<music: performing: instruments>

"Below are some of the instruments that I've used on stage and recordings. Since 2005, I've primarily used Parker Fly guitars unless a project specifically requires me to use another type of guitar. As noted in the descriptions below, I'm not opposed to modifying my instruments in order to accommodate my needs as a performer and composer, though I do try to avoid irreversible modifications if it's possible. Still, some guitars here do function more like breadboards at times. My guitars are serviced regularly by Eddie and Andy Hulse of Hulse Guitars , Patrick Cummings of iGuitar Workshop , and by/with the talented people working on projects in my Electric Guitar Innovation Lab (EGIL). I hope you enjoy looking around." ~V.J.

Parker Guitars

V.J.'s Parker Fly Mojo
V.J.'s Parker Fly Mojo
V.J.'s Parker Fly Mojo
V.J.'s Parker Fly Mojo

Parker Fly Mojo

(2005)

Description: "My first Parker Fly, which I bought new from Parker Guitars in 2005. I had been reading about the Fly Mojo, but had to drive about two hours outside of NYC just to find a music shop that had one in stock that I could play; I’ve been enamored with Parker Fly guitars ever since! After I placed the order to Parker through that shop, I remember how excited I was when, a few days later, Parker called and said that they were building my guitar for me and asked me what string gauge I used; it was a very different and special guitar-purchasing experience. This guitar has the thin Fly neck profile, and the Jazz neck pickup sounds particularly great for finger-style playing with clean amp settings."

In Action:
V.J. playing a Parker Fly Mojo V.J. playing a Parker Fly Mojo V.J. playing a Parker Fly Mojo' V.J. playing a Parker Fly Mojo V.J. playing a Parker Fly Mojo'
Other Info:
Serial Number: 1130305MM
Notes: all original; stock pickups: Seymour Duncan Jazz pickup (neck), Seymour Duncan JB pickup (bridge), Fishman Piezo in bridge.
Current Setup: D'Addario EXL110 .010 gauge (10-46) strings
Finish: Ice Blue Sun Burst
Instrument Name: Verve

Parker Fly Deluxe

(2007)

Description: "My second Parker Fly, which I bought used for the purpose of modifying; in particular, installing a Sustainiac driver in the neck position. My days of using an EBow came to a screeching (yet sustained!) halt when I got this up and running. I liked the Sustainiac so much that I also got the Sustainman external version of the driver (with custom drive modifications by the inventor Alan Hoover) for other guitars. This Fly has the slightly chunkier Fly neck profile."

In Action:
V.J.'s playing a Parker Fly Deluxe
Other Info:
Serial Number: P0703060
Notes: modified; replaced original Dimarzio "Gen 2" neck pickup with Sustainiac driver (neck) with added on/off toggle switch and harmonic mode three-way toggle switch. Sustainiac "drive" level mapped to knob that formerly controlled piezo volume; now operates a 25k pot. Magnetic pickup/piezo pickup selector switch removed and replaced with a momentary killswitch. Original stock pickups remain: Dimarzio #PHWP2 "Gen 2" pickup (bridge), Fishman piezo (preamp removed).Replaced low E string tuner with Sperzel D Thing drop-D tuner
Current Setup: D'Addario EPS510 ProSteels .010 gauge (10-46) strings
Finish: Ice Blue Sun Burst
Instrument Name: Viceroy

V.J.'s Parker Fly Deluxe
V.J.'s Parker Fly Deluxe
V.J.'s Parker Fly Deluxe
V.J.'s Parker Fly Deluxe
V.J.'s Parker Fly Mojo
V.J.'s Parker Fly Mojo
V.J.'s Parker Fly Mojo
V.J.'s Parker Fly Mojo

Parker Fly Mojo

(2008)

Description: "A third Parker Fly?! I love my 2005 Fly Mojo and I also love the Sustainiac driver I had installed in my 2007 Fly Deluxe, so, I thought: why not get the best of both and modify a Fly Mojo with a Sustainiac? This Fly has the slightly chunkier Fly neck profile."

