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Parker Fly bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by animal52, Jun 24, 2007.

  1. animal52


    Jul 1, 2006
    DC area
    So I was rushing out of my local music store the other day and happened to notice this really funky looking bass sitting on the counter. Ugly though it was, I was curious. I picked it up to find that it had a composite neck and was probably the lightest bass I've ever held in my hand. Now I'm used to playing fender jazzes, and P's and such. They all have a serious amount of neck dive, which I thought was an inherent fact of having a 34' scale instrument, and perhaps the oversized head and tuners didn't help. This bass, the parker fly, had perfect balance, not a hint of dive. And jazz style pickups too. I was intriglued, so I checked the price online when I got home. $3000 !!! ***! So why can't fender, ibanez, etc... make a bass that balances this well at more reasonable prices? I think it could be done without the composite neck. And is a composite neck really that much more expensive if you're mass producing it?
  2. Fender Jazz's and P's have a serious amount of neck dive?? :eyebrow: You must not have been around in the 80's :D They sell an import Parker bass in the $500-600 range.
  3. animal52


    Jul 1, 2006
    DC area
    No I was not playing in the eighties. But seriously, the headless bass would never have been invented if your average bass didn't have poor balance. They're playable, but not ideal. This Parker was ideal, maybe even a bit body-heavy. That's cool to know about the import parker, but does it also have a composite neck?
  4. MikeBass

    MikeBass Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2003
    Royal, Oak, MI.
    You can find them used for less than $2000.
    The Parker web site describes in detail the import basses.

    I love the 4 string one.
  5. Bassbwithu

    Bassbwithu Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2004
    McKinney, TX
    I'd like to know where this Fly bass is. Apparently, Parker claims little demand and thus no more supply. I'd really like to pick this one up. These were really cool bassses.
  6. While J's and P's do have a some neck dive when seated, I surely don't notice any neck dive in strap position..so not sure about that.

    Regarding the Parker. They are VERY modern sounding... you can really hear the composit neck and the unusually light body wood in the tone... that's neither good nor bad, but very different from traditional basses. I found the piezo pickup relatively useless on a typical gig... it added everything you don't want in a good bass tone... boom and click. However, it sure sounded pretty when playing solo!

    The string spacing is tighter than typical, and VERY tight on the 5 string... which again is not inherently bad, but can be a negative if you are used to the traditional .75 bridge spacing.

    Fit and finish, look and general quality are great on these. If you are looking for modern tone (think Modulus as an indication of the general tone family), lightweight, and a very 'small feel' regarding neck profile and spacing, these are pretty cool.
  7. Vic

    Vic There's more music in the nuance than the notes. Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Central Illinois
    Staff, Bass Gear Magazine

    These use (or at least originally used) DiMarzio Ultra-J's, which are already a pretty modernized J tone, but that composite neck and whatever preamp really emphasize that aspect. I also found the piezo stuff to be pretty much no fun. Super clacky and boomy... like the Steinberger Synapse, which I also didn't really like much. These are really well made basses, but just not my thing.
  8. Cool basses! ;)
  9. Human Bass

    Human Bass

    Aug 26, 2005
    Lets remember there is also one model with active emgs, but passive circuit
  10. dvs20


    Mar 11, 2007
    mantua, OH
    the music shop by my house has at least 3 or 4 of them I never bothered picking one up to try because I think they're disgustingly ugly. I might test one out because you say the're sweet
  11. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    IIRC, the frets on the domestic models are actually glued onto a thin piece of composite material than laminated on the neck....or something like that. How would you do a refret should the need arise?

  12. They are actually stainless steel frets... very unusual. The basses shipped with Fodera Nickels installed. Since the stainless steel fretwire is harder than the Nickel wire, there would never be any need to do a fret job. Even with SS strings, it would take decades and decades. Pretty cool.
  13. Bobster


    Mar 27, 2006
    Austin, TX
  14. animal52


    Jul 1, 2006
    DC area
  15. I'd be well up for one of the import models, if they did a 5-string. :(

    Bit of an oversight there, I think - many people who'll be on the lookout for such a modern-looking and sounding bass will be wanting one with more than 4 strings.
  16. BigRedX


    May 1, 2006
    Couple of things to note about the Parker Fly Basses...

    Not all the models have to graphite neck, which IMO is the main attraction for these, so be careful. The 5 string graphite-neck Fly I've played has probably one of the nicest necks I've tried in a long time.

    Before you buy try it on a strap. Unfortunately going with the body shape of the Fly guitar but scaled up has resulted in a very uncomfortable bass body shape. For me the body was so uncomfortable that it outweighed all the benefits of the wonderful neck. Had it not been for this I'd probably be a Parker Fly Bass owner.
  17. WarriorJoe7

    WarriorJoe7 Inactive

    Mar 12, 2004
    Syracuse, NY
    Moondoggy on here has a 4 string import for sale...
  19. Mick D.

    Mick D.

    Jul 3, 2007
    Dunedin, FL
    Independent Asian Sourcing Consultant and Instrument Designer/Builder
    I just wanted to chime in here:

    The US-made Parker bass necks (like the original Parker Fly guitar) aren't all composite like the Modulus, Moses, or Zon necks. They're actually 99% mahogany with a composite skin encasing the wood. The composite is really no thicker than your average finish.
    The original necks made in the Wilmington, MA factory were made from mahogany laminates glued up in heat under multiple tons of pressure. The bodies were made the same way using layers of sitka spruce.
    Apparently this process proved to be problematic for Parker's new owners (Washburn) and they switched to a solid mahogany neck under the composite skin.
  20. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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