Paul Reed Smith Santana SE

Electric 6-String Guitar

Made by Paul Reed Smith

Description A six-string electric guitar with spectacular tone and playability.
Posted By Rob Carraher (1756)
Directory Equipment: Guitars
Rate/Review This Resource
Overall Rating: 4.8 (of 5)
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From 4 votes total

Member Reviews


On 7/31/2005, Andrew Venables (121) posted:
Overall Rating:
Looked at this and a Fender Strat, chose this due to the fact it played that much better. If it ever gets stolen (it won't get lost) I'd probably buy another, though I might look at the Epi version of the ES-335 or one of the Ibanez arch-top models. Could be better if it came with a six-way selector (ie already coil tapped) but other than that it's great. Favorite aspect is the playability and tone. It has no major faults or flaws.
Model Year: 2003
Where Obtained: Sound Control, Leeds, England
Features:
22 Frets on a rosewood fingerboard, attached to a mahogany neck and double-cut body (mine has an opaque silvery finish). Has 2 passive humbucking pickups with a 3 way selector switch, volume and tone controls. I have the stoptail bridge version and PRS non-locking tuners.
Playability:
I've never had any problems with the playability of the guitar, I've not had it proffesionally set up and the action and intonation are good (and can be easily adjusted with an allen key and a flathead screwdriver if you change string guage). The only slight problem I have with it is some chords get a bit tricky to finger after about the twelfth fret which I havn't had with all guitars. It played better than the Strat I was also looking at at the time.
Sound Quality:
I play through a Boss ME-50 into a Fender Princeton 65, and it's easy to get a smooth sound for jazz comping, through to a (relatively) heavy and dirty distortion. I mostly use it for jazz, funk and blues which it is great for. I have no idea how well it'd play metal but when messing around it copes well with Hendrix, Cream etc. Possibly in the interests of a better funk sound I might get it coil tapped which would make it even more versatile. Few guitars I've played sound better, usually 1000+ ES-335s, Strats etc. Can get quite to very noisy at very high gain.
Durability:
I haven't had much call to play this guitar live, but when I have it has only recently begun to let me down occasionally. Main problem is the volume pot (as well as the knob coming loose) has started to develop a dead spot when I turn it up to max which has on a couple of occasions leaving me without sound and I haven't got round to getting it mended (due to considering coil tapping - get both done at same time). I've had no trouble with climate change. Body is a bit indestructible, after I'd had it only a few days I swung it into my TV screen (I was playing with it on it's strap) and only a small bit of paint flaked.
On 9/13/2004, Justin Watts (55) posted:
Overall Rating:
A great guitar for any type of player. Of course there are better guitars out there but I must tell you, I got a huge discount on the guitar. The guy who sold it knocked 200$ off of it because it and threw in a gig bag because was for school. Overall I believe you get more for what you pay for with this guitar, and it's a worthwhile investment.
Model Year: 2001
Price: $850.00 Canadian (new)
Where Obtained: Tom Lee
Features:
Both the neck and body are made with mahogany. The fretboard is bound rosewood decorated with white pearl SE inlays. The fretboard has a total of 22 frets which allows decent versatility. THe body contains dual humbuckers with a tone and volume dial as well as a 3-way toggle for tone selection. Basically, the guitar is extremely versatile whether you want to thrash or chill.
Playability:
I've everything from jazz to middle eastern to blue to plain old rock n roll on this guitar and it all sounds great. The frets have average spacing and the neck is slightly wider than most electrics I've played. But my hands are big so that's never been a problem. This is the best electric I've played next to the Gibson SG or my friend's dad's Gibson ES-335.
Sound Quality:
I've played with Marshall, Fender, Messa, Line 6 amps and stacks. But it seems to work best with VOX. Thus I bought VOX equipment. It is absolutely brilliant during live play, and has served well in studio recordings as well.
Durability:
I've had to set the truss-rod, and intonations once, and that's when I bought the guitar. Weather does affect the tuning but it's not a big problem. The hardware has never crapped out me and it seems to be made out of some indestructable material. My friend hit is with his guitar by accident once pretty damn hard and there wasn't even a crack in the finish.
On 6/15/2004, Inactive Member posted:
Overall Rating:
This guiatar is just a great guitar for any type of music its very comfortable and i would buy it again if it were stolen. the best aspect of this guitar is its tone and control it just warms u up as soon as u play it....
Model Year: 2000
Price: $560.00 (new)
Where Obtained: soundcontrol
Features:
This particular model was made in the us, its a very smooth feeling body and neck im not particularly sure wat kind of wood it is but it is strong, it has a three way switch system which seems to be able to take a lot of abuse , it has one volume control for the humbuckers and a tone for each one, my only criticism would be the wiring because its not got very durable casings or wires themselves.my guitar has a sunburst finish and is very gd looking, its a double cutaway guitar with a stoptail bridge(also available with whammy bar system)and has prs non locking tuners.
Playability:
This guitar has an amazing playability overall , but its not a great idea if u want to play really fast on it because it isnt really got the fretboard for a massive amount of speed, but apart from that its a great playing guitar
Sound Quality:
This guitar has a very warm and full sound to it, the tone on this guitar is probably its best feature. its very suitable for jazz and blues but it can definately handle a crapload of distortion and wah, compared to other similiarly priced guitars it would definately beat them down. the santana se can in my mind be played in a studio and on stage it can handle a lot of different situations.
Durability:
This guitar doesnt need much modifications with the trust rod or fretboard but i have to say that the wiring is definately a bit sketchy. for live playing its very comfortable.
On 12/3/2002, Rob Carraher (1756) posted:
Overall Rating:
I chose the PRS Santana SE because of the overall elegance of PRS, and i'm glad I did. I'll be shredding on this ax for a loooong time. My next goal is just to replace the pickups.
Model Year: 2002
Price: $600.00 (new)
Where Obtained: Wray's Music House
Features:
Korean made double cutaway, set neck guitar with: Mahogany body, 22 jumbo frets, controls for volume and tone, 2 closed humbuckers, and non-locking tuners.
Playability:
The neck action is amazing, i've never felt anything like it. It's very light, but not too light. The only thing I can think wrong with it is the width of the neck, but it's so minor you won't notice it.
Sound Quality:
I use the guitar through either a Marshall amp or an old Bass/Keyboard amp I have. Through the Marshall it's kind of twangy and warm, and through my Gorilla it has a full, warm sound.
Durability:
Very reliable and durable. I've played it for 5 hours the 2nd day I got it, and there was no problems.