NGD: WL/Artist Cu22 Special SH in McCarty Sunburst

Discussion in 'Electric Instruments' started by MA Pete, Apr 5, 2020.

  1. MA Pete

    MA Pete SC 594 Addict

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    Okay, somehow another 3-pickup NGD this weekend! :)

    It wasn't planned that way, I was doing a trade deal with my Core DC 594 Soapbar (because I was getting getting a Private Stock one, see my other NGD thread on that one). I was trading it for another guitar originally, but then I spotted this one and at the last minute I decided to switch to this one.

    I had been curious about the Cu22 Special Semi-Hollow, particularly after playing Rider1260's at the Feb 15 594Fest event. This guitar really isn't my thing for the core of what I play and love, which is centered around the 594s. But as a specialty sort of thing, it is a "nice to have" option for me I think, for another way beyond the Silver Sky to dive into the Stratty side of things. It won't get played as much as the 594s and the 25" McCarty, but it will be nice to have in the collection.

    I had been keeping my eye out for one of these that floated my boat, since playing Rider1260's. I was thinking I wanted it to be as much on the Stratty side of things as possible, so my preference was a Maple Neck for sure, a Maple Board too if possible. And I really only love the vintage finishes, so my criteria was also a great top and a vintage finish. Nothing had really popped up that excited me, until I saw this one. It checked all the boxes, Maple Neck and Board, KILLER Artist top, and Faded McCarty Sunburst, one of my favorite finishes! And a Swamp Ash body and cool inlays to boot.

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    Visually, I appreciate the killer top and finish, and the Swamp Ash back and grain, and the more "Orange" finish on the back versus a Natural or Cherry, gives it a cool look with the Sunburst on the Faded McCarty Sunburst finish. The squiggly lines perpendicular to the flame on the board - I always love those, especially in a vintage finish!

    The flame on the Board is cool, the neck is not at all as Flamey, for the WL price it would have been nice to have more Flame on the neck. (The pic shows flame on the back of the neck, but looking down at the side while playing, it doesn't have as much. And part of me thinks that a McCarty Sunburst Finish on the back of the neck would have also been nice. That said, this neck is unfinished or lightly finished and is thus super smooth, so that is kind of cool. It is more understated this way without a stained finish on the back of the neck.

    I normally prefer Old Birds over the J-Birds, but with a Maple Board I dig these J-Birds with the Black Outlines. (I like them WAY better than those tiny Outline birds on the Maple-Boarded Silver Sky, I don't really care for the look of those and may pass on one of those as a result.)

    This one needs my standard upgrade to Ivoroid Tuners, that is coming soon. :)

    Detailed tone report to follow soon, as I have already logged a decent amount of time on this since it arrived yesterday morning, and I have compared it to the Silver Sky.
     
  2. bodia

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

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    Damn! Love it, Pete!
     
  3. 88prs

    88prs OCD for PRS

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    Wow, wish I could hit the "like" button more!
     
  4. sergiodeblanc

    sergiodeblanc Too Funky

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  5. dmatthews

    dmatthews Dave's not here...

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    Dead sexy!
     
  6. veinbuster

    veinbuster Zombie Three, DFZ

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    Another excellent choice.
    Enjoy.
     
  7. MA Pete

    MA Pete SC 594 Addict

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    Thanks!

    Very interesting re tone report and comparison to the Silver Sky and other PRS Guitars. If I put my mind to it and took the time I could write a short novel about it. ;)

    This guitar is hitting the mark for me for exactly what I was targeting it for: 75% as far towards the Stratty tones as the Silver Sky, with the comfort and familiarity of the 25" scale, the Pattern WF Neck Carve, the 10" Radius and the "Medium Sized" Frets. Nailed it, as far as what I was planning for and hoping for, in that regard.

    The Silver Sky pickups are off the chart, best "Strat-type" pickups I have played/heard, including any Strat. Of course the Silver Sky smokes this one for the Strat tones. That said, I do still find the Silver Sky a bit of an adjustment with the big neck (and I have the 2020 new carve with the subtly softer shoulders, still it feels bigger than the Pattern and Pattern Vintage), the 7.25" Radius, the tiny frets and the 25.5" scale.

    This one gets 75% there for me, with less adjustment to feel. My primary home base is the 594, but I have been also playing a 25" McCarty, so I am already somewhat used to the 25" scale length, and the Pattern Neck Carve.

    These frets are smaller than the 25" McCarty and 594 Frets (which are the "Wide Flat", basically the DGT Fret width but shorter), these are not as wide as the 594 frets, but still wider AND taller than the Silver Sky Frets. (From a visual comparison, I don't have the spec differences between the 3 handy.)

    And also this is a 10" radius. Combine those several things, and this is much more "approachable" for me to get more Stratty tones, versus the Silver Sky. Mind you I still dig the Silver Sky and will keep it for the foreseeable future, but with this I probably won't get one with the Maple board. (We shall see, that is my impression right now. The White one really has a Hendrix vibe, though! :))

    Cleanish and with light gain ('65 Mode on my Metropoulos DVL-1, vintage Plexi tones just over the edge of breakup), positions 2, 3, 4 and 5 sound terrific with the Humbuckers in Single-Coil mode. All are very Stratty in tone and timbre. Even in Humbucker Mode the tones and timbre are all on the Stratty side, of course 2 and 4 are going to get that quack, but even 3 and 5 are, must be the wood formula of Swamp Ash Body and Maple Neck and Board?

