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View Full Version : SE Santana - Does it deliver the tone?



RafRey
12-14-2012, 02:25 PM
I am seriously considering the new SE Santana, it's the closest that the SE line has ever come to Carlos' pro model. The 24.5 scale, birds, and shorter top horn really have me intrigued. I have owned several SE models (including early Santana models), so quality is not a question here.

Does it nail the Santana sound? I know this is also subject to amp settings, string gauge, and other variables, but for the most part, does it do what it looks like it should do?

Sure I could play Santana songs on my other guitars, but I really want to get as close as possible to his tone without breaking the bank, and I think the bones of this guitar should get me there.

Can SE Santana owners or those that have played it offer me some feedback here? (pun intended) Thx!

CoreyT
12-14-2012, 03:05 PM
The 2012 SE Santana was my introduction to PRS this past summer after wanting another guitar after getting my new Gibson 2012 '61 SG Reissue.
Indeed it does have the sound.

First thing I taught myself was the intro lead to Black Magic Woman, and it reminded me of his tone.
This was played on the bridge pickup, and through a Carvin V3M on the dirty channel.

It is a very nice guitar.
However I find the SE Custom 24 I picked up after it even better to play, could be the 25" scale and 24 frets.

http://www.pnw4runners.com/guitar_stuff/38.jpg

themike
12-14-2012, 03:16 PM
Yes becuase unlike most budget instruments, PRS took the time to ensure the major wood components were comparable to the US components meaning instead of just mahogany and a veneer like most imports, they actually use mahogany, a full size maple cap and then a thin veneer on top of that for asthetics. This is really, in my opinion, what makes the SE's sound as good as they do! That and PRS designed pickups and not just run of the mill, generic unmarked pickups.

andy474x
12-14-2012, 03:42 PM
The whole SE line has taken a huge step up in the last couple years... it started with the new Santana's and 245's, then the Bernie and Opeth models, and now the new Custom and Tremonti. Not that they weren't great to start with, but WOW.

Mikegarveyblues
12-14-2012, 04:18 PM
Absolutely!

The SE's have grown to be great instruments in their own right. I actually hate it when people refer to tham as 'student editions' as that - I feel - puts them down. A great guitar for beginners certainly, but you could quite easily take these on the road as a solid working guitarists tool. They're not on the same level as US PRS obviously but they are putting some other manufacturers US guitars to shame.

CoreyT
12-14-2012, 05:21 PM
Here is some info on why some call it a Student Edition.
I have heard Paul in a YouTube video of the Custom 24 SE 2012 one refer to it as a Student Edition, but there is more info at this link.
http://guitarinternational.com/2011/09/28/paul-reed-smith-interview-bloody-guitars-and-baseball-analogies/

Brady: SE stands for Student Edition, and I have…

Paul Reed Smith: Actually, I’m not sure that’s true. Where’d you find that out?

Brady: I read it somewhere, I don’t remember.

Paul Reed Smith: You’re a journalist; do you believe everything you read?

Brady: No, but when it’s all I can go on…

Mikegarveyblues
12-14-2012, 06:07 PM
Here is some info on why some call it a Student Edition.
I have heard Paul in a YouTube video of the Custom 24 SE 2012 one refer to it as a Student Edition, but there is more info at this link.
http://guitarinternational.com/2011/09/28/paul-reed-smith-interview-bloody-guitars-and-baseball-analogies/

Yeah, I think thats it. It seems people have heard it called student edition so they go with it. I think even Wikipedia mentioned it. Some things just stick. Not a biggie I suppose. I don't think of it as being the initials for something. It's just 'SE' to me.

RafRey
12-14-2012, 06:29 PM
If I recall, back in 2001 it was Carlos himself that referred to the guitar as Student Edition. I'll have to look and see if I still have that issue of Guitar World.

At any rate, the guitars they are building now are worlds apart from that first series. They should just get rid of the SE monicker and add "USA" to the PRS Maryland line as Hamer and Fender do. I bet they would sell more units without that big honkin' SE stamped on the headstock.

Thanks for the feedback regarding tone on the Santana guitar.

sergiodeblanc
12-14-2012, 06:33 PM
I have heard that if you roll the tone back to the sweet spot between 7 and 8, pickup selector in the middle position, with the volume knob turned completely counter-clockwise, the SE guitar will produce the exact same tone as Carlos' original PRS does with the the top switch up and bottom switch down. exactly the same.

RafRey
12-15-2012, 01:55 AM
I have heard that if you roll the tone back to the sweet spot between 7 and 8, pickup selector in the middle position, with the volume knob turned completely counter-clockwise, the SE guitar will produce the exact same tone as Carlos' original PRS does with the the top switch up and bottom switch down. exactly the same.

Har dee har har

sergiodeblanc
12-15-2012, 03:12 AM
Har dee har har

Sorry, it was too much fun. I think you should get a Santana SE and tell me what you think. I kinda' want one, and could almost afford it, I love my SE.

RafRey
12-15-2012, 06:17 PM
Sorry, it was too much fun. I think you should get a Santana SE and tell me what you think. I kinda' want one, and could almost afford it, I love my SE.

You almost got me, but everyone knows that the top switch on Carlos' guitar only goes down, not up. Nice try!