McCarty review by Paul Reed Smith

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 10
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.6 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.9 (40 votes)
Paul Reed Smith: McCarty

Price paid: $ 2219

Purchased from: Dallasusedguitar Ebay

Sound — 9
As said earlier it is a guitar made of korina, and in case you didn't know; korina has an airy mid range to its tone which makes it ideal for blues, jazz and some really nice clean tones and a noticeable difference for the usual mahogany. But then again, this does not mean that it can't play heavier things like hard rock and metal, because on this guitar you can hear every single note on a high distorted amp, with a really nice sound to it as well. The korina also gives a incredible sustain. The pickups compliments each other well, they are very warm and soft, but doesn't lack of brightness and has a really good punch. So I would pretty much say that it is a perfect balance to it. The coiltap also works really well and makes the guitar very versatile. If you want a Fender-like sound, just pull the coil then you got it. I myself play punk, rock, metal, blues and some classic. It covers all of my genres and some more. This guitar is probably the only thing I will ever need when it comes to playing without a tremolo. One thing considering the sound, I'm planning to get the Gibson Dirty Fingers pickup, only because I love them so much.

Overall Impression — 10
Before I bought this guitar I did VERY much research on it, and several other guitars before I decided for this beautiful beast. I feel like this is "THE" guitar. And I probably will have it throughout the warranty. And there is very likely that I will buy more PRS guitars, probably something with tremolo next time. So that I have it, and got EVERYTHING I need on my two guitars. I have been playing for three years, and my style of music is mostly punk, rock and metal, as long as there is some melody to it, but I also enjoy classic music. To mention bands Sum 41, Brown Brigade, Avenged Sevenfold, Orianthi, Red Hot Chili Peppers and more. This is one piece of quality wood that reaches into all of my genres without a problem, and sounds good while playing it. When it comes to play on it, it is pure pleasure doing it. It is as if I am adding extra notes to every single lick I play, because what I played before suddenly just became easier. And all of the frets are very easy accessible without any problems playing on the 12th fret and higher which you got on some guitars, lets say Les Paul for an example. I knew I would have a McCarty or a Double Cut model because I do have a PRS Santana SE, and even though it is a cheap version of the PRS', it is the best feeling I have had playing on a guitar. Things just suddenly became easier. Compared to the Single Cut PRS' with Wide-Thin neck I think is this even more easily played. The equipment I have when I'm in rehearsal is my beloved guitar plugged into a Marshall JCM 2000 DSL 50 with a Marshall 1960 BX cabinet with Celestion greenbacks (G12M) and it just sounds plain awesome! Raw horse power! And the same when I am home with my guitar plugged into my Boss GT-10. It blows my two other guitars PRS Santana SE, and LTD Viper 500s out of the way with ease. Short and well; I am satisfied. If it was lost or stolen, I would probably go into a fetus-position until I got my self together, then I would track down whatever maniac stole the guitar and write him a angry note. I would definitely get a new one of the same, even though it is not likely since its only 500 made.

Reliability & Durability — 10
The guitar is built like a tank, easy as a feather and feels as well as plays like a warm knife through butter. I mentioned earlier that is a instrument that oozes with quality, and it does. I would bet dropping it into the floor would not break it or anything on it. But that does not mean I will try to do it just to test. I have earlier had problems with the straps coming of other guitars and making the guitar fall into the ground *sigh*.. But the PRS' strap buttons are huge. Much larger than the usual strap buttons that comes with any other guitar and makes it hard for the strap to come off. The tuners would easily last a gig without going out of tune, and IF it did, it's very easy to "retune". The pickups are passive which means I do not need to have a extra battery on me. I would say that this guitar is very dependable and that the hardware will last a lifetime. On a gig I would not really need a backup. It is a lifetime warranty on this guitar so the finish is expected to last at least as long.

