Name: Steve KellettHometown:Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
Having been recently “excused work” due to a contract cancellation, I decided to do something constructive with my time. So I bought a Chinese guitar kit inspired by the iconic Parker Fly and set about assembling it.
The body needed some color, so I experimented with blue food dye diluted in water. I rapidly learned two things. First, that “one size fits nobody” disposable latex gloves are about as reliable as condoms bought from a pub toilet vending machine. Secondly, that the end grain soaks up water-based stain like a sponge.
After three coats of the stain, I applied teak oil on the body. Three coats later, the stain still wasn’t sealed in, but an unintended consequence was that the wood grain popped out and the stain took on a turquoise tint. The maple neck sits a little high in the pocket, meaning that the bridge saddles needed to be very nearly at the top of their adjustment screws to get any sort of action on the neck. I eventually got enough relief on the neck, and after a lot of fret levelling, got it playable with a 1 mm action at the 12th fret on the 1st string and 1.5 mm on the 6th string. I also had to lower the slots on the pre-cut nut to stop the strings from pulling sharp in the first few frets.
The only things I added were a capacitor and a piezo pickup. The kit came supplied with three pots and two 3-way switches intended for a pair of 2-conductor humbucker pickups, which makes no sense. Taking inspiration from the Parker P-44 that this kit obviously rips off, I decided to wire it with one 3-way switch controlling the two magnetic pickups. I also connected the piezo system to the second 3-way switch, which allowed me to use either the magnetic pickups alone, the solo piezo pickup by itself, or combine them.
I play my “Farker Ply” in a cover band called Blues & Soul Train that currently has a weekend gig at a club in central Kuala Lumpur. I’m the guy who sneaks the Gary Moore and Van Halen covers into the setlist.
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