Exhibitors 2014

Ken Parker Archtops
Ken Parker

Ken Parker revolutionized the solid body electric guitar. Now he is reinventing and perfecting the acoustic archtop guitar. While he is renowned for the Parker Fly, his breakthrough solid body electric guitar, building fine acoustic archtop guitars has been his quest since the mid-seventies.
Ken’s understanding of traditional instrument building and his master craftsman’s command of tools and materials have allowed him to develop novel solutions to the many design challenges posed by the acoustic archtop guitar.
Although each guitar has a name, there are no “models”.  Each instrument becomes a unique evolutionary step.


Unlike most other kinds of musical instruments, the archtop guitar was originally devised to be built in a factory, and didn’t have the benefit of developing gradually, with lots of talented builders competing and building on each other’s strengths.


At the end of the great depression, the availability of the electromagnetic pickup and the guitar amplifier gradually rendered the archtop commercially irrelevant, as solidbody guitars rose to assume their dominance as tools for performing guitarists. It can be argued that the development of the acoustic archtop was actually driven backwards by the addition of magnetic pickups, because builders added more stiffness to improve the newly amplified guitar’s behavior at stage volume.


“As an instrument maker, my goal has always been to build the most sensitive, responsive, and versatile guitars I can. I have long believed that the acoustic archtop guitar form offers huge potential that has been largely unexplored. I’m determined to wrest the best possible musical results from this wonderfully flexible and intriguing form.”

This is an exciting time for me as a builder, because I can work alone once again, and follow my muse. I built my first archtop guitar in 1976 and, although I went on to build and develop other kinds of tools for musicians, I’ve always felt the calling to return to my first inspiration, my first love, the acoustic archtop guitar. I am proud to be presenting at The Holy Grail Guitar Show.