SE Santana review by Paul Reed Smith

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 10
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 10 Gem
  • Users' score: 8.3 (107 votes)
Paul Reed Smith: SE Santana
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Price paid: $ 200

Purchased from: Ebay

Sound — 10
I play many styles from clean to mean, and this guitar doesn't disappoint, it covers the gamut gracefully. I run it through a pedal board which is made up of Fulltone, Keeley, SRB, and Retrosonic effects into a Fender Super Sonic combo or a 30th Anniversary Marshall 100w half stack. This guitar goes from jazz to death metal with an ease and finess I've never seen. Has a very usable vol and tone controls and all the great tones you want.

Overall Impression — 10
This guitar matches well to any style of playing, where humbucking pickups are used. Strats & Teles are different animals and shouldn't be compared... I own both. I've been playing for 30yrs, I own a Fender SRV strat, G&L ASAT (tele), PRS SE One (P90), Washburn Jazzbox (soon to get the Thorogood treatment ie. 2 P90's, 3 way switch, and second vol. & tone)and the PRS Santana reviewed here. I use the Santana and the SRV most. If it was stolen, I would replace it in a heartbeat. The PRS SE line is loaded with very well built, great sounding/playing guitars that will suit any player who is looking for a good P90 or humbucker equipped guitar. They have added some real winners to the line... The new Santana, the SE245, and the artist models. As much as I'd love to buy a crazy flamed 59 Reissue Les Paul... These guitars will get the job done for a lot less, and sound really close to the big guys.

Reliability & Durability — 10
No problems what so ever except for that loose strap button. This is my main humbucker equipped guitar that I play live. It can take a good pounding on stage, and hold it's tune well. I've owned real Les Paul's, this guitar holds it's own against any of them in all criteria, at 1/10th the price!

Action, Fit & Finish — 10
I bought this guitar second hand, the set-up was perfect, everything behaved as it should. The intonation was spot on, in fact, better than the Gibson Les Paul Standard I sold 10yrs ago, so is the overall tuning stability. The only problem that I've encountered in my 3yrs of owning it, was, I had to glue a toothpick into one of the strap buttom holes to snug it up.

Features — 10
Mine is an early one, I don't know what year. Korean made, solid mahogany, transparent blue finish, wide-fat mahogany neck, rosewood fingerboard, 22 medium jumbo frets, PRS tremolo & PRS non-locking tuners, covered humbucking pickups, 3 way switch, single volume & tone and a gig bag.

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