    In the spirit of a Strat, I don't as much care for position 1. :)

    Sweet spot for the tone for the settings above is about 7, tames the highs just a hair.

    Going to a slightly higher gain tone with still more vintage tone structure ('66 Mode on the DVL, which is amazing on that amp, "Home" for me with the 594s), 2, 3, 4, 5 still sound great.

    Here at this amp setting I can also get the Bridge Humbucker to sound pretty darn good with the tone rolled to 5 and a boost in front of it, I can get a good Classic Rock Bridge tone, albeit not as great as the 594s, not as dark/warm. But what would you expect in that regard? For me the 594s rule the world there, so if respectable for that, good enough by me, I won't probably use that much anyway, I would just pick up a 594 for those tones. But good to know they are there.

    The Semi-Hollowness is okay, cool for some of the tones, but honestly I think I would like this model better as a solidbody. Given the Semi-Hollow construction and the resulting impact on the tone, I have to fine tune the amp a little to optimize for the tone of this guitar, similar to some of the other Semi-Hollow and Hollow guitars (and the 2016 SC 594 Prototype, which has a lot of low end), I turn the Bass from 6 (the sweet spot for that amp with the Solidbody 594s) down to 4 or so, and then it sounds better, takes away that Bassiness of tone that I can hear coming from it being Semi-Hollow in certain pickup selections.

    This guitar also sounds terrific with my PRS Dallas 50W Head. I also have the Metropoulos Superplex coming in soon (100W KT-66 based JTM 45/100 voiced Marshally amp) I think it will be terrific with that as well. I had that amp before, and it was killer with all the Strat-type guitars I played through it.

    I think this model in a traditional construction (Mahogany Body, Mahogany Neck, Rosewood Board) slants more to straddling the fence between Fendery tones and Gibson-like tones, this ones slants more towards the Fendery side with the SwampAsh/Maple/Maple construction. That is my impression from playing Rider1260's a couple of months back and then getting this one, and watching/listening to the many demos of this model on YouTube. Someone that wants a one-guitar Swiss Army knife to gig with and cover all the tones needed at a gig would probably be better off with one in that traditional construction, but this one really hits the mark for me for my target requirements for it.

    I am VERY intrigued by the ME-V. If they ever come out with a WL/Core model based on that, sign me up for a WL one with a Maple Neck and Board like this one! ;) Until then, this one covers this need/want for me.
     
  8. FJ4

    FJ4 New Member

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    Congratulations, great score!

    I’d like to thank you for taking the time to share all this insightful information through your posts. Big thanks !
     
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  9. bodia

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

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    I think you’re on the money with regards to the effect of the maple neck/board, and swamp ash body. I find the same thing with my 509 with the same woods.
     
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  10. AaeCee

    AaeCee New Member

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    Beautiful Pete!

    I know you can certainly play because I've heard you, but you clearly have a more refined technique than myself, as my ham-fisted right hand would be banging into that middle pickup with lamentable regularity, especially on something like that spectacular triple P-90 beauty you displayed the other day. Inspires me to get better in that area!

    And as previously mentioned ... love that chair! How much you want fer it?? ;)
     
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  11. WEDGE

    WEDGE Zombie five, DFZ

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    Talk about being on a roll......

    That maple board looks great with those inlays. Congrats.
     
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  12. RickP

    RickP Established 1960, Still Not Dead

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    Your purchasing habits keep me looking downright frugal to the wife. Keep it up!

    Nice score, btw!
     
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  13. RallyFanatic

    RallyFanatic Perpetual musical mid-life crisis

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    These are growing on me! Looks great, enjoy!
     
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  14. Black Plaid

    Black Plaid just another Alan

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    That's a truly wonderful addition to the Amber Horde (Hoard?) you are amassing! I'd love to see a full family shot of your stunning collection!
     
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  15. MA Pete

    MA Pete SC 594 Addict

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    Thanks for the complement, AaeCee! I actually struggle a lot with my right hand, being left-handed but playing right-handed. I struggle with holding the pick and pick technique, I have to always work on that.

    With regards to three pickup guitars, these two are the first ones I have had in a while, but so far they aren't bothering me too much. (I was worried about that being an issue!) I started using the Dunlop Tortex larger "Sharp" picks a few years back, and I think that helps me, with the slightly longer and pointier tip of the pick, I don't think I need to go in as far to hit the string reliably and consistently.

    As for the chair - the guitars come and go, but that chair is a keeper! I guess it has become my "thing" here on the Forum, there have been a LOT of NGDs on that chair since I got it in 2017 or so! :)
     
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  16. Tonart

    Tonart Tone of the Art......or is that backwards?

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    It’s a beauty!!
     
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  17. goof1073

    goof1073 New Member

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    I figured you would get into a Swamp / Maple equipped PRS after our last IM exchange!! Congrats on this one!!

    Personally I played my buddies CU22 Special (Mahog / IRW neck) and it just wasn't for me...but the model has been the "it model" for a while now. I keep trying to get into PRS trems, but after owning a couple myself and playing more of them I realized that I am just a fixed bridge kind of a guy. Oh and since you mentioned it...I typically hit a middle p'up and this model was no exception.
     
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  18. gush

    gush She said "huge bag of dibs".

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    God that is beautiful.......
     
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  19. Egads

    Egads One, Two, THIRTEEN!

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    Another amazing score. Congrats.

    Someone needs a green guitar. :D
     
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  20. Alnus Rubra

    Alnus Rubra Loving nature’s wonders

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    That is such a gorgeous guitar. Congratulations :D
     
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