Windy City 2020 594Fest!

Discussion in 'Electric Instruments' started by MA Pete, Feb 16, 2020.

  1. MA Pete

    MA Pete 594 Addict

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    (I will circle back and respond to many on the post above soon, but I need to get my thoughts out from the day before they disappear! ;))

    Let me clarify what I think is a very important point (IMO) for you guys to consider. The magic from the 2020s in my strong opinion comes from TWO THINGS - the new Nitro finish, and the new TCI 5815 LT pickups (at least 95% percent of it).

    With regards to the tuners - I have to call BS on that one, maybe just a little bit. I have the utmost respect for Paul and his non-stop tinkering, what he has accomplished in improving the PRS Short Scale guitars in the 11 years I have been obsessing about the Short Scale PRS Guitars is miraculous! Perhaps there is a slight tone difference on these new tuners. But IMO it is less significant than the fundamental variation of how each instrument comes out. Yesterday we sampled 5 DC 594s with the 2020 spec of Nitro and the TCI pickups. 3 had the new tuners, 2 had Phase III's, Bodia's Orange Tiger and my new "594Fest Mystery Unboxing" (man was that fun!) Yellow Tiger. All 5 were awesome, and you certainly couldn't pick out anything uniquely different about the 2 with the Phase IIIs. I played my three a lot this morning in decompressing from and processing the day yesterday (along with the 2 SCs), and I am realizing that the Yellow Tiger with the Phase IIIs may be the best sounding of the 3.

    The PRS team may have discovered that they prefer the tone of the vintage tuners, but it also may be just as much the principal of the matter with regards to (1) Paul's sharp skills and beliefs on principles of tone, which he is a master of, and (2) a philosophical point on the product line segmentation between the vintage voiced 25" McCarty and McCarty 594s, along with the "return to the roots" thinking of the 2020 changes. Both of which I fully respect and have no issues with.

    So my advice to you all out there - go for a 2020 with Nitro and TCI pickups to grab some of this 2020 magic yourselves. Do not worry whether or not if it has the new tuners or not. In fact, if you prefer locking tuners, seek out one that has those! Many are still coming in with the Phase IIIs, per Shawn if they were specially spec'ed that way, they will continue to ship that way. And I am sure that for the many WL runs dealers do, they will be able to spec them that way.

    The magic IMO is the finish and the pickups, and whatever super secret magic changes Paul and the team have come up with, to make these the best 594s and the best Short Scale PRS Core guitars ever.

    With regards to the tuners, I personally don't have a preference for either, I will select any future purchases based upon finish and top, and decide whether keep them or not when they arrive based solely on tone and how they make me feel.

    I have actually come to prefer the look of the vintage tuners, I think they suit the vintage look and vibe of the guitar. For practicality's sake, I prefer the functionality of the Phase IIIs for ease of string changes. The true test for me will be when I spec a Private Stock (which I plan to do sometime soon in 2020, I have a special formula in mind for one...), which one will I pick? Right now I am leaning towards the new vintage ones for the vintage vibe, and also just to be sure with regards to going all-in for best tone, trusting there may be at least a LITTLE something behind the change.

    My 2 cents on that topic, since a lot of you have been asking and talking about it.

    I feel obligated to post a pic to support this post:

    [​IMG]

    Yup, the new ones make me happy visually with regards to vibe.

    (Man, the Yellow Tiger really needs Ivory Knobs!! Those will go on today.)

    :)
     
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  2. Black Plaid

    Black Plaid just another Alan

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    the frets are what got me on the SS too, maybe one day I can pick up a used Orion green one and replace the frets with something more like the rest of the line.
     
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  3. MA Pete

    MA Pete 594 Addict

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    (This is a lot of work! But as the newly self-annointed 2020 McCarty 594 Club President, I feel an obligation to fully document thoughts and feelings from the epic day yesterday.)

    Okay, now onto a new topic - more on the HXDA. I was not expecting the reaction on the HXDA yesterday, from myself or the rest of the crew. The HXDA blew my mind yesterday. And more specifically, it was the magical combination of the HXDA, the Ox Box to enable getting the very best tones out of it at reasonable volumes (still 90 dB per Mike - we were moving some air), AND the combination with the Open Back / Semi-Open Back cabinet, in the larger room (I normally play in one of two smaller rooms).

    With that combination of the amp, the Ox Box, the Cab and Speakers and the Room, that was the best amp tone I have ever experienced at home. By a longshot.

    Everyone commented how great the HXDA sounded. It crushed everything else for that vintage voiced Hot-Rodded Plexi sound that goes so well with the 594s.

