594 GAS/tuners

Discussion in 'Electric Instruments' started by iounothing, Nov 21, 2019.

  1. iounothing

    iounothing New Member

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    I was in my local music store this week and drooling over a SC 594. I went to look up the specs on the PRS website and see that for 2020 the entire McCarty line has changed from Phase III to vintage tuners. Any thoughts on the rationale for doing so, other than vintage vibe? Personally, I'd trade better tuning stability for vibe.
     
  2. bodia

    bodia Authorities said.....best leave it.....unsolved

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    I think it may have been mentioned in this video (if not Shawn posted it in a thread) that it was due to the weight. The vintage style being lighter and adding something to the tone. But, I'm with you, I'd rather have the lockers (because I'm lazy!).

     
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  3. 88prs

    88prs New Member

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    I don't understand why locking tuners are needed on a non-tremolo guitar so I dig the retro look, IMHO
     
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  4. jm9239

    jm9239 New Member

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    I understand the rationale for the change. That said, I'll take tuning stability any day over the more vintage look and likely undetectable difference in tone from the vintage-style tuners, particularly in a mix. If you are in the market for a 594 and prefer the Phase III tuners, get a 2019 or prior 594 while you can. I already picked up a SC594 semi-hollow and may pick up another 594 prior to the 2020 change.
     
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  5. jak3af3r

    jak3af3r Slightly Older Than New Member

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    I have an old McCarty which these new models are closely resemble. I was concerned it had the vintage tuners on it but decided to play it for a while before I swapped tuners and these tuners. That was almost 5 years ago and I've only set the guitar up once. The neck never moves, it never loses its intonation, and very rarely goes out of tune.
     
  6. dmatthews

    dmatthews Dave's not here...

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    Could always get Vintage style lockers from John Mann if you want both the vibe and the ease of use.
     
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  7. Mozzi

    Mozzi https://imgur.com/user/BAMozzy

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    If you know how to wrap the string around the post properly, tuning stability isn't the issue. Tuning instability is caused because something either moves when it shouldn't or sticks/binds so doesn't return to position. If the strings are overlapping on the post, there is a possibility of moving and therefore affect tuning stability - it isn't the tuners that move...

    The advantage of locking tuners is mostly ease and speed of changing strings. They can help with tuning stability because you don't have the strings wrapping around the post and overlapping which is where tuning instability occurs - of course if you know how to wrap, that advantage is non-existent as mentioned above.

    As someone with a 2016 PRS 594 (as well as all my other PRS guitars) that have the Phase III locking tuners, I have NEVER thought they were 'heavy' and whilst I can't compare the tonal difference that these have compared to the Vintage tuners, I would still prefer locking tuners as standard on ALL guitars for the ease, speed and convenience of string changes. Locking tuners is the one thing that I see everyone asking for with the SE's - so much so that PRS has now brought out there own locking tuners for SE's. Its considered an 'upgrade'. Vintage tuners to me is a downgrade regardless of how PRS (or others) may view it.

    IF I were to buy a new 594 - I am GASsing for a 594 Hollowbody ii - I will look to upgrade the tuners to locking tuners and would sacrifice any (if I can actually detect) any tonal degradation - at most I expect it to sound very slightly different but not worse but depends on what tuners I can get that fit PRS and hopefully the existing screw holes of those hideous and cheap looking vintage tuners. The Phase III's have been used across the core range for years without any complaints (as far as I know) and I expect EVERY guitar over $1k to come with locking tuners as standard.

    Whilst it is disappointing to see this change - especially from PRS who are progressive - I would still buy a McCarty but would have to upgrade the tuners. Does anyone know if there are any suitable alternatives that would fit a PRS without having to drill more holes???
     
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  8. dmatthews

    dmatthews Dave's not here...

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    https://store.guitarvaultusa.com/MannMade_USA_Gotoh_Vintage_Locking_Tuner_Set_p/7050.htm
     
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  9. Mozzi

    Mozzi https://imgur.com/user/BAMozzy

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    Thanks for that - at least I know they do exist although I would have to replace those buttons as they do look cheap. I love the aesthetic of the Phase iii's with the open gears but also like the buttons, especially if they are metal and not cheap plastic. I have never been a fan of the aethetic, the button shape and the length of the shaft that seems to make the buttons stick out quite far from the headstock - maybe that's also in part due to the shape of the buttons.

