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Strandberg guitar bought - tested - and sent back

Patzag

Fractal Fanatic
I’ve played Parker’s since 97. Every time I try to gig with another guitar , it always ends up as a failed experiment.

The only thing that can keep me from my Fly is my Dragonfly. I just love 22 frets and a single coil.

Someday I’ll find an original Fly with HSS. A few were made.

I had an HSS Fly - it was called the Single 2. The "issue" with it is 24 frets. The neck pickup in 24 fret position doesn't sound right. Thats why I had Parker make me a 3 single coil custom model with 22 frets. unfortunately, there were other issues that made it not the right thing for me.

So I'm back to the old pre-refined Parkers. Still.
 

Musikron

Inspired
Can’t stop playing my pre refined Classic Fly. Nothing else comes close. If I could afford or find a 7 string Fly I’d not touch another make again.
 

Per Boysen

Inspired
Yes, plexi59. I made a temporary fix by gaffing a wire, outside on the body, to connect the metal bottom plate with the bridge. Phew, what a relief :) Now I can keep on recording. Will take it to a pro tech asap, to fix the (obviously) broken cable inside that should connect to one of the screws holding a string part of the bridge. The Strandberg web site FAQ listed this as an common issue.
 

Xrocker

Power User
I didn’t know the Single 2 had 24 frets. Thanks, that’s valuable information.

Single coils just loose their mojo in a 24 feet guitar.

Guess I can de-list my kidney for sale in the dark web now.
 

Sleestak

Power User
I always liked the Parker Fly as well, and was very tempted to buy one when they were broadly available. I did recently purchase a Strandberg Boden, and I'm very pleased with it. I never thought I'd find a headless guitar to be aesthetically pleasing, but it works beautifully for this design.
 

tmbridge

New Member
This is just the thread I was looking for. I tried my instructor's pre-refined Parker Fly a few weeks ago and I was blown away. I felt like I'd been broken because now I can't stop thinking about how good it felt to play. I immediately re-allocated the funds in my "Guitar Fund" towards one and am now saving towards one.

However, I played it for < 5 minutes and, at the price point these guitars are at these days, I felt I needed to do my due diligence before purchasing one.

I've narrowed it down to the Parker Fly and a Strandberg but, alas, it's very difficult to find any shops that stock these brands (especially now with all that's going on w.r.t. social distancing). So I'm looking for field reports from others who may have been in a similar situation: Parker vs. Strandberg.

Sorry to resurrect this older thread but if anyone has any experience with BOTH of these brands -- specifically a pre-refined Parker Fly and a Strandberg Boden -- please chime in with your experiences and thoughts?
 

yesfan

Inspired
I had three Parkers and a Gibson es345 1968, A carvin Koa, And many others and the Parkers were all my favorite!
 

simeon

Axe-Master
i had a dragonfly for a bit, after i injured my neck and needed something really light. (it was interesting playing gigs for a few months when i couldn't form a barre chord). i loved everything about it that was "parkery" - the super light weight, ergonomics, the trem, the fingerboard etc, but i ended up getting rid of it because i couldn't jive with the string spacing or the scale length and i couldn't change the single coils to stacked humbuckers, as there wasn't enough depth in the body. i did upgrade the bridge saddles to graphtech ones and it made a noticeable improvement to the tone. i had mine when they were deeply unfashionable and got it for an absolute steal. very impressive guitar.
 

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I'm a long time (1994) Parker user. been through many guitars before and since but always come back to the tried and true best player. Mostly I GAS for "classic" guitars. I'd love to love a Strat or a Les Paul. But the back doesn't allow for that so I keep looking for the guitar that's going to usurp the top spot.

Strandberg looked really good. Light, Ergonomic, beautiful (in a modern, not classic sort of way) and I splurged and bought an upper model. Because of the nagging possibility that this was not "the one" I bought from Guitar Center so I could return it - just in case.

Well, it's all that. Light, ergonomic, beautiful. The tuning stability is awesome. I loved the fanned frets too. Very comfortable and all that.

But after several hours playing it, getting used to the odd neck (which is quite fine after a settle in period of about 20-30 minutes), I picked up my favorite Parker Fly and it was like coming home to your faithful companion.

I don't know what to do. I guess I'm stuck with Parker.

I am not dissing the Strandberg. It's an awesome instrument. And coming from a Les Paul or a Tele, would have been like finding Nirvana. But coming from the Fly, it was ... well ... just not quite there.

To be more specific. I don't like the zero fret. It makes the strings too high near the (non existent) headstock. I also missed a little bit of a higher under-the-arm wood. The edge cut into my arm.