In Action:
V.J. playing a Parker Fly Mojo V.J. playing a Parker Fly Mojo V.J. playing a Parker Fly Mojo V.J. playing a Parker Fly Mojo
Other Info:
Serial Number: P0803218
Notes: modified; original Seymour Duncan Jazz pickup (neck) replaced with a Sustainiac driver with added on/off toggle switch and harmonic mode three-way toggle switch. Added a mini 25k pot and knob to control the Sustainiac "drive". Both stock pickup selector and magnetic/piezo selectors were replaced with Electroswitch toggles. Original stock pickups remain: Seymour Duncan JB pickup (bridge), and Fishman piezo in bridge. All controls are mapped according to the original configuration.
Current Setup: D'Addario ECG23 .010 gauge (10-48) flatwound strings
Finish: Trans Blue Burst with Quilted Maple
Instrument Name: Venom

Parker Fly Concert

(1997)

Description: "Later known as the Fly Bronze, this Fly Concert model is somewhat of a unicorn in terms of rarity, but I was fortunate enough to find this one in great condition on the used market. What an innovative design: it plays like my other Parker Fly guitars (same neck profile, same body shape, etc.), sounds like a mic'ed acoustic, and weighs almost nothing. This Fly has the thin Fly neck profile."

In Action:
V.J. playing a Parker Fly Concert Ken Parker playing V.J.'s' Parker Fly Concert V.J. and Ken Parker (2018)
Other Info:
Serial Number: 199017BSS
Notes: all original; stock Fishman Piezo in bridge.
Current Setup: D'Addario EJ26 Phosphor Bronze .011 gauge strings
Finish: Transparent Butterscotch (Natural)
Instrument Name: Vapor

V.J.'s Parker Fly Concert
V.J.'s Parker Fly Concert
V.J.'s Parker Fly Concert
V.J.'s Parker Fly Concert
V.J.'s Parker Fly Classic
V.J.'s Parker Fly Classic
V.J.'s Parker Fly Classic
V.J.'s Parker Fly Classic

Parker Fly Classic

(2003)

Description: "My fourth Parker Fly; the Fly Classic. Terrific guitar that, I feel, sounds somewhere in between the Fly Mojo and the Fly Deluxe. This Fly has the thin Fly neck profile.

In Action:
V.J. playing a Parker Fly Classic V.J. playing a Parker Fly Classic
Other Info:
Serial Number: 343023BMH
Notes: all original; stock Dimarzio #PHWP1 and #PHWP2 pickups installed (neck and bridge) and original Fishman piezo in bridge. All controls are mapped according to the original configuration.
Current Setup: D'Addario EXL110 .010 gauge (10-46) strings
Finish: Natural Mahogany (front), Root Beer (back)
Instrument Name: Vex

Parker Fly Deluxe

(1997)

Description: "A so-called pre-refined Fly Deluxe from 1997, which I bought used. It was in less-than-stellar condition within dings, chips, and scratches , but I bought it for the purpose of using it as a Franken-Fly with my Electric Guitar Innovation Lab research, and with my company, Fuse . I received it with the original "Gen 1" DiMarzio stock pickups installed, which was the first time I had a chance to play/hear those in action; sound great! This Fly has the slightly chunkier Fly neck profile."

Other Info:
Serial Number: 099117BP
Notes: all original; "Gen 1" DiMarzio stock pickups; stock Fishman Piezo in bridge.
Current Setup: D'Addario EXL110 .010 gauge (10-46) strings
Finish: Dusty Black
Instrument Name: Viper

V.J.'s Parker Fly Deluxe
V.J.'s Parker Fly Deluxe
V.J.'s Parker Fly Deluxe
V.J.'s Parker Fly Deluxe
V.J.'s Parker Fly Artist
V.J.'s Parker Fly Artist
V.J.'s Parker Fly Artist
V.J.'s Parker Fly Artist

Parker Fly Artist

(2010)

Description: "The Fly Artist is like the Fly Concert with magnetic pickups. I purchased this particular guitar second-hand; it was originally ordered from the Parker Custom Shop with chrome hardware, a natural matte finish front, and a matte emerald green back. This Fly has the thin Fly neck profile and sounds particularly good with moderate overdrive and clean amp settings.

