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Ken Parker (guitar maker)

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Name  Ken Parker

Role  Luthier
Ken Parker (guitar maker) wwwlaguitarecomimageskoparkerjpg

Ken Parker is an American luthier known for his unique archtop guitars and the controversial Parker Fly electric guitar which came out in 1993. He is the founder of Parker Guitars.

Ken Parker (guitar maker) i137photobucketcomalbumsq204esimms86Healdsbu

Life and career

Ken Parker (guitar maker) Ken Parker Archtops Home

Parker was raised on Long Island, New York and made his first guitar (out of wood and cardboard) at the age of 13. In his early 20s, after studying various aspects of tool-making and woodworking, he worked in a grandfather clock factory in a Rochester, New York and began building stringed instruments while working with the furniture-maker Richard Newman. Guitar lessons further sparked his interest in the instrument and in the 1970s he returned to the New York City area where he began working with a lute maker on Long Island. He then worked at Stuyvesant Music in Manhattan repairing string instruments. From 1983 had his own shop where he worked on the development and construction of violins, cellos, and especially Renaissance lutes.

Ken Parker (guitar maker) kenwoodstock2013jpeg

In the early 1990s, he founded the company Parker Guitars and collaborated with Larry Fishman to design the Fly, a controversial, innovative and futuristic electric guitar brought out in 1993. The Fly incorporated non-traditional materials like fiberglass and Carbon-fiber-reinforced polymer blended with more traditional elements like mahogany, basswood and spruce. His tremolo/vibrato design allowed the user to choose between floating or dive only operation, and it could also be used as a stop tail bridge. The Fly weighed around 5 pounds, while most full size solid body electric guitars of the same category usually weigh from 7 to more than 9 pounds. Parker was one of the first builders to use stainless steel frets that were glued on the fretboard. With Larry Fishman's help he was also one of the first builders to embrace the use of a piezo bridge which allowed the electric guitar to simulate the sounds of an acoustic one and blend the acoustic with the electric signal through his innovative control layout. The Fly had 11 patents and was exhibited at the Smithsonian Institution.

Ken Parker (guitar maker) Luthier Ken Parker interview at the Holy Grail Guitar ShowThe Guitar

Parker sold his company in 2004. A few years later, he started designing archtop guitars. His archtop designs incorporate an adjustable neck, a unique tailpiece and non-traditional sound holes. As of 2015 Parker has a shop in Massachusetts where he builds a small number of hand made and individualized custom archtop guitars per year.

Ken Parker (guitar maker) Ken Parker Archtops Guitars
Ken Parker (guitar maker) Ken Parker Archtops Mrs Natural headstock like the tuning


Ken Parker (guitar maker) Wikipedia

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