McCarty or ES 335?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by jtw, Dec 6, 2005.


  1. jtw

    jtw Member

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    I've had the McCarty for a while now, used it a bunch with the band I was in when I got it, and now not so much. I keep going back to it, playing it for an afternoon, then sticking it right back in the case. I haven't seriously gigged it in about five years. I have some history with it too...it was stolen out of our rehearsal room and recovered.

    Now, the dillema...I just don't play the thing. I've really been jones-ing for a 335 for a while, but have talked myself out of a couple of trades towards one that would have involved the McCarty, because I'm just too worried that I'll miss the thing after it's gone (I know, I may have just answered it all right there). But, it just sits there. My other guitars get all the playing time.

    Talk me into/out of moving the McCarty and possibly getting into a 335. I know, really rough life I have here :)

    Thanks in advance for any and all comments.
     
  2. gtrplayer23

    gtrplayer23 Member

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    theres nothing like having a quality hollowbody in the collection. get the gibson.
     
  3. rbisherw

    rbisherw Guest

    If you can swing the bucks:

    Historic 335 or
    PRS Hollowbody.

    After owning a few production 335s that were not doing it for me, I purchased an 05 McCarty and love it. I will eventually add (not trade anything I Have) another hollowbody. My top choices are:

    1. Gibson ES335 Historic. I have played a few and loved them. The biggest problem, it is a lot of money, especially for a "laminated' guitar. But they sound and play great, at least to me.

    2.PRS Hollowbody - Great playing, great sounding, all solid woods, but a lot of bucks.
     
  4. jackaroo

    jackaroo Member

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    100% get the 335. That guitar is just awesome. Nothing gets that woody tone like a 335, very versatile as well. Here's the thing, a 335 is a historic tone, one that we can recognize, like say a strat in neck/bridge position, or a tele in bridge. I'm not sure if the same can be said for a McCarty. But just to give some warning, my #1 guits for years have been these two bad boys....

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    ...and while the McCarty is my favorite of the PRS species, it's just not near as cool as the 335.
     
  5. jtw

    jtw Member

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    Thanks so much for the replies. I knew this would happen; it's getting harder to decide:)

    While the McCarty certainly has a vintage vibe to it, I just lean towards the 335 more in the dual humbucker department. Don't know why really.

    Also, another part of the equation is the price. I'm not sure I could get out of the McCarty and into a decent 335 without any extra cash trading hands. As has been mentioned, the 335 is quite pricey.

    More the merrier...keep those comments coming :)
     
  6. MCG

    MCG Member

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    Regaurding your McCarty, what is it that is causing it to fall from favor these days? If it's the guitar's tone you might try a pickup change.

    I'm not trying to talk you out of a 335 by any means. But having both would be cool.

    MCG
     
  7. jtw

    jtw Member

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    Thanks MCG, that's a good question...

    Really, I just can't get the thing set up the way I like it. Don't know why. I know just enough about setting up guitars to mess them up, but I have a pro repair guy do most of it. I don't know, it just doesn't feel "right" any more. Tried switching string gauges several times, but to no avail. The tension is just weird to me now, and the overall feel. It's quite possible that I'm just being silly about it, I'll admit that. Don't know, I just hate that it sits around, and while it sounds absolutely fabulous through my Matchless HC30, it just don't feel good when I play it.
     
  8. MCG

    MCG Member

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    jtw-

    Try taking it to a luther and talk to them about the problems your having with the action. It may need a tweak of the trush rod of a fret dressing. Any way if sounds fabulous to your ears still why let it go.

    MCG
     
  9. paullacey

    paullacey Member

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    For my money, try out a PRS hollowbody. I personally couldn't get on with the variable quality of the 355, tried a few and none did it for me. The first hollowbody off the shelf was what I'd been looking for.
     
  10. jtw

    jtw Member

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    Again, thanks for the comments MCG. Might be best to start with the luthier and go from there.
     
  11. Luke V

    Luke V Member

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    I've had at least one 335 in my collection for almost 30 years, great guitars. The McCarty hollow bodys are cool too. I think I'd keep the McCarty and buy the a 335 , keep whatever you like best and sell the other. It would really suck to sell the PRS and get a 335 and decide you liked the PRS better.
     
  12. yanquii

    yanquii Member

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  13. esoteric pete

    esoteric pete Supporting Member

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    well, i will say this. i know that PRSi arent for everyone, and ive had 335's and they were just sick, sick guitars that i wish i kept, but we all know that story...

    my 2 main guits are are McCarty goldtop, and McCarty burst...and to me, these guitars speak my language. i know its mostly in the hands, but i can really wail my best on these 2 guitars. i get nothing compliments on my tone, and i havent even gotten around to changing the PU's yet!

    but in closing, do what you think is best for you. your hands need to be happy as well as your ears and soul. good luck, its a tough choice.
     
  14. Bryan T

    Bryan T Guitar Owner Silver Supporting Member

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    It seems simple to me: own the guitars that inspire you to play. If the McCarty is a case queen, then I don't think you should hang onto it.

    On the flip side, it could be the case that the McCarty just needs a setup. I find that a good setup reminds me why I bought the guitar in the first place and can reinvigorate my passion for playing it. There is nothing like fresh strings on freshly polished frets to inspire me to play.

    So, give the guitar a setup and play it for a bit. If it doesn't turn you on again, sell it and get something that will inspire you to play.

    Bryan
     
  15. classic

    classic Member

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    I also recommend a CS-336 or CS-356. I once owned a McCarty Rosewood, and although it was very nicely made, it just didn't have the Mojo of a Gibson. It sounded too sterile to me. I sold the McCarty and purchased a Custom Shop 58 Historic and then a CS-336, and never looked back.

    By the way, the body of the 336 is smaller then the 335 and more comfortable IMHO.
     
  16. TNJ

    TNJ Gold Supporting Member

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    If you can hang on to the McCarty long enough to buy and check out a good 335 and decide on which to keep between them...that may be the best course.
    I have a McCarty Soapbar (with Suhr p90's) and a '63 reissue block inlay 335.
    I'm definitely keeping them both!
    :cool:
    Good luck,
    S.
    j
     
  17. sanhozay

    sanhozay klon free since 2009 Silver Supporting Member

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    When it comes to finding a good ES335 there's a world of hurt out there. I've been searching for years but haven't got the nerve to pony up a boatload of cash and order a Historic ES335 blind. I loath what Memphis does to the ES335, where they often fabricate maple boat anchors and attach skinny necks and flatulent tone. 'Tis true, it's the norm rather than the exception. Hamer offers a beautiful instrument called the Newport and it's mo' better than the Gibby. Still, there's some mega-gorgeous ES335's available but be prepared to line your pockets with gold and spend a while searching.

    And I find the McCarty to be an annoying and ambiguous ride with the stock factory pickups. Not fiddling with a pup change before you sent it packing just wouldn't be fair. The guitar has all the right moves and set of Seymour's Antiqities, Lindy's Unbuckers or Jason's Imperials could make a huge impact.
     
  18. AaeCee

    AaeCee Member

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    I had a Historic 335, and sold it to another GP member. It played great, was built beautifully, and that sound...NOTHING else has that sound. HOWEVER...I never got fully comfortable with the larger body. Always felt a bit awkward. But ya know what? I miss that sound. Maybe I shoulda given it more of a chance. Hope you're enjoying it, Joe!! AC
     
  19. AaeCee

    AaeCee Member

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    Oh yeah...also had and sold a McCarty. I have 3 Historic LPs. The McCarty is a great guitar, very LP like, but there's something about that LP vibe...
     
  20. Hardtail

    Hardtail Member

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