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In the 1980s, Paul Reed Smith’s obsession with golden-era vintage guitars led him to the U.S. Patent Office, where he combed the records for clues about what made those old guitars so inspiring. One name kept popping up over and over on these old patents: Ted McCarty. Paul did a bit more digging and found that Ted McCarty was Gibson’s president from 1950 to 1966. During that time, he used his considerable engineering experience to help develop dozens of innovative designs that shaped the electric guitar into what it is today. Over the course of the McCarty era, Gibson went from selling 5,000 instruments a year to 100,000 a year.
Ted clearly knew a thing or two about building guitars and about running a guitar company. So, Paul decided to reach out to Ted and ask for an interview so he could pick his brain a little. Ted obliged him, and that interview blossomed into a decades-long friendship. They became such good buddies that Paul decided to honor Ted by designing a guitar using all of the tips and techniques he’d gleaned from their conversations. Naturally, he named the guitar after his friend. The PRS McCarty had arrived.
Ever since its birth in 1994, the McCarty model has inspired countless players with its blend of vintage tone and modern playability. It’s also a fitting tribute to Ted McCarty and his friendship with Paul Reed Smith. Throughout the years, Paul’s tireless drive to innovate has produced several delectable additions to the McCarty line: the McCarty 594, the McCarty SC-594, and the McCarty 594 Hollowbody II. After all, you can’t rest on your laurels when you’ve named a guitar after one of the greatest six-string innovators ever to live! We believe that each model combines the best qualities of old and new in one art museum-worthy package.
Wildwood Guitars is proud to showcase the fruit of Paul and Ted’s excellent adventure: the PRS McCarty. The McCarty’s excellence is a testament to the powers of collaboration and friendship. It’s proof that when two brilliant people who enjoy one another’s company roll up their sleeves and get to work, magnificent things happen. We invite you to try out this fabulous 594 and see how it inspires. Be forewarned: once you take one for a spin, you’ll be hooked for a long, long time.