Which of these 2 guitars do I need next?

Dead Astronaut

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I'm looking to round out my animal sanctuary of semi-domesticated PRSes (gotta let ’em stay a little bit wild!), and the two guitars that I'm really interested in, both in themselves and as key parts of the PRS world, are a Core Studio 24 and a DGT. So here's the thing:

• I've got (and love) a new CE24, 2019 I believe, with the American-made 85/15 pickups, and to my understanding, a new CU24 would essentially be the same guitar but with a set neck rather than a bolt-on.

• I've also got (and love considerably more) a classic McCarty, from about 2005, and though the DGT certainly evolved from the McCarty, it seems like the differences between the two are more significant, and since I already love the McCarty, it's not like I'm going to mind them sharing a few traits.

So, the question: given the guitars I live with already (and I only mentioned 2, but there are about 8 or 9, SEs, S2s, and Cores, each of which I love in its own way), and given that I love them all but feel more strongly about the McCarty than the CE24, I should be looking at DGTs, right? It seems like they're going to be more different than what I play already, and they're going to be, well, not so much "more in my wheelhouse" as "more likely to push me in new directions."

Curious to hear from any McCarty players who've gotten DGTs, or vice versa: do you feel they're different enough to justify the outlay?
 

Dead Astronaut

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What elements of the McCarty make you prefer it? Asking so we can better guide you.

Compared to the CE24, you mean? I guess it would come down mostly to 2 things:

1) Tonal bandwidth and emphasis. I am a devotée of thick, fluid, "creamy" tones that a fair amount of other guitarists consider "dark"; part of it is sheer taste and listening habits, and part of it is that I've got a rare genetic quirk in the structure of my inner ears that gives me freakishly sensitive hearing, especially at higher frequencies, so I really don't like things to be brittle or fizzy or abrasive in the top end. Though I wouldn't want to say that any one guitar is how I want every guitar to sound, the McCarty might very well be my desert island guitar, because it's massive in the midrange and lower mids especially, sings effortlessly anywhere on the neck whether sparkly clean or utterly saturated with gain (amp-wise, I'm a Mesa/Boogie fiend), but it's got enough treble and high-mid cut to articulate the thickest close-interval chords, and the bass is solid and strong but tucked in a little bit (both volume- and frequency-wise) to keep it from getting boomy.

The CE24 is a great guitar too, but I find it's got a much narrow and more specific application: you play it clean, and it's what you would think, the PRS version of a Strat – more mids, thicker tone, not as quacky, but some of that same snap and crackle, and an extra touch of chime from the push of the 85/15s. Play it overdriven, and it's very close to certain docked and hardtail Strats I've heard: laser focused in the midrange, with an extra stratum of "air" (probably 8-10 kHz) above the body of the tone. I love that sound, but it's that sound and not a lot else. Pairs phenomenally well with my Boogie Mark V.

2) The feel. Some people seem to consider the CE24 neck the best PRS has ever made, and I agree that it's pretty incredible, but it's not something I'd want all the time. That velvety, yielding feel can be a little disconcerting every now and again, especially when I'm trying to fret a chord on the higher reaches of the neck – it's like pushing on a pillow, and you need some resistance to help you get the strings properly tensioned up there. The McCarty's neck (I believe it's officially listed as Wide Fat, and I own several newer guitars with Wide Fat necks, so I can say that the 2005 McCarty neck wasn't too far from the modern version) took a little more getting used to, but after 10 minutes of playing, it became so natural that I virtually never think about it. It feels like it was lathed and turned and finished for my specific hands. Just effortless – and I am not a nitrocellulose elitist, and actually hate sticky nitro, so a good poly finish is right up my alley. (I think the DGT is one of those "CAB" finishes, right?, the nitro-over-cellulose kind? That's cool; I like that finish a lot on my S2 594 McCarty Thinline.)

... All of which is an OCD way of saying that the CE24 is a great guitar I'm happy to play, while the McCarty immediately felt like "this guitar is for me." If I'm remembering right, I am the very happy caretaker of 8 PRSes, and every one of them is great in one way or another, but there are a few that felt like they spoke directly into my ear and said "You're the person who's supposed to play me." Both my McCartys are like that, the 2005 and the new S2 Thinline, so I have no doubt that I'd be thrilled with a DGT; I just wonder if it would be so close to my McCarty that I'd feel a redundancy, or if it has its own distinct version of that voice.

So that's really the question, I guess: how does a DGT's voice differ from the classic McCarty sound? Because every other factor tells me DGT, DGT, come ON, man.
 

Dusty Chalk

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Dead Astronaut

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Actually, the answer is always a 594 McCarty SC.

Never been a singlecut man (other than circumcision, though I guess I'm not 100% certain they did that in one shot). Why do you happen to love ’em? I'm always curious to grasp the appeal of guitars and amps that don't speak to me.

Of those you listed the DGT is inherently ‘darkest’ and creamiest in my opinion. I have had those all at one time and played them back to back and it was always smoother though my gear.

Very glad to hear so, because I started this thread for mostly theoretical purposes, thinking I'd have months at minimum to decide – and then, I got gobsmacked by one of those magical chains of half-coincidence borne of having enough geeky conversations online that there are a few far-flung people on this Earth who keep an eye out for things I'd like (as I do for them).

