Price paid: C$ 1808
Purchased from: Local Ma & Pa shop.
Sound — 9
I use this guitar with my Fractal Audio Axe-FX/Carvin DCM1000L rack setup at school, a Roland JC in the jazz band I play for, or my JCM900 if I go home on a weekend. I use a Mesa 4x12 trad. recto cab and a custom-built 2x12. It has pretty much replaced all my other guitars. The sound is absolutely fantastic in just about any situation. I wouldn't mind a bit of a hotter sound in some scenarios, but that's hardly a complicated fix/modification, nor do I find it really necessary to do so at the moment. I use it for a variety of styles, be it punk, prog, funk, etc. In any of my personal bands/projects or whether I use it for the big bang I play in at university. It's more suited for the former styles listed however. The piezo blend option really allows for a hollowbody sound to be emulated with such a thin solidbody, but doesn't really have the same character you'd be searching for. It's fantastic for any contemporary jazz, but falls a little short of the line if you're looking at pre-war big band stuff (not that it doesn't still sound good). If you're a total metal-head, it's probably not for you right out of the box. The pickup choice lends a more balanced sound on the gain spectrum. Your bridge pickup's got a lot of juice, but we're not using EMGs/X2Ns/whatever you kids use these days here. If your playing is clear and precise, it will sound like that through whatever setup you've got. If your playing is muddy, lazy and rather drole, it will sound like that. This is not a beginner's guitar.
Overall Impression — 9
I've been playing guitar for over ten years now at this point and am currently a guitar student at university. I also own a heavily modded Mexi-Strat, a Jackson Warrior (back from my bleep-bloop-doodily days) and various acoustics/classicals. I've used an Axe-Fx, JCM900, Mesa Roadster and a couple practice/SS amps I'm rather embarassed to mention. I've used a plethora of different cabs ranging from customs, Mesas, 1960s, etc. If this guitar were stolen, I would probably end up legitimately considering homicide. Though this guitar isn't quite on par with a Select Fly, 513, JP6, etc. It's about as close as you can get without spending up to another $1000. However, I really do find that when dealing with a lot of these high-end manufacturers like PRS, EBMM, Parker, Suhr, etc. It really boils down to a matter of personal preference rather than the cost. Play them for yourself and make the decision accordingly, but I highly recommend this guitar to anyone who's got the cash and the use for it.
Reliability & Durability — 8
This guitar will easily withstand live playing, heavy practicing, etc. All hardware is durable except for that one switch. Both strap buttons are very solid (after repair of one). The Graphtech nut and the design of the saddles distribute pressure on the strings over larger areas than that of most guitars, which helps to eliminate unpredictable string breaks. I would (and do) most certainly depend on it in live situations, but if playing a longer set (60 min. +) I just can't play a gig without having a backup handy just in case. I have few complaints about finish, as a couple odd blemishes have appeared on the back that look almost like air bubbles, but they're likely just from a bump here and there I didn't notice.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
Truth be told, the guy at the store I bought from did a setup on the guitar as soon as I walked in and asked to play it. It had been on the top rack collecting dust for a good while I gather seeing as the price had dropped almost $500 from what I would normally see it at around here. His setup was 'aight, but he kinda rushed it since I wanted to demo the guitar. That being said, I've used it in a number of high/low action/tension setups and every one plays like a dream. For sure a very well-designed axe ergonomically. My only beefs with this guitar were a stripped strap-button hole (easily repairable) and the rather cheap-feeling piezo/mag switch (which broke, but againg, easily and cheaply repariable). Honestly, if you're putting a ~$2000 price tag on anything, it hardly makes sense to cheap out on one switch. I've heard this complaint from numerous owners, it seems to be an issue across the board. Not the same story with the strap button, but I don't consider that much of an issue anyway (nor can I tell whether it's the factory's fault or something happened to it in its long shelf-life at the store).
Features — 10
My 2010 DF724 is an American-made Parker. It has 22 med-jumbo frets on a 25.5" scale. Has a carved alder body, one-piece maple neck and an ebony fretboard. Mine has a gorgeous flame-top with a bookmatching job rivaling those of even the best PRSs I've played. More traditional double-cutaway body style than that of the Fly, but more or less the same save the more conventionally designed bass horn. The bridge is just like any other Parker, sort of a grand-piano style. Passive Seymours (TB-14/SSL-6), and an active Fishman piezo system. Has individual mag/piezo volumes, a mag/blend/piezo switch, and a push-pull master tone which taps the bridge pickup. Single output jack automatically detects whether a stereo or mono cable is plugged in and routes piezo and mag sounds accordingly. Has locking Sperzel tuning heads and a Graphtech black Tusq nut. Came with custom-molded case, all the required tools & a rather low-quality stereo-Y cable just to show you how the stereo option with the jack works. Something that really stood out for me was Parker's design of the back plate. Holes have been made so that adjustments of the spring tension, bridge height, etc. Can be made without taking off the whole back plate, a huge bonus for me as I'm always tweaking and setting up my guitar due to lame, unpredictable electric heating in a really dry residence room. Intonation screws are offset for easy access, while the ball-end of the string isn't anchored into the saddle, so it doesn't pull the saddle forward if you try to make adjustments when tuned up (that alone is a huge contributing factor to my keeping of what little sanity I have left).