The PRS McCarty 594 first showed up as the PRS Private Stock guitar of the month in February 2016. It was an instant hit and PRS were bombarded with emails asking for a core model version that would be a bit more affordable and available all year round rather than just a handful made in a single month. This is that core model McCarty 594 that everyone was asking for and it is just as spectacular as you might have expected.
The original PRS McCarty launched in 1994 as a guitar that took inspiration from the legendary Ted McCarty who built some of the world's most iconic guitars in the 50's and 60's. He served as a mentor for Paul Reed Smith and helped form some of the great guitars we know them today.
Modified McCarty Build
The McCarty is well known for being a bit bigger than a standard PRS with a thicker back and a fatter, more vintage inspired neck profile. This new version of the PRS McCarty 594 is a little bit different with a new Pattern Vintage neck profile that is as wide as the regular Pattern neck but slightly thicker with an asymmetric carve. This means that up at the treble side you have less neck in the way, while on the bass end you get a bit of a chunkier feel.
The big change to the neck comes in the scale length. Previous McCarty models used a 25" or 24.5" scale length. This one is a little bit different at 24.594" which increases string tension ever so slightly over the 24.5" version but still with that 50's single cut kind of response.
Low Turn Pickups
PRS's 58/15 pickups are a great choice for guitarists who want all of that classic PAF tone but with a bit of extra heat to help it cut through more in lead sections. In this guitar you have a pair of the new LT modified versions which have fewer turns meaning a lower output level better suited to clean and mid gain blues and rock styles.
Here's what PRS say about the McCarty 594:
The McCarty 594 is a vintage-inspired instrument that is at once incredibly familiar and effortlessly playable. Whether you are looking for rich, authentic, vintage humbucking tones or nuanced, sweet singlecoil sounds, the McCarty 594 can seamlessly master both sonic territories thanks to the 58/15 LT pickups and push/pull coil taps on the tone controls. The electronics layout, a few key specifications, and PRS craftsmanship combine in the McCarty 594 to create an instrument that plays in tune, is intonated the entire length of the neck, and feels like a guitar that you’ve been playing forever.
A few key specifications that contribute to the McCarty 594’s tone and feel are:
- A 24.594” scale length, just slightly longer than 24.5” and where the model gets its name.
- 58/15 LT pickups. LT, meaning low turns, which give the guitar a warm, clear tone.
- 2 volume and 2 tone controls positioned so players can roll off both volume knobs at the same time.
- The added versatility of push/pull coil taps for each pickup for more tonal options
- A new Pattern Vintage neck carve, which shares the same width measurements as PRS’s Pattern neck but is slightly thicker front to back and features an asymmetrical carve with a little less meat on the treble side and a little more meat on the bass side of the neck.
- Tweaked Phase III tuners that have an added set screw that pulls the tuner’s shaft, gear, and worm together (but take the tuner button out of play) to promote tone transfer from the string directly into the guitar itself with as little energy as possible begin detracted.
"The 594 is the best new guitar I've played in years. It has a vintage heart and soul but without the technical limitations that usually come along with an old instrument. What good is an old guitar if you can't get all that feel out of the upper frets, or the intonation is off? To hear that old PAF sound but be able to articulate the notes in a way that only modern manufacturing could allow is so exciting." – John Mayer
- Top Wood: One Piece Flame Maple
- Back Wood: Mahogany
- Number of Frets: 22
- Scale Length: 24.594"
- Neck Wood: Mahogany
- Fretboard Wood: Rosewood with Binding
- Fretboard Inlays: Birds
- Neck Shape: Pattern Vintage
- Truss Rod Cover: "McCarty 594"
- Bridge: PRS 2-Piece Stoptail
- Tuners: PRS Phase III Locking Tuners
- Hardware Type: Nickel
- Treble Pickup: 58/15 LT Treble
- Bass Pickup: 58/15 LT Bass
- Controls: Two Volume and Two Push/Pull Tone Controls with 3-Way Toggle Pickup Switch on Upper Bout
- Options: 10-Top Flame