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Thread: McCarty 1957 / 2008 or Smokeburst?

  1. #1
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    McCarty 1957 / 2008 or Smokeburst?

    I have a HB2 with 57/08s which I am happy with, and a late 90s McCarty which I have put 53/10s in.
    After getting the HB2 the McCarty pickups seemed dull so I was going to put the 53s in the HB and the 57s in the McCarty, but I thought I'd try the 53s in the McCarty first.

    The McCarty sounds great except I am missing the fatness of the McCarty pickups for singing leads and chunkier power chords.
    I have seen some utube clips of a Smokeburst which seems to nail the sound I am after which I presume is mainly due to the non etched 57/08s.

    My options seem to be:

    Buy a set of non etched 57/08s which are hard to get.
    Is there much variation in quality with these?

    or
    Buy a Smokeburst or a 1957 / 2008.
    I like the look of both guitars so I am interested in your opinions as to which would sound/play better between these two and which would be as safer purchase as I am not able to see or play it before buying.

    Thanks for your thoughts.

  2. #2
    408 Sig Club President Twinfan's Avatar
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    If you like your current McCarty, I'd just buy some 57/08s, 59/09s or any other good PAF-style pickups. I find the McCarty pickups quite dull, and any one of a number of PAF style pickups will sort it right out

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Twinfan View Post
    If you like your current McCarty, I'd just buy some 57/08s, 59/09s or any other good PAF-style pickups. I find the McCarty pickups quite dull, and any one of a number of PAF style pickups will sort it right out
    Thanks Twinfan, Having the 57/08s in the HB is great but I need a fatter pickup which still has clarity- not a fan of 59/09s from what I have heard. I know that there are lots of options with PAF style pickups - I have looked at Sheptone which might work.
    I would preferably keep to PRS if possible.

    I do like the 53/10s so having another McCarty is worth considering.

  4. #4
    408 Sig Club President Twinfan's Avatar
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    If you want another guitar, I'd grab a smokeburst if you can find one. Otherwise, snag some 57/08s!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Twinfan View Post
    If you want another guitar, I'd grab a smokeburst if you can find one. Otherwise, snag some 57/08s!
    Thanks again, this makes sense but is there any reason to get a McCarty 1957 / 2008 over a Smokeburst ?

    I know about the gloss / nitro finishes and neck wood difference but do not know how these differences effect playing and sound.
    Also whether the early (1957 / 2008) pickups were better or less consistent the latter non etched in the Smokeburst?

  6. #6
    408 Sig Club President Twinfan's Avatar
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    I wouldn't worry too much about the pickups - they all vary to a certain degree, and you won't know what you don't have

    I'd go for a smokeburst for the nitro finish and flametop. I don't like the quilts and poly finish of the 57/08 Limiteds. If you have a little more cash available, the Shootout McCartys are supposed to be excellent, and I think they have nitro too.

  7. #7
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    I know pickups can be "like a box of chocolates"!
    A Smokeburst would be very nice.... now to see if I can negotiate another guitar

  8. #8
    Senior Member gush's Avatar
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    I wouldnt dismiss the 5909s so quickly. Do yourself a favor and try a guitar with these pickups. It really depends on what youre after. What i like about them is the pronounced low mid when full volume and how they clean up with pot rolled back. It seems to me when the vol pot is rolled back a bit these pickups respond well to different amounts of pick attack. I have a live recording of our band and im surprised how different my cu24 sounds just by manipulating vol/ tone pot and pick attack. The live recording has 4 songs and it doesnt sound like the same guitar was used on all 4 songs.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by gush View Post
    I wouldnt dismiss the 5909s so quickly. Do yourself a favor and try a guitar with these pickups. It really depends on what youre after. What i like about them is the pronounced low mid when full volume and how they clean up with pot rolled back. It seems to me when the vol pot is rolled back a bit these pickups respond well to different amounts of pick attack. I have a live recording of our band and im surprised how different my cu24 sounds just by manipulating vol/ tone pot and pick attack. The live recording has 4 songs and it doesnt sound like the same guitar was used on all 4 songs.
    I'm sure they would suit a lot of people, but I am after a more vintage low output tone. I will check them out if I get a chance though (no local PRS dealer).

  10. #10
    Still a Junior Member Albrecht Smuten's Avatar
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    All citey, foolz!
    Love for all human beings is like listening to any kind of music. You just don't care.
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