on April 13, 2012
I bought this guitar about a year ago. I have had no problems with it at all. Here are some things to keep in mind: make sure you get a professional setup and new strings. Also, the tone on this guitar is quite warm, though not muddy. I like that, but if you prefer a bright sound, I'd look elsewhere. The SE line proves that there is no such thing as a bad PRS.
on January 18, 2014
This is the budget line from PRS, but dont kid yourself that this is the real deal.
This guitar was reasonably well made, good looking and with limited manf. issues (in my case).
+ Varnish is consistent,
+ fretboard edges are smooth
+ the grain match is pleasing...but its not wood, its a stick on
+ plays really nicely
- one pot shaft is bent
- The nut seems to be plastic and has to go.. there are sharp edges and the string angles are wrong so enthusiastic bends will quickly lead to breakage.
- Guitar is badly balanced on the knee..back heavy.
So quality wise, this is about on par with other decent non-USA lines (like G&L tribute, Epiphone, MIM Fender) but more expensive than those... so... how does it sound?..
In a word..meh. Unlike G&L it seems, PRS stick low grade pickups in these SE guitars and it certainly shows.. The tone on this Santana SE lacks low end, bite, growl and presence...so consider into the price that you may be itching for new pickups after a while.
In summary, I feel that this looks like a $1200 guitar, plays like a $600 guitar but sounds like a $400 guitar..so its certainly not worth the MAP price but may be a bargain player on sale/clearance.
EDIT 2 Months on.
This guitar does play nicely, but the bland sound quality has driven me elsewhere. I have since bought a used Les Paul Standard Double Cutaway that sonically knocks the Santana SE for six. It is also lighter, better balanced, oozes quality, is USA built and the sound really does rocks like a banshee...
So the PRS SE Santana is just not for me and was an expensive mistake. After playing this guitar daily for 4 months the cute birds and fake flames lost their appeal and the sound quality (rather the lack thereof) drove me elsewhere..
But hey.. Go ahead.. Buy this guitar because you like Carlos Santana and dig the birds and the looks of this axe..(like I did) Just don't say you were not warned.
on July 15, 2016
Reviewing guitar stuff is tricky because tone, playability, aesthetics, etc., are all very subjective. What plays and sounds great to me might all-out suck to you; that being said, I've been playing guitar for over thirty years and I know what sounds and plays good for me. I got a great deal on a barely used PRS Santana SE a couple of months ago, and I love it. I have heavier strings (10's) on it and play a lot of slide with it. It's a fine looking instrument that plays wonderfully with or without a slide. I have to add that I would not have paid $729 for it - there are too many good guitars out there for $500 or less.