Parker Guitars P-38

P-38, Other Shape Guitar from Parker Guitars in the P series.

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themaddog 09/06/2011

Parker Guitars P-38 : themaddog's user review

« The best guitar I ever got for $5 »

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For starters - I won this guitar in a raffle. My brother went to school with Larry Fishman's (the guy who designed the pickups) kid and they donated a P-38 for a raffle to raise money for the school. Although I wish they had donated a NiteFly, I'm still really happy to have won it, especially since it cost only $5!

That being said, I probably would never have purchased this guitar, or really any of the Parkers because they're not my style, but this guitar has found it's way to being a very reliable backup guitar.

The guitar has 24 frets, a thin neck, although it is not as thin or as sleek as the NiteFlies. There are two double-humbucking pickups with a three way selector and a tone and volume knob for each. There is also a piezo pickup that has an independent volume knob and can have a separate output with a TRS y-cable. If a standard 1/4" guitar cable is used, the piezo and standard pickups are blended together based on how the volume knobs are set. There is a switch that can be set to output just the double-humbuckers, just the piezo, or both.

There is also a tremolo, but it only goes down, not up.


The guitar is really easy to use. It uses 10's (instead of 9's like most guitars) and using 9's will result in fret buzz. The guitar is well balanced and has a unique shape. Over time the knobs have gotten a bit loose.

The piezo is powered by a 9 volt battery. As best I can tell the double-humbuckers are not active pickups, but for whatever reason if your battery is out of juice the double-humbuckers will not play properly.


The double-humbuckers put out a nice, solid tone that can run the gambit of modern rock music from light electric to heavy metal, depending on your amplification. If you want it to feedback it is totally capable of doing so, but not in a screeching, uncontrollable sort of way.

The real beauty of this guitar is the piezo pickup. If you want an electric guitar to sound pretty close to an acoustic, just flip the switch on the P-38 and you're in acoustic land.

These double-humbuckers are not my favorite, but that's down to my own personal preference, and not the fault of the manufacturer.


The thing I like best about this guitar is it cost me next to nothing. As I said, based on my personal preference, I probably wouldn't purchase this guitar, but I love it as a second guitar. I doubt I'd replace it, and I certainly can't afford one of the nice Parkers, but I'd be very upset if it were lost or stolen. In fact, writing this review has kind of made me reconsider its current placement, which is behind some equipment at my studio. I think it's time to start breaking it out again.