Parkwood PWH4 Guitar

This is where electric guitars were always going to go. “Hybrid” has become the buzz word, whether it’s cars or guitars. And the PWH4 is certainly at the head of the pack (although there is no digital component), with its combination of Fishman Power Bridge acoustic pickup and the twin Seymour Duncan SM mini-humbuckers. The routed out chambered mahogany body is fitted with a beautifully figured Australian blackwood top, while the scarf jointed mahogany neck is set into the body and faced with a bound rosewood fingerboard fitted with 22 jumbo frets. Grover machine heads with ebonol half moons finish off the very understated headstock.

With all its onboard electronic wizardry, the PWH4 offers some interesting sonic combinations. Using the Power Bridge pickup on its own achieves an acceptable electro-acoustic sound which can be tonally adjusted, although the overall timbre is it seems, always thin and brittle. Introducing the SM1N and the SM3B mini-humbuckers into the mix creates some interesting colour and flavour and the permutations are almost endless. Somewhere in the tonal mix I found a very satisfying combination, but how do you remember which settings and values you are using? The mini-humbuckers on their own produce the sort of sounds that you might expect and there was an interesting depth to the soundscape here, which had much to do with the chambered nature of the instrument.

The slim neck is fast and extremely playable and the ‘string-thru’ body helps to give the PWH4 exceptional sustain. With so many positive points, it’s unfortunate that the Parkwood powers-that-be don’t invest in quality “pots”, as the ’buckers’ volume control didn’t dial in ’til 10 o’clock! The verdict? Great guitar but there is that hardware issue.

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