Price paid: $ 900
Sound — 9
this guitar has an extremely wide range of tone. With the neck pickups engaged it has a very bright quality which can sound killer when distorted. The bridge humbucker is full and tone heavy (DiMarzio did a killer job on these things). I'm a jazz student and use this guitar for everything from jazz to swing to classic rock and beyond and it sounds great doing all of them with a few minor amp setting tweaks. The versitility is outstanding. The Piezo acoustic pickups sound excellent as well. If substituting an acoustic fill or something it sounds believable and very clean, but don't expect to sell your Ovation if you're playing Live acoustic shows. I also play a lot of metal, and the only drawback for me is that this is not a shredding guitar. When playing metal it just seems to lack that low end kick you in the teeth nasty tone. The low tones are clean and fat, just not for metal. This is the only reason I'm rating it at nine, as I enjoy using it for everything else.
Overall Impression — 10
Overall this is a great and very versatile guitar with surprising sustain. I've had it years and am still not sick of playing it. I would Switch to a Jackson for some good old fashioned metal rhythm shredding, but if you're doing anything else, I firmly believe that you can do it with this guitar. I've been playing for years, though I just started taking lessons and working on a performance degree, and the more that I grow as a player, the more I realize that I really can do almost anything with my Parker. If someone stole it, I would dedicate every spare moment to finding him and bash his head against a rock until he coughed up my Parker.
Reliability & Durability — 10
This is the most reliable, durable, and dependable instrument that I have ever personally owned. I believe at this point that I could run it over with a truck, crack the neck in half and it would still stay in tune. I have abused it and the only time I've gotten it to pop out of tune is when the strings are Brand New and I'm stretching the heck out of them. I would use this guitar no backup no problem and not worry a bit. If I could give it an eleven here, I seriously would.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
The 22 Fret neck is set with a very comfortable low action with nine gauge strings. I have tweaked my pickup positions to my suiting, but the factory setting was good as I remember, I just like to do my own thing. These things are factory SET for nine gauge strings. To put heavier strings on it I had to grind the pegs on the bridge a bit to get the intonation just right which suggests that Parker says nine gauges only. I string it up with D'Addario EXL tens, as I was afraid to go much heavier on it.
Features — 10
I am the proud owner of a 98-99 model Parker nitefly (back then it was simply the nitefly, the SA model would be the nearest comparison, because Parker has now made different models of this guitar). Mine is black with a black pickguard. The mahogany neck with a carbon-glass composite fretboard is absolutely amazing on these guitars. They are simply one of the smoothest playing experiences I have ever had. The frets are all stainless steel, a process which Parker invented and after years of playing I swear to you they show no wear. At this point I am in serious doubt of whether or not I will ever require a fret job on this guitar. They use some special process to do the frets, you can read more at the Parker website, but if this guitar ever gets to that point, a fret job would probably be no small process unfortunately, but if at this point they're still going strong, I don't think I'll have much to worry about. It has a volume selector, 5 way tone, and two tone knobs, though one is inactive unless the Piezo acoustic pickup system is engaged, and a three way pickup selection knob. The Sperzel tuners are awesome for quick string changes as well.