In Action:
Guitar In Action
Other Info:
Serial Number: P1011009
Notes: Parker Guitars Custom shop/modified; "Gen 2" Dimarzio pickups; a T4RS jack installed .
Current Setup: D'Addario EXL110 .010 gauge (10-46) strings
Finish: Natural Sitka Spruce matte (front), Emerald Green matte (back)
Instrument Name: Valkyrie

Parker Fly Deluxe (Redwood)

(1993)

Description: "And there you have it: the first-year Parker Fly Deluxe. The very first Fly models, including this one, shipped with redwood necks . According to what Ken Parker told me directly in 2018, using redwood required too much oversight in order to maintain quality control, so, after the first batch of about 60 or so redwood-neck Flys (without any issues!) were sold, he switched to basswood necks. He also told me that he personally oversaw the build of this and every redwood-neck Fly; that's kinda cool! This guitar has the thin Fly neck profile and sounds different from my other Fly Deluxe guitars (with basswood necks); very lively guitar (even compared to other Flys). The original Flys came in either black or white, and I was fortunate to find this beautiful white one, which Ken regards (in the video below) as one of his favorite finishes."

In Action:
Ken Parker playing V.J.'s Parker Fly Deluxe Ken Parker listening to the sustain of V.J.'s Parker Fly Deluxe
Other Info:
Serial Number: 147033RP
Notes: modified (potentially); this guitar probably came with the original 1993 white nut, but it now has one of the post-1993 Graph Tech nuts. "Gen 1" DiMarzio stock pickups; stock Fishman Piezo in bridge.
Current Setup: D'Addario EXL110 .010 gauge (10-46) strings
Finish: Cream White
Instrument Name: Valor

V.J.'s Parker Fly Deluxe Redwood
V.J.'s Parker Fly Deluxe Redwood
V.J.'s Parker Fly Deluxe Redwood
V.J.'s Parker Fly Deluxe Redwood
V.J.'s Parker NiteFly
V.J.'s Parker NiteFly
V.J.'s Parker NiteFly
V.J.'s Parker NiteFly

Parker NiteFly (NFV3)

(1997)

Description: "It's as if my favorite aspects of the Parker Fly were combined with my favorite aspects of a Strat! I bought this used NiteFly for project that required me to regularly demo a three-pickup configuration; until then, I had never played a NiteFly. In short: it's great! Has the thicker neck profile that some of my Flys have, but feels very much just like a Fly guitar; just a little heavier. Sounds different from a Fly; sounds like an incredible Strat! The NFV3 was the first NiteFly to feature the onboard Fishman Powerchip, but, as a Parker Guitars nerd, I also have one of the external piezo preamps."

Other Info:
Serial Number: 57416
Notes: modified; replaced damaged stop screw with Tremol-No bridge-locking device.
Current Setup: D'Addario EXL110 .010 gauge (10-46) strings
Finish: Sunburst
Instrument Name: Vertex

Parker Fly Mojo (12-String Hybrid)

(2011)

Description: "The first major guitar research project to come out of my Electric Guitar Innovation Lab : a Parker Fly Mojo converted into the world's first 12-String Parker Fly! Read the complete notes here ; the scope of work for this project included the creation of a custom bridge and saddles , a heavily modified headstock , and all sorts of modeling and modifications.

