SE Santana review by Paul Reed Smith

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  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 9
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.2 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.3 (107 votes)
Paul Reed Smith: SE Santana

Price paid: $ 725

Purchased from: Sweetwater

Sound — 8
Compared to my Epiphone Les Paul Standard, the PRS Santana SE is far clearer, less muddy, has surprisingly more sustain (a lot more! ), and has a decent range of sounds. The only complaint I have is that both humbuckers alone are fairly noisy. Its not terrible but it could be much better. I might try putting in some of my own sheilding behind them to see if that helps. Together though they produce almost no hum and pretty good sounds as well, but it kills all of your harmonics.

Overall Impression — 9
The feel of this guitar is unlike anything I've ever played. Notes flow together beautifully and I can slide up and down the fretboard smoothly. Highly recommend.

Reliability & Durability — 10
Everything seems very solid.

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
Everything was perfect. The flame on the maple top wasn't as nice as I'd hope but overall very beautiful.

Features — 10
This is a 24 3/4" scale (I believe) guitar instead of PRS's standard 25.5" like fender. I really hate the larger scale so I love this model. I got it in limited edition whale blue which looks great however the flaming on the maple is very light and hard to see unless you look at the guitar closely. It also came with a gig bag which I learned about from the review though nowhere in the actual description did it mention this. Its a great deal without one, but throw one in and its even better.

5 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Melodic_Rocker wrote: This guitar has such a weak, dull sound. A basic Epi beats it. I'm certainly glad my roommate is the sorry sap with one.
    Yea you probably played it on a 15w combo. Noob.
    My SE Custom 22 has the same problems with going out of tune and having very noisy pickups. I've also had a Tremonti SE with the same problems. My Epiphone LP Standard outplays them by far. I wouldn't buy another SE model. I'm sure the more expensive versions would be excellent and wouldn't have these problems.
    Love this guitar. Got a chance to play one today, it was awesome. The neck feels great, and it sounded amazing. Also, that picture isn't a Santana
    brian ahearn
    Bought mine last June but try as hard as I might I just can't get rid of a nasty buzz on the 'E' string. Every thing else on the guitar is set up to PRS guide lines and all the other strings play cleanly. Can anyone help by suggesting a possible cure