PRS McCarty Guitar

McCarty PRS Guitar

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Personally Ed Roman is definitely not a fan of the PRS McCarty, In fact I prefer to sell them off on Ebay!  When something is sold on Ebay I don't have to put my personal recommendation on it and therefore I don't have to deal with the usual aggravation that comes with a sale of an item that I don't recommend.

The quality and construction are normal PRS high quality.  I just don't like the design, I also don't like the fact that they cost more than a Custom. I mean they come with less than a Custom, so why are they charging more than a Custom.

My opinion simply stated is Paul Reed Smith is a better guitar designer than one of Gibson's retired CEO's.  (Ted McCarty was a retired Gibson executive)

PRS gained a lot of credibility by using Ted McCarty's name. This of course sold lots of PRS guitars but in my opinion the PRS McCarty guitars were the worst guitars PRS had built to date. Currently, I hate the Singlecut model even more than the McCarty but that's another story.

Did you know that all the PRS guitars built in the early years were all 25" scale and all 24 frets (There was no such thing as a 22 fret PRS).  PRS made their original incredible reputation with nothing but 24 fret models for more than 10 years.

Today PRS's biggest competitor (According to PRS) are actually the old original PRS guitars. PRS of course is not in the business of selling used guitars. PRS is in the business of selling new guitars. In my opinion, today PRS is fighting hard for every sale because of companies like Quicksilver,   JET,  Turner  and many other small boutique shops.

If PRS hadn't gone corporate, and into mass production they would probably be still be making one of the best guitars that money can buy. By cutting costs, and changing their designs they have opened the door for many small companies to come in and supply better products (Click Here)

Frequently when I talk to salespeople at PRS they tend to call attention to the fact that the NEW ONES SOUND BETTER.  In my opinion that is a TOTAL CROCK !!! According to these salespeople PRS guitars were not as good as they are today.

 Anyone with half of a retarded brain should be able to see through that BS story.

PRS Comparison

Original 24 fret Model VS PRS McCarty


Original PRS 24 Fret Guitar (many models)

PRS McCarty (Not Recommended)

1. Bridge One Piece Tremolo or 2 piece tune-o-matic 2 Piece import Tremolo or Inferior Wraparound
2. Tuners German Made Locking High Quality Tuners Korean made Kluson Tuners
3. Wood Mahogany & Western Big Leaf Maple Mahogany & East Coast Rock Maple (Less Expensive)
4. Pickups PRS Vintage Bass & PRS HFS  (Hot, Fat & Screams) PRS McCarty Model Pickups
5. Controls Tone Volume & Proprietary 5 Position Switching Tone Volume Pickup Selector W push pull coil tapping
6. Body Thickness Thin guitar balances better Thicker guitar is body heavy.
7. 24 Fret Vs 22 Fret Full Double Octave Utilizing PRS's Original Sweet Spot 22 fret only utilizing a Gibson Les Paul sweet spot
8. Neck Heel Short, doesn't get in the way. Long, Bulky and downright ugly

Compare A PRS to a Quicksilver

Guaranteed to be of interest to any prospective PRS owner

1. The bridge on the McCarty guitar is totally uncool. As most of you probably already know, the current wraparound PRS McCarty bridge is almost impossible to intonate. I prefer a Tone/Pros Tune-o-Matic or at very least a standard Tune-o-Matic. The original models mostly came with a tremolo but the few that were hardtails came with Tune-o-Matics. The original Tremolo was a one piece solid all brass unit that sounded pretty good and only had a couple of minor problems.  It was extremely heavy and it didn't hold perfect tune on the G string. I did like it much better than the newer imported one that comes on the newer guitars.

The tremolo system on the newer models robs sustain and tone from your guitar. In fact it totally destroys any possibility of direct coupling.

If you can find one of the original models with the Tune-o-Matic bridge on it. Conceivably you will probably have one of the best PRS guitars ever made. (During the years 1985 and 1995 PRS ruled the guitar world) There was nothing better at any price. Today that has of course changed.

If you would like to see detailed pictures and read more about this click here

2. The original old style PRS tuners were not perfect, in fact they were a little hard to use. But they worked really well and the gears seemed like they were hardened better. The plating was good because they were made entirely in Germany by Schaller. (Schaller is known to build high quality gear). The McCarty vintage style Kluson tuners are imported from Korea and don't work anywhere near as well as the old models found on the other PRS models.

PRS McCarty models always come with these much cheaper tuners (See Costcutting)

3. PRS guitars have always been known to come with excellent specimens of wood. Today that is still true, but most of PRS's smaller competitors have been able to select much better & much higher quality than PRS. (This is simply because PRS builds so many guitars it is impossible to find that much really good wood). The older PRS guitars were built in much smaller quantities and therefore the wood was noticeably better. (Just play one you will notice almost instantly)

I would hypothesize and say, when PRS came out with the McCarty  model, they tried to kill several birds with one stone. They decided to offer a lesser expensive grade of wood and because of Ted McCarty's name they assumed they could still charge the same amount. No wait a minute they could actually charge more !!!! This of course goes back to one of my non technical reasons that I don't like the McCarty guitar. Don't worry I'll be listing plenty more technical reasons why I don't like it also.

The fact of the matter is PRS uses lesser expensive Eastern non figured maple on the McCarty models and more expensive western big leaf maple on their Custom and CE models.

4.  PRS offers several types of pickups, I am not knocked out over any of them. However if I had to pick my favorite it would unquestionably be the combination of the HFS and the Vintage Bass. These are the pickups that PRS offers that are the most versatile and offer the widest variety of tones.

This paragraph is not intended to be a factual paragraph, I am just expressing my personal opinion. and my opinion is that the McCarty pickups are weak and muddy. (The muddiness probably comes from the fact that the neck pickup is placed in Gibson's muddy spot and not in PRS's sweet spot.

PRS pickups were one of my favorite pickups in the early 90's. I used them in lots of guitars. Today I like the Seymour Duncan pickups better and they happen to cost a little less also. The Seymour Duncan pickups are more articulate and generally I like the tone over anything else I have used.