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Thread: 2009 McCarty vs McCarty 58 wiring

  1. #1
    Junior Member cubman's Avatar
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    2009 McCarty vs McCarty 58 wiring

    I just joined the PRS forum as I figured that since I haven't found an answer to this question elsewhere, this would be the place to get it answered..... A brief history; I had a 2001 McCarty with the McCarty pickups for a number of years..... I sold it not too long ago and recently bought a 2009 McCarty with the 57/08 pickups.... So, here's my question: What are the tonal differences and/or intentions of PRS in having the three different wiring schematics (the pre 2007 one, the current one for my 2009 with 57/08's and the one used on the McCarty 58 also with 57/08's) More specifically, what is the difference between my McCarty with it's .022 cap from the center lug of the vol pot and the McCarty 58 with a .033 to the left lug on the vol pot? Also the McCarty 58 has the two resistors, a 1.1k and a 2.2k, on the tone pot...... I do know that my 2009 is a lot brighter/clearer sounding guitar than the 2001..... A lot, obviously, has to do with the pickups...... How much and what effect does the wiring have to do with it? Anyone who can enlighten me on this issue and explain the pro's/con's and the tonal differences of these two distinct wiring schemes would earn a big thanks from me....... Regards, cubman.....
    Last edited by cubman; 06-14-2013 at 06:30 PM. Reason: spelling

  2. #2
    Opaque John Beef's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cubman View Post
    More specifically, what is the difference between my McCarty with it's .022 cap from the center lug of the vol pot and the McCarty 58 with a .033 to the left lug on the vol pot?
    I believe one is 50s wiring and the other is modern wiring, as far as wiring the cap to either the center lug or the left lug. I think the wiring to the left lug is 50s wiring, affecting the tone before the volume pot comes into the electrical mix instead of after, which makes the tone control behave a little bit differently. The values of the caps just mean that the tone pot will roll off a slightly different range of frequencies.

    Quote Originally Posted by cubman View Post
    I do know that my 2009 is a lot brighter/clearer sounding guitar than the 2001..... A lot, obviously, has to do with the pickups...... How much and what effect does the wiring have to do with it?
    A lot has to do with the pickups, 57/08s vs. McCarty. Also, the 180pf across the two lugs on the volume pot helps the guitar retain high frequencies which can other wise also roll off as the volume is turned down.

    Quote Originally Posted by cubman View Post
    Also the McCarty 58 has the two resistors, a 1.1k and a 2.2k, on the tone pot......
    This has to do with the coil splitting on the pickups. With the resistors in place, the second coil isn't totally shut off when you pull out the push/pull tone pot. Most guitars totally shut off one coil, but with the resistors installed, the coil only shuts off partially, reulting in less of a volume drop when switching to single coil mode, less noise, and also a fatter single coil tone.
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  3. #3
    Junior Member cubman's Avatar
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    John Beef, Thanks for the information...... It's kind of what I figured...... I live on an island, near Seattle, and so I'm limited in my ability to try out and compare various guitars..... No PRS dealers here...... So, here's my follow-up question: Since the McCarty I have and the newer McCarty 58 are virtually identical in almost every way except in the wiring schematic, what would be the differences in the tonal qualities between the two? Would one be more bass oriented/less bright as a result of the difference in the cap values? How would the .022uf wired to the center lug (tone after vol pot?) vs the .033uf wired to the left lug (tone before vol pot?) change the sound/tone of the guitar? My McCarty is wired as per the "current" McCarty diagram on the PRS site with the exception of the 180pf resistor or cap which mine has between the center and left lug of the volume pot to retain the high's...... How much do the resistors on the tone pot affect the tone of the single coil sound? Is the volume between the humbucker and single coil mode fairly even? If anyone on the forum has played both of these models I would appreciate any feedback on their tonal qualities and/or differences...... I will be sending my question off to PRS but I thought I'd see if I could get some feedback from folks who have played both, if possible....... Regards.

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