Of course, very few guitarists play in a Santana Tribute band, or have the need to recreate Carlos Santana’s tone exactly. Even in my case, I have an album worth of Latin-rock original songs where I do NOT play just like Carlos. So I also evaluated this guitar for its potential to go beyond the Santana tone.
Working through some of my own songs, as well as a good bit of improvisation, I was excited about the potential of this guitar. The neck is fast and comfortable, the intonation is as good as that of any guitar I’ve played, and the lead tone is clear and distinct, even with the high-gain amp settings I use.
As far as pickup settings, I like to use the middle position (both pickups on), with the Volume and Tone knobs all the way up. But if you want, you can get a sound with more “bite” via the bridge pickup, or an even rounder tone via the neck pickup.
Plus, the note delineation during fast runs is excellent — an important point for guitar players who (like me), like to combine a high-gain amp sound with speed. All in all, I really couldn’t be more pleased with the new SE Santana model.
To the folks at PRS: Bravo! You’ve produced a real winner, here.
P.S. If you hadn’t guessed, I’m keeping it! This guitar will now be consistently used on stage and in the studio.
SE Santana Specifications
|Top wood||Maple with Flame Maple Veneer (no veneer on opaque finishes)|
|No. of frets||22|
|Neck shape||Wide Fat|
|Fretboard Inlays||PRS “Old School” Birds|
HARDWARE / ELECTRONICS
|Truss rod cover||“PRS”|
|Bridge pickup||PRS-designed SE 245 Humbucker|
|Neck pickup||PRS-designed SE 245 Humbucker|
|Controls||Volume, Tone, 2-way toggle|
|Transparent||Orange, Santana Yellow|