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I don’t know about you but I have a serious soft spot for PRS Guitars – I also have a soft spot for Soapbar P90 pick-ups – And who is not smitten by a classic burst finish on a highly figured maple top – As such this new PRS McCarty 594 Soapbar 10 Top has a lot going for it – Despite it having a 2018 serial number, this is a new un-sold PRS Guitar – Some may recall that for many years Guitars 4You was a major stockist for new PRS Guitars – For a variety of reasons I decided to withdraw my dealership around 4/5 years ago, but I still have a very good relationship with the UK team – Every so often, following a stock check and/or spring clean, the UK team come across a few new PRS models that have sat in one of the European/world warehouses – I’m offered the chance to pick up the odd suitable model from time to time – Some are ex-display, used for various trade or public shows – Some are ex magazine review models – Some are just new but even after a final factor QC check a finish blemish might have been discovered – Either way, I acquire a few select pieces from time to time, with a more preferential price tag – An initial quick tour of the gloss finish will reveal few signs that this 594 has ever left its case –  You’ll find a blemish, near the top horn/switch, to the figured maple top, that has been polished out by PRS (UK PTC/technician) – You can still see the blemish under the gloss finish, but the finish itself is smooth – Otherwise a closer examination will be required to discover a couple of subtle blemishes, to the top surface of the gloss finish – As an overview, you’d have to be very fussy to have any issue, whatsoever, with the ‘nearly new condition’ of this McCarty 594

For a number of years now, PRS have released various models that have  been inspired by guitars from the ’50’s Golden Era’ – The McCarty, plus various Singlecut models, like the SC245, Stripped 58, SC58 have all tried to entice potential customers to leave behind their Les Paul and switch over to the PRS camp – Following its release in 2016, the PRS McCarty 594 has certainly acquired favourable reviews, via many different media outlets – To a regular PRS player, then nothing fresh about the cosmetic attributes of the 594, but the desire to capture that vintage mojo, combined with the slick attributes of a modern guitar, is the end game –  I’ll list a few of my own comments and observations below regarding the McCarty 594, but for now, why not click here and read a detailed review, courtesy of Guitarist/Music Radar and Dave Burrluck – Appreciate such reviews are of the humbucker model, but a lot of other comments are valid with regards to the overall construction, neck profile, playability etc – Then click here and click here for a couple of relevant video clips of a 594 Soapbar in action

Playability :-  The neck, feel and frets are far more influenced by the R9 Custom Shop LP market, as against sticking to the feel of a regular PRS Custom 22/24 – The differences maybe subtle, but to a traditional LP fan, it feels like you are more on home turf  – Yet, the PRS set-up, impeccable build quality and attention to detail, ensures that it is far more slinky and feels far more easy to play – Only a light touch is required to show of a few cascading licks ‘n’ tricks – Yet you can still dig in and lay into a few big moody blues bends as required – Maybe a combination of a precision cut top nut,  quality fret work including the profile and impeccably polished, but the whole guitar sounds more in tune – Even when playing more complex’ jazz flavoured chords further up the fingerboard – Maybe PRS have not re-invented the classic feel of a 59 burst, but they have made it more slick – I’m biased as I’m a big PRS fan and have been so for around 30 years – But this McCarty instantly felt comfortable straight out of the box – Within 10/20/30 seconds of playing it I was hooked

Tonal character :-   As I mentioned earlier I have a big soft spot for Soapbar pick-ups – I love the Jekyll and Hyde character of a pair of P90 pick-ups – The ability for the guitar to be so smooth, lush, creamy and chilled when you are on the neck pick-up – Yet move over to the bridge pick-up for the guitar to scream, bite and kick you hard on the shin – PRS have made a few Soapbar models over the years with tweaked Seymour Duncan P90 pick-ups – Yet for the 594 PRS and Seymour Duncan have upped the anti – Now spec’d with a pair of slightly tweaked Seymour Duncan Antiquity P90’s and boy do they sound so special – Set up the amp with a clean sound, subtle overdrive, rock/blues overdrive or hi-gain overdrive and no matter what you throw at it, this 594 delivers the good – The neck pick-up is so lush, with a vocal/flute like quality, that works so well for chilled out jazz/blues styles – If Lindt made guitars and pick-ups, then this is how they would sound – If you appreciate the exquisite smooth vocal qualities of Karen Carpenter, Dionne Warwick or Paul Rodgers, then you’ll  get where I’m coming from – The bridge pick-up can morph from a hot and ballsy country tone, to the un-adulterate raw tone of 50’s blues, to a driving punk based voice with power, guts, energy and clarity – Or just scream, in a musical way, as you rip into some hot rock – It has enough quality to work on a clean amp setting, even for the likes of those melodic Hank Marvin style licks – But add some gain on the amp, be it subtle or hi-gain the P90 is not found wanting – Maybe it isn’t for the die hard screamin’ demon Anthrax style guitar player – But the 594 is so versatile – My favourite setting is to select just enough gain on the amp, then roll back the guitars volume pots until you find that sweet spot, were you  have just enough gain to add character and to stop it sounding to pure – This is ideal for chord work and/or melodic riffs and licks – Then when you require more gain/bite/attitude/sustain, then simply wind the guitars volume pots back towards 10 – As such the guitars volume pots allow you to interface with the amp/pedals overdrive level, to maximise the amount of soul, expression and emotion that is available to you – It is this feature that many great players have mastered to give them so much more expression – Like a sax player or singer you can be soft/sultry, or ‘more angry’ as required – Then add more gain, as required and the volume pots will still respond in the same manner to give you so much emotion at your fingertips

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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.