    I find this very rewarding and interesting, and it is bigger than just a great amp with great tone. There is a story behind the whole thing that makes this a very blissful conclusion to a part of my PRS tone adventure that was somewhat frustrating at the time, and has never been fully resolved, hadn't come full circle, until very recently with the purchase of another HXDA and rediscovering it in a new context combined with the Ox Box.

    I posted this over on the Amp section of the forum a few weeks back re my HXDA 30 NAD:

    I know - pics or it didn't happen!! Me, Paul, Eric C from Willcutt Guitars, and AaeCee from the forum here that was with us that night:

    [​IMG]

    (Picture taken by Paul Miles, who is a great guy to hang out with!)

    In seeking to recreate the magic I experienced that night at Paul's Studio, I bought all the boutique PRS Amps (I already had owned the Original Sewell and 2 Channel C and H, but I proceeded to buy the HXDA 50, the Blistertone and the MDT over the next year or so). But I couldn't come close to recreating it. None of those amps sounded nearly as magical as that night at Paul's studio, because I couldn't dial them into the sweet spot of tone without pissing of the wife, the kids, the neighbors and the local Police. :)

    From there I sold all of those in frustration and spent the next few years working to try to come up with a better solution. I tried just about everything, Amps with great Master Volumes that sounded good at lower levels, Lunchbox Amps, the Kemper, etc. They were all decent, but didn't at all fully fulfill the need, the quest. There was still an itch that wasn't scratched, a frustration that wasn't resolved.

    (Also there was another moment that contributed to the unfilled Tone Quest - in 2009 Kingsley D, John Mann and BostonGuitar descended upon my basement in MA with about a quarter of a million dollars worth of gear (I $hit you not!) for a previous epic tonefest. One of the highlights from that day was playing Kingsley's vintage Marshall Plexi head through BostonGuitar's tattered vintage Marshall 4x12. It was BRUTALLY loud, but the tone was unreal. So I experienced that first, and then three years later had the experience at Paul's studio.

    Now, I feel fulfilled. The yearning is gone. I have it at my fingertips, anytime I want it. It makes me teary-eyed just typing that.

    It is so easy now, it blows my mind. When my wife is out of the house, I play it at that 90'ish dB level that Mike measured that sounds incredible and moves some air, but doesn't piss of the neighbors (not that I know of anyway). When she is home, I play it into a pair of high-quality over the ear open back headphones with the cab, speakers and mics simulated, and I can add reverb and/or delay into the headphones too. I usually just do a subtle reverb. It sounds amazing through the headphones, enough so that when she is home during the day or at night, I don't at all mind doing that.

    It has reduced a lot of conflict between my wife and I with regards to my guitar playing. I told her about the Ox Box and explained it to her, and she said this new approach was awesome, keep doing that. She wanted to call the inventor of the Ox Box up to thank them, LOL! ;)

    It sounded so amazing in the larger room yesterday, that as I took down the wall of Amps, I set up the HXDA, the Ox Box and Open Back 2x12 in the larger room. Yep, still sounds GLORIOUS!!

    [​IMG]

    I now have fulfilled the quest for the greatest sounding guitars ever, and for the best amp tone ever. What do I do now? :)
     
  4. MA Pete

    MA Pete 594 Addict

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    Actually, I know what I need to do now - swap out those tuner knobs and fix that picture in that regard!! :)
     
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  5. FJ4

    FJ4 New Member

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    Thanks Pete! i really appreciate you taking the time to share your findings. Rock ‘On!!
     
    #25 FJ4, Feb 16, 2020
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2020
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  6. MA Pete

    MA Pete 594 Addict

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    FIXED! (With regards to the Ivory Tuner Knobs.) Whew, I feel better now.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Holy cow, this guitar is gorgeous!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    It was fun to share the "Mystery Guitar" NGD unboxing of this guitar with the 594Fest crew yesterday! ;)
     
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  7. sergiodeblanc

    sergiodeblanc Zombie Eight, DFZ

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    Sorry I missed you guys, looks like y’all had a great time! Congrats on the new 594 too, Pete!
     
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  8. bodia

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

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    Speaking from personal experience, I would say yes.
     
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  9. bodia

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

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    Ivory buttons are a MUST!
     
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  10. MA Pete

    MA Pete 594 Addict

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    Okay, circling back now to comment on some the replies above.

    And more reports coming! (It was a big day, lots to process and share...)

    No worries! We will get together again soon. I *NEED* to check out that 509! ;)


    Another time - I look forward to finally getting together. I owe you BIG TIME for giving me the itch on giving the HXDA another time, and for the itch on the DG 30!


    Yes, a game changer! Thanks Rick!

    I have enjoyed your posts on my threads since returning from hiatus - I appreciate your comments.


    Yes, that is a KILLER instrument. The feel and tone of that is off the charts. Looks good coming AND going! :)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Unbelievable flame on that Mahogany neck as well!