I can't say enough good things about the trem though. Silky smooth and very precise. Same with intonation.

The guitar is light but it felt like it lacked density. Same thing I experienced with some other guitars. Not sure what it's due to. Just a feel.

Anyhow. This was close. I really, really wanted to fall in love with this blind date.

Maybe another time!
Funny you say that. I was messing around with all of my guitars, some of which havent been touched in years, and I have some really amazing axes (Vigier, Steinberger [1985 Newburgh,NY], EBMM) but I also have some very,very basic axes, and it turns out the ones I really love most [TO PLAY] are the cheap ibanez ones, like 10x cheaper than the 7 string counterpart*

I dont think Ibanez i particularly special. In fact, I’m convinced the other brands I own are marginally if not significantly better value and craftsmanshipwise. Like my Vigier and EBMM are heads and shoulders above everything Ive come across at a store besides a PRS and if there is a nice rare Parker, but for whatever reason, I simply prefer and I love Ibanez.

I realized only recently “better” is so subjective, especially these days with so many options and brands, its hard to even use that term anymore. It’s really just about preference now i think....anyway 2 cents

And thanks on saving me the bread, I really wanted to save up and set a long term goal to get a Sarah Longfield Boden Metal 8, but now I’m not gonna do it Thanks to you, which is a relief honestly Lol

*i mean they are inexpensive, like just a couple hundred bucks, like an RG7620 (ibanez 1990, MSRP was like 499? I paid like $300 used) is peanuts compared to a $4k EBMM or whatever
 

Roland

Experienced
if anyone has any experience with BOTH of these brands -- specifically a pre-refined Parker Fly and a Strandberg Boden -- please chime in with your experiences and thoughts
My qualifications are that I’ve owned a pre-refined Classic Fly for almost 20 years, and I’ve sought out and played the Strandberg on a number of occasions. They are very different guitars. They hang differently on the strap. The Fly can be set at a range of angles and heights. The Strandberg, by virtue of its neck profile, is more limited in its playing position. In my playing I alternate between thumb-behind and thumb-over hand positions, often for the same chord shape. The Fly is fine with that. The Strandberg isn’t.

In recent years I’ve moved on to gigging Telecasters. The sound and the playing stance are more suited to pop covers than the Fly. Having twice clouted my singer with the headstock I thought about using a headless guitar. I considered a Strandberg but instead made a headless guitar with Telecaster pickups and neck profile.

I should add that there’s nothing wrong with the Strandberg. If anything it’s sound is warmer than the very bright Fly. It just doesn’t suit what I do.
 

tmbridge

New Member
Thanks for the responses so far, all.

I'm in no particular rush and I know it will be a while before I'll be able to actually go anywhere that has a strandberg for me to try. Another thing that has been on my mind is the fact that, most if not all, problems with a Parker requires sending out to a qualified tech. I like to do my own work on my guitars and I'm not especially looking forward to not being able to "work" on a Parker -- not a huge deal, but something I'm weighing in my process.

It seems, though, that everywhere I look, anyone who has ever been a "Parker Guy" remains a "Parker Guy" forever. That's not to say they only play Parkers for the rest of their life nor is it to say that a Parker is always their #1. However, it is saying that, if ever they stray from their Parker, when they do return, it then becomes their #1 again.

So now I have a decision to make, knowing that I've only ever tried a Parker and only for a few minutes:

Option 1 - The "Known" Unknown: Purchase a Parker and be as happy as can be and, one day in the distant future, try a Strandberg. At which point in time, if I realize I may like the Strandberg more, figure out how to obtain one.

Pros:
  1. I have actually played a Parker and know I like it, at least, at first blush.

Cons:
  1. Since there are very few vendors selling used Parkers, I'll likely be using Reverb. This means that the return policy is 7 days max to really put it through its paces. I will also be on the hook for return shipping.
  2. I'll always wonder, until I can try a Standberg, if I made the right decision.

Option 2 - The "Unknown" Unknown: Purchase a NEW Strandberg from a vendor with an amazing return policy (like Sweetwater). Then, either keep it outright, return it and search for a deal on the used market, or return it and continue waiting until I can try a Parker again.

Pros:
  1. I will have ample time to 'try out' the guitar and will be able to return it.

Cons:
  1. I'll always wonder, until I can play a Parker again, if I made the right decision.

Right now, I am leaning towards Option 1, the Parker option -- only because I know the Parker market is in a lull right now, and who knows how that market will shift over the next few years considering there is a fixed supply out there. Whereas, Strandbergs are in their prime and will continue to manufacture and innovate for years to come.

Would love to hear anyone's opinions/thoughts!
 
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