McCarty vs. McCarty 594 - much of a difference?

Discussion in 'Electric Instruments' started by martie6621, Jun 28, 2019.

  1. martie6621

    martie6621 New Member

    Aug 31, 2013
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    It seems the Mc 594 is the one of the premier core models but what about the standard (old config) McCarty model? Is it still made or are they coming out of PRS as one-offs when they so show up as new these days.

    Thanks all.....
  2. Black Plaid

    Black Plaid just another Alan

    Apr 10, 2019
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  3. garrett

    garrett knows just enough to be dangerous

    Jul 27, 2012
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    Yes, the regular McCarty has a snappier tone to it.

    It's a different experience with the simpler knob layout as well. The body is a tad thinner than the 594. Still a worthy guitar in the lineup since it has a different appeal.
    Big Mike and g.wizz like this.
  4. bodia

    bodia Authorities leave it.....unsolved

    Jan 21, 2015
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    Yeah, the four knob layout, and the SC version are two differences. The big kicker is the Pattern Vintage neck profile on the 594. Sublime!
    g.wizz likes this.
  5. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

    Apr 26, 2012
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    The McCarty is also a premier model, heck all the Cores are, and it’s priced within $30 of the 594 because...well, maybe the 594’s 2 piece bridge raises the build cost or something (The McCarty’s is 1 piece)).

    The McCarty’s got a different voice due to the differences in pickups, scale length, hardware, etc. I think of the McCarty as a little more of an all-‘rounder, perhaps ‘modern with a vintage edge’ describes it, and the 594 leans into vintage territory more.

    Also...don’t overlook the DGT. Slightly different control layout, trem, a little bit different neck carve, and a great vibe now with a nitro finish (yes I’m one of those guys who think they hear the difference in finish ;)).
    g.wizz, veinbuster and garrett like this.
  6. pauloqs

    pauloqs PRS McCarty

    Feb 2, 2019
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    Yes the regular McCarty is still being made and is one, if not my favorite PRS model. Don't get me wrong, I love my 594, but the neck on the regular McCarty, the Pattern neck profile, is just one of the most comfortable necks I've ever played. Interestingly, another neck carve that I really enjoy and is among my favorites is the one on my Les Paul 1959 reissue. When I measured it with a caliper, it turned out to be ridiculously close in thickness to the Pattern neck on my McCarty (R9: 0.8625" @ 1st Fret & 0.981" @ 12th; vs McCarty: 0.8755" @ 1st Fret & 0.9465" @12th).

    I actually very marginally prefer the sound and control layout of the 594, but the neck carve of the regular McCarty, as I've mentioned before, is very marginally more comfortable for me. As a result, I feel my technique is ever so slightly cleaner and I play just a little bit better with the regular McCarty. With that said, I've had the McCarty a bit longer than my Double Cut 594, so it might be an issue of familiarity. Something I prefer on my 594 is the satin neck finish (maple neck). That thing is ridiculously smooth. The body on the 594 is also slightly thicker, but I didn't notice any comfort loss with it. I'm also pretty happy with the scale length on both guitars. I can go back and fourth with very little to not adjustment time.
    dogrocketp and g.wizz like this.
  7. elvis

    elvis Hamfisted String Banger

    Feb 29, 2016
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    For me the pickup switch location on the McCarty is a deal breaker. The 594 is my preference.

    And the neck feels so nice.
  8. Solteroblues

    Solteroblues New Member

    Oct 14, 2014
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    I personally prefer my new 594 way more than the McCarty's that I've had over the years. I don't know why, but the McCarty's I've had always been my least favorite PRS, and never kept either one of them for long. The 594 just feels right and better to me. YMMV
  9. RevBillyG

    RevBillyG New Member

    Jun 4, 2017
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    I'm not really a PRS guy, even though I own three. A McCarty, a 594, & an S2 Standard 24. I prefer the sound & feel of the McCarty. The 594 is definitely prettier. But my McCarty is a keeper for me. Les Paul, Tele, & a McCarty.

    Of the guitars I own, the 594 is snappier, brighter, more ringier. The McCarty is more mellow, more round, beefier. It's also all hog.
    dogrocketp likes this.
  10. AP515

    AP515 Mostly Normal

    Apr 26, 2012
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    Don't have the new 594 and probably never will. My McSoapy makes "I have GAS" mean nothing more than you shouldn't sit next to me on the bus...
    #10 AP515, Jun 29, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2019
    bodia likes this.
  11. BMiller

    BMiller New Member

    Nov 23, 2015
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    I have yet to get my hands on a 594, but I do have both a McCarty and a DGT. Despite subtle changes, they are very similar instruments acoustically. On paper, the differences between those two and the 594 are very subtle as well. It's hard to do a direct A/B/C as the trems and tuners on all three are different (although the new McCartys and DGTs have the same tuners McCarty have rock solid Kluson style). Tone wise acoustically, it's hard to do a direct A/B between my McCarty and DGT as the DGT is a Wood Library (Artist pack features...i.e. ebony board) with a flamed maple neck. I can hear and feel the difference, but it's subtle. Both have mahogany bodies with flame maple tops. Oh...and of course the 11's on the DGT versus the 10's on the McCarty.....but the DGT strings feel the same as the McCarty's.

    Plugged in, I sound like me on both the McCarty and DGT. There are differences in pickups of course (McCarty versus DGT). This is where I can hear the differences pronounced, where the wood, electronics, and bridges impact the tone. But they are far more similar than different (say take one of them and A/B with my CU24...bigger difference). When I practice at home, go to rehearsal, or have a gig, I can bounce between the two and there is no adjustment to how I play and I don't mess with my amp....just volume and tone on the guitar (which I typically keep on 10 unless I want to back off a bit and clean up.)

    I'd suggest making a drive and seeing which ones you can try in person. All are excellent choices. I think that what it will come down to will be control layout and pickups. A little bit about the neck shape.....and if you can tell the difference between the 25" scale versus the 24.594" scale lengths. Good luck on the hunt!
    bodia likes this.
  12. Eilif

    Eilif New Member

    May 27, 2015
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    I've only played the semi-hollow 594, not the regular 594, but based on my experience, the regular McCarty and the 594 are completely different instruments. For me, the the biggest difference is in feel (neck carve and scale length), but there is enough of a difference in sound that I would not say the two guitars are similar. If, compared to a Custom 22, the McCarty moves into vintage territory, then the 594 moves way into vintage-land.
    garrett likes this.
  13. Utkarsh

    Utkarsh A Les Paul guy who loves PRSs

    Apr 13, 2017
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    The 594, Mccarty and DGT (Mccarty trem with specific neck, frets and pickups) are completely different beasts.
    The 594 is closest to a Les Paul (scale length, layout, two piece bridge) but the slightly assymetrical neck carve can divide opinion. The Mcarty and DGT have standard PRS scale lengths but beyond the trem, differ in neck carve, frets, pickups and switch layout.
    Personally my recommendation.
    - Pick the Mccarty if u like the custom 22 but want something more gibsony if not full on LP territory.
    - Pick the DGT if u like something more snappy, more trebly and i daresay more more like a Tele (especially on split bridge pickup)
    - Pick the 594 if u want to play a legendary guitar but dont want to play authentic ;)
    strat63, garrett, dogrocketp and 2 others like this.

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