    Well, Mike and I like the DGTs, but the other two in room weren't as big of fans of the DGT pickups and sound. :) To clarify, I am a fan of the tones, I have owned multiple DGTs and have gigged them a few times and have liked the tone in the mix, but I don't love the feel/playability of them relative to the Ted's/DC245s or the DC 594s over the years.

    I don't mind the shape of the neck itself, what I don't as much bond with is the Narrower Nut width of the Carve, and the resulting narrower string spacing. It throws me off. As do the railroad track frets. ;) But I love the pickups and tones as a refreshing alternative to the 5815 LTs. I am going to hang on to it at least for a while and give it some more time. I could level off the frets to match the 594 frets, which would solve one of my two issues, I am thinking about that.

    On the contrary, my other 25" experiment, the 2020 McCarty, is working out GREAT! I dig the feel and tone of that one! The "regular" 5815s in that one are awesome (not the LT version, just the 2015 5815s), the scale length doesn't seem to throw me off this time around, the WF/Pattern Carve is awesome, and the frets are the same as the 594 Frets. And the look, feel and tone of the Adjustable Stoptail is terrific! I am totally loving that one.

    Per the 5909 question - yes, per yankeebulldog's reply, they respond better than 5708s, 5815s, 5815 LTs to higher gain IMO, including pinch harmonics. I prefer the 5708s, 5815s, 5815 LTs for their higher dynamics at lower gain - still gainy tones, but lower than the sweet spot for where the 5909 shines.
     
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  11. RickP

    RickP Established 1960, Still Not Dead

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    Best posts of the day award winner :)
     
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  12. MA Pete

    MA Pete 594 Addict

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    Whoops, wrong pic above on the second attempt, here is the "going" picture.

    [​IMG]

    (I don't seem to be able to edit and save threads, does everyone else have the same issue? I get an error message upon trying to save...)
     
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  13. MA Pete

    MA Pete 594 Addict

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    No worries! There will be a "next time".

    Thanks re the congrats! I am swimming in some killer 2020s at this point! One more would be too many. :)
     
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  14. bodia

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

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  15. MA Pete

    MA Pete 594 Addict

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    Already saw that, almost bought, and then came to my senses and didn't.

    I already have an HXDA 30 both at home and in my 2nd place in CA. The Dragon is cool and all, but I view the HXDA as superior to the 25th. The 25th has the ratcheting attenuator, which I don't need, but is missing the HX/DA switches, which I like playing around with. :)

    By the way, that brings up a good point to add yesterday about the HXDA - it slayed the room full of great amps, and we never touched the knobs or switches on the amp! A great tone was dialed in, and we never touched it. All of the diverse tones were accomplished with guitar volume and tone knobs, changing pickups selected, and hitting the front of the amp with an EP Booster set at 9-10 o'clock when a little extra sparkle was desired, and a Mini-Tumnus with the gain at 9 O'Clock when higher gain was needed. (BrianC might have played with the amount of gain on the EP Booster and/or Tumnus, I can't remember, but it wouldn't have been by much, looking at the settings now. But we never felt the need to mess with the amp!)

    That is saying a lot, we got a ton of diverse tones that way!
     
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  16. Mozzi

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

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    I really want a Hollowbody 594 and trying to justify buying the 2020 spec one - even though I have a Solid body 594 and a Hollowbody ii (both with 58/15 LT Pups). That Hollowbody 594 is stunning and only making me want to buy one even more. Coming here is not good for my Wallet and seriously testing my self control...
     
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  17. clmazza

    clmazza Bullet the Blue Sky

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    Dibs!
     
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  18. WEDGE

    WEDGE Zombie five, DFZ

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    When you mentioned the oxbox and how cool it is to crank an amp and keep the tone, the Blistertone is the first PRS amp I thought of for using with it. Never got to hear mine in all its full glory.
     
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  19. MA Pete

    MA Pete 594 Addict

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    Threads authored by me are usually GAS-inducing, apologies! :)


    Noted!


    Yep! I felt the same way about mine. Here is I believe what inspired me to buy one at the time:



    The Blistertone starts just after 14:00. At full tilt, killer!

    A bit modern for what I seek today, but for a more modern, tighter sound - WOW!! An Ox Box would certainly very likely enable that at mere mortal volumes.

    My good buddy JD at Guitar Maverick has a NOS one at a killer price. Please someone buy it before I somehow decide I need it!! ;)
     
  20. Alnus Rubra

    Alnus Rubra Loving nature’s wonders

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    Great share Pete!

    Quote of the video:

    “Hear the reverb! Reeeaaahhh!!”


    There’s something about that McCarty Burst that just makes me want to play that guitar!

    Great to see you guys had a fantastic day!
    Thanks for including us:D
     
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