Kevin Parsons Flying V
Kevin Parsons Flying V 5-string. $3,000.
British luthier Kevin Parsons of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, now retired, is particularly known for his guitars. He worked for the legendary Tony Zemaitis, handling most of the actual building of that famous brand in the 1990s, when a Zemaitis guitar was one of the hottest things going. Following Zemaitis's retirement and death, Parsons struck out on his own for 20 years or so, producing more acclaimed guitars and other instruments—including this Flying V 5-string electric mandolin—under his own name.
     According to Kevin, this mandolin dates to the early 2000s and has a neck and body of Brazilian mahogany in light honey with a nitrocellulose lacquer finish, and a 24-fret Indian rosewood fretboard. The pickup is a Firebird humbucker. Through-body design with custom tailpiece plate, pickguard, and bridge base. Tone and volume controls. Kevin says it's "definitely a one-off."
     But on the other hand, one is all you need. This instrument has been around the block a bit since Kevin built it, making its way from the UK to Sweden to the United States. It has a few dents that have been filled, and some scratches and surface wear, but it has a fresh setup and is ready for more action. If what's holding you back as a mandolinist is your inability to channel your inner Randy Rhoads (or Albert King), then salvation is at hand.
      $3,000 plus shipping. Gig bag included. 48-hour approval period. Add a strap, see more photos, call 425/772-0231, or for more information.