Carlos Santana and wicked tone

Discussion in 'Electric Instruments' started by horax, May 21, 2019.

  1. horax

    horax New Member

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    I love trying to play Santana’s songs...who doesn’t?

    His tone is killer, and I know it’s him. I will never be able to replicate his magic.

    However, I like to try.

    I have limited funds, and my gear is good, but not great. I’m ok with that.

    I have a vox ac15 and a boss Katana 50 for Amps.

    My guitar of choice for playing his stuff is an s2 singlecut standard with #7s pickups.

    It comes close, but what else could i do to get closer?

    Also, I’m thinking about the gold SE Santana singlecut trem But not sure it would be on par with what I already have.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Black Plaid

    Black Plaid just another Alan

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    Have you seen the Anderton's Sound Like for Santana?

     
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  3. horax

    horax New Member

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    I have not, but I thank you for that!

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Black Plaid

    Black Plaid just another Alan

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    No problem! On thing you might try before going all in on those two drive pedals, is pick up a used Boss GE7, and tweak the eq between the guitar and the amp to try and dial in the overdrive form the amp. That's basically what they are using the tube screamer for in front of the mesa pedal.
     
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  5. Tone-y

    Tone-y New Member

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    I would have thought with the Katana 50 and the S2 you'd have enough already to get the sound close enough to play along and have fun. I don't know all the options in the Katana, but they'll be amp models in there for sure that get you in the ballpark. Mesa MkIV? Don't pick anything too high gain like rectifier models. Dial in some nice juicy drive, then kick it with a boost/OD pedal from the Katana options to get it to sustain and sing. Then think about the tone less and more about how Carlos wrings his tone out. His recognizable sound is less about how his gear is set and more about how he plays it.
     
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  6. Huggy B

    Huggy B Just me and my girls.

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    The second statement is dead on, his chops and blues influenced technique are the key to Carlosness.....

    ... but as far as Mesa goes, I believe all Rectos have a vintage setting (mine did) and that is all you need gear wise to ape a decent Europa. I did half a year of Santana tribute shows and that's all I needed ............... except for having to use a wah.:(
     
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  7. Tone-y

    Tone-y New Member

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    Actual rectifiers may be able to set in vintage mode, but I was referring to the amp model in the Katana, you don't tend to get those options - just the high gain metal chug sound. Though you should still be able to get it to work by dialing a lot of the bass out and keeping the pre-amp gain sensible.

    Although Carlos has great gear I just don't get the impression that he spends loads of time dialing it in or fretting over it. Enough gain to sing and sustain, not too much bass and the rest is in his playing, his touch and feel.
     
    #7 Tone-y, May 21, 2019
    Last edited: May 21, 2019
  8. horax

    horax New Member

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    I wonder if the Katana's 'brown' setting would work well. NOT TWEED, but more 80's metal type rectifier sound.

    I can get real close with the Vox, but I could try one of my OD pedals (I have three) to help with controlled sustain, perhaps.
    I don't use the Katana enough to know exactly what to do,but I will give it a shot and report back.
     
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  9. Tone-y

    Tone-y New Member

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    Yeah probably. Alternatively, if there aren't any other Mesa Boogie models in the katana other than a rectifier, have a go at seeing if you can change the cab type from a 4x12 to a 1x12 with the editor software, that will help you get into the ballpark. Keep the bass fairly low, pre-amp gain probably around noon, a bit of reverb and away you go.

    certainly also explore OD pedals with the Vox too - what OD pedals do you have? Set the Vox up for a fairly driven tone then use an OD pedal set for medium crunch to push it over the edge.
     
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  10. markd21

    markd21 New Member

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    I have the same S2 as you with the same pickups. I use a Bad Cat Cub IV which is a lot like an AC15. When I am aiming to nail the Santana tone, I use the neck pickup with the tone rolled back about half way. On the amp, I dial in enough gain to sustain the notes, but mostly work the tone cut circuit to roll some highs off.

    Ironically enough I find it easier to cop the "Black Magic Woman" tone on the S2 than on the Santana model I used to have.
     
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  11. horax

    horax New Member

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    I have some cheapies: 1) Behringer tube OD 100, 2) Monoprice red tube OD, 3) Monoprice blue OD


    I use the neck pickup as well and do the same with the tone cut circuit on my VOX. I fiddle with the tone sometimes on the guitar, but I will try that tonight!

    anybody know the difference in the #7 pickups vs the Santana pickups from that era his?
     
  12. sergiodeblanc

    sergiodeblanc Get in, loser, we’re going shopping.

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    This. Rolling the tone back is my satirical Santana move. Well, that and a mustache... “Look everyone! I’m Carlos!” I say to nobody in particular.
     
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  13. markd21

    markd21 New Member

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    I am not a Santana expert, but I believe his original guitars had Seymour Duncan pickups - a Custom in the bridge and something similar to what became the '59 in the neck. The 7's - especially the neck is a pickup that is VERY capable of getting that tone right. You may need to raise/lower it a hair depending on where you have it.

    Yes. The 'stache is the REAL secret weapon....even if it's not totally grown in!!
     
  14. Eurometal

    Eurometal New Member

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    need to get a Mesa/Boogie
     
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  15. markd21

    markd21 New Member

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    It helps, for sure, but it's not a necessity. I have nailed the tone using Rivera, Bad Cat, and even Fender Twins with the right drive pedal.
     
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  16. django49

    django49 New Member

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    For myself, I seem to get great results from one of the simpler (and mostly overlooked) Mesa amps, the Blue Angel. I prefer to use the setting with BOTH 6v6s and el84s in the power section. Key element---Ethos Overdrive pedal in front. Once set up properly, I can go from clean to "bluesy" to "Santana" to "Gary Moore" with nothing more than a foot stomp and careful rotation of the knobs on the guitar.
     
  17. markd21

    markd21 New Member

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    The Ethos OD is a BEAST!!!!! I used to use one of those with a blackface Bassman and a silverface Twin. AMAZING tone!!!!! They were so backordered for a while that a guy offered me a SWEET price for mine. I let it go, but have always regretted it. If I still had Fender amps around I would get another.
     
  18. django49

    django49 New Member

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    Robbie has been (very lightly) teasing a new and substantially improved Ethos OD "Deluxe". I saw a prototype (sketch, features) and immediately started salivating. Unfortunately, it is still on the drawing board nearly 3 years later. Last word was that he was not yet quite satisfied and wants to make it even more "tube-like". Perhaps the good news is that his build times are currently 2 months or less, sometimes much less. Once upon a time, it was well over a year. The Blue Angel is a sort of cross between a Deluxe on Steroids and a Vox AC. WAY underappreciated!
     
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  19. markd21

    markd21 New Member

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    Sounds cool. If the build times for an Ethos are less, it may be time to order another!!

    Yes, the Blue Angel is killer. I was always partial to the Maverick - two channels, el84s, 33 watts - it's LOW on the pole, but if I ever find a short head in excellent condition I'll be tempted to grab it.
     
  20. jak3af3r

    jak3af3r Slightly Older Than New Member

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    I wouldn't get another guitar. You can probably find a deal on a silverface twin (unless heavy amps won't work for you) for the same or not much more than a new SE. Alternatively, you could look at Ceriatone and their OTS series which are D-style amps which are supposedly modded fenders with the benefit of an overdrive circuit built in.
     
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