Hi everyone.

I'm looking forward to get a brand new PRS. I tried the PRS SE Orianthi at the store and it sounds quite good; the trem detunes the strings a bit too easily and the neck feels a little bit too small (I learned on a classical acoustic :P) yet I can live with the small details for the sound it makes. However, there's the SE Santana option, which I couldn't try and at least it looks better than the Orianthi, so, if anyone there has played the Santana (and hopefully the Orianthi too) I'd appreciate your opinion:

  • The pickups on both models are the same?
  • The Santana's "wide fat" neck vs. the Ori's "wide thin" and the 1/2 in scale difference.. What could I expect?
  • Opinions on differences in sound quality?

I want to have as much feedback as I can get if I am going to buy the Santana without trying it first.

Hope you can help.
The SE santana is a super nice guitar for the price. the scale diff is miniscule, I doubt you'll even notice.
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
They are both very good guitars, but the necks are different and I prefer the custom 24 over the Santana, thats where you have to decide, which one feels better.
I'd pick a SE 25th anniversary custom 24 over both to be honest. But between them two? The santana.
The PRS wide-fat neck is a fair bit chunkier than the wide-thin. It's still not traditional 'fat' though. It's still noticably thinner than most Gibson necks or the necks on Fender vintage reissues.

The .5" difference is a deal-breaker for me. The regular PRS 25" is really comfortable to me but I find the 24.5" one too cramped at the higher frets.
It seems to make a bigger difference to string tension then you'd think too, even though it's only .25" less than a regular Gibson scale. To me turning to E on 24.5" gives the same tension as tuning to Eb on 24.75".

The sound of the Santana should be warmer since it's a smaller scale and it has a rosewoo fretboard. But I've not A/B'd them directly to tell, I played the Orianthi several months before I tried the Santana. I don't recall being shocked by a big sound difference.

Both are going to suck for keeping in tune. Vintage style trem + plastic nut + standard tuners is never going to keep up to serious abuse. If you want to really go crazy with the bar you'll want to install a graphite nut and some locking tuners, maybe even get graph tech saddles for the bridge.

Personally, I bought the Orianthi and when I later tried the Santana I didn't regret my purchase. But I have also stripped the finish off the Orianthi because **** red sparkle.
If I had to pick I would pick the Santana, or you could try some different PRS's.
PRS SE Custom 24 w/ Seymour Duncan JB and Jazz Pickups
Squire Classic Vibe Stratocaster

Digitech Bad Monkey

Pignose 7100 Legendary Amplifyer
Well, As much as I'd like to try the whole SE line, the place where I live limits me to try only an SE Custom, SE Orianthi and SE Paul Allender (no purple & bats on my guitar). Anything else must be paid first and brought as requested from another store...

I'm kinda worried about the scale lenght issue... up untill now, and aside from acoustics, I've played on a Palmer LPS, which neck feels quite big and wide to me, perfect for my style. When I tried the Orianthi I felt the higher frets a tad thighter for my fingers, yet was no big deal. Would an 1/2 in. less for the Santana make much difference?

@grohl1987 How much did u paid for getting rid of the red sparkle finish?
You thought the Orianthi felt a little tight at the high frets? Well try a 24.75" scale guitar. They should be easy to find, it's the common scale for Gibson, Epiphone and most Les Paul and SG style copies. That's halfway between the Orianthi and the Santana scale. Try and remember how tight the Orianthi scale felt, then try the Gibson scale and see how that feels. Then imagine that the Santana is going to be that much of a difference again,

Or, play the 25" scale Orianthi model and a regular 25.5" scale guitar and notice the difference there. Then think, it's the same difference again to go down to the 24.5" Sanatana scale.

The scale was the main reason I was happy I just got the Orianthi model. I'm used to 24.75" scale and I find 24.5" too tight to play properly after fret 14. You might be able to cope with 24.5" scale just fine, but the point is in my experience that .5" between the Orianthi and Santana scales does make a considerable difference.

I didn't pay to have my guitar stripped, I did it myself with some special polyurethane stripping chemical that you smear on and leave for a little while and the paint bubbles up and peels right off. Then I used some fine sandpaper to even it all out, put on some sanding sealer and I gave it a light spray with some clear satin nitro in a spray can to protect it. I didn't go for a proper clear gloss finish, I wanted just enough on there to stop it looking dirty. It took about two days from starting to getting it all back together again and wasn't hard but you have to be careful around the fretboard. You don't want to get any paint stripper on that.