McCarty vs CS Les Paul question

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by markster, Oct 3, 2005.

  1. markster

    markster Member

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    This question is for those who own a McCarty and a cutom shop Les Paul.

    How do these guitars compare sound wise? Which guitar do you prefer to play and why? Do you prefer the McCarty with a Mahogany neck or Rosewood?

    I'm considering buying a McCarty but I would have to sell my 58 RI. Need opinions please.

    I'm in south Florida and my 58RI is being stored at my Mothers house in Arkansas, so doing a A/B is not an option right now.
     
  2. JoeYello

    JoeYello Member

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    As an owner of both a McCarty and several Custom Shop LP's I would choose the Les Paul's without hesitation.

    The Paul's are much more full and open sounding than the McCarty. The McCarty while at low volumes is a nice sounding guitar it almost sounds like your listening to a radio when played loud. It's sound is very focused and even, too refined for my tastes when I am playing louder rock stuff. It just doesn't have the attitude that a Paul has.

    It is very hard to put tone into words, so it's hard to explain the differences but there is no way I would ever sell an R8 and get a McCarty.
     
  3. sws1

    sws1 Member

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    I've owned several of both. Still do.

    It's kinda like Ferrari vs Corvette. Musclecar vs exotic Italian speedster. The McCarty feels so good and is incredibly well constructed. The LP is a bit rougher and cruder, and is oh so cool.

    The stock McCarty pickups don't really sound like an LP, but you can hear the heritage. I replaced with a SD 59/Custom 5, which I really like, but it still doesn't sound like an LP.

    If I had to choose, I'd go with LP, but can't really tell you why.

    Of course, I'm referring to Historic LPs. I may have a different opinion on LP standards.
     
  4. Mcclassic

    Mcclassic Member

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    Of course everyone will have different taste but as some people here I have several historics and one McCarty, out of all my guitars ( I really have several) my top 2 are first my '01 R8 Authentic and second my '00 Mccarty. Both guitars resonate incredible and only the tone of the Burstbuckers is somehow better that the Mccarty, but now, the Les Paul is a custom shop, while the PRS is a regular guitar...

    :dude
     
  5. sanhozay

    sanhozay klon free since 2009

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    Other than having humbuckers, the same tuning pegs and a maple cap over mahogany I don't see these guitars as even remotely similar.

    I like them both but have far more attraction to the Historic Les Pauls. The Historics have a certain sizzle and woody fundamental tone that sounds glorious. Necks are silly huge but they tell me there's big tone in there.
     
  6. AaeCee

    AaeCee Member

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    Don't do it. You'll miss that sound. I have 54, 58, 59 LPs. I sold my McCarty. Custom/Historic LPs have a thick, punchy sound, rich in harmonics. Very raw and organic. The PRS, while a fine instrument, has a modern take on that...a bit spikey and clean for my ears. Missing that heartbeat. I also like the necks on LPs better. Big Ds vs. the big C (wide-fat) on the McCarty. Other PRSs, IMO, have a more distinct vibe...cu 22/24, Santanas, HBs, but unless you must have that slight edge in versatility the McCarty may provide (coil splitter), LP wins . I also like the jazz tones I can get out of the LP neck more than that of the PRS.
     
  7. Mr.Hanky

    Mr.Hanky Supporting Member

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    Just more proof the Les Pauls rule the fookin planet.

    Get an R7!!
     
  8. HeeBGB

    HeeBGB Member

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    What planet is that...Uranus? :D :D :D
     
  9. DrPCR

    DrPCR Member

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    Amen to that, I don't know where people get that McCarty's are LP like, IMHO, they are nothing alike. A LP is a LP, a PRS is a PRS. If you want the LP sound, get a LP. I don't see any LP players asking, hey what Gibson sounds like a PRS, does a LP sound like a McCarty? I love my PRS and my LPs, and they do have totally different sounds.
     
  10. BPlexico

    BPlexico Member

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    I have had both - another vote for the Les Paul - mine being a 59 Historic Stinger... for my tastes, I much prefer the tone, the look, and the feel....YMMV....

    -- Barr
     
  11. jda

    jda Member

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    Another vote for the Les Paul, and I own several McCartys too. Somehow, the McCartys sound "compressed" to my ear - it's not a bad sound, but I like the Les Paul sound better.

    I'm not sure how a guitar sounds "compressed", but that is what it sounds like to me. Weird, huh?
     
  12. shoe

    shoe Member

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    This is a very timely thread as I have a McCarty Standard trem in my sights. I have an R7 that sounds great, but I just can't get used to the way it feels. I've been a Fender scale length player for years and really have a hard time adjusting to the 24.75" scale of the lester....

    I love the sound of a mahogany body and neck.....I just can't get into how these things play. I've tried different string gages, differnt strap heights, etc. The sound is glorious, but I just can't play these things.....they feel clumsy to me.

    I've owned a few other PRSi in the past....currently still own a ATII which I can play just fine (certainly better than the lester). Hopefully the McCarty Standard will give me enough of what I'm looking for.....

    Well, its that or another Suhr! :rolleyes:
     
  13. GuitarsFromMars

    GuitarsFromMars Member

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    I was in the same situaton,sold the McFarty(no that was not a typo)and kept the LP(R7 Stinger/60 neck) and the 52 Tele-Sometimes it feels like you're getting rid of children...:cool:
     
  14. JoeYello

    JoeYello Member

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    Most of us here have given the Les Paul the thumbs up. I wonder if the response would be different on the Birds and Moons Forum. It seems like this IS the Les Paul forum :D .
     
