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Santana Retro vs Santana II

Discussion in 'Electric Instruments' started by strat63, Feb 14, 2018.

  1. strat63

    strat63 New Member

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    I've read all the marketing material but I can't see the differences for the life of me. I know there are plenty of Santana fans around here so I have to know, is there a major difference between the models? Do they really sound and play that different from each other?

    For some odd reason I've been looking for something other than my CU24s and I love the looks of these. Any thoughts? Do I need a Santana? What will it get me that a CU24 won't? Inquiring minds need to know. Thanks
     
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  2. veinbuster

    veinbuster Coming of age

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    Yes, you need a Santana. Either retro or II will do.
    It has a different feel than the CU24 - the body shape is quite different. Sound is also a bit meatier, at least to me.
     
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  3. BrianC

    BrianC Custom 24 King

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    I am a CU24 guy and bought a Santana a few years back You are right it may sound a bit meatier. I has a thicker body and a shorter scale as well as different pups.

    I sold my due to not liking the shorter scale on the upper frets. I play standing up and mine had a tendency to head dive.

    I saw a Retro at Dave's in WI last week that was soooo beautiful - you should check that one out.
     
  4. Bowtiefanatc

    Bowtiefanatc #NeverGibson

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    The Santana is probably one of the more comfortable body shapes in the lineup. It's not an "if" for me, it's a "when" I get one.
     
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  5. Elliot

    Elliot Still a New Member

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    I don't really understand the pattern for when they use the headstock eagle, body inlay stripes, and the tightly clustered knobs/switches. It seems all over the place.

    The only one I know for sure that usually has all three is the retro.

    Can anyone explain that for the other models?
     
  6. bodia

    bodia Authorities said.....best leave it.....unsolved

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    The differences are all pretty subtle, as far as I can tell. The Santana III doesn't have the body purfling. The MD has the knobs in the more traditional location instead of at the bottom. I've seen the 25th Anniv with that know layout too. Not sure if that was all 25th Anniv, or not. I was on the hunt for a Retro for a long time, but they were pretty scarce. Then I stumbled upon other Santana shapes and forgot all about the Retro. Supposed to have a little deeper body carve. It say the original head stock on the specs, but it looks the same to me. Unless it's just a little different in size.

    I'd agree with VB and BrianC, they do have a beefier sound. I was playing through an AC/DC style profile on the Kemper and thought I was getting a good LP-ish grunt. It was awfully good sounding, to my ears. There are things you need to consider though. Brian brought up the scale length. 24 frets and 24.5" is kinda small, for some people. The Santana neck carve is pretty beefy too.

    They sure are fun to play. Just a great guitar to rip on.
     
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  7. Rider1260

    Rider1260 New Member

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    My first PRS was a KL-33 basically an all Korena Santana yes the scale is a bit tight past the 15th fret otherwise if you have smaller hands it is easier to play thinks that are a stretch on a 25 or 25 1/4 guitar.
    It is VERY comfortable the body is never in the way, neck is nice and round , it is an all Humbucker guitar no namby pamby split coil stuff going on, the bridge pickup is on the hotter side 11 kohm ish neck is pretty low output so the center position is very usable.
    I am not sure the difference in the Retro to a II but you would be happy with either IMHO

    [​IMG]IMG_3088 by
     
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  8. Casi1

    Casi1 New Member

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    Road trip!

    Road trip!

    Road trip!

    To Daves.
     
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  9. strat63

    strat63 New Member

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    This all started at Dave's in the first place. The Santana model has never been on my radar but I glanced at a couple there and it got my mind spinning. Of course they have a couple of wood library models with rosewood necks, a Santana II, and a Private Stock Santana Retro. On paper it looks like a good choice. I like fat necks and wouldn't mind a little more low end grunt than my CU24's offer. My newest PRS is from 91 so I'm a little out of the loop on current offerings.
     
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  10. MichaelS

    MichaelS I'm here for the free kool-aid...

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    Just to set the record straight, the first 22 frets on a 24 fret guitar (24.5 scale or any other scale) are EXACTLY the same spacing as on a 22 fret on the same scale. The additional 2 frets (#23 & #24) push the neck pickup closer to the bridge.
    Any "cramming" is only in your head unless you extensively use #23 and #24.

    Then again, 24.5 scale will cram all frets compared to a 25 scale or 25.5 scale. Regardless of how many frets are on it. But yea, upper frets on the Santana can seem tighter than even a Les Paul IMO because a) another .25 inches on the scale, and b) the frets are bigger size on the Santana.

    For any difference...

    The neck pickup on a retro is not the Santana neck pickup. It's one of the 5X/XX. Forget which one. It's on the PRS site.
    I do like the Santana pups.

    Checking the body carve of mine with retro pics (particularly between upper horn and neck), I couldn't see much of a difference.

    The heel of a retro seems appealing to me. Mine does have a giant heel, but I tell myself it's good for sustain and sturdier.

    The neck on all Santanas is really beefy, but doesn't get in the way. The shoulders are perfect for me. It's very comfortable and I easily go back and forth with a wide thin CE24 neck.

    I like the knobs out of the way. I do touch the volume here and there on the CE.
     
    #10 MichaelS, Feb 14, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2018
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  11. Casi1

    Casi1 New Member

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    Nice! Daves is about a 3 hour drive for me but that drive is SO worth it. Out of all of the 'guitar shops' in my city, Daves is the only place where I know I can try a bunch of really nice PRS guitars.

    I havent seen a Santana anywhere yet (and I'm a bit concerned about the body shape) but if I see one, I'm gonna try it.
     
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  12. bodia

    bodia Authorities said.....best leave it.....unsolved

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    You both NEED one!
     
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  13. veinbuster

    veinbuster Coming of age

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    3 hours to a good shop is nothing. Do it!
     
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  14. Emmanuel

    Emmanuel New Member

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    Yes, try and then buy one :)
    They are really great guitars.
     
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  15. Brian Lear

    Brian Lear New Member

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    I've had other PRS' and even a couple Santana IIIs. In fact I currently have an older KL-33 korina that I love. But I've always wanted to buy a new-from-the-factory Santana. According to PRS website the retro has an 85/15 pickup in the bridge, I'm not sure how different it is from the santana treble pickup. It also claims to have the original deep body carve...is it really that different? Can't tell from pics. There aren't very many out there. I've seen a lot of 10-tops, artist packages, and wood library models that are priced around $5500 dollars, and only a tiny handful of regular models priced at $3800. Sweetwater has ONE in trampas green. There are TWO on reverb, both blood orange with what look like very bizarre irregularities on the maple top. What happened to basic old santana yellow?
    At this point, vintage santana I's and II's are actually priced higher than a brand new retro.
     
  16. MichaelS

    MichaelS I'm here for the free kool-aid...

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    I'm with you on the yellow. although the blood orange on the website looks nice too.
    Couldnt tell you the diff to the 58/15. Sometimes they have the 57/08 in the neck for private stock. All I can say is the Santana pickups are great for me. Sweet, yet strong, if that makes sense.
     
  17. Tramp

    Tramp To and Fro, Mostly Fro

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    Mine has the 57/08 in the neck. Great pickup!
     
  18. Tramp

    Tramp To and Fro, Mostly Fro

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    I see three stunning Retros on the Dave’s site. Which one floated your boat?
     

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