Necessary Upgrades for 2010 McCarty (if any)

Discussion in 'Electric Instruments' started by Asiafish, Jun 24, 2019.

  1. Asiafish

    Asiafish New Member

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    Slightly related to my earlier post on strings.

    I'm a new guitarist and just ordered a used 2010 McCarty to supplement (dominate?) my current guitars (Martin 000-15M and Fender American Professional Telecaster. The guitar is entirely stock, except the previous owner put 9s on it and changed out the bridge to a Schroeder fully-adjustable (the original PRS bridge is included).

    I plan on taking it to a local luthier as soon as it arrives next week for a proper set up, will put 10s on it (thanks for all of the answers) and wanted to know if there is anything else I should have done. I know that the new PRS Core guitars all have locking tuners and mine has "vintage", which I would assume are non-locking. Is that a worthwhile upgrade? My other two guitars each have a bone nut, does my McCarty? Is it worth upgrading/changing? My guitar has PRS 57/08 pickups which from what I can hear (youtube videos) are pretty kick-ass. Is there anything significantly better for a fat 1950s/1960s hum bucker tone?

    Thanks again. I am super excited about this guitar. Even though it is used, it was actually a bigger purchase than my two new ones, and I'm guessing will be my primary instrument.
     
  2. markd21

    markd21 New Member

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    Congrats. That's a great guitar. Here's my take on your questions....

    1) Vintage tuners. There is no need to upgrade. I have them on my SC245 and the tuning is ultra-stable. I would never consider changing them.

    2) Nut. The PRS nut is perfect. I would prefer to have the PRS nut over a bone nut. The only guitar I have with a bone nut is my 594.

    3) 57/08 pickups. Those are my favorites. They are exactly what I like to hear in a pickup. I have two guitars with the 58/15LT pickups, and while they are really nice too, I prefer the 57/08s.

    I wouldn't vary the PRS recipe too much. Paul and Co. do a great job designing these guitars to be what they are from the factory. Play it, love it, spend some time with it. I'll be surprised if the guitar, as-is, does not totally fulfill you.
     
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  3. sergiodeblanc

    sergiodeblanc Zombie Eight, DFZ

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    Not a damn thing.
     
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  4. Asiafish

    Asiafish New Member

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    So the stuff they were doing in 2010 was already fully there? I was mainly thinking of moving up to newer (I would assume better) parts.
     
  5. markd21

    markd21 New Member

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    I had an MC58 from around that time - maybe a little newer - and it was one of the BEST sounding guitars I have ever heard. PRS is always innovating, but yeah, seems like a lot of the "rules of tone" were in place - I could be wrong though.
     
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  6. Parralax view

    Parralax view New Member

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    I have an older McCarty that I've never done anything other than replace the proprietary nut, with a black horn nut. The rest is bone stock plain jane. The tuners hold well after 14 yrs. I think they are helped by the nut, but they are worthy unless you are just bound to change them. The bridge is disliked by many, but I found that if you bring in the high e perfectly, and the low e perfectly, the rest fall in line to the point of maybe not perfect, but definately great intonation. The added bridge is something that lots like. I don't think the added cost is worth the difference. It's an age old design that works without added screws and saddles and all that goes with it.
     
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  7. Asiafish

    Asiafish New Member

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    The previous owner already upgraded to a Schroeder adjustable bridge. He also included the original PRS bridge.

    https://www.schroederguitarhardware.com/collections/all/products/schroeder-original-stoptail
     
  8. Mozzi

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

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    Anything that has been changed are 'quality of life' improvements (locking tuners for example) and the minor tweaks - like changing the Pick-ups. PRS Pick-ups are, now at least, easy to work out what era and when they released. The 57/08's for example are evoking the 57 era and released in 2008, the 58/15's are evoking the 58 era and released in 2015.

    There is nothing fundamentally wrong with the 57/08's and many people love them. There is no reason to replace unless you really dislike them but changing them 'just because' without actually trying them, seeing how they fit with you and your gear should be your first step. If you really can't work with them, maybe consider swapping but to swap for the sake of it is pointless and an unnecessary expense.

    Locking tuners are generally just to make string changes a little quicker and easier. If you know how to 'wind' a string, then there should be no benefit other than quicker string changes. As some don't know how to wind a string, locking tuners can help with tuning stability because the strings 'slip' and move in the winds and thus affect tuning BUT if you know how to wind, then the ONLY advantage is the quicker string changes. I often see people confusing locking tuners with 'locking nut' and assume locking tuners improve tuning stability.

    My best suggestion to you is just get it set up and the usual maintenance, clean and polish frets etc. Don't go spending money on changing anything - whether PRS are now offering a 'newer' PU or Locking Tuners etc or not. When you get your guitar back, get to know it, get to hear the PU's and how it works with your gear. Don't be afraid to tweak settings on pedals, amps etc to suit your preference for that instrument. Live with it for a good 6 months and really get to know the instrument and the PU's it comes with. If after really getting to know it, trying everything you have to really get the sound you want, only then consider purchasing new PU's.

    So many people buy guitars and talk about which PU's they should get without getting to know if the 'great' PU's in the instrument are up to the task. Some plug it in to their rig that was set up for their old guitar, not their new one and right off the pick-ups - a slight tweak and the 'old PU's could sound better than the new ones you put in. In case you haven't guessed, I am a firm believer that people should really get to know their guitar before ever considering mods. You also have to remember that the guitar was more than 'good enough' to be sold with Paul Reed Smith on the headstock as a high end instrument with the hardware and electronics. The McCarty is a fantastic instrument - stock!!
     
  9. Asiafish

    Asiafish New Member

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    Thanks for the detailed response and good advice. I'll do just as you suggest.
     
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  10. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    I have nothing to add, since they’re great perfectly stock, except congrats on the new guitar!
     
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  11. veinbuster

    veinbuster Zombie Three, DFZ

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    From a guy who changes stuff all the time.

    We know he’s right.
     
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  12. jak3af3r

    jak3af3r Slightly Older Than New Member

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    I wouldn't change anything either. My McCarty is 100% stock, holds tune, and I think plays better than my custom 24 which is 13 years newer.
     
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  13. Rider1260

    Rider1260 New Member

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    I'm a fan of the stock PRS bridge there is just something about the simple solid connection to the guitar with no moving parts and they are very comfortable )
    If you do stay with the adjustable bridge be sure it was set up for the proper radius ( 10 " )
    Congrats on the new ax :)
     
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  14. shimmilou

    shimmilou Established in 1963

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    Another vote to stick with the stock bridge. I believe that there is an affect on tone with the change to the adjustable, but don’t necessarily agree that it is an “upgrade”.
     
  15. Asiafish

    Asiafish New Member

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    The adjustable is already installed by the previous owner. The stock bridge will come in the case. I just might have the tech put the stock bridge and a set of 10s on it before I play it so that my first experience is how it left the factory.
     
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  16. n24re

    n24re Enjoying the ride...

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    I too am a big fan of quality of life improvements, and I have a firm no drill / cut policy. On my McCarty from 2002 I did the following and I feel it brought it up to the level I wanted it to be for my guitar....emphasis on my guitar.

    • Lampshade Knobs
    • Locking Gotoh Tuners
    • Schroeder Bridge
    • Rosewood Pickup rings ( the neck is all rosewood and the stock rings were damaged )

    Do with it what you want but by all means make sure and set it up , or get it setup, to your style. That makes all the difference. I like my action low to prevent buzz but not high enough to drive a bus under.

    just my 2 cents,

    Steve
     
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