  15. grinder965

    grinder965 Member

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    Don't Do It!
    LOL where the hell are all the McCarty supporters!

    Keep the LP! No comparison when it comes to the tone acid test. Most LP's (even most of the lower priced models) will kick a McCarty right in the balls. whether it be flat out metal, hard rock, jazz or accoustic type tones. They just have that certain intangible that provides great resonance, sustain, harmonics and overtones. Even though Gibson sometimes tries pretty hard, even they can't f*ck it up most of the time.

    If you don't like some aspect of it (scale length, overall feel, minor cosmetic quality issues, etc) just make sure it's set-up correctly and give it a little bit of playing time......you may not go back to playing the other gitfiddles in your arsenal.

    For those looking for one....just make sure you get one that has a straight neck, a good fretboard, is relatively lightweight and passes the tone test. No need to get a custom or historic version either. Just play a bunch and pick out the one the does it for you. Hell I've played Studios that flat out trounce most McCarty's when it comes to the tone department.
     
  16. BoyMambo

    BoyMambo Member

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    I am a dyed in the wool McCarty fan, now, but I have always wanted a LP. I have been playing for a couple of years, played in a few bands when I was younger, and have recently started to teach.

    I have tried twice to buy a LP because they are very iconic and some of the great guitar sounds a done on a LP. But, and I know I am about to be flamed on this, not all LP's are created equal. Buying one can be very frustrating, because they can be incredibly inconsistent when you go to buy one. Tuning problems, dead spots on the neck, most are dead and need a few years of playing before the bloom, if it is straight from the factory the strings will be dead and it will need a set up. (If the shop can be bothered.)

    When I was 19 in 1981, my band got a new manager and there was a deal on the horizon, so we all went out to buy new instruments. Me, I wanted a LP, preferably a black one. I tried 40 of them, in almost every shop in Sydney, and to be truthful they ranged from appalling to OK. At the lower end there were finish problems, binding issues, loose frets, tuning issues, string slippage, neck out alignment, pickups not working, noisy switches and pots. These were new guitars, and on top of that each neck felt different. At night, I was playing a Strat, and it was rubbish and I wanted a better guitar that would play in tune, stay in tune and have a faster neck. The guy at the shop said try the Ibanez AR500. It tried a couple of other Artists and after two weeks deliberation I walked out with the Ibanez AR500. Six weeks later the band self destructed and I stopped playing a couple of years later. Sold my strat but kept the Ibanez.

    In 2002, I was turning 40, had just started playing again, bought a tele through loot and was really enjoying it. So I decided to go and buy a new LP for my birthday. Still iconic, have pictures of Jeff Beck playing an Oxblood LP and Jimi Page playing his sunburst. Started looking and found exactly the same issues, the best playing at the time were the smartwoods. But they were a little oddball for me. After a while a friend sent me an email and he said I should try PRS. Did some research and tried a few. Very consistent, not LP sounding, but still nice. Did more research, saw an advert in loot for a BRW McCarty, go have a look, did not even plug it in. It played brilliantly like the other, but was more resonant almost alive. Loved it, bought it and still play that guitar everyday!

    My advice is, if you get a good LP, it will be a great guitar, but there are more consistently made McCarty's and you will find a good one quicker and with less hassle. I would not buy any other guitar off the internet other than a PRS.
     
  17. Ron K

    Ron K Member

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    Well, I'd bet that every McCarty has a straight neck, and a great fretboard.

    Lightweight? Sure, if you wish, sounds good to me -- but is part of the legendary Lester Tone? (I thought the heavy weight was part of the story...)

    Passes the tone test -- meaning some LPs don't have "the tone"?

    Disclaimer -- I've never owned an LP or a McCarty, so I don't have a horse in this race. (Yet...)
     
  18. grinder965

    grinder965 Member

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    BoyMambo,

    There is merit is much of what you say. Generally speaking, a PRS will provide the user with an overall more consistent product with less flaws and imperfections new out of the box. Unfortunately, many will never be able to deliver that sweet sweet tone that a good LP can deliver is spades when right. Absolutely agree that buying an LP off the net is a crapshoot. Now I'm not downunder and don't know what kind of LP's you guys get down there but it will not take someone to play more than 25 LP's (usually less) to find one that has a great neck, fretboard, is relatively lightweight and speaks to you..... and looks great too! Spend a little time upfront searching , get it set-up properly and you can walk away with a product that can provide you with a lifetime of happiness. Also, it doesn't have to cost a lot of money. You can easily find lower end LP's that are knockouts. You can also spend much less buying one used but it is best if you can inspect and play the merchandise first. Often times those that sell an LP they bought new don't even know just how nice the instrument they're selling can be.
     
  19. grinder965

    grinder965 Member

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    Ron K,

    Nice to see you keep it pithy since you have no horse in the race. Lightweight is relative to an LP. Most of the best LP tone machines are on the lighter side....still heavy relative to other guitars.....has to do with the density of the wood and the guitars ability to deliver great tone. But hey you probably already knew that.

    P.S. - More than a straight neck and great fretboard is needed to produce an ultimate tone monster!
     
  20. rbisherw

    rbisherw Guest

    Sound wise, I agree with Joe Yello.

    I presently own a 2005 R8, a 2002 R6 and a 2004 McCarty.
    Next on my list is a McCarty Soapbar.

    The McCarty I have is put together brilliantly. My Les Pauls were constructed well. They all play great which is why I purchased them in the first place, but each one sounds different.

    If you want a Paul, seek out a good one (they are out there).

    Sorry for not being much help.
     

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