NAMM: PRS S2 McCarty 594

Published on 13 January 2020

Paul Reed Smith’s team have unveiled some great new guitars this January! The skilled artisans over in Maryland have been working hard to bring some exciting new additions to the S2 range, and, for the first time ever, have chosen to include the fabled McCarty style to the stable!

Until now, the PRS McCarty was the preserve of the company’s Core and Private Stock lines. This is the first time that PRS have made the classic McCarty style available in the affordable USA S2 line. It’s an exciting prospect! For those who are a little unfamiliar with the PRS S2 family, they are a range of US-made PRS guitars with a more stripped-down aesthetic: pickguards and flatter bodies make the guitars easier, quicker and less expensive to produce, meaning full-fat PRS tone, precision and playability, at a price that is a sizeable chunk less than the company’s Core range instruments.


As we’ve mentioned, there are three McCarty models in the new S2 lineup: the 594, the SC Singlecut and the 594 Thinline. They are all made in PRS’ Maryland premises and offer some seriously classy bang for the buck. Interested? Let us dive in...

PRS S2 McCarty 594

The McCarty 594 is perhaps the closest in spirit to the original McCarty. The initial idea was to give guitarists a more ‘classic’ experience than the usual PRS design. This means a TOM-style bridge and hard tail, four control knobs (two volume, two tone), a three-way selector on the upper horn and a brace of tasteful burst finishes. The original McCarty model was a big hit with players who wanted the best of PRS’s unsurpassed production levels and a style that harked back to classic Rock guitars.

This new S2 McCarty 594 retains all of those ideas and incorporates a significant design element from the ‘Core’ McCarty 594: the scale length. As we know, Fender normally use 25.5”, Gibson use 24.75” and PRS meet them in the middle at 25”. These McCarty models all use a scale length of 24.594” exactly, and boy does it make a difference to the feel!

The pickups, as ever, have been carefully handwound to exacting specs. These are 58/15 ‘S’ humbuckers and have push/pull coil splits. Available colours include Whale Blue and Dark Cherry Sunburst.

S2 McCarty 594 Singlecut

The McCarty Singlecut is similar is spec to the previously looked at model, with a Mahogany body, Maple top and Pattern Vintage neck carve. The vintage binding really makes finishes like the Scarlet Red pop out beautifully! We want one!

The Bird inlays are wonderfully here, adding prestige and identity to what is already a gorgeous instrument. The neck, as with the others here, is bound for extra visual impact.


S2 McCarty 594 Thinline

The main difference between the Thinline here and the other McCarty models is the thinner, full-Mahogany body. No maple top here: this is a stripped-down for action, full-steam-ahead kind of guitar!

Thick tones and sustain are the order of the day, along with a design that will presumably be lighter in weight. Vintage tuners, versatile controls and a range of lovely colours (Antique White gets our vote wholeheartedly!) make this US-made PRS a very tempting proposition indeed!

PRS have swung big with the S2 McCarty 594 range. The guitars seem to offer lots of quality and value to lots of players. Check out the range of PRS S2 McCarty 594 guitars here and keep an eye on the site for more NAMM news!

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Features Editor, Warehouse

I'm a musician and artist originally from the South West coast of Scotland. I studied Visual Arts and Film Studies at...

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