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Paul Reed Smith McCarty 594

by Daniel Odle July 09, 2019 4 min read

The Paul Reed Smith McCarty 594 is the pinnacle of Paul Reed Smith Guitar design and building. This guitar represents the wealth of knowledge and skills Paul has acquired over the years, especially from the mentoring provided by the legendary Ted McCarty, show in every aspect of this phenomenal guitar. Ted McCarty oversaw Gibson Guitars from 1950 to 1966,  as most of you know, these were the years that produced the holy grail of Gibson guitars that make up the pantheon of rock guitar gods and legends, with 1959 Les Paul being one of the most revered and collectible solid body electrics on the planet.  

This guitar is named after the genius Ted McCarty and pays homage to great guitars from the past while moving this electric guitar into the conversation for being a modern classic.  Here is some kind words from a guy that knows a little about tone:

"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

The idea behind this guitar, like many of Paul Reed Smith designs, is to draw inspiration from the greatness of vintage instruments but to enhance every aspect of it so that the guitar is easy to play, stays in tune, tonally versatile and sounds awesome.  PRS wants the guitar to feel like a broken in classic and that it was custom made just for you yet has all the refined features of a new guitar. Below are some of the specs that contribute to the magical qualities of the Paul Reed Smith McCarty 594.

  1. It has a 24.594” scale length, just slightly longer than 24.5” and where the model gets its name. This is shorter than the standard 25” scale the PRS uses on most of its guitars and was inspired by a special guitar from 1959.
  2. The sweet 58/15 LT pickups. LT, meaning low turns, which give the guitar a warm, clear tone. These pickups can handle any style that you throw at them and Paul loves them so much that there is not a differentiation on the neck and bridge position, the same pick up is used for both.
  3. The McCarty has a familiar control layout with 2 volume and 2 tone controls positioned so players can roll off both volume knobs at the same time. PRS added the versatility of push/pull coil taps for each pickup for more tonal options, so you have access to stellar single coil tones.
  4. The 594 has a Pattern Vintage neck carve with 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, so super comfortable.
  5. This is another mind blowing PRS design improvement, the Tweaked Phase III tuners have an added set screw that pulls the tuner’s gear and worm together (while “locking” over the worm to prevent slipping) to promote tone transfer from the string directly into the guitar with as little energy as possible being detracted. (The tuner functions identically to standard Phase III tuners for re-stringing. Set screws must NOT be adjusted outside of the PRS factory. Making any adjustments to this feature may cause the tuner to stop functioning properly.)

Paul Reed Smith McCarty 594 tuners

There are other important details that are crucial parts of the tone, such as the slightly deeper body with a thicker maple cap, real bone nut, 2 piece PRS Cast zinc bridge that add to the amazing sustain and clarity the PRS McCarty. Watch some of the demo videos and you will hear how this guitar is a chameleon, it can handle any style and sound magical doing it. This might be the only guitar you ever need! Wait, that can’t be right!  Guitar players can never have enough guitars, amps, or effects.  Please don’t forget that there is another great McCarty 594 if you are looking for a more traditional guitar,  that guitar is the PRS McCarty Singlecut 594, which bares more similarity with the guitar that inspired it.

                                                           Paul Reed Smith McCarty 594 Singlecut


Heartbreaker Guitars is an Authorized Paul Reed Smith Dealer and we have some awesome Paul Reed Smith McCarty 594’s being built for us, all upgraded with 10 tops. We cannot wait until we get these killer tone machines in the shop, so please keep checking the Heartbreaker Guitars website!

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