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PRS McCarty Non-Trem VS PRS Custom 22 w/Trem......Opinions?

sparky1358

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
114
I posted over at BAM but not getting much response.

I recently aquired a beautiful PRS McCarty non trem. I love the neck, tone, basically everything about it BUT I have always had guitars with trems and think I might be missing it on this one if I keep it long term.

Can someone please enlighten me on the differences between the McCarty and the cu22 trem models from their experiences. I have played both but its been awhile on the cu22 and its easier when they can be compared side by side at the same time.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

AaeCee

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
18,708
McCarty = more vintage tones, has thicker body, thinner headstock, WF neck only, tonally very close to a Les Paul. Cu22 = slightly higher output, offers WF or WT neck carves, silghtly more 'modern' tonality.

There were several limited runs of McCartys with trems built, which may be just what you're after. If you look around a bit you could surely find one. Call any of the larger PRS dealers (Magdon, Daves, Willcutt, Martin's, Wildwood, Eddie's etc.), they could probably locate one for you.
 

JPenn

Member
Messages
1,809
I can understand where you're coming from, I like trem guitars also. I had both a McCarty trem and a Cu22 trem in the studio at one time together and you could definitely tell the difference between them. The Cu22 sounded brighter and a little more modern. The McCarty had a nice warm tone that just seemed to work right for me, and the trem really opens up the highend of the guitar. For my tastes, the McCarty trem is the finest guitar PRS makes. McCarty stoptails are little boxy sounding to me.

How much of the difference between a McTrem and a Cu22 is in the pickups, I don't know. I have planned on just picking up a Cu22 for my next guitar so that I can find the weight I'm looking for. The run of McTrems PRS did for Wilcutts and the run they did last year had weights all over the map. The GT McTrem I have is 8.75 lbs. I would really prefer somewhere between 7.5-8 lbs, but I just got a thing for goldtops.

Eric Martin still has a McCartyBurst McCarty trem on his website. I have played that guitar and it's very nice. Somewhere around 8lbs, so it's not too heavy either.
 

squawken

Member
Messages
118
I have just been through the same comparison for the last couple of weeks, and I just bought a McCarty trem, if that tells you anything. One of the biggest things was that the Custom had the 5-way rotary, and the McCarty had the toggle. I like to play with both pups on a lot, and the 5-way didn't work for me personally. I also believe (even if it may only be in my head) that a heavier guitar will have a thicker tone. The McCarty on average seems to weigh 1.5-2 lbs more. Hopefully mine shows up tomorrow. Got it from Chuck Levins Washingtom Music Center. Wilcutts has a few, Elderly has one, Martin Music has one, but they seem to be moving fast. Good luck!
 

souldigger

Member
Messages
29
You probably aren't getting much help over there because there are soooo many threads on this subject in the search function. But really if you can take your McCarty into a PRS dealer and compare it with a CU22 trem and whichever one you like better is the right one.

-Jason
 

wilerty

Member
Messages
1,136
I am not a fan of the Dragon 2s or the 5 way rotary on the CU22 ... but you can get it with a toggle and change the pups. Also, in 2008 you can order the CU22 with a IRW neck, which would darken the D2s a bit.

There also are still some SCTs and SCT IRWs around (discontinued for 2008) which I really like. They are a solid body, but slightly thinner than the SCs so the weight is probably close to the McCarty.

Demo, demo, demo ...
 

franksguitar

Member
Messages
3,683
I have a custom 20th anniversary CE24 with the trem. The PRS trem is excellent and the axe stays in tune using it conservatively and not for constant "divebombing". I have 3 Gibsons with stop tails a Firebird V, and ES335 and a Les Paul Special. It all depends on preferences. I have trems on 4 of my strats, 1 hardtail and a tele.
 

DavidE

Member
Messages
3,637
I can understand where you're coming from, I like trem guitars also. I had both a McCarty trem and a Cu22 trem in the studio at one time together and you could definitely tell the difference between them. The Cu22 sounded brighter and a little more modern. The McCarty had a nice warm tone that just seemed to work right for me, and the trem really opens up the highend of the guitar. For my tastes, the McCarty trem is the finest guitar PRS makes. McCarty stoptails are little boxy sounding to me.

How much of the difference between a McTrem and a Cu22 is in the pickups, I don't know. I have planned on just picking up a Cu22 for my next guitar so that I can find the weight I'm looking for. The run of McTrems PRS did for Wilcutts and the run they did last year had weights all over the map. The GT McTrem I have is 8.75 lbs. I would really prefer somewhere between 7.5-8 lbs, but I just got a thing for goldtops.

Eric Martin still has a McCartyBurst McCarty trem on his website. I have played that guitar and it's very nice. Somewhere around 8lbs, so it's not too heavy either.

My two CU22's are both heavier than my McCarty and McCarty Std. IRW which are both around 7 to 7.5 lbs. Nice and light McCarties.
 

sparky1358

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
114
I just back from playing a cu22 at GC and was quite impressed. Was far brighter than the McCarty but in a good way. The trem was very nice as well.........

Guess I will have a decision to make*LOL*.............Really dont have a need for both.
 

BIGGERSTAFF

Member
Messages
7,907
I posted over at BAM but not getting much response.

I recently aquired a beautiful PRS McCarty non trem. I love the neck, tone, basically everything about it BUT I have always had guitars with trems and think I might be missing it on this one if I keep it long term.

Can someone please enlighten me on the differences between the McCarty and the cu22 trem models from their experiences. I have played both but its been awhile on the cu22 and its easier when they can be compared side by side at the same time.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

I've owned several McCartys in the past, and I much preferred their tones to the CU22(with or without trem). The thinner body and Dragon pickups of the CU22s just never gave me the sounds I liked. If you must have a Trem, just get the new DGT(basically a McCarty with a trem, and a few other features).
 




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