I Finally got my old Les Paul… Oh My! It’s a PRS!!!

Once again G.A.S. has gotten the better of me, and thanks to the “facilitator” extraordinaire: Brandon at Willcutt’s Guitars, it came in the form of a McCarty Burst DGT model… behold:

Brand Spankin’ new DGT in McCarty Burst

I’m a traditionalist by nature, but these dang DGTs have sort of “chosen me”, if you know what I mean. They are 90% of what I play in my 3 piece band, and for good reason. We cover everything from Stray Cats to Elvis to AC/DC to David Wilcox to ZZ Top to Stones to Black Crowes to country… and the versatility of the DGT with extraordinary tone can’t be denied. The 3/4 coil taps are super useful and, again, toneful! I use the whammy bar in some form or another on just about every song, and the DGT Trem just stays perfectly in tune… even after some sporadic dive bombing. Heck, I don’t even bother to lube the nut slots! So anyway, I have a couple of all “hog” DGT Standards that I use, but my hankering for the “‘Burst” of the DGT world led me to this spectacular McCarty Burst 10 top DGT.

Bee-you-tee-full and Toneful 1 pc mahogany back!

Notice the beautiful mahogany grain… PRS seems to get incredible, and incredibly resonant, wood! I saw a youtube clip of them randomly pulling neck blanks at the PRS factory – when they tapped them, the mahogany neck blanks rang like friggin’ marimbas!!! A pure musical note rang out! Now let me pull you aside here and say… “I am NOT a PRS guy!” by nature. Plus, I don’t work for the company or have a dealership! I’m not into “lawyer guitars” (apologies to any lawyers who may be reading this blog entry!:-) … as I said before, the DGT has sort of chosen me. I think that happens when you invest a lot of psychic energy in something… like being a student of the guitar, for example. I am playing and practicing a lot right now, and these guitars have come to the fore. I remember hearing the story about Stevie Ray that, when he saw the Strat that would become his #1, in a shop… he KNEW – without even touching it. Now, I do not put myself in the same company as Stevie (try working “Scuttle Buttin'” up to speed – I’m currently trying, me and my ol’ metronome – if you want to see where his technique was at!), but “as above, so below”.  But I digress… So maybe I’ve found my “‘Burst” with a PRS headstock?! I should also mention that I did buy one of the rare, maple necked DGTs (for sale on my site as of this writing), but even though it sounded great and played great, it was a little too “blingy” for me… JR calls it the Blingster!

The Blingster

Now before you start recommending an “intervention” for me, let me say that I still love Gibsons and Fenders… and Gretsches, for sure… and then there’s that old Eastpointe Reverend that I just got – and am re-visiting after inexplicably selling the last one I had (a great slide and jangly “Stones” geetar)… and obviously Gustavsson guitars… as well as those high end boo teek guitars like Suhr and Anderson and Grosh and Baker and McNaught and Underwood… and is there anything better than a good Telecaster??? A GOOD GUITAR IS A GOOD GUITAR! It just needs you to play it… here are a few from my past…

2005 The Herd Turning the Clock Back

The Herd from 2009

Notice the “un-tarted up” Gretsch Billy Bo in the second row… fated to become the “Blue Hugh Music” guitar after a makeover by Dave Connery of Connery’s Custom Paint!


6 thoughts on “I Finally got my old Les Paul… Oh My! It’s a PRS!!!

  1. Well Hugh, as much as I respect your considerable knowledge in guitar s and tone….I would probably eat my hat if you could show me a PRS that comes close to a real LP (defining real as a 58 or 59). I have played several of the ‘real’ LP’s and I know a few of the people at PRS…respect what they do, and have tried out probably well over 100 of their guitars. They make a great instrument, hands down, but neither they nor Gibson make anything that compares to the real LP’s….they aren’t even in the same ballpark….that’s my opinion. Of course that is not to say that PRS and Gibson don’t make great guitars….they do.

    • Hi Jim
      Well, I have played a half dozen old (’58-’60) Les Pauls, including the famed “Bloomfield” and I continue to play Les Pauls – both old and new. Yes, many of the old ones are magical, but I’ve A/B-ed old and new… and I do think some of the new ones have ‘the magic’. I think a lot of it is the old growth wood used in the 50s… plus more pure materials used to make the pickups. I do own a couple of Pre-’58 LPs now. But the DGT is a different beast… the LP doesn’t have a trem… so there’s no competition if you need a trem… and the DGT Trem is superb! The pickups in the DGT were designed to be like David Grissom’s 1959 335. They sound exactly like my ’61 335 except they go to “11” or maybe 12. The splits are 3/4 taps so they sound great… a LP can’t offer that. PRS uses very, very good wood – much of it is aged for years. So I honour the “Burst” LP for it’s magnificence, but to me the PRS DGT is a “rainbow” that paints many colours extraordinarily well. It’s really an “apples to peaches” comparison. If you like old Bursts, you might like Gustavssons… burst owners like them. I’ve owned many and currently have one with 1959 PAFs in it. Nice to hear from you! I’m not trying to be argumentative – just furthering the discussion. Hugh

  2. I know, this is a little late…

    What did you think of the Johnny A? It appears you no longer own it. I have a DGT (flamed maple neck, Brazilian Rosewood fretboard, 10 top) that I love but I think Music Store Live’s version of Paul’s Guitar might edge out the DGT.

    Funny thing, I have a LP Studio Lite where I replaced the hardware and pickups, it gives the DGT a serious run. In fact, someone else I know who has a serious Gibson/PRS collection has noted that the LP Studio Lite really kicks some serious ash…

    Thanks for the posting.


  3. Hugh, great blog. It’s been a while since ’twas posted, but I wanted to throw in my $.02, seeing that this is a post about my favourite guitar!

    I’m a big fan of the DGTs, they’re simply one of the best production line marriages of tradition and modern convenience on the market today. The vibrato unit coupled with their nut material choice and the locking tuners makes for one hell of a stable guitar that I can use night after night without reservation. The stock DGT pickups are absolutely divine and I can see why David and Ed Reynolds took as long as they did to develop them; they have enough output to use in a gainier setting, but they retain enough of the dynamic sensitivity and that beautiful open “PAF” like quality to be a great “go-to” guitar for any project or job I might have at any given time. I own and use two, among other PRS guitars, and I love the functionality of the parts, the appreciation for vintage heritage, and the modern appointments that the PRS offers over Gibson or Fender. Now, don’t get me wrong; I own and use guitars from the Big G and Big F, and love them; it just seems to come back to PRS for me given my musical projects and how I’ve forged my stylistic path as of late. My main one is a stock 2012 Goldtop w/V12 (wouldn’t shock me if you’ve owned it before, Hugh!) It just sings, and does everything I’d want it to do. I’ve used it in musical settings from hard rock, to pure R&B/gospel, to straight up Latin music and it holds it own every time. I also have a lovely ’08 (nitro finish) model that I put a set of early 57/08s into and that guitar has a really nice voice to it too, slightly fuller and more true to the less hot “PAF” vibe than the DGT pickups which seem to have a bit more of that overwound zinginess and brightness.

    Lately, I’ve been digging on a 408 I just picked up, but that’s another story altogether.

    Cheers, Hugh.


    • Hey Will, Nice comment… I kept one DGT… it’s a Seafoam Green all mahogany Standard, and unlike most PRS guitars we see out there, it’s a bit beaten up! But it’s a great guitar. Jut over 7lbs and sounds and plays exceptionally. Cheers, Hugh H.

      • Hugh,

        Awesome, man. They really are great guitars. Judging by your latest blogs, you’re on a Strat kick these days!

        Be well,


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