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McCarty vs. 339

jeffwith1f

Member
Messages
3,824
I was saving and selling stuff for a couple of months to buy a custom shop flying V, but it sold just recently, however, I have ended up with a whack of cash.

I can think of worse problems than having cash earmarked to buy guitars with. (although I am sad I missed the Custom shop V)

I am unashamedly a Gibson kinda guy. My colour is cherry, or my shape is pointy. (or ideally both)

that being said I've beend doing some reading on PRS instruments, and I must say they are lovely, although I suspect that if they are not going to do it for me, it will be in the pickup department.

a shop near me has a 94 (first year!) McCarty up for sale at what appears to be a good price.

they also have a sweet cherry 339. It's cherry and a Gibby, and I don't have one. it is also on consignment at a very very reasonable price.

I like both.

anyone care to weigh in?
I know 339s seem to be well regarded by people, and I suspect that I'll like that easily enough. Anything I should look out for on a PRS instrument? Why is the nut so huge?
 

Csgband

Senior Member
Messages
2,044
What about a Johnny A?
I have a nice one
Hint Hint
but really they are great guitars
Chris
 

Sean French

Member
Messages
14,173
Just sit and play them both acoustically and electrically.Repeat.
The correct choice will come to you.;)

BTW,I've owned a 339 and own a '97 McCarty.
 

jeffwith1f

Member
Messages
3,824
Yes sean, I see that you recently got your McCarty. That's not helping my GAS, thanks.

Which do you prefer?
 

Sean French

Member
Messages
14,173
Yes sean, I see that you recently got your McCarty. That's not helping my GAS, thanks.

Which do you prefer?

Both.lol
I had a McCarty back in the mid 90's.So,about 5 months ago I got the urge to get another.I had to wait for the right one to come along.
The 339 and McCarty are very different guitars.Plywood semi hollowbody vs solid body.
The 339 was a great sounding guitar.It just didn't stay because for me the cutaway was so tight for my hand I had to just think of it as a 18 fret guitar.I like to play up high some and it was too restrictive for me.YMMV
The McCarty is a wonderful guitar.Great tones that are unique yet familiar.
You just need to let both guitars speak to you and one will speak MORE.;)
Good luck.
 

jeffwith1f

Member
Messages
3,824
that...or I could buy both....the custom shop V that I was saving for was very expensive....

I think the combined price of both instruments is about $100 more than I was prepared to drop on this V....

I know....boo hoo right?
 

jeffwith1f

Member
Messages
3,824
hehehe.

well...if I drop offline for a day or so, you'll know it's because I've had (possibly a once in a life time thing)

dual NGD!

we'll see....going to hit a bunch of other shops tommorow and see what else is out on the market.

My only complaint about the McCarty is that it lacks the Birds. (I figured if I was going to get a PRS, I'd get one with a flamy top and birds)
My only complaint about the 339 is that it's not a Reverse Moderne. (I like me stupid shaped Gibsons)
 

Deft Tungsman

Member
Messages
124
My only complaint about the McCarty is that it lacks the Birds. (I figured if I was going to get a PRS, I'd get one with a flamy top and birds)
I may be wrong, but I seem to recall that the birds were not offered on those first-year McCartys. Remember, they were supposed to be all about tone, not bling.

You might also want to check out the PRS Hollowbodies. They're like a cross between the McCarty and the 339. If you do go the HB route, try to get one with the piezo bridge.

Have fun spending that dough, bro!:dude
 

jeffwith1f

Member
Messages
3,824
I may be wrong, but I seem to recall that the birds were not offered on those first-year McCartys. Remember, they were supposed to be all about tone, not bling.

Have fun spending that dough, bro!:dude
from what I've read, the Birds are an upgrade package to a McCarty, I've seen them with them on it, although they are later models. But yes, the McCarty models are basically Dragon guitars with Plainer tops and no inlays, and a slightly thicker body. it's the prs take on a les paul, and being a gibson guy, i figure this is a good place for me to jump brands and try something different.

I think when buying a PRS, the bling factor almost can't be ignored. It's part of the ethos, so why fight it?

that being said, the lack of birds would not stop me from buying this if I really like the way it sounds (so far I do, but I want to spend some more time withg it)

besides, the lack of birds is saving me at least $300 on the price.
that'll work both ways if I decide to sell it in the future.
 

Aslan

Member
Messages
2,663
I am a a die hard Gibson player but recently I bought a PRS Al Di Meola model and fell in love with the playability of the neck and tone of the 57/08 pickups. I tried several McCartys and was impressed with them also, if your already have a Gibson then try something different!
 

Sean French

Member
Messages
14,173
Is the '94 McCarty signed?
The first 100 were signed in '94.
My '97 has McCarty Model written on the back of the headstock.
BTW,I prefer the look of the moons.Although the birds are very cool too.
I tend to prefer the non 10 tops as well.More of a vintage vibe IMO.


 

jeffwith1f

Member
Messages
3,824
Is the '94 McCarty signed?
The first 100 were signed in '94.
My '97 has McCarty Model written on the back of the headstock.
BTW,I prefer the look of the moons.Although the birds are very cool too.
I tend to prefer the non 10 tops as well.More of a vintage vibe IMO.


nope it's not signed (I looked for that, but suspected not, it would have been priced higher with Ted's sig on it). It's from too late in the 94 year run to be one of the first 100. (according to the book I have it's right at the end of the seriel number range proposed for the 1994 year, might be over, but the first digit is clearly a 4 and the # is way too small to be a 2004) I love the fact that the seriel #'s and model name is hand written on the back. nice touch, and having never really spent any time with a PRS before I had never noticed. Interestingly, the headstock is black fronted, not red fronted. Most I've noticed in pictures that I've seen (now that I'm paying attention) have red fronted headstocks. I'm sure they must have come in both ways, as I explicitly trust the store I'm buying from. They have lots of cred, and I am sure would not be selling a forgery.

I pulled the trigger on the 339 (lovely) the McCarty is coming home on Monday (on hold).

Happy NGD to me! (X2)

I'm such a lucky bastard.

I'll post a pic once I have them....too busy playing.
 

Sean French

Member
Messages
14,173
So,you got both.:AOK
Can't wait to see some pics of the '94 McCarty and 339.
Enjoy 'em both you lucky dog.:BEER
 

george4908

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,204
I had a '94 McCarty. Beautifully built, beautiful woods. The McCarty pickups in the first editions tended towards the darker side of the spectrum. After a few years (not sure when, exactly) PRS tweaked the pickups in McCartys a bit and they became a bit brighter -- still not quite as bright as, say, a Seth Lover.

I don't have a McCarty at the moment, but if I did, I'd put in something like a Seth Lover or one of the new PRS 57/08 pickups which are in the same ballpark and sound exceptionally good.

Mine had dots and there were no 10 tops on the early McCartys. Don't let that stop you. It should be a fine guitar, and if you don't like the pickups, that's an easy fix.
 

jeffwith1f

Member
Messages
3,824
I tend to leave my guitars stock. From what I've read I think it was in late 95 (?) that the pick up configuration went from being 2X Dragon Bass pickups to a Dragon Bass/Dragon Treble.
I know the top isn't a "10 top" on this, but it's still quite pretty.
even my les paul has a very plain top (it might be a Plain top model) So this will still stick out as a particularly nice looking guitar in my collection.

I am very excited to get it on Monday and actually fully back to back it with other instruments I know more intimately

I will review both instruments thoroughly. The reviews will be typically wordy and full of pictures as usual.
 

soli528

Look, my first gold medal.
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
5,966
Well done! and congrats- that's the pair I'd pick as well. And I like the moons way better!
 




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