Which is an ornate way of saying that I am eagerly awaiting the shipment of my 2012 DGT in dark emerald.
 

Uncle Bob

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• I've got (and love) a new CE24, 2019 I believe, with the American-made 85/15 pickups, and to my understanding, a new CU24 would essentially be the same guitar but with a set neck rather than a bolt-on.

Nope.
 

jm9239

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I see you’ve already purchased a DGT - congrats, and I look forward to hearing your thoughts. I too am a Mesa Boogie (and Soldano) fiend, and am also not big on brittle, fizzy or abrasive top end. I’ve played the spectrum of PRS guitars and my current favorites are the 22 SSH (with 58/15 MTs), McCarty 594 HB II, SC594 Semi Hollow, and the good ole CU22. All play and sound fantastic paired with Mesas, Soldanos, and many more amps.

Regarding the DGT, they are very popular and I’ve found them to be wonderful guitars. However, they are ultimately not for me. I like the McCarty pedigree, but have found that I don’t love the narrower nut width, the DGT pickups, or the control scheme. Regarding the pickups, I found the neck to be really nice - vintage, dark, but not muddy - but didn’t care for the bridge. I felt like it is brighter, kind of snotty, and didn’t work as well with my high gain Mesas as I would have liked. Because of that I went in different directions. YMMV though and I look forward to hearing your thoughts. That said, I may revisit the DGT one day as I’m about to do with the Paul’s Guitar…
 

vchizzle

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Of what you listed, definitely DGT. The Studio is a great guitar as well, but DGT fits the bill better. Hope you enjoy!
 

11top

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Never been a singlecut man (other than circumcision, though I guess I'm not 100% certain they did that in one shot). Why do you happen to love ’em? I'm always curious to grasp the appeal of guitars and amps that don't speak to me.

For the same reasons I’m a huge ‘59 standard LP fan. I love the short scale, the balance, the fit, the tones, and the aesthetics. While it’s subjective, to me the Les Paul is the best looking design in electric guitars.
 

Dead Astronaut

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Regarding the DGT, they are very popular and I’ve found them to be wonderful guitars. However, they are ultimately not for me. I like the McCarty pedigree, but have found that I don’t love the narrower nut width, the DGT pickups, or the control scheme. Regarding the pickups, I found the neck to be really nice - vintage, dark, but not muddy - but didn’t care for the bridge. I felt like it is brighter, kind of snotty, and didn’t work as well with my high gain Mesas as I would have liked. Because of that I went in different directions. YMMV though and I look forward to hearing your thoughts. That said, I may revisit the DGT one day as I’m about to do with the Paul’s Guitar…

Much of this was relevant to my decision, which I should've mentioned above, to go after a DGT Standard rather than the maple-top DGT (some of which I believe also have ebony fretboards, don't they?). I did a lot of comparative listening and loved 98% of what I heard from the DGT, but thought it could get just a little bit prickly and grainy and sandpapery in the uppermost registers, so when I found the DGT Standard, I knew that was the one. Warmer, darker, with a sweeter natural compression to the front end of the note, but still well within the distinct DGT voice that makes it more than just another version of the McCarty. (And I've already got a maple-over-mahogany McCarty, so I figured that the different tonewood, along with the bridge, pickups, and fretwire, will also keep the two guitars distinct. And getting a completely crazy deal on it didn't hurt!)
 

LSchefman

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Much of this was relevant to my decision, which I should've mentioned above, to go after a DGT Standard rather than the maple-top DGT (some of which I believe also have ebony fretboards, don't they?). I did a lot of comparative listening and loved 98% of what I heard from the DGT, but thought it could get just a little bit prickly and grainy and sandpapery in the uppermost registers, so when I found the DGT Standard, I knew that was the one. Warmer, darker, with a sweeter natural compression to the front end of the note, but still well within the distinct DGT voice that makes it more than just another version of the McCarty. (And I've already got a maple-over-mahogany McCarty, so I figured that the different tonewood, along with the bridge, pickups, and fretwire, will also keep the two guitars distinct. And getting a completely crazy deal on it didn't hurt!)

There's a lot to be said for the all-mahogany body style. Glad you found what works - that's the only thing that matters!

If I were to ever order another Private Stock, it'd be an all-mahogany 594 SC Soapbar with an ebony fretboard. I think that combination would give me warmth, plus articulation.
 

Dead Astronaut

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There's a lot to be said for the all-mahogany body style. Glad you found what works - that's the only thing that matters!

If I were to ever order another Private Stock, it'd be an all-mahogany 594 SC Soapbar with an ebony fretboard. I think that combination would give me warmth, plus articulation.

Mahogany body/neck + ebony board is a GREAT setup. That's how the SE Hollowbody Standard is built, and I think it's pretty much the ideal all-purpose full-hollow electric guitar. As deep and thick and dark and liquid as you want, but always with that little bit of fine silvery articulacy up at the top.
 

watelessness

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everyone needs a DGT. put some 57/08's in the mccarty and you'll be quite happy with the breadth of sonic ground you can cover
 
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