In the late '80s, guitar builder Paul Reed Smith called on Ted McCarty—the former Gibson president responsible for some of the finest electric guitars built in Kalamazoo—to consult on guitar design and production techniques. Over the years, PRS's designs have relied heavily on McCarty's ideas and influence. In recognition of Ted's mentorship, PRS has released a number guitars bearing the McCarty name, including some limited edition signature instruments with the "Ted McCarty" badge on the peghead.
This 2009 Paul Reed Smith Ted McCarty SC245 is a rare limited production guitar that combines interesting features to blend old-school, vintage vibe with modern design and precision. To set it apart visually from your average PRS, it sports the iconic Santana headstock shape adorned with a gorgeous Flame Maple veneer. The stunning Flame Maple "10-Top" on this one is a nice match, and of course only the McCarty Sunburst finish would do!
Equipped with a short 24-1/2" scale, this SC245 has a smooth, fast feel that encourages vibrato and big bends up the neck. Setup with the precision of a modern PRS, there are still plenty of touches that help establish a vintage vibe. Its "Wide Fat" neck carve, for example, is reminiscent of iconic '50s examples, and a bound rosewood fingerboard, amber knobs, Kluson tuners with Keystone buttons provide that vintage look. Nevertheless, PRS' precise workmanship, delicate contoured body, recessed neck joint, and wraparound bridge make it clear that—despite the vintage influence and nuance—this is still a thoroughly modern guitar.
This limited release of the Ted McCarty SC245 has Soapbar pickups instead of humbuckers, which is an appropriate nod to the earliest solid-body, singlecut classics. The PRS Soapbar is a essentially a good P90. Fatter than your average single coil, these pickups produce full, warm tones that have plenty of bite to cut through. Via the traditional volume and tone controls, you're able to access a wide array of vintage-inspired tones. As to be expected from the PRS Singlecut template, it packs nice natural resonance and sustain for days.
This 2009 PRS Ted McCarty SC245 Soapbar 10-Top is in excellent condition with minimal signs of playwear and use, apart from some nicks around the input jack (see photos). It includes its original hardshell case, and it is set up to be a true player. This one smokes!