Parker guitars are characterized by being thin and lightweight guitars; they are generally made from lighter woods like poplar, basswood, spruce, and mahogany. They use composite materials (resin and carbon glass skin) to reinforce a thin carved body and neck. Fingerboards are composite, and use stainless steel frets. Electronics include the integrated use of coil tapped humbuckers and piezo pickups with active circuitry.
2003 was the last year of the original Flys, with the balance wheel on the face of the guitar and the 4 knob setup. In 2003 the Fly was refined with a new control layout consisting of a master volume, a master tone (coil tap function is on this control as well) and a master volume for the piezo eliminating the separate volume control for the magnet pickups and the piezo tone control. This instrument was more cost effective eschewing the original, higher fidelity Fly circuitry for the cheaper, simpler Nite-Fly preamp. Further cost cutting measures were made to the hardware.
In 2003 the company was sold to U.S. Music Corporation based in Mundelein, Illinois. Manufacturing also moved there in 2003. The Parker custom shop opened, at the Washburn factory, in 2005. Import production moved from the Cort factory in Korea, to a factory commissioned by the Nova trading company in China, after the completion of the buyout. In October 2002, Parker initiated the first production run of the Fly bass guitar, in both 4-string and 5-string versions. The 5-strings are noted for their ease of use for 4-string players, both with respect to weight and string spacing. Parker basses produced in the original factory in Wilmington, MA have seven digit serial numbers using the same formula for dating at the original Nite Fly guitars. Basses made by Washburn have serial numbers that begin with 092. Soon after moving production to Illinois, the original, more stable multi-laminate neck construction was scrapped in favor of more cost-effective construction from a single piece of mahogany. As with other Parker guitars, they offer both magnetic and piezo-electric pickups, with the ability to blend the two.
Adrian Belew signature model
Adam Dutkiewicz signature model DragonFly
Fly Nylon (Spanish Fly)
Nitefly Swamp Ash
P-Series acoustics (various)
Vernon Reid signature model DragonFly