A Few Questions about the PRS S2 McCarty


New Member
Nov 1, 2015
I purchased a Tremonti SE Custom about 6 years ago. Aside from the fact I've had it "serviced" about 3 times to prevent the G and B strings from going out of tune if I touch the trem bar, it works great. I'm not a tree user anyway so I just flip it to the side and carry on.

I love the thickness of the guitar and the next. I believe it has a "pattern thin" neck? It feels great to play on, nice and roomy for my big hands.

I've been looking to get into the "made in USA" side of things though, and I know I'm not a trem fan (whether they work or not), so I was looking at the S2 McCarty single cuts.

Trouble is, I live in a relatively small city in Canada -- about 2 hours from Toronto. We have a few music shops in town but it wasn't until recently we had a "PRS Dealer" who only seems to stock a few SE's.

I'd like to order the S2, but I have a few concerns, so it may be worth a drive to a larger city to play one first.

1) I grew up on Metallica, Soundgarden, Tool, Megadeth, Big Wreck, Big Sugar -- all loud guitar bands. The pickups in the S2 McCarty from what I've read, aren't a great fit for that music. I suppose that can easily be changed, and I don't actually mind changing things up a bit. I'm getting older and I play more and more mellow music. But something I wanted to get opinions on.

2) Split coil tapping. Seems like the S2's come with this feature, but there was some back and forth debate on a forum post I read. Just double checking.

3) Neck. Seems to list "Pattern Vintage" on the site. I've not played one before but it looks similar to a Les Paul neck. Wondering how that compares to the Tremonti.

So yeah, after typing that all out it would seem I'd be better off going and playing a few -- even if it means a road trip. But I thought it might be a good discussion.

Thanks PRS'rs


Not vintage yet
Mar 8, 2021
Have a look at the Thinline 594 if you’re after a pattern thin neck.

The pickups in the McCarty range are “vintage” output. However, although I haven’t tried the 58/15S’s myself, I’m personally not of the opinion that you need high output pickups to get a good sound with high gain.

And yes, the tone pots are push pull so you can split each pickup.


Zombie five, DFZ
Apr 26, 2012
Too close to the casinos in CT.........
The pattern vintage is decidedly chunky necked, and does not do metal without a pickup change. The thinline has the right neck carve but I dig thicker guitars for heavy stuff, your mileage may vary.


Mad Scientist
Sep 7, 2020
The pattern vintage is chunky compared to the pattern thin. You'll notice a difference but that doesn't mean it'll be a bad thing. I bounce around on PRS necks quite a bit. They all feel great.

The pickups split and are more vintage voiced but you can do the bands you're after. If you don't like em, as you said, swap the pickups. Only your ears can decide.


New Member
Dec 17, 2020
I have an S2 594 McCarty Singlecut and really enjoy it. I, like you play a lot of heavier stuff. Here's my take.

1 - While the stock pickups have a more vintage PAF type character to them, they are perfectly fine for getting a good heavy tone. I used the guitar with the stock 58/15 S pickups for a few weeks and found them to be okay, not great, but not terrible. If anything, they were slightly muddy no matter how I adjusted pole height or pickup height. Ultimately, I swapped them out for a set of 58/15 LT pickups I scored on Reverb that were taken out of a core model. The 58/15 LT seem to be even a little lower output than the 58/15 S, but they have much better top end bite and articulation. I can get great heavy tones with this guitar, and I even prefer the heavy tones I get with it to the tones I get from my Ibanez and Gibson guitars that have hotter ceramic pickups in them. The lower output pickups with high gain just has great clarity and dynamics. It doesn't get muddy or have any overly harsh clipping from the high out put pickups. As a reference, my main dirty tones is from a Friedman BE-OD pedal that is set up to sound like a hotrodded JCM 800 for rhythm tones and then I boost it with a TS 808 for leads. This runs into the front of the clean channel on my Peavey Delta Blues for gigs and into the front of my Vox AC4 112 when I'm playing at home. In terms of pickups, YMMV, but if you elect to swap them, I'd highly recommend tracking down a set of PRS Dragon I pickups for heavy tones, out of the current lineup, the 85/15 TCI does a nice job. If you go outside of the PRS pickup offerings, I'd highly recommend the Bareknuckle Abraxas neck and Emerald or Cold Sweat for the bridge.

2 - The S2 McCarty line most certainly does have coil splitting for the pickups via push pull tone pots. This allows for a ton of versatility. I for one like to keep my neck pickup split with the volume rolled off a slight bit for clean tones and use my bridge pickup with in full humbucker for riffing and leads.

3 - If it's an S2 594 or S2 594 Singlecut, the neck is a Pattern Vintage and it is definitely beefier than the Pattern Thin. That said, I can swap between my Pattern Regular necks, Pattern Vintage, and Wide Fat necks with no issues. The Pattern Vintage is a very comfortable feeling neck in my opinion. If you know yourself to not like beefier feeling necks, have a look at the S2 594 Thinline which will have a Pattern Thin neck.

One thing to watch out for on the S2 line is the electronics, the toggle on my S2 594 McCarty was in need of some electrical contact cleaner and the volume and tone pots also recently benefitted from it, however, I am still planning on replacing the toggle, volume and tone pots with Core electronics parts in the near future.