Paul Reed Smith underlined the point, adding that it was “a way of getting someone who grew up in that world to be very, very happy”. Typical ’59-style frets - not too fat, not too tall - plus an almost imperceptible asymmetrical carve, contribute to a very grown-up playing experience. Looks-wise, beauty will always be in the eye of the beholder, but PRS’s modern twist on a classic design is a classy affair. Visit our corporate site. Receive mail from us on behalf of our trusted partners or sponsors? Hardware is two-tone nickel and gold in colour, and looks like it’s been fashioned by a top-class jeweller. © Does the extra timber add a bit more grunt? All rights reserved. Buyers' guides to all the best music gear, Arturia responds to Behringer’s KeyStep MIDI keyboard lookalike Swing: “This is not fair competition”, The 12 best audio interfaces 2020: top audio interfaces for music-making and production, 8 best keyboards for beginners and kids 2020: Start playing today with these top beginner keyboards, Free music samples: download loops, hits and multis from SampleRadar, The best DAWs 2020: the best digital audio workstations for PC and Mac, Get funky with this quick guitar chord lesson, Vital is an eye-catching spectral warping wavetable synth plugin that you can have for free. We mentioned in our Patrick James Eggle 96 review that tapped or split humbuckers can sometimes sound anything but ‘single coil’, but here, just like that Eggle, our SC 594 bucks that trend. If your ideal guitar is a 1950s and '60s Les Paul but you can't afford a vintage one and, anyway, want something that has more modern playability and intonation, PRS's McCarty series could be the very thing. England and Wales company registration number 2008885. Receive news and offers from our other brands? The hefty price tag is unlikely to deter them, either. The SC 594 is anywhere from £2,000 to £5,000 less than a Gibson Les Paul ’59 True Historic, which makes it look decidedly cheap - even though, of course, there’s nothing cheap about this guitar. We check over 130 million products every day for the best prices. When we reviewed the McCarty 594 double-cut, we said it focused on “a desire to recreate the ‘holy grail’ of vintage Gibson tone: a 1959 Sunburst, but in a modern double-cut guitar”. It makes it an exceptionally versatile instrument and we can’t think of a situation in which it would falter - anything from funk to death metal! There was a problem. With a Charcoal Burst ‘10’ top and black back, sides and neck, it’s a real looker, and as such, removes this particular SC 594 from obvious ’59 ’burst comparisons. Smith originally rotated it so they were fore and aft; this has its own logic, but defies 70 years of convention. And now there's a new model in … And why should it? Bath We guarantee that the monetary investment in this PRS will be rewarded with tone, playability and jealous gazes aplenty! So can a new ‘full-fat’ version - originally developed by the PRS Private Stock team and released as the November 2016 Guitar Of The Month - possibly be better? All who played that guitar were captivated: it was the finest PRS we could recall in a while. PRS McCarty 594. Of course, such a points win will mean nothing to those for whom this style of guitar is the only way. A brilliant 21st century take on a classic 50s icon. PRS’s drag-free finish means it’s a fast player despite the extra mass, while the rosewood ’board’s perfect playing area gives chords, licks and bends a clean and effortless feel. Through our Marshall Mini Jubilee combo, the Les Paul sounds darker and more in-your-face, yet less dynamic overall. Single-cutaway design compromises upper-fret access, but is that really a problem. Pickups and hardware are as on the double-cut version: a pair of 58/15LT humbuckers with two volume and two tone controls, plus a partial coil-split on both. Here we see PRS eschew the more commonly sighted vibrato or PRS Stoptail design for a typically inventive twist on the Gibson tune-o-matic setup, with a separate bridge and open-slotted tailpiece holding the fort here. We’ve seen how it fares against a Les Paul, but what about comparison to its own sibling? As mentioned in our previous 594 review, that guitar’s body is a tad thicker than a regular McCarty, and the maple-to-mahogany ratio has been ‘tuned’ with a bit more mahogany and a bit less maple to provide a more authentic vintage balance across the sonic spectrum. We really can’t praise these instruments highly enough. Thank you for signing up to Musicradar. Future Publishing Limited Quay House, The Ambury, A quality control check reveals perfection in every aspect of build, fit and finish. With the Marshall’s lead channel selected, the tone is sweet and singing on either or both pickups, but turn down and things clean up to the point where you really could run a gig from the guitar’s volumes alone. Smith originally rotated it so they were fore and aft; this has its own logic, but defies 70 years of convention. To find out, we borrowed our old mate Bernie Marsden’s guitar for review, since it was one of only two single-cut McCarty SC 594s in the UK at the time. Cons: Just the price. Hardware is two-tone nickel and gold in colour (and comes with any ‘10’ top model like this) and looks like it’s been fashioned by a top-class jeweller; the bridge is cast zinc with an aluminium tailpiece, while the thumb-wheels and studs are brass. By comparison, the SC 594 is a more spritely affair - brighter and clearer, and because of that, it’s more versatile, even before the coil-splits kick in. The SC 594’s Vintage Pattern profile neck, slightly deeper than the standard Pattern profile, is a good palm-full, but suits the guitar’s vintage nature perfectly. PRS S2 McCarty 594 – MusicRadar rating 9/10 (Image credit: Future / Neil Godwin). Well, up to the 16th fret there’s nothing in it, but, of course, ‘dusty end’ access is never as good with that shoulder in the way, so here the double-cut takes it. Please refresh the page and try again. Possibly, but in the heat of battle you’d be hard pressed to tell. Regarding single-cut versus double-cut playability, however, the extra shoulder mass of single-cut-style guitars such as this means your thumb can’t get past the 16th fret, making top-end licks something of a compromise (not that it inhibited Gary Moore, Jimmy Page, Slash et al). You will receive a verification email shortly. Who is the best acoustic guitarist of 2020? Sure, it’s closer to its esteemed Gibson forbear in this single-cut form, but will a few extra millimetres of timber make that much difference? The Les Paul prefers it flat-out all the time, but the SC 594 is happy with the controls set anywhere. It’s the same deal here, although the body thickness expands from 55.5mm of the 594 to a very Les Paul-like girth of 57mm. MusicRadar is part of Future plc, an international media group and leading digital publisher. Don't miss the latest deals, news, reviews, features and tutorials. And playability? Let's turn our attention to the S2 McCarty 594's bridge first. The ‘LT’ suffix stands for ‘Low Turns’, meaning these are at the cooler end of the humbucking power spectrum and should be more tonesome and dynamic as a result. Using a Gibson Les Paul Custom ‘True Vintage’ for comparison, the difference between the two instruments is marked. PRS has finally seen fit to revert - on both these 594 models, at least - to the classic Gibson control layout with the neck humbucker’s controls uppermost, and the bridge’s towards the floor. The Phase III locking tuners have a set screw that binds the cog and worm together for better tone transmission to the headstock - Smith says it makes all the difference. Sonically, it’s a close call. Tweaks to pickups, hardware and playability made the double-cut McCarty 594 a triumph of the guitar-builder’s art, so a version based on the company’s Singlecut was inevitable. PRS has finally seen fit to revert - on both these 594 models, at least - to the classic Gibson control layout with the neck humbucker’s controls uppermost, and the bridge’s towards the floor. BA1 1UA.
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