They are basically Smith’s 58/15 PAFstyle humbuckers, but with lower turns, intended to give them an especially warm and clear tone.
And the same pickup is used in both positions, which is a major departure from Smith’s previous modus operandi.
Meticulously spec'd with a 24.594" scale length, Pattern Vintage neck carve, 58/15 LT pickups, tweaked Phase III locking tuners with modified collars and set screws, and a two-piece zinc bridge, the Mc Carty Singlecut 594 gives musicians the keys to the esteemed tones of vintage guitars in an instrument that won't fail them.
The PRS Mc Carty model features a slightly thicker back for enhanced tone and sustain and the new 58/15 treble and bass pickups, which were personally designed by Paul Reed Smith.
58/15’s are a vintage style pickup with exceptional clarity and focused midrange.
The guitar also has separate Volume and Tone controls for each pickup, aligned so that they can be turned up or down two at a time—and the Tone controls also function as push/pull coil-tap switches.
The 594 also sports the latest version of Smith’s Phase III tuners, which have an added set screw that pulls the tuner’s worm and gear together to increase the direct flow of string energy to the guitar for increased tone and sustain.
Beyond that, the 594 has a range of tones that are all its own, thanks in large part to having two sets of Volume and Tone controls in addition to coiltap switches.
For example, with both pickups engaged, you can roll back the Tone control on just the neck pickup and adjust the two Volumes to get quite a few nice variations on the classic “woman tone.” Then, pulling up the switches on one or both of the Tone controls gives you even more tonal territory to take advantage of.
Although it is a double-cut instrument, the 594 embodies so much of the design philosophy of a 1959 Les Paul Standard that it might easily be seen as a modern-day take on that classic, but with new twists that would likely make Ted Mc Carty smile.
Of course, there’s still a lot of obvious PRS vibe in the guitar, from the sculpted body to the gorgeous 10-Top flame finish and bird inlays to ultra-consistent workmanship that practically eliminates variations from one instrument to another.
Originally introduced in 1994, the instrument was a tribute to the legendary Ted Mc Carty, who presided over the Gibson Guitar Corporation between 19, and was responsible for numerous core innovations that continue to shape electric guitar design to this day.
Mc Carty mentored Paul Smith, and the two also became close friends.
As of 2013 they have begun making more affordable guitars in the US with their 'S2' line.