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PROS: Modern design, versatile electronics, lightweight.
The new Maxx Fly Bass from Parker is setting the standard for the next generation of high-tech basses. Aesthetically, it’s very pleasing, with a slightly less-than-traditional shape, but still very Parker. With a 34” scale length, it balances itself nicely. Our test model came in a sunburst finish, highlighting the gorgeous swamp ash body. The neck is poplar, with a carbon glass epoxy fingerboard that sports 24 stainless steel frets. The neck is glued in, and the entire back of the instrument is coated with a thin sheet of carbon fiber to add rigidity, all while weighing in at around six pounds.
The electronics suite is great, featuring active EMG pickups in the neck and bridge; a P-Bass style complemented by their MMCS. The bridge, in all its beefiness, houses a Ghost piezo pickup in each saddle.
Overall, the bass has a great modern feel – very tight and responsive. The stainless steel frets are ultra-durable, and give plenty of definition. The P-bass pickup does exactly what’s expected, pumping out fully round, warm bass tones, while the MMCS is quite punchy. It’s also splittable by pulling up on its volume knob. Blending the two together gives a nice full sound, and with the sonic variations they both provide, there are tons of low-end textures to develop and explore. With the definition of the piezo pickup, clarity and attack response increases greatly. On its own, it won’t sound like a stand-up bass, but provides a good acoustic “lite” tone. For recording purposes, the Maxx Fly sounds fantastic plugged in direct, as well as amplified. In fact, it’s hard to find a bad tone in this bass.
With its light weight, versatile sound options, and modern construction, Parker delivers an excellent bass that can cover pretty much any playing situation. The only design issue is the position of the input jack. It won’t sit in a guitar stand with a straight plug connected; an angled cable end solves the problem, but let’s be honest – it’ll spend more time in the hands of a player than it will on a stand.
Body: Swamp Ash back with carbon glass epoxy wrap
Beck: Poplar with carbon glass epoxy
Tuners: Hipshot Ultra Light lollipop tuners
Frets: 24 (stainless steel)
Neck Pickup: EMG ‘P’ split-neck
Bridge Pickup: EMG ‘MMCS’
Bridge: Hipshot bridge with Ghost piezo saddles
Available Finishes: Dusty Black, 3-Tone Sunburst, and Candy Lemon Yellow
Weight: Under 6 lbs.