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Parker has taken form and function as a cornerstone in its guitars. The PDF100 is no exception. Ergonomic, versatile, and with great tones, the beauty is in its simplicity. Yet unique is a common adjective. Quite simply this is the most comfortable guitar I've played.
Chris Schementi, on june 22, 2012 2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Price paid: $ 999
Purchased from: American Musical Supply
Features: Parker has captured the essence of the Fly available for the masses. This was made in 2011, part of the new PDF series of Indonesian-made guitars. Body is the "Maxxfly" shape (although many, including I, rather refer to the "Dragonfly" name) with an updated upper horn. The result is a light, thin, and extremely ergonomic feel while retaining an unmistakably Parker design. The PDF100 is a mahogany with quilt maple veneer top, maple neck, and ebony fretboard. The neck is mated with the body in a Radial neck joint that minimizes slippage and provides excellent access to upper frets. The headstock has undergone a design change as well with a flared end that adds rigidity. As a result the neck profile has slimmed- reminiscent of Ibanez Wizard necks. Extremely playable and comfortable; the epitome of the term "like butter". The Parker vibrato system is a custom tremolo body that pivots on side bearings rather than knife edges. The rest is a normal spring system. Nevertheless, it stays in tune very well thanks to Sperzel Trim-Lok tuners and a Graphtech nut. Two Seymour Duncan humbuckers: and SH-1 (59') in the neck and TB-11 (Custom) in the bridge. Simple passive electronics with coil tapping, but has a large body cavity which is a modder's paradise. Comes with a padded gig bag. // 10
Sound: I'm playing through a Mesa/Boogie F-50 and various stompboxes. I play mostly fusion and classic rock, some metal, and blues.
Cleans: Quickly noted is a tonal balance of the instrument. Warm lows and especially low-mids are present while highs have definition. Some high-mids are sacrificed in favor of the treble. It's easy to see why mahogany/maple top is the most popular wood combination. With coil tapping, a little sparkle is injected while volume drop off is noticeable but inherent in all tapped humbuckers. Surprisingly sustain is quite good for a guitar this thin. Notes ring out and taper off nicely. Jazz to classic rock to country are easily attainable.
Gain: This is where the Parker really shines. A distinctive midrange hump is a lead player's bread an butter; this guitar cuts through the mix. With the Mesa, gain patterns are very emulative of John Petrucci's rig. A nice controlled Mark V type distortion but with attitude. The upper registers just sing and respond well to picking dynamics and harmonic content. Coil-tapping sounds very good in the middle and neck positions but twang gets lost in the bridge. Back off the volume and you get a Stratty sounding blues guitar. Crank up the gain and you have Dream Theater. A lot of the higher gain tone has to do with the amp itself, but this guitar absolutely plays a role. For comparison, another guitar made from maple and poplar had an entirely different tonal spectrum. This Duncans do a great job responding to dynamics. Gain can be high but playing can still be soft.
Overall you get a wide palette of tones that will satisfy most. It does many styles, and does them well. Jack of all trades, master of some. Tone is subjective, but most would agree the Parker PDF100 sounds good. // 9
Action, Fit & Finish: Usually when I get a new guitar I spend lots of time setting it up and learning everything about it. This time, I didn't need to. Action and intonation were set up perfectly; all it needed was a tuning. The finish is gorgeous. I got the black burst which has a cool greenish tinge on the quilt. The ebony fingerboard is nice and dark to match the paint job. // 10
Reliability & Durability: Of the tiny bit written about these guitars, there have been a couple reports of poor quality control in the PDF60 and 70. There is no information available on the PDF80 and 100. Some issues were loose neck joints and poorly filed frets. I have not seen any of the these problems. In fact, build quality of this and other P-series import Parkers I've had or played have had overall better quality than other instruments in the price range. Frets are fitted perfectly, electronics are soldered well, the neck joint is nice and stable, and the finish is impeccable. No scratchy pots either. The only flaws are unpainted spots in between the large screws for the neck joint, which are are to see anyway. The guitar has gone from 100 degree heat to a cold air conditioned room and stayed perfectly in tune. I believe this guitar is road-worthy and made well. I haven't put it through it's paces yet, so as of now it will be rated a 7. // 7
Overall Impression: Parker has taken form and function as a cornerstone in its guitars. The PDF100 is no exception. Ergonomic, versatile, and with great tones, the beauty is in its simplicity. Yet unique is a common adjective. Quite simply this is the most comfortable guitar I've played, only triumphed by the Fly's that started the evolution. What features it carries it uses them to the fullest. // 9
