PB61 review by Parker

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 7
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 10
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8.8 Superb
  • Users' score: 5.7 (61 votes)
Parker: PB61

Sound — 10
As beautiful as this bass may look, all of that is quickly pushed into the background as the bass is plugged in. The sound is rich, deep and resonating, yet clear, punchy, bright and brilliant. While almost any sound you can dream up is attainable on this bass, it does have more of a bias towards a brighter, more clear, ringing sound. This is accentuated by the bridge humbucker. With some careful tweaking and use of the neck pickup, a deep, lush, boomy sound is also at your fingertips. Overall the dual EMG's allow for an infinite range of sonic possibilities.

Overall Impression — 9
Despite some minor setbacks in reference to hardware, the Parker PB61 is a masterfully designed, perfectly crafted and because of the low action and small string spacing, incredibly easy to play. In addition to this, this is the best sounding bass that I have played in a long time. It has punch, but yet subtley, boom, but yet clarity. A perfect yin and yang of tone. However there is no five string model yet, this is probably the most needed improvement to this bass. But that being said, I haven't found a bass that plays or sounds better that is in this price range.

Reliability & Durability — 7
This bass is built like a tank, from the rock solid maple top, to the two piece thru neck design, to the graphite nut. However the same can not be said for the hardware. Due to the unusal shape of the horns, the strap button is located on the back of the top-most horn. While this seems like a good design, with a slight amount of movement, or downward pressure on the bass (ie; resting your arms on the bass) your strap will simply fall off. While this bass is built to be able to handle such drops, I would definately recommend upgrading to a set of strap-lok's as soon as possible.

Action, Fit & Finish — 10
This bass is beautifully crafted. The fit seems to be done perfectly, and finish applied flawlessly. The action shipped from the factory as I like it, low and buttery. This combined with a small nut width makes for a bass that pratically plays itself. While the black battery and electronics compartments on the back are a rather stark break from the beauty of the rest of the bass, it is something

Features — 8
The Parker PB61's design is just about as modern as the sound that it sports. Weighing in at nine pounds this bass utilizes a 24 fret maple neck-thru design. The fretboard is a solid chunk of ebony. The top is made of a spalted maple that is complimented beautifully by the mahogany back. The EMG humbuckers that this bass is endowed with really seem to make the sound thick and rich. However that being said on a bass in this price range usually one would expect some kind of coil tap, but on a bass that sounds as phenomenal as this one, it's not really necessary. The pickups on the PB61 are tamed by four controls, two volumes (one for each pickup) a bass and a treble control. Both the bass and treble controls seem to add and subtract the perfect frequencies from the mix of the bass. This makes for smooth adjustments and accurate control over the sound. Everything about this massive bass screams of the modern era of luithering, right down to the gold colored graphite nut. The rest of the hardware is done in matte gold finish that perfectly compliments the tone of the spalted maple top. However it is in the hardware where my only problem with this bass lies. The tuners are open gear, and hence rather unstable. When trying to bend a note one can literally feel, and hear, the tuner slipping.

60 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I think it looks pretty sweet. Especially the headstock.
    Amen Bruddah, it's got an exotic look to it...unique. I love the quick neck and how responsive they are to adjustments.
    It really is out of the world design. But it looks like it would sound very good.
    i dunnno i guess the looks supposed to cause controversy... but i think they could have made it less uuuglay
    i dunnno i guess the looks supposed to cause controversy... but i think they could have made it less uuuglay
    Wow, I actually think it's pretty awesome looking. I'd definitely buy it if I had the money.
    ugh, makes me wanna throw up. the headstock isnt bad, but the body is just stupid and not really balanced on each side of the neck. i dont care how good it sounds, if it looks like that, just- eew.
    The front body looks nice, but the head and the back of the whole guitar looks ugly
    ewwwww. i thought it looked cool from the little picture at the top. then i opened on of the large pictures. ugh. i dont care how it sounds that thing is ugly as hell
    blah.... couldnt name a single thing i like about the way it looks... i dont know how it plays, but i would never buy it, not even if i was ridiculously rich
    This post/review is a long time after all these previous posts were made, but needs to be said anyhow. I suspect all these players have since tried one and probably own a Parker bass by now. So here is the 2012 point of view. Well, it sems so easy for everyone to judge an instrument by its appearance. Have you all forgotten? You PLAY a bass, you don't date it! I have owned a number of "pretty" basses...didn't want my friends seeing me with an odd looking or "ugly" bass. Well...I had the good fortune of plugging in one of these "ugly" basses. It didn't take me long to dump my pretty bimbo basses to buy one of these! This bass not only plays amazing, but balances beautifully and records by far better than my former bimbo basses. So now I have sold off all my basses, kept my Parker and Status basses only...everything else is gone. I can garantee you, the minute you play one, you will understand why these basses are superior to most of the "pretty bimbo basses" out there. Come on, people! Stop looking at magazines for the "nude bass" photos, start reading the articles...find out what real basses should be doing for you!
    I wonder if any of those 60 people who voted it down to an average of 5.7 have ever actually played one instead of simply judging aesthetics...
    I love both of my Parker basses, they sound great and they look beautiful. Not your typical boring cookie cutter basses that all look the same. Ronlaf, you are 100% correct. Once you try one, odds are very good you'll be purchasing one very soon.
    I have played in several bands with Parker guitar players (top model). And I have to say that the sound is deeply annoying. They sound thin, metallic,...horrible. They were happy, maybe to justify the really high price, maybe because the guitars are comfortable. Talking to other collegues, they agree that playing with Parker guitarrists is quite frustrating. I saw some video reviews of the bass model and the sound is in the line of the guitars. So...I would never buy this, specially for that price.
    very possibly one of the worst looking basses ever. there was one in my local music shop. it plays nice, sounds good, but it just looks horrible. but if you don't care about looks...
    If it had a different body and headstock, maybe... I do like the wood, but it's horrible in looks.
    Have you ever seen one of these in real-life? the cherry red look amazing, it looks gay in the pictures but in real-life, wow
    i think , you need glasses...lol.. I could cut a better looking body. and i am not a carpenter.
    always liked the parker fly guitars, but this bass does not satisfy visually :S
    if it were just described, i would want to buy it. now looking at it, i can't help but throw up a little in my mouth. guitars are like girls.... looks are the first thing that attract you.
    Sorry but that is an ugly guitar. No doubt it sounds good, but it's still unattractive.
    Puke, hurle, throw up, lay a pizza, urk (or whatever it is called) on that thing!
    i have a parker guitar and i love the style...but yeah the style of the basses are very awkward...however i bet it plays amazing because i know mine does
    you folks are silly...what does looks really have to do with anything? if it plays and sounds great, i'd be inclined to play a jug with strings attached.
    you people are all crazy. this bass is wiked looking.. i mean if your creative and get sick of the usual looking guitars.
    Looks a little like a Danelectro Longhorn bass, which isnt too pretty, other than the finishes. I dont like the looks, but Parker guitars have a great rep when it comes to sound, playability, and quality. And i doubt one of these would be any different.