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Parker PJ14 Archtop Guitar

The original Parker guitars have to be the most, if not the only, beautiful things ever birthed in Rochester, N.Y. (apologies to Steve Gadd). When Ken Parker began rolling these solidbody electrics out of his upstate New York workshop in the 1990s, they instantly achieved an iconic identity. Parker’s designs had no clear antecedents in looks or construction, and that uniqueness led to popularity, which in turn led to the company’s inevitable sale, leaving Parker Guitars in the care of U.S. Music Corp., the parent company of Washburn guitars, since 2004.

With the creation of two new Parker archtops, it seems those holding the reins at the post-Parker Parker are trying to maintain the brand’s market identity to a certain extent. The more purely “jazz” model of the pair, the PJ14, sticks to convention where it counts most, but breaks from traditional ideas about shape and construction.

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