ted mccarty

Now priced at $15,319, this 2-pickup variant on the 1968 Gibson Johnny Smith Double would have sold for $1,145 in the year of its release.

Photos courtesy of Reverb/Gitarren Total

Jazz musician Johnny Smith set the bar high when it came to the design of his signature model, doing his own research and hopping manufacturers when his expectations were left unmet.

A giant of mid-century jazz guitar, Johnny Smith had a fastidious style. He could strike rapid solos, embellish ballads with languid lines, and craft complex chords. Whatever he played, his intention and articulation were crystal clear. Smith’s music is “incredibly intricate and detailed, every note he played, there was nothing extra there. It’s just the essential thing,”—or so said the modern great Bill Frisell, when Reverb interviewed him and Mary Halvorson in 2018 around their Johnny Smith tribute album, The Maid with the Flaxen Hair. That same devotion to detail is apparent in the many signature guitar models that bear Smith’s name, like the 1968 Gibson Johnny Smith featured in this edition of Vintage Vault.

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One of the most coveted—and classic—PRS models finally arrives in affordable SE form.

Excellent build. Incredible value. Great dynamic range. Cool range of single-coil and humbucker sounds. Fast playability.



PRS SE McCarty 594


The recent PRS SE model releases make up what any guitar company would call an enviable winning streak. The very popular SE Silver Sky model, released in 2018, remains a huge seller, and this year’s SE DGT model is among the most talked-about electric guitars in recent memory. Both are killer axes that reliably deliver incredible bang for the buck. And at their best, they will get you close to a much more expensive premium core model for just under $1,000.

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PRS SE McCarty 594 Demo | First Look

A popular Stevensville classic slims down the price tag while still offering a dynamic, coil-splitting, dual-humbucker doublecut.

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