PRS McCarty - Best Years?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Alpione, Jun 22, 2019.

  1. rjpilot

    rjpilot Member

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    I have an 03 Mcarty. It’s easily still my most reliable, comfortable, playable, and great sounding guitar. I also own two Suhrs and a Gibson Les Paul.
    It’s also gorgeous.
     
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  2. wilblee

    wilblee Hack sans shame Gold Supporting Member

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    About "good years" for PRS models...

    PRS hasn’t had all the corporate ownership/leadership changes that many guitar companies have had to deal with. They have, from the beginning, exhibited an industry-best quality control. They have consistently worked to improve their products. They remain totally focused on guitars and amps. They don’t acquire other manufacturers - they spawn them.

    All this means that they don’t have good and bad eras. You may prefer their newer or older pickups, finishes, bird style, whatever, but no matter the year it’s very likely gonna be a top quality instrument.
     
  3. ferrinbonn

    ferrinbonn Member

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    It's a function of the wiring. Any 4 wire humbucker can do the same if swapped in.
     
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  4. Alpione

    Alpione Supporting Member

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    Thanks. I've had trouble getting a firm answer on that.
     
  5. ferrinbonn

    ferrinbonn Member

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    It's quite easy to do on any guitar that is wired for a coil split. You just put a resistor to ground instead of a wire and it won't fully dump the signal from the coil that you're splitting out. Larger resistors keep more of the signal intact and give you a fatter and more powerful (although less single coil sounding) sound.
     
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  6. ferrinbonn

    ferrinbonn Member

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    I'd actually argue that their newer stuff tends to be better. PRS is different than Gibson and Fender in that way. Instead of trying to match their original designs, they've continued to improve their designs and parts.
     
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  7. gixxerrock

    gixxerrock Member

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    I have a few PRS and have played many. By far, the best one is my beat to hell 2010 (I believe original McCarty pickups). The hardware is worn down, finish is chipped and scarred in many places. It has beat out much more expensive DGT, custom shop guitars, older and newer McCarty. I wouldn't change a thing on it.
     
  8. Cheddar Kung Pao

    Cheddar Kung Pao Member

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    I love my Ted McCarty DC-245. You can pick them up for low $2k used and they're just amazing, especially for the money. 2008-2010 is the original run, I believe. And what you get on those is 57/08s which are fantastic (depending on your personal tastes), nitro finish (not super common for PRS), pretty much universally beautiful tops with very classic looking finishes.

    It even gets little touches like the neck binding being yellow on the sides but cream on the edge right.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. big mike

    big mike Plexi Loving Admin Staff Member

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    the new system looks as if it doesn't even need 4 wire pickups.
    So any 2 conductor should work I'd imagine/

    https://www.prsguitars.com/documents/mccarty_2017.pdf
     
  10. lukather101

    lukather101 Member

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    The numbered 57/08's I'm my shootout McCarty are simply stunning. My fav pickup set
     
  11. CosmicCowboy

    CosmicCowboy Supporting Member

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    McCarty was my first core. Now I'm GASing for more. My '98 has the original pickups, which I dig.

    [​IMG]
     
  12. ferrinbonn

    ferrinbonn Member

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    No, that's a schematic for a 4 wire pickup. The hot wire goes to the selector switch (I don't recall the color PRS uses for that one), white wire goes to the lug of the push/pull, black wire and bare wire go to ground on the back of the pot. You can't do coil splitting without a 4 wire pickup.

    The 2.2k and 1.1k resistors on the push/pull are what do the partial split for you. When you pull out the tone knob, the signal of the coil coming from the white wire is sent to the lug that connects to ground. If you wanted a full split you'd have a wire from that lug to the back of the pot where it ground. The way PRS does it, the wire goes thru a resistor instead which prevents the full signal from that coil from being dumped to ground. The larger 2.2k resistor on the bridge wire means that more of the signal is retained when the bridge is split than when the neck is split (since that only uses a 1.1k resistor). Resistors only cost a few cents each so you can easily swap them out for different values if you want to experiment. But going less than 1.1k will sound nearly like a full split. I've tried up to 4.7k and I didn't think the change was drastic enough when splitting it to be useful.

    I think 2k to 3k is a good range, but it will depend on how hot your pickups are. If your pickup is only 8k, you'd only get 4k from a full split, which is going to sound pretty wimpy (consider that a typical single coil is 5.5k to 6.5k). If you're splitting a hot 14k humbucker though, it's a different story.
     
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  13. big mike

    big mike Plexi Loving Admin Staff Member

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    gotcha. Glanced too fast.
     
  14. rawkguitarist

    rawkguitarist Member

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    Yeah... I'm down to only one, a PRS McCarty Rosewood from 2001 but I'm confident they are the best manufacturer of the big American 3. Great guitars for sure. (I know not the big 3, but Suhr is on par with PRS IMO).
     
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  15. Alpione

    Alpione Supporting Member

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    Great info here, as usual.

    For a variety of reasons, including cost and learning about the "partial" split being available to all pickups, I've put in a bid on a nice mid-2000s version with original McCarty pickups. We'll see if it happens. Worst case I can swap pickups, but I'm kind of curious to hear what the originals sound like with my rig. The most common criticism I've heard of those pups is that they can be a little dark without top end, but I've currently got a Maz 18 which has gobs of top end if needed, so might work great.
     
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  16. rawkguitarist

    rawkguitarist Member

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    Exactly Dave - my Rosewood model has a snap to it that I don't hear in hog models. The feel is something special too. Oh yeah... it looks killer too!

    I did do some pickup swapping in mine though. Lollar Low wind in the bridge and Dimarzio Bluesbucker wired in parallel in the neck. Very balanced and open set of pickups. I probably could have gotten what I wanted by wiring the original McCarty neck in parallel - in mohagany/maple top guitars I'm not a huge fan of neck PAF's.
     
  17. rawkguitarist

    rawkguitarist Member

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    I guess name dropping is ok for some but not for others... ha! :cool:
     
  18. David B

    David B Silver Supporting Member

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    I have Seths in mine, but I like the OEM pickups a lot too, just wanted to hear Seths in a great PRS, quite a great match I must say!
     
  19. Alpione

    Alpione Supporting Member

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    You guys are killing me. I had kind of discarded the RW neck models since I wasn't familiar with them, but I did get a couple offered to me for reasonable prices. If the one I bid on doesn't come through, I might have to revisit the McRosies. :)
     
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  20. David B

    David B Silver Supporting Member

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    I'm guessing you might be kidding a bit? but...

    I would not take it that way, Paul loves guitars, and I am sure he would like to have the best guitars in his possession, like all of us, but likely he was trying to be relatable and let you know your guitar was great, so great that it would be good enough for "The PRS Vault". I've known Paul for many years, have not seen him in a while though, but I never saw him slight another guitar player's playing or worthiness, just the opposite, he'd let people come up and sit in on his rig just to hear it through another player's "hands", even if they were not "choppy" or famous at all. Sounds like you just have a fantastic guitar, which is awesome!

    I had a CE24 that I got used back in the 80s', the frets were not 100% stable, and they could be pulled out a little with a tight grip, Paul gave me that dead-pan look after looking at my guitar and said "Dave, you got a dog!", but don't worry I'm going to fix it free, you are covered", then he had his shop put my favorite 6100 Dunlop wire in and hooked me up with the multi-tap pickups that only were in top endorsees guitars at that time. It's not like my playing was worthy of star-treatment, but I felt like I'd "made it" with the way Paul treated me. Great guitars, probably always will be, just because of Paul and his fantastic staff.
     

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