You’ve checked out a Strat – You love the single coil clarity, yet wished it had a bit more oomph, warmth and depth – You’ve checked out a Les Paul, love the warmth, sustain and output, yet somehow wished it had more clarity – If that sounds familiar then the time to check out this used PRS McCarty Soapbar Gold Top from 1999 – I’ve have just taken this 1999 model into stock, with the classic gold top finish, on a carved maple top (note the traditional PRS natural edged body binding) – For a guitar that is now over 20 years old then the condition is remarkable – Any hint of a graze you can find, to the gloss finish, is barely noticeable – I found a minor blemish on the headstock, around the B string machine head, but that is the only negative comment I can offer with regards to its condition – No buckle rash on the rear and no hint of any pick wear ‘n’ tear between the two pick-ups on the high E string side – Of course you can find the usual hint of oxidization/tarnish to the nickel hardware – No fret issues whatsoever – Re-strung and set-up with 10’s, to deliver a fluid easy action – Deluxe PRS case included along with the eagle swing tag – Whole guitar weighs a very credible 8lbs and 6oz and possesses a vibrant unplugged voice – Note the original PRS strap buttons are currently sitting in the case, as a set of Schaller strap locks are now fitted to this McCarty
The design and influence of a McCarty is very much taken from the 1950’s golden era period, hence a one piece mahogany body supporting a maple top, a one piece mahogany neck, dark chocolate rosewood fingerboard, thinner headstock with a set of ‘Kluson’ style non-locking tuners, light weight aluminium wrapover bridge/tailpiece and a pair of custom wound Seymour Duncan P90 pick-ups (neck pick up measures 7.80K with a hotter bridge pick up measuring 10.90K) – The guitar has been re-strung and set-up with a set of 10’s and plays a treat, with that fluid and easy playing action that is a hallmark of any PRS Guitars – The 22 medium jumbo frets are impeccably fitted, correctly profiled and polished to perfection, to enable effortless string bending, so much so that a set of 10’s still feel nice and slinky – Note the moon inlays on a dark chocolate rosewood fingerboard – The neck has the wide/fat profile, which whilst it has some meat on it, fat and wide like a bat it ain’t – Just think of a slightly slimmer and more comfortable Les Paul neck and your probably there – Neck measurements are .873″ at the top nut end and .959″ around the 12th fret – Like the original 50’s LP Juniors and Specials, the PRS is spec’d with a very light weight wrapover bridge/tailpiece, which many feel is very much part of the tone, but the PRS is engineered to deliver perfect intonation – Mounted on a chunky pair of studs to further enrich the sustain available
To a large degree the amp you use will determine the tone that the McCarty Soapbar delivers – From chilled out blues/jazz based styles, through to classic rock, this guitar will take you all the way to that sweet home in Alabama – It can be sweet and warm with great articulation, it can deliver a full bodied Tele style twang, or push it a bit more for a harder gritty tone with loads of bite – The volume control works smoothly across the 1-10 spectrum, therefore if the amp is set-up with some gain, turn the volume pot down as required to obtain a cleaner voice, without losing any of the guitars goodness – This approach will deliver far more expression/emotion to your playing – Note that no treble bleed capacitor is fitted to the volume pot on a PRS McCarty – Dial in loads of dirt on the amp for that more ‘punky-esq’ Green Day style tone, but no matter how you set it up, that single coil clarity is always present – Does it sit in a death metal band, probably not, but it does loads of other work including pop and indie – In short it has a slightly thicker and more rounded tone with more output than a Strat, with the power of a humbucker and the sustain of a Gibbo with a bigger dynamic variation than you’ll probably find in any other instrument – The more you play it the more you’ll get out of it – From the raw blues side of Muddy Waters to the elegant blues styles of Robben Ford or Steely Dan and the McCarty Gold Top will feel at home – And remember the Dave Gilmour ‘brick in the wall’ solo was recorded on a similar guitar
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Guitars4You is not another corporate high street guitar store - My selection of premium grade guitars is about quality not quantity. Every guitar has been selected, inspected and approved by me, with particular attention to the set-up and playing performance. Every sale, phone call, email and mail order transaction is handled by me. A journey that is now over 40 years old, has fuelled my knowledge, experience, love, devotion and passion for exceptionally fine guitars.