In Action:
V.J. playing his Parker Fly 12-String V.J. playing his Parker Fly 12-String
Other Info:

Serial Number: P1101104
Notes: modified; Seymour Duncan Jazz neck (stock), Seymour Duncan Jazz bridge, 12 custom piezo saddle sensors through Fishman Powerchip.
Current Setup: D'Addario EXL150 .010 12-String strings.
Finish: Tobacco Sunburst with Flame Maple
Instrument Name: Violator

Original Images:

V.J.'s Parker Fly Mojo V.J.'s Parker Fly Mojo V.J.'s Parker Fly Mojo V.J.'s Parker Fly Mojo
V.J.'s Parker Fly Mojo 12-String Custom
V.J.'s Parker Fly Mojo 12-String Custom
V.J.'s Parker Fly Mojo 12-String Custom
V.J.'s Parker Fly Mojo 12-String Custom
V.J.'s Parker Fly Bass
V.J.'s Parker Fly Bass
V.J.'s Parker Fly Bass
V.J.'s Parker Fly Bass

Parker Fly Bass (FB-4)

(2003)

Description: "Seriously?! Yes! This bass was made during the few month period when Ken Parker was still in charge of Parker Guitars before they were redesigned by U.S. Music Corp. How does it play? Great! How does it sound? Great! It's a dream in my studio, which is primarily where I use it."

Other Info:
Serial Number: 0303122
Notes: all original; DiMarzio stock pickups; stock Fishman Piezo in bridge.
Current Setup: Fodera 65-125 nickel strings. (tuned B standard)
Finish: Natural
Instrument Name: Vamp

Parker Fly Concert

(1998)

Description: "A second Fly Concert?! Yes! This one is tuned like a baritone guitar down in B standard. How does it sound? Fantastic! Intonated perfectly in this low tuning and plays easily like a Parker should with the right amount of tension. It doesn't really leave my studio much, and sounds great layered with my other Fly Concert. This Fly has a thin neck profile."

Other Info:
Serial Number: 199078BSS
Notes: modified; replaced battery compartment on back; stock Fishman Piezo in bridge.
Current Setup: D’Addario EJ17 Phosphor Bronze .013 gauge strings (tuned down to B standard)
Finish: Ebony
Instrument Name: Vesper

V.J.'s Parker Fly Concert
V.J.'s Parker Fly Concert
V.J.'s Parker Fly Concert
V.J.'s Parker Fly Concert
V.J.'s Parker Fly Maple Custom
V.J.'s Parker Fly Maple Custom
V.J.'s Parker Fly Maple Custom
V.J.'s Parker Fly Maple Custom

Parker Fly Maple Custom

(2001)

Description: "The Fly Maple Custom is maple-bodied guitar with a basswood neck. The more widely-known maple-bodied Parker Fly is the "Fly Supreme", which featured a bookmatched maple body in a Transparent Honey finish. The Fly Maple Custom came in this Transparent Cherry finish and was only listed in the 2001 catalog. Sounds great! Similar tone to a Fly Deluxe, but with a unique high-end sparkle and chime. This Fly has a thin neck profile."

Other Info:
Serial Number: 234021BMA
Notes: all original; "Gen 2" DiMarzio stock pickups; stock Fishman Piezo in bridge.
Current Setup: D'Addario EXL110 .010 gauge (10-46) strings
Finish: Transparent Cherry
Instrument Name: Veritas

Parker Fly Nylon

(1999)

Description: "What a great idea this instrument was! This beautiful Fly Nylon (a.k.a "Spanish Fly") is lighter, plays better, and sounds better (when plugged in!) than my traditional acoustic classical guitar! Beatiful and strong signal and sounds terrific running into a Fishman Aura."

Other Info:
Serial Number: 264059BSS
Notes: all original; stock Fishman Piezo in bridge.
Current Setup: La Bella 413P Studio Professional Recording Strings
Finish: Transparent Butterscotch
Instrument Name: Vivace

V.J.'s Parker Fly Nylon
V.J.'s Parker Fly Nylon
V.J.'s Parker Fly Nylon
V.J.'s Parker Fly Nylon
V.J.'s Parker Fly Butternut
V.J.'s Parker Fly Butternut
V.J.'s Parker Fly Butternut
V.J.'s Parker Fly Butternut

Parker Fly Butternut

(1998)

Description: "As rare as they come; this particular Fly model never appeared in any Parker Guitars catalog. Ken told me that he only had a small supply of butternut wood, so they were only able to make this limited run of 50. They are signed and numbered. How does it sound? Like a cross between a Deluxe and a Classic; Ken described the sound of butternut to me as 'mahogany plus', and I think that's an accurate descriptor; I would just say 'it sounds buttery!'".

