Price paid: $ 500
Purchased from: Marshall Music
Sound — 8
I play everything from rock, to blues, to metal, and the Parker delivers in every sense. The unique combination of tone woods offer a balanced sound with a good amount of bite, while retaining a good resonance and tone. The coil tap also allows for an even greater variety of tone. I particularly enjoy the mellow clean you can get from coil tapping the neck pickup. On the subject of the pickups, they aren't necessarily bad, but they do tend to lend to the illusion that Parkers sound thin. The pickups are fine, but they lack a certain punch and crispness that the guitar is truly capable of. Personally, I put in a Seymour Duncan JB pickup in the bridge, and it really helped the guitar reach it's maximum potential. I rate it an eight, but I'd move that to a nine if you put in a better pickup.
Overall Impression — 9
I've been playing for six years, and have been working in music retail for about 2. I've had a lot of opportunities to play other makes and models around this price range, and so far have found very few pieces that can compete in terms of versatility and affordability. This guitar has really converted me to a Parker fan, and I plan to keep this guitar the rest of my life. It works great for many styles of music, and feels great when your playing it. I compared it to several other models before buying it, most specifically an LTD Viper 500, and an Epiphone Les Paul Standard. The Parker played better and had a more expressive sound than the Viper, and was far more comfotable and versatile than the Les Paul. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of better guitars out there, but if your looking for a nice, high-intermediate level guitar for an affordable price, the Parker P-42 delivers.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I've owned this guitar for two years, and it's my baby. She delivers every time, and has never let me down. A lot of people have reservations about Parkers, but from the experience I've had with mine, I can say that for the money, this is one of the best guitars in it's price range. Everything on this guitar is solid. The hardware shows no corrosion or weakening, the electornics have never failed on me, I've never had to adjust the truss rod. Overall, this thing won't quit on you. Parker's customer service is excellent too. I had a question about pickup wiring in Parkers, and sent an e-mail to Parker's customer service department. Within 24 hours I had a response that answered all my questions. I would gig with this as my only guitar, because I know she'll shake all night long.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
In terms of the guitar's original condition, it was literally flawless. All the hardware was solid, the action was good, not super low, but definetly comfortable to play. There's no razor frets, intonation was spot on, frets were level, the pickups were nicely placed. Overall, I was incredibly impressed by the quality of the guitar. The only thing I can think of that would be a possible turn off is that the input jack tends to come loose once in a while. However, that's most likely due to the typical tendency of oneself or one's band mate stepping on your cord while playing. Came with a cool gig bag too.
Features — 9
Overall, the Parker P-42 is an underrated instrument. A brief overview reveals the P-42 has a solid mahogany body, a satin finished, maple, bolt-on neck, an ebony fretboard. It's a twenty two fret guitar, and sports two Parker "Stinger" Alnico 2 humbuckers, a single volume and single tone knob, coupled with a three way Switch. The tone knob, however, is a coil tap, and allows for both the neck and bridge to be tapped. The hardware is black, and includes a tune-o-matic bridge, a stop bar tail piece, and Grover tuners. Overall, the body style is classically Parker, reminiscent of the American fly, but a tad thicker and heavier. The guitar has a rather flat fretboard, which is left ot personal preference whether it's a good or bad thing. The only thing that seems to be a hinderance, at least in band practice, is the fact that the neck and fretboard have no inlays. It's difficult to show someone what frets to play with a blank fretboard. It looks cool, in a minimalist sort of way, but it's not incredibly funtional for group play.