McCarty review by Paul Reed Smith

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 10
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 10 Gem
  • Users' score: 8.9 (40 votes)
Paul Reed Smith: McCarty

Sound — 10
I played with danny gatton and roy buchannon but I do not have thier skills on fenders and have always preferd a humbuckers sound, which ranges from tony matolla and george benson jazz to raunchy country to everything in between, my main axe for the last 30 years has been a Les Paul Custom, a custom shop Strat, a prs Standard 24 all running thru an echoplex going into an Ampeg piggybacked thru a Marshall (gary moore trick) with an mrx distortion + also about 30 years old, I bought the McCarty because I could not control the wammy bar on the Standard 24 and could not stop breaking strings, so I wanted the stop tailpiece, but would not compromise my sound...

Overall Impression — 10
I read a ton of stuff at Harmony central before I bought the McCarty, I suggest you do the same. I have tons of equipment, my biggest problem is hiding all of it from the little lady Who just cannot understand why we need all this stuff, but you guys know. I paid 1, 800 smackers for the guitar and it was perfect out of the case, a 2002 model that had been a case Queen... you can find them much cheaper with Dot inlays and silver hardware, but you guys know they all play the same and sound the same... if you don't have 50 to 100, 000 dollars to spend on a 57 or 58 les paul, this is the guitar for you, it's that f--king good, leave the pickups alone and get a better amp, the pickups are great. I still have the recipt for my les paul, it was 400 bucks with the case in 1978, a new one is 3 grand and I think the prs is better built, and blows away my custom shop Strat.

Reliability & Durability — 10
Prs builds great stuff, try this McCarty and then try a new les paul and I'll bet you the prs wins and I'm a die-hard Gibson man, it is now my go-to guitar unless I'm trying to impress young players at mall gigs, then I'll take the les paul to rip off some page stuff and tell the kids gatton set my les paul up better than his. I wish I had this prs when I was doing studio work 30 years ago, it's more versital than anything I have ever played.

Action, Fit & Finish — 10
This guitar is the holy grail of electric's, it is right in between my old Gibson SG and the les paul I have retired, I think the Gibson distorts and rocks a rats-ass better, but the prs plays jazz better, with the echo set right I kinda get the sound of a 175 or a thick jazz axe, and can get gary moores sound any time and can even Switch over to single coils for a little chicken-pickin country if the song calls for that... it's still not as comfortable as my les paul but I've used that for 30 years so any replacement is going to take time to get used to, but this guitar is the best I have ever played except for the les paul, great action, good controls all in the right place, good tuners, it's a pretty simple set up.

Features — 10
If your reading this, your probably a player just as I am, I have been playing and gigging for 44 years and will not bore you with everything I have done in my Quest for sound and I gotta tell you guys this McCarty is the real deal, mine is all gold with birds and looks like a violin finish... it is perfect.

3 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I've been playing a PRS McCarty since 2006 and bought a 2nd one to have a backup. The PRS McCarty blows any Gibson Les Paul away. I have played and a Gibson Les Paul Custom, Classic, Standard and Studio Deluxe all of which where too "hot" and heavy. The McCarty with the 3-way switch and coil split is just more versatile. I will take a PRS anytime over Gibson. The price is rpetty much the same. Everything good comes with a price! ; I own a PRS, Custom 22, PRS Singlecut and 2 McCarty's ... all FANTASTIC guitars. Peace - G
    i have an oppurtunity to purchase a limited edition mccarty korina..the guy told me this is a limited ed 1 of 100 made from korina wood..he said this wood gives the best sound..he assured me this axe will quadruple in value in 10 to 15 years..its i grab it
    I even agree with my guitar teacher on the fact that even thogh these are nice guitars, dropping 2400 on one is ridiculous and they are way over priced. you can even get a good Gibson for that kind on money and in my case, I think I woudl take the Les Paul if i had the money.