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Ken Parker Archtops

15 October 2009 Leave a comment


Take a look at this.  Anything look familiar?

Yep, this stunningly beautiful archtop bears the marks of Ken Parker.  Ken, founder of Parker Guitars and the man who brought us the Parker Fly builds astonishingly good-looking archtop guitars as Ken Parker Archtops.

There are currently five different models.  All are made with absolute top-grade timbers and are beautifully designed and worked.  Each bears familial resemblance to its siblings but the choice of different tonewoods and subtly different designs gives each plenty of individuality.

This particular model is the Olive Branch.  It has a top of red spruce and a back and sides of Koa.  Its soundhole appears similar in design to the rest of the family but others in the range open to the top and the side to let the player hear, more or less, what the audience hears.

Ken has included, on all models, an innovative string-height adjustment that tilts the neck slightly to allow the action be adjusted without even having to retune.

At first glance, these don’t appear to be archtops for the traditionalist – Ken has certainly brought his own sense of design to these instruments.  The tone may tempt back some that were initially put-off though.  It should also be noted that these are not the sort of guitar you pick up in your local music store.  They are very serious instruments for very serious players.  They’re not cheap but the quality of materials and workmanship of construction is second to none.

Go to Ken Parker Archtops and drool over these toothsome guitars while listening to some online sound samples.

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Written by: Gerry Hayes
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