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For a guitar that has already celebrated its 21st birthday, this used PRS McCarty, with a set of moon inlays, from 2002, is in more than fair condition – It could never be classified as near mint – But it certainly is not abused – As your eyes tour the figured maple top, you’ll see some signs of fade to the gloss finish, but at worse you’ll only find the odd slight compression graze to the top surface of the finish  – Look at the rim, plus the rear of the mahogany body and again you’ll only find the odd slight compression graze to the top surface of the finish , along with the odd ‘polishing swirl’ to the gloss finish – No fret wear – Usual tarnish to the nickel hardware – Overall a strong 8 out of 10 – Note the ‘wrapover’ sides to the violin amber sunburst finish, hence no ‘maple edged’ binding, but you can still make out the figured maple through the burst finish   – The price includes the PRS deluxe oblong case, with leather stitched ends – No eagle tag, but any such product/factory info can be found on the modcat sticker, which you’ll find in the bridge pick-up cavity, if required (see pic )  – Re-strung with a set of 10-46 gauge strings and set up with a slick and easy playing action, that will respond to a light touch – The chunky frets will allow you to dig in and attack/control those big blues bends

McCarty Characteristics – Go back to around 1994 and PRS released a new model, called the McCarty – The ethos was to capture attributes of the past, yet still retain the PRS ‘corporate’ identity – At the time, the Custom 22 + Custom 24 were the two best selling PRS models, with very much a modern approach to the guitar’s features + tonal character – Yet there was strong interest from various players, who required the PRS build quality, playability and attention to detail, but with more of an old school approach to its tonal character – Dave Grissom, described it as trying to capture the sound of Duanne Allman, from the ‘Live at the Fillmore’ concert/album  – Around the same time, Paul Reed Smith had been chatting, on many occasions, to Ted McCarty, as to what was so ‘magical’ about the 57/58/59 Les Paul’s from the Gibson ‘golden era’ – The end result was the release of the PRS McCarty –  Compared to the best selling PRS Custom 22 and 24 models, the McCarty was similar with regards to the guitars aesthetic image – Yet when you study the guitar in more detail, you’ll find many significant differences – Starting with a slightly thicker one piece mahogany body, the increased headstock break angle, a thinner headstock, a set of non-locking vintage style ‘Kluson’ tuners, plus a milled one piece light weight aluminium wrapover bridge/tailpiece, that is compensated for perfect intonation – Don’t worry about any weight issues, as this McCarty comes in at a very credible 8lbs and 6oz  – The figured east coast maple top, with a classic violin amber sunburst finish, along with a pair of nickel covered humbuckers, ensures a vintage aroma is alive and kicking

Tonal character – Tone is provided by a pair of custom wound PRS McCarty humbuckers, that kick out 7.8K neck and 9.57K bridge – Both voiced to capture those desirable PAF qualities, to deliver a fat, warm and smooth aroma, coupled with excellent sustain – You’ll notice a touch more clarity on a McCarty, compared to many LP models – Yet many probably don’t realise that an original LP, from the late 50’s period, offered excellent clarity with sparkling clear highs – Either way, the PRS McCarty ensures that the sought after classic rock/blues based tone, that sings, is the end result  – You’ll discover that when playing the McCarty through overdriven amp settings, that as you roll off the volume pot, the guitar will clean up nicely, whilst retaining articulation, along with its true tonal character – This approach ensures so much more expression, that adds soulful qualities and emotion to your playing, so effectively you and the guitar control the amp, along with the level of gain required – Think Gary Moore, for the ‘full on’ approach and Pete Green, plus Albatross, for a cleaner/softer option, just by rolling on/off the volume pot as required – For additional versatility, the tone pot features a push/pull option, that will supply you with two very useful single coil tones, thanks to a simple neat trick with a resistor and what we call a partial coil tap – In normal practice, when you split a humbucker, to obtain a single coil flavoured voice, you half the output of the humbucker – Therefore an 8K vintage based humbucker will generally produce a 4K single coil pick-up, which is effectively a weak under powered model, that will sound thin and weedy – With a partial coil tap, you’ll end up with a ‘single coil’ setting that will deliver around 5/6K, so far more realistic as to what a Strat from the 60’s would deliver – Granted the McCarty can’t capture the voice of a pure vintage Strat, but the partial tap settings are more useful, as and when required

Playing performance :- The one piece mahogany neck possesses the wide/fat profile, which actually feels just a tad slimmer than a regular LP 50’s profile, so no phobias please about chunky hard to play fat necks, as the McCarty plays like a dream – Granted it possesses a touch of girth so think of it as a medium size profile with half an ounce of extra meat on it – Either way it is comfortable and easy to handle, with a slick action that easily responds to a light touch – C neck profile measures .869″ around the top nut end and fattens out to .957″ around the 12th fret – So a touch slimmer than a R9 vintage based 59 LP – Set-up with a set of 10’s and a good fluid action throughout the length of the 22 fret dark and even grained rosewood fingerboard – A set of jumbo frets allow for easy and controlled string bending, so no issues to dig in and rip into a very big blues bends – A note on the milled light weight aluminium wrapover bridge tailpiece – It is compensated, so with a set of 9’s, 10’s or 11’s and a plain 3rd/G string it will offer perfect intonation – Only with a wound 3rd would you need to look about changing it for a similar unit with adjustable saddles

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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.