Gear News: The 2020 PRS McCarty 594s

This conversation was originally posted to my Twitter feed.

A couple of very interesting bits of new gear announced today.

  • PRS are updating the McCarty 594 range to sound bang-on like a vintage burst.
  • And UAD are releasing new Apollo desktop interfaces, including something I’ve always wanted: an Apollo x4.

Tim Pierce has a video up about the McCarty 594 changes:

Chicago Music Exchange has a great comparison too:

And Sweetwater has a good video about the Apollo x4 here:

The 2020 594’s Have A New Sound

I’ve mixed feelings about the updates to the McCarty 594.

As much as I adore the Les Paul, the 594 is simply a better designed instrument. Better intonation, better tuning stability. I would gig a 594 over a Les Paul every single time.

There’s two flavours of the 594: singlecut, and double cut (which is what I have). In my experience, they often sound quite different.

I like the double cut 594 because it doesn’t sound like my Les Paul. Yes, it’s vintage-voiced, with that emphasis on the upper mids. It has its own tone, and it suits me perfectly.

I literally spent a quarter of a century searching for that tone.

The singlecut 594 is different again … the best way I can describe it is to say it’s like a muscle car in guitar form. Big, deep tones. Some distance away from the sound of a Les Paul.

Singlecut 594s with ebony boards can get quite close to the Les Paul. The sharper attack and snappier top-end is just gorgeous. The only reason I don’t own one is that my hand sticks to PRS gloss necks 🙁

I can understand PRS wanting to revoice the singlecut 594 to sound like the holy grail of guitars: the vintage bursts. But I’m glad that I have one of the older doublecuts. And I’m sad that the 594 tone won’t be a thing in future years.

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