Action, Fit & Finish — 10
The guitar came with a factory set up. The gauge on the strings was "tens" and came with the original strings that PRS factory put on. The finish was beautiful, smooth, shiny, no scratches at all and I also get that it compliments my personality. But this is PRS right, it is expected from them and a guitar of this price. The volume and tone knobs are really easy to turn, and the pickup switch is easy accessible with out being in the way as there are some complains about on the single cut PRS' when it comes to tapping. Some people also say that they have problems with their guitar knobs coming of, but this have not been a problem to me. One thing that I had to get used to though, is the coiltap. It was a little bit harder to get a good wrap around it in-the-go, as a "fast switch" between humbucker and singlecoil. If it is because I have small hands or if it is because it was a bit heavier I do not know, but it was something I had to get used to. When it comes to the Vintage style-tuners, I've never had something that stays better in tune. When it came in the mail through a three week travel from the US til Norway, it still was in tune, just some minor adjustments needed to be a standard E. To compare it to tuners people probably know, thinking about grover. I have had grover and I loved them, but those was honestly better.

Features — 9
The guitar is a PRS McCarty Korina, which of course means that it is a guitar made of solid korina, so is the neck. Korina is a wood that is known both for it light weight and tonal qualities. The guitar is also very well balanced. As said the neck is korina with a Brazilian rosewood fretboard, the inlays are PRS' half moon pearl inlays. The necks profile is wide-fat which feels like eating bacon, with other words fantastic. And the necks finish is stunning. The alternative finishes the guitar comes with are tobacco sunburst, Vintage natural, and Vintage sunburst. The bridge is a easy adjustable stoptail. Overall the guitar is a PRS and what more can I say? It's a brand with quality. The guitar was made in 09, as it said on it's little "birth certificate". Body - Korina Neck - Korina Fret - 22 frets, half moon inlays (abalone birds optional) Fret Wood - Brazilian Rosewood (one of five hundred made on this guitar) Scale Length - 25" Finish - McCarty Tobacco Sunburst (optional (Vintage natural & sunburst) Hardware: Bridge - Stoptail Tuners - Vintage Style-tuners Truss Rod Cover - McCarty Hardware type - - Nickel (optional: Gold) Treble Pickup - McCarty Treble - Passive(covered) Bass Pickup - McCarty Bass - Passive(covered) Pickup Switching - 3-Way Toggle, One Volume and Tone Control (with Coiltap - push/pull) Accessories: Case + All original PRS' "give out papers". The only thing I felt missing, was a strap and cables. Plus that the guitar cases "extra room" had a broken button so that the strap couldn't hold the lid too well. But it still works.

12 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I have a 1998 PRS McCarty with Tremolo. The tone is to die for. This guitar will NEVER leave me while I'm alive. I have been playing for 40 years and play professionally. This is hands down the best playing/sounding guitar I have ever had.....and I've had about 50 guitars, 8 being PRS. I am buying another, trying to get the same year and the hard tail this time. Simply awesome. By the way for those who say they don't like the pups, you need to sit down with a screw driver and find the height. It's in there, the Pickups are amazing.
    Bought mine 2003 Mccarty in 2004 and got to sell all my other 12 guitars.They became toys compared to this. Perfect in all aspects.10/10 axe
    PRS Mccarty Goldtop is a God given to my kind of playing. Paid 1750 euros used, but worth every cent.Thick, hard built, unsurpassed by any other guitar i had before.The widest fat neck is 100% comfortable.
    danvwman wrote: A $2400 guitar that you CANNOT adjust intonation....people buy this? Really? Do any of these get delivered with good intonation?
    these aren't made to down-tune. not a metal guitar. stop bitching.
    danvwman wrote: damn you could buy 3 nice Schecters w/hsc and some nice leather straps for that kind of money.....and be able to adjust intonation
    But then you wouldn't have a Paul Reed Smith, would you?
    From Blues to hard rock this babe is one of a kind. Have 3 Gibsons USA and Strats a plenty among others.Never owned one Mccarty but played a couple on music stores. Is very,very good indeed. Got to get one before i die.
    just got a 2006 McCarty 10 top and not only is it beautiful to look at,she almost plays herself.Lopve its tonal variations and its sheer playability,its gotta be the best electric guitar that lve ever played. Yep am a PRS convert.
    A $2400 guitar that you CANNOT adjust intonation....people buy this? Really? Do any of these get delivered with good intonation?
    damn you could buy 3 nice Schecters w/hsc and some nice leather straps for that kind of money.....and be able to adjust intonation