Other Info:
Serial Number: 090108BBN
Notes: all original; "Gen 1" DiMarzio stock pickups; stock Fishman Piezo in bridge.
Current Setup: D'Addario EXL110 .010 gauge (10-46) strings
Finish: Natural
Instrument Name: Vine

Parker Fly Hardtail (Stealth)

(2000)

Description: "The all-basswood Fly in a very unique texturd speckle color. Ken told me that he originally wanted to paint all of the Fly guitars in either this textured/speckled way or "cover them with denim". The name for this Fly variant according to the catalog is the "Fly Hardtail", but it's unique "Stealth Gray" finish dubbed it the name "Fly Stealth". Compared to other Flys this model has a particularly prominent fundamental, which is a very disinct sound and is especially useful if you play this guitar in a dropped tuning; I have mine tuned in B standard like a baritone guitar."

Other Info:
Serial Number: 047050BB
Notes: all original; "Gen 1" DiMarzio stock pickups; stock Fishman Piezo in bridge.
Current Setup: D'Addario EJ22 .013 gauge (13-56) strings (tuned down to B standard)
Finish: Stealth Gray
Instrument Name: Voltaire

V.J.'s Parker Fly Stealth
V.J.'s Parker Fly Stealth
V.J.'s Parker Fly Stealth
V.J.'s Parker Fly Stealth
V.J.'s Parker Fly Deluxe Redwood with Sustainiac
V.J.'s Parker Fly Deluxe Redwood with Sustainiac
V.J.'s Parker Fly Deluxe Redwood with Sustainiac
V.J.'s Parker Fly Deluxe Redwood with Sustainiac

Parker Fly Deluxe (Redwood)

(1993)

Description: "This is a first-year first-run Parker Fly Deluxe with a redwood neck. I have a redwood-neck Fly in white that I really love, and I got this one so that I could do a gentle modification to the original guitar by installing a Sustainiac driver. Patrick Cummings of iGuitar Workshop completed the install and was able to do so without any significant modifications to the original by affixing the Sustainiac driver in the neck pickup pocket with heavy-duty double-sided tape! I asked Patrick to carefully remove the original electronics and wire the magnetic pickups point-to-point to the output jack without the active piezo circuitry."
Other Info:
Serial Number: 223073RP
Notes: modified; Sustainiac driver in neck, Gen 1 stock DiMarzio in bridge, no piezo.
Current Setup: D'Addario EXL110 .010 gauge (10-46) strings
Finish: Dusty Black
Instrument Name: V

Parker Fly Deluxe

(1998)

Description: "The first time I saw a Parker Fly in the flesh was in 1994 when I was about 12 years old; a man in my church had one. I was just starting to play guitar at the time, and I didn't have much of a reference for how other instruments compared to my entry-level Squier Strat, but I remember the man raving about how Flys were lighter and they had a wider fretboard than most guitars; 'a wider fretboard?!', I thought; 'Why would anyone want such a thing?! I can barely play the F Major chord as it is!!' "

Other Info:
Serial Number: 019018BP
Notes: all original; "Gen 1" DiMarzio stock pickups; stock Fishman Piezo in bridge.
Current Setup: D'Addario EXL110 .010 gauge (10-46) strings
Finish: Emerald Green
Instrument Name: Verdi

V.J.'s Parker Fly Deluxe Emerald Green
V.J.'s Parker Fly Deluxe Emerald Green
V.J.'s Parker Fly Deluxe Emerald Green
V.J.'s Parker Fly Deluxe Emerald Green


View More Instruments

Performing

An overview of V.J.'s performance styles and ensembles

Compositions

An overview of works composed, performed, or produced by V.J.