Co. couldn't fix it when I sent it back.

    Now I'm not going to bash the bass as I never really got to try it out.

    Just a bit of my exp.

    If i could find a 5 string locally to try out I would consider a new one.

  3. mark beem

    mark beem Wait, how does this song start again?? Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2001
    Alabama, USA
    No direct experience, but I'd love to try one!! Personally, I dig the design.
  4. Vinny D

    Vinny D

    Jan 9, 2007
    Warwick, RI
    I have read many possitive reviews of there basses but I have never tried one myself:(
    A guitar player friend of mine has (2) of there guitars and loves them.......when they work:rollno:
    The earlier Parker instruments have complex wiring and switching systems in them that the current *Parker* company(Which is owned by USMUSIC) no longer services, so getting older Parker instruments fixed is a bit of a hassle.
  5. BassFelt


    Mar 26, 2002
    It seems to me the kind of bass that you'd buy without asking other peoples opinion, if that makes sense?
    Nev375 and Bob_Ross like this.
  6. Ed Goode

    Ed Goode Jersey to Georgia Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Acworth, GA
    Endorsing Artist: FBB Bass Works
    A friend of mine has one .... the action is God-awful high, IMO, but he seems to have some problems getting it lowered without excessive buzzing so he just uses it as is. I don't personally care for it at all, but he hangs onto it so it must be sorta cool (if he didn't like it, it'd be long gone :)).

    Not my cup-o-tea, but ..... :cool:
  7. BassBod


    Aug 18, 2006
    Bristol, UK
    Tried one here in the UK - sounded good, played well (no obvious neck issues) but the body was very uncomfortable - whatever I did, it seemed to poke me in the chest/ribs!! A unique experience....
  8. RonChase


    Aug 15, 2008
    I do a cable access show at a music store and tried one and this thread reminded me how much I want one,also they are very light
  9. I had one for a very short while when they first were introduced.

    The good news... very high quality, cool features (stainless steel frets, locking tuners, all those body laminates, graphite neck, unusual headstock, etc), REALLY lightweight.

    The bad news... IMO, the magnetic pickups are thin sounding, and the piezo bridge pickup was way too over the top sounding (HUGE low end, massive sizzly high) to really be useful.

    Cool 'novelty' instrument that was ahead of its time when anounced all those years ago, but by the time it was released, it ended up just being somewhat of a 'side show' sort of thing.

    I'd save your money, unless you are really into uber modern, and a lot of tweaking.

    That being said... it's a 'love it or hate it' thing. I'm sure there are some who totally dig it. You won't be neutral, one way or the other.
  10. Baird6869

    Baird6869 RIP Gord Downey. A True Canadian Icon.

    How does the Fly compare to the much more available PB41?
  11. Hello

    I own a Parker PB41 Hornet. It is true that the action on these basses is a little high.

    As for sound, mine has a "very modern" stringy hifi sound. I don't know, think INXS' the swing album. If you want a warm, full low drenched bass to do ballads, forget this bass.

    I would imagine that the Parker Fly bass to be a different animal both in regards to quality and sound.

    Hope this helps :)

  12. biohazed


    Aug 31, 2008
    Philadelphia, PA
    I tried one out at Cintiolli's Music in Philly .. I was less than impressed with it to be honest... I was seriously concidering one at the time to (the headstock alone was wild looking) but the action was way too high on it and i didn't really like the playability of it TBH, and the input jack was a little flaky
  13. Mick D.

    Mick D.

    Jul 3, 2007
    Dunedin, FL
    Independent Asian Sourcing Consultant and Instrument Designer/Builder
    The PB series of basses aren't really Parkers. They're just Washburns that are shaped somewhat like the Parkers.
    Washburn's effforts to cheapen the Parker name and reputation didn't stop at just making cheap import versions. They also managed to change the original neck design of the basses making them unstable and, in some cases, impossible to set up. The narrow profit margin of the bass has caused Washburn to stop production until they can find an even cheaper way to make it.
    If you're going to get a Fly Bass, I'd suggest trying to find a bass that was made in the original factory between October of 2002 and June of 2003.
  14. Hoover

    Hoover Banned

    Nov 2, 2007
    New York City

    yeah, I seem to recall there at least a decade between the original Ken Parker bass (that Steve Swallow had) and the commercial release of same*. Ken got kinda sidetracked with the guitar...and then Korg...and then all the hell that ensued. Ken Parker's story is a perfect example of what Ira Friedman refers to as "a wonderfully talented designer having an entrepenurial seizure."

    * I say "same" but there really appears to be way too much difference between Swallow's early prototype & the commercially available version for that term to be very meaningful.
  15. jon118


    Apr 19, 2008
    I'd love to try one, but their guitars weren't really my cup of tea when I tried them. The neck might work for some, but it was too oddly shaped for my tastes. Extremely low action too, but once again it was too low for me. I could see a lot of people liking it, but I wasn't particularly enamored, of course this was one of their guitars, their basses could be completely different.
  16. Why everyone is talking about same thing, high action, whats the problem lowering it? Is it something technicaly impossible?
  17. 62bass


    Apr 3, 2005
    I agree. I had high hopes when I read about the Swallow prototype and was disappointed when I saw the production model. I notice Swallow doesn't seem to be using his now either.

    I love lightweight basses and I thought this would be a real winner.
  18. Remind me of PRS.

    The Parker guitars are AWESOME. But the basses are meh...
  19. BigRedX


    May 1, 2006
    The Fly bass is one you absolutely have to try before you buy. I had a go one one of the original production run at a UK music show and loved the neck, but the body was just way to uncomfortable to even consider.
  20. Coffee&Bass


    Apr 28, 2010
    Hi everyone, what do you think of this Parker Fly? Please click on the link and let me know: http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=290420853663&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT

    I'm very interested in it but pretty frightened to buy it because I've never had chance to try one. Some people say they look ugly but this one really is very good looking and made using lovely woods. I bet it'll be very resonant and very easy to play. Has anyone seen or tried this exact model?

    Hope to hear from you soon because I want to buy it soon.

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