Originally designed for the SE Hollowbody, the pickups are designed by PRS and manufactured in Indonesia. Paul Reed Smith underlined the point, adding that it was “a way of getting someone who grew up in that world to be very, very happy”. As with all the S2 (and SE) guitars, the ‘S’ pickups are PRS-designed and made offshore. Receive news and offers from our other brands? The warm, familiar tone of the S2 McCarty 594 Singlecut is further supported by its construction specifications and design. In full humbucking mode, the 594 sounds a little softer, there’s a soupçon more clarity to the Core McCarty, but we wouldn’t kick either out of bed. The wiring is modern-style. Our third design here, the Thinine, is clearly aimed at SG territory. They were in use before Paul Reed Smith started his first factory in 1985 and first appeared on a guitar he built in 1976 for Peter Frampton. It’s pretty similar on the neck pickup in both modes: the split sounds a little mellower on the 594 and quite beautiful; the Core McCarty has a little more treble push. Although locking tuners are synonymous with PRS guitars (both vibrato and hardtail), all these S2 594 models go for vintage-style non-locking tuners. Don't underestimate the 58/15 ‘S’ humbuckers just because they're not US-made. The PRS S2 Singlecut is definitely an under-the-radar gem. PRS fans will also know of its shortest scale of 24.5 inches (622mm), currently used on the Santana Core and SE models and the SE 245s. As we discuss with Paul Reed Smith and Jack Higginbotham earlier in our anniversary feature, the S2-level guitars – still made in the same USA factory in Stevensville, Maryland, as the Core level – are all about production efficiency, which equals lower cost, primarily in materials, parts and all-important labour time. But there's more oomph here than the Mira, and there's more to the Thinline than just being a riff on the SG. Introduced back in 2016 in PRS’s Core range, the £3.5k-plus guitars remain out of reach for many of us.. They’re slightly different from the tuners on the Core 2020 McCarty, which have shorter string posts. Here we see PRS eschew the more commonly sighted vibrato or PRS Stoptail design for a typically inventive twist on the Gibson tune-o-matic setup, with a separate bridge and open-slotted tailpiece holding the fort here. Yes, it can do grunt and seems marginally thicker in the lower mids with a subtly different vocal character to the mids than the double-cut, but there’s something in the whole package that has more complexity and subtlety. The one-piece wrapover bridge, with its preset intonation ridge, dates back to the first Dragon guitar PRS produced in 1991. The Singlecut offers a lot of that hefty LP vibe but with the coil-split you will find some off-the-map tones. There's so much to experiment with here before you start tweaking your amp or look to the pedalboard for inspiration. The tailpiece is cast aluminium, but the studs and stud wells are machined – raw brass/raw steel respectively.”. That additional depth increases the ratio of mahogany to maple, too – the maple top is the same thickness on both models at just over 13mm. Having reviewed the SE Hollowbodies for which these 58/15 ‘S’ pickups were originally conceived, they are fast becoming one of this writer’s favourites. Some might find those flat chamferededge maple tops a little, erm, cut-price-looking and we can’t help thinking that some solid colours (with a plainer maple underneath) would broaden the appeal. While it shares a similar chamfering to the other S2 models, with no recesses for … © If your ideal guitar is a 1950s and '60s Les Paul but you can't afford a vintage one and, anyway, want something that has more modern playability and intonation, PRS's McCarty series could be the very thing. These S2 models all share a nitro-over-celluse (CAB) finish that PRS has rolled out across its US-line (only the DGT and Private Stock models will be finished with regular nitro). The double-cut and Singlecut are very good, but this Thinline really kicks – vibrant, alive and an effortless player. There's a P-90 quality to them that makes them ideal for old rock 'n' roll and blues. How do they fare in the flesh? The S2 McCarty 594 Singlecut edges closer towards a retro look than what you might already be familiar with from PRS, but this gorgeous guitar still incorporates their incredible construction techniques and push/pull coil split for access to both humbucker and single coil tones. It’s a guitar with a lineage from the PRS Mira, but this Thinline has the proverbial rocket up its backside. It translates well when the humbuckers are engaged – it's a warm, organic and supple tone, but with plenty of definition. NAMM 2020: While we saw a wave of new introductions to PRS’ 2020 lineup, the brand also has brought the McCarty 594 guitars to the affordable S2 range for the first time. We would like more finish and inlay options. But let’s backtrack a little… The guitars are named after their scale lengths of 24.594 inches (625mm), the slightly-shorter-than-24.75-inch (629mm) scale actually used by Gibson in its golden days. The slightly lower fretwire gauge perhaps adds to that more classic illusion. Like the SG, the three-way toggle switch is billeted close by its quartet of controls (two volume, two tone with coil-splits). • PRS McCarty 594 Visit our corporate site. As we said earlier, don't underestimate the 58/15 ‘S’ humbuckers just because they're not US-made. No vibrato, no locking tuners. A play for the SG market? The tailpiece is cast aluminium. Here, it reverts to classic Gibson-style protocol albeit with proprietary ‘lampshade’ knobs. The S2 594, meanwhile, parks itself on the Core McCarty's lawn. The double-cut 594 sits between the two in terms of weight and, to a certain extent, style. But at the start of this year, this trio of S2 models slashed the prices by pretty much 50 per cent.