CkY freak, on january 22, 2013 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Price paid: $ 600
Purchased from: eBay
Features: Up for review is a Parker PDF100. This guitar was made in August of 2012 out of Indonesia. This is part of Parker's import line of more affordable guitars. It's got 22 frets on a very wide and flat ebony fretboard. This finish is absolutely beautiful. Parker calls it Vintage Quilted Sunburst. It's definitely one of the best looking guitars I've ever seen. It has the MaxxFly body shape. It's not as odd looking as the ir regular fly series, which I've always been a fan of. It's got an updated upper horn, which still looks cool. One of my favorite features is the trem system. It has the ability to dive and pull, but it has a mechanism in the back that you can tighten/losen to either lock or unlock the tremolo system. Sort of like a tremol-no, but its done with allen wrenches. No more putting blocks of wood in the cavity! It's got sperzel locking tuners, so it stays in tune great. It comes stock with Seymour Duncan pickups. A Custom Custom TB-11 in the bridge, and a '59 SH-1 in the neck. It has a typical 3 way switch configuration. These combined with a coil splitting tone knob makes this guitar extremely versatile. And WOW is this guitar light. It feels like you have a tissue box strapped on. It's incredible. // 10
Sound: I play quite a lot of different music. I play a lot of metal, like Death, Killswitch Engage, Children Of Bodom, etc. I also like to play a lot of other stuff like Journey, Paul Gilbert, John Mayer, Dream Theater and Eric Clapton. Having both humbucker and single coil sounds enables me to play all of that on this guitar. The coil splitting gets a little noisy with a lot of gain, but of course that's totally normal. The custom custom sounds great for playing metal. It's not super high output, like the Duncan Distortion, but the clarity is great. The '59 in the neck is great for clean sounds. You can cover just about anything with this guitar. // 10
Action, Fit & Finish: I made only one adjustment to this guitar when I got it - the strings. It came with 9's, and they're just too thin for me. I bounce between 10-46 and 11-49 depending on the guitar. I strung this up with 10's and I like it much better. The action was great, the pickups were leveled perfectly, the intonation was great. I didn't do anything to it besides change the strings.
The finish is where this guitar really falls flat. I notice this guitar has 2 pretty significant flaws on it. It's not anything that can be fixed, because it appears there were gashes/chunks out of the wood before they applied the finish. You DO NOT notice it just looking at. You have to feel around and really look in a well lit area to notice them. However I'm surprised a guitar like this made the cut in QC. I have an Indonesian made Ibanez, and that guitar was flawless. So I don't know what happened. It's a little disappointing. Mostly because I'm worried they let it out of the factory. But it doesn't affect the way it plays, or the way it looks. // 8
Reliability & Durability: While the guitar has finish issues, it still seems pretty solid. I did put some strap locks on this guitar. Its the only guitar I've had where the upper horn strap button is BEHIND the horn, rather than at the tip of it, like most Strat style guitars. Because the guitar is so thin, the screws that come with strap locks will go right through the horn. So I had to grind the screw down to about half length to ensure it wouldn't pop out the other side. It doesn't affect anything though. Just a minor modification! I would never play a show without a backup. Too much of a risk I think. But I would play a whole set with this guitar without a doubt. It's so versatile it could easily cover anything I would need. // 10
Overall Impression: As I mentioned earlier, I play a lot of different music. From Pop to Death Metal. With the coil splitting ability and the great sounding humbuckers, you could literally do anything with this guitar. This makes the 8th guitar I own at the moment. The last few guitars I bought have been more suited toward metal - an LTD MH-1000, and an LTD EC-1000. Those are great guitars, but I just wanted something more versatile. I found myself only using those guitar for certain songs. I have a few other guitars - 2 Ibanez RG's - A PrestigeRG1570 and a Premium RG921. A PRS SE245, and Epiphone Les Paul Custom Pro, and an American Fender Strat. I love this guitar so much, I've already talked to the seller about buying another one in the black burst color, and selling one of my other guitars. I love EVERYTHING about this guitar. I wouldn't change anything. Its beautiful, lightweight, and can do anything you want it to do. It sounds great with a Peavey 6505+ Head! I've been playing for about 10 years, and I've played a lot of guitars, and I can honestly say, this has been one of the best, if not the best guitar I've ever played. Do NOT hesitate to get this guitar without playing it first. I don't see Parker guitars around a lot, mainly due to their unique look and high price point - but I think you'll really love this guitar.
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