NGD: PRS SE Santana Emerald Green

And it came with a handful of Candy!! HaHa!! A gimmick used by "Sweet"water I suppose...

So, before I bought this online I played a Yellow one at SamAsh, and this one didn't let me down. I knew I wanted another guitar about 6 months ago and started my quest. I was initially thinking ESP LTD because I Love my ec-400vf and figured I couldn't go wrong with another LTD. I stay in the budget model range because I play as a hobby and I'm really not good enough to justify more money for the USa brands... I had looked at the PRS SE line several years ago when I got my LTD. While the contruction was solid, I hated the limited models and finishes available at the time. Plus, the pickups they had back then were simply life-less, imho. Then comes the new Santana SE... Loved it when I saw it, and more when I played it... Nice fat-wide profile neck, more comfortable than the thin necks everybody used today, and better pickups than the other SE models (although, those seemd to have been improved as well). My opinion, and completely subjective of course.

Fit and Finish:
I love the shape, similar body to the USA model... of course the top carve is less drastic (and less than what picture show it to be as well), the decorative top is a veneer, and the maple cap and mahogany back are more common woods and less expensive. What seems to be binding around the body is actually maple wood grain, nice touch! Beautiful joint between the neck and body, and the frets have perfectly smooth edges all the way down. Being overly critical of a $600 guitar, there are two spots on the black paint near the edge of the maple cap that are not perfectly straight, but nothing to complain about by any means. The bird-inlay work is beautiful and flawless. The nut is about 1/64th off from being perfectly smooth on the low E side, but lines up exactly on the high E. Neck and body contours are consistent throughout. One slight disappointment, the trem cover on the back is not flush with the body, but the pots cavity is... why not do both?? No biggie.

I have never seen a more balanced Trem... EVER!! Could be from the Factory setup, could be from Sweetwater, either way, I Like it!! This thing is floating perfectly, just the way they were meant to. The tuners are buttery smooth, best stock tuners I've ever felt in this price range... these blow away the budget Grovers you will find on LTDs and other comparable guitars. I have swapped out tuners on all my guitars with the Jin-ho Locking Tuners with 19:1 ratio, but I might actually keep these. Will have to see how well they keep in tune, and they feel like a standard 14:1 turn. Light gauge steel strings, as expected... will be swapping those out for custom-light GHS nickles. Zebra Bobbins add a nice cosmetic touch that compliments the color scheme quite well. Standard strap buttons which will be replaced with locking buttons very soon.

Ahhh, the TONE!!! Take in mind, I LOVE my LTD... unplugged, this thing rings and sings better than the LTD ever did. I now have Gibson 496R/500T pups in the LTD so it responds better (even with the orig SD 59'/JB), but the Santana SE's sounds really good, way better than most non-brand models in budget pickups... you know, the good ole' Duncan "Designed", EMG-HZ's, Epi's Burstbuckers... so on and so forth. Of course these are not Duncans, but surely somewhere in-between wonderful, and, suck. Decent Mids, OK lows, and little too much high's, but you can still get a decent "Santana" like mid-range kind of tone if you roll the tone down a bit. I am guessing they used audio-taper pots because the tone and volume roll very evenly. Knobs are not too loose, and not too tight... somewhere in that Goldilocks zone. The switch is a switch, is a switch.. it works. Scored some Santana III pups AND pots on eBay a few weeks ago, can't wait to get those installed to hear how it sounds!!!

Last edited by RedJamaX at May 10, 2013,
HNGD! I love the looks of these models, I'm just not a huge Santana fan and couldn't sport the headstock myself. They play wonderfully though, enjoy!
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This is terrible advice. Even worse than the useless dry, sarcastic comment I made.

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looks good, congrats!
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Not a fan of the Santana models, but I like the color of yours. Happy NGD! Enjoy!
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