    Of course I would want to keep the same quality as the Phase III's, both in terms of the materials used and the gear ratio and if I can't get what I want that fits the PRS and the holes the Vintage tuners fitted have had drilled, I would fill the old holes and redrill new ones to get what I want - seems ridiculous to have to do that on a guitar at this price but I would do it if I had to...
     
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  10. Andy80

    Andy80 New Member

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    This change is definitely annoying, but that said I'm still ordering one anyways. I freaking love this guitar.

    The reality is, PRS are so well made that tuning stability really isn't much of an issue. It's more for convenience (and as others have said, laziness in my case too....)
     
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  11. gush

    gush She said "huge bag of dibs".

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    Quick string changes...............

    .
     
  12. Guitpicky

    Guitpicky New Member

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    I'm wondering if it isn't some kind of vendor or supply issue. I'd hate to think it's just to pinch a penny or two off the production cost. There's certainly no "tonal degradation" with Phase llls and the weight difference is going to be minimal. There was never a problem of any kind with the Phase llls so it's not an upgrade or improvement, in fact I'd consider it a considerable downgrade.

    I don't even have Klusons on my LP, I think they're ugly AF with the snot colored plastic buttons and cheap stamped housings. I also didn't buy my 594 looking for any kind of "vintage" vibe. PRS doesn't do vintage very well and I already have an LP for that. I was after the innovations and the Phase llls are a big part of that. Whatever the real reason for the change I think it compromises what the 594 is and makes it look like a wannabe LP that's trying just a bit too hard :)
     
  13. FunkyFreeman

    FunkyFreeman Moo Panuwat

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    I've owned this SC and this thing has never, ever, lost stability in tuning. In fact I re-tune it less often than my current ME Quatro which equipped with Phase III lockers, to be honest...

    I can't compare the tonal difference between vintage and Phase III as they are on different guitars, let alone the weight, hahaha. I can only say both guitars sound good and also resonate well.

    I have no idea what's the real reason behind this change, but pretty sure it's not about weight nor tuning stability as I've proved both by myself. I tend to believe it's all about tone. This brave change must have some solid reasons supporting it. Maybe it has something to do with new TCI-tuned electronics, who knows... Please say something uncle Paul!!:D

    And for me, if I had to choose a 594 I'll be fine with any type of tuners said above.

    [​IMG]
     
    #13 FunkyFreeman, Nov 22, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2019
  14. markd21

    markd21 New Member

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    My '08 SC245 has the vintage tuners. It stays in tune just as great as my locking tuner PRS'. There is also something magical about the tone.
     
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  15. garrett

    garrett knows just enough to be dangerous

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    The modern Kluson style keys work great. PRS use Gotoh for their other Core tuners, so I am confident that's what they use for the vintage style keys, too.

    I love the locking tuners, though. That combined with the two-piece bridge makes for the quickest, easiest string changes ever.

    For non-lockers, I've used this method for a long time and it works very well and is still pretty quick:

     
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  16. Alnus Rubra

    Alnus Rubra Loving nature’s wonders

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    Love me some Gotoh action. I’ve used their hardware on several guitars and I can’t say enough good things about them.
     
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  17. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    I love that you chose a vibey nuclear test site for your photo of the guitar.
     
  18. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    A. Gotoh makes the Phase IIIs, and PRS us using them on the rest of the line that sells more guitars, like the CU24. Gotoh is not exactly a small player in the market. There’s no supply issue. The choice was made for other reasons.

    B. If you’ve ever held six of the metal tuner buttons PRS uses in one hand, and plastic tuner buttons in the other hand, you’d notice a surprising weight difference. And that’s only the buttons. The machine heads probably have similar differences.

    Back when PRS came out with the original McCarty, Paul felt that a thinner headstock and lighter weight tuners mattered tonally, and that’s why the original McCartys were spec’d with the vintage tuners.

    It’s not a matter of tonal degradation, it’s just that they probably sound a little different, and Paul Smith is into the differences he likes. Maybe that’s partly for tone, and partly for a look?

    I have one of the new McCartys on order, despite liking the convenience of the phase III machine heads. It’s just not that big a deal.
     
  19. dmatthews

    dmatthews Dave's not here...

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    My 2001 McRosie is pretty easy to string using the wrap/pinch method and stays in tune perfectly. I do love the phase II and III though.
     
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  20. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    I had a bunch of the earlier McCartys with the vintage tuners. Never had a problem. But I’m lazy.
     
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