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Thread: Considering second PRS purchase, CE24 to add, already have McCarty -- too similar?

  1. #1
    Junior Member ken2esq's Avatar
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    Mar 2014
    Los Angeles

    Considering second PRS purchase, CE24 to add, already have McCarty -- too similar?

    I'm suffering bad case of GAS, perhaps, has me finding justifications for another purchase.

    I got a 2002 PRS McCarty a couple months ago, love the overall fit, finish and tones compared to the $200 Epiphones I've had in the past. I just really enjoy playing it.

    That said, I've read some mixed opinions about the McCarty pick ups and model compared to other PRS models, and was curious about trying another model. I don't really like hanging out in guitar shops trying guitars because I feel like I don't get a good comparison unless I'm playing at home with my same gear, and it can take me weeks or longer to really play around with a guitar's potential. So I like the idea of buying used guitars at a reasonable price and figure I can resell them without taking too much of a hit if they do not work out for me. To that end, I regularly browse different websites where guitars are sold to see if something jumps out at me.

    Well, what has now jumped out at me is a 1992 PRS CE24, alder body, wide/thin neck, HFS/VB pickups. I'm curious about playing a pre-factory PRS and comparing wide/thin neck to the wide/fat (which is what I believe is on my McCarty), and generally comparing the tonal options.

    Would this be much different than the McCarty, or would these be very similar? Any thoughts what would be a reasonable price to offer for a 1992 PRS CE24 in decent shape (as far as condition, I think it's all original, some minor cosmetic blemishes, no birds, I don't see it as eye-candy the way my McCarty is, it's more of a guitar I'd buy for the functional aspects, not to hang on the wall or whatever).

    2002 PRS McCarty 10 Top
    1979 Yamaha G255 Classical

  2. #2
    Senior Member sergiodeblanc's Avatar
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    Apr 2012
    Downers Grove Il.
    I think they're totally different guitars, no clue if you'll like W/T or the HFS/VB and rotary though....

  3. #3
    Junior Member mjreardon's Avatar
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    Apr 2014
    I think they will be pretty different...bolt-on neck, thinner neck and body, tremolo, and different placement of neck pickup on the CE vs. the McCarty. All those factors will have an influence on the tone. I mean, it will be similar in the way that most PRS with 2 HBs are similar to one another as opposed to something like a DC3, which would be REALLY different from your McCarty.

    I have a owned a Custom 22 and a CE22 in the past. Both were equipped with D-IIs, but they sounded very noticeably different from one another, the Custom being smoother while the CE had more "attack" for lack of a better word. I would think that the difference between a McCarty and a CE24 would be even more noticeable.
    Current PRS: 2012 P22
    Former PRSi: '98 Custom 22, '02 CE22
    Other guitars I own/use: Gibson ES335, Fender AVRI 69 Tele, G&L Legacy

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by ken2esq View Post
    I'm curious about playing a pre-factory PRS and comparing wide/thin neck to the wide/fat (which is what I believe is on my McCarty), and generally comparing the tonal options.
    There is no such thing as a post-1984 pre-factory PRS.

    PRS' first factory opened in 1985.

    So disabuse yourself of that somewhat romantic but utterly false notion. You have an '85 or newer PRS? Made in a factory. And there's nothing wrong with that. PS -they get better every year.
    Last edited by LSchefman; 04-14-2014 at 04:46 PM.
    I saw ten thousand talkers whose tongues were all broken...


  5. #5
    Happy Egads's Avatar
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    Oct 2012
    Boulder, CO
    My first was a '92 CE24. It covers a lot of ground and will definitely have a different feel and tone that your McCarty.

    In the right guitar, I personally think the McCarty neck pup is a thing of beauty. In fact, I'd buy that CE and swap the neck pup with your McCarty. Yeah, I know. Blasphemy!

  6. #6
    Sparty On hoofarted's Avatar
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    Nov 2012
    East Lansing, MI
    Yes, they're very different. And that's a good thing. Different vibes and tones, you could cover a LOT of ground with those two instruments. Personally, I could be very happy with just those two in the stable.
    '12 SCTME -- '10 Navarro -- '10 Mira -- '07 STD22 --'11 305 -- '?? 305 (Still on the way...?? :-/....)

  7. #7
    The Kid
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    I agree with some of the answers above. The McCarty and CE24 are different from each other in many ways such as sound, feel, looks, etc... I have played many PRS's and found that I favor some models more than others. Currently I have a 2004 Standard 24, 2000 CE24, 1996 Custom 24, and a1993 CE24, all with wide/thin necks. They are all fantastic guitars and sound/feel differently from one another. In all honestly and IMHO, I prefer both the CE24's over the Standard and Custom I have. The CE24's just suites my tastes better in sound and feel. This is strictly my own opinion on this issue as PRS makes fantastic guitars. CE's are tough to find so if you get a chance to score one at a good price, you should jump on it, good luck...

  8. #8
    Senior Member gush's Avatar
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    Nov 2012
    washington iowa
    Those two guitars are very different from each other. I dont care for the HFS pickup myself but a lot of people do so thats a chance you will have to take. The bolt on maple neck of the CE will make it sound much different than your mccarty for sure. After you buy the CE you will start thinking about your next PRS. That i can promise.

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