A few folks have emailed me or left comments on the site to ask how Sybil, my Parkwood Hybrid, is doing these days. In a nutshell, she’s great. In a slightly larger nutshell, I’m happy enough with her that I sold my Rickenbacker, and those of you who know me well know that that’s not something I did lightly.
I’ve been playing Sybil regularly since the beginning of January, once a week at church and once a week at worship team practice. I will occasionally pick her up and home, but I mostly use my trusty old Alvarez White Fusion when I don’t want or require any amplification.
She’s holding up quite nicely. A few weeks after I bought her, she developed a nasty buzz on the second fret, so I had to take her back to Guitar Center for a quick adjustment. And last week, I noticed that a small screw attaching the Parkwood logo plate to the headstock had come loose, but that was easy enough to fix. You know, with a screwdriver.
Otherwise, I have no complaints at all. I love how versatile this guitar is. When leading worship at church, I really appreciate being able to switch over to electric for a song or two, or even keep the acoustic and electric channels going at the same time for a really unique sound. And switching between modes is a snap. It’s great for when you want a nice, soft, acoustic intro, but you want that little extra kick when the drums and bass come in.
Speaking of that extra kick, the Seymour Duncan Mini-Humbuckers have a great sound, even when going direct to the PA system with no amp. And the acoustic sound is really, really sweet. It’s a brighter sound than what I’m used to (my Alvarez has a rich, dark sound that I’ve come to adore), but not at all unpleasant. And through my FloorPOD, it sounds absolutely amazing.
In the looks department, Sybil is a knockout. The Australian Blackwood top with Light Vintage Burst finish is just gorgeous, and the somewhat understated chrome controls add a bit of elegance to it.
Since I purchased Sybil, Parkwood has pulled the plug on its hybrids. From what I understand, they were a limited run made exclusively for Guitar Center and they’re totally sold out. They should definitely make more. Parkwood got everything right in this guitar, and I couldn’t be happier with it. Looks as though Sybil may become a collector’s item.
But the hybrid market is getting more saturated. In addition to the Parkwood, I’ve already written the Taylor T5 and the Ovation VXT. I’ve also read about Michael Kelly’s Hybrid Special, which weighs in at about $599, but I’ve not personally tried one.
Epiphone has also gotten into the game with the Les Paul Ultra II, which looks like a regular Paul but has a chambered body to get the acoustic sound. It sells for anywhere from $599 to $699 and comes in a variety of very Les Paul finishes.
Finally, Ibanez has launched a hybrid, too: the Montage. Its price range is about the same as the Epi and the Kelly, but it has some nice features for the money, including a built-in tuner and XLR outputs. It also features onboard reverb, chorus, distortion, and other goodies, although I can’t in good conscience recommend using the effects built into any guitar. Just rubs me the wrong way.
So anyway, there you have it. I’m loving Sybil and I think she likes me, too.