Core Santana - What’s the deal?

Woggers

What’s love got to do with it?
Joined
Mar 23, 2018
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105
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Portland OR
I’ve noticed a few of you veterans around here are big fans of the classic double cut core Santana guitars. I’ve never had the pleasure to try one myself, or even see one. So I’m wondering, what is it about these guitars that you guys love so much? How do they compare to a core custom 24? What am I missing out on???
 
First off, and this is just my opinion (but I’m right) West Street Limited’s and KL33’s are more Bangin’! than Santana’s.

But anyway, the big but supremely comfortable neck profile and 24 1/2” scale are great! The pushed back neck pickup from the 24 frets means your neck pickup pokes out when playing with another guitarist with a 22 fret guitar, and is never muddy.

It’s like an alternate reality late 70’s early 80’s superstrat if EVH never was born. Les Paul ergonomics and feel but with a wang bar.

Truly an egoists guitar, easy to bend strings, easy to solo on, and hard to accidentally roll down the volume knob while playing. Other guitars are trash.
 
IDK, a great sax vs a great guitar? It really depends on the song...
 
It was a 2017 Santana SE that brought me fully in to PRS. Start there if ya don't gots the money for a core. The shorter scale truly does work well.
 
First off, and this is just my opinion (but I’m right) West Street Limited’s and KL33’s are more Bangin’! than Santana’s.

But anyway, the big but supremely comfortable neck profile and 24 1/2” scale are great! The pushed back neck pickup from the 24 frets means your neck pickup pokes out when playing with another guitarist with a 22 fret guitar, and is never muddy.

It’s like an alternate reality late 70’s early 80’s superstrat if EVH never was born. Les Paul ergonomics and feel but with a wang bar.

Truly an egoists guitar, easy to bend strings, easy to solo on, and hard to accidentally roll down the volume knob while playing. Other guitars are trash.

I like the shorter scale.
I like the symmetry of the guitar.
I don’t know why, but I find the skinny little upper frets a bit easier to play than on the Custom 24.
I like the position of the controls, which I don’t use a lot anyway.

These two sum it up really well. I am fully in the "Santana or Bust" camp, even though I have plenty of other models. My West St Ltd will be the last one standing of my herd.

Plus, you could really stop after "big butt." :p
 
Back when I was in high school I'd have to road trip about 150 miles to go see concerts. This was usually in the form of several friends and I piling into a car and driving to the thriving metropolis that is/was Wichita, KS. We'd make a whole day and sometimes two of it. One such trip, not sure which concert, we stopped at a music store. This was maybe early 1985. They had a PRS on the wall. Having seen them in Guitar Player magazine pictures of Santana I stood there and kinda drooled a little. A guy comes up to me and asks, "You want to play it?" I was shocked. Here I was a long haired punk kid with no money getting the chance to play this really expensive beauty. So long story not quite so long, I was plugged into a Roland Jazz Chorus if I remember correctly (and I rarely do). And I was hooked. The guy asked me what I thought and my reply was "No wonder Santana is so smooth." From that day forth I really wanted a PRS. I have no idea what model it was. I graduated high school in 1985 so it was definitely no later than 1985. Possibly the summer. I've always figured it was a Santana. Funny thing, to this day I don't think I've played another Santana model. In 2002 I bought my first PRS, a purple McCarty. The culmination of 17 years of wanting and waiting.

Oh and back then my guitar was Peavey T-60. Not a bad guitar but it was no PRS.
 
I have a '17 SE Santana... I will say, I love that stupid little guit. Upper fret access is better than I deserve (or really take advantage of, TBH). I am getting used to the control positions, slowly. I love the shorter scale. I love the double cut form factor. I love the bigger thicker neck. I like a single volume control. I like the balance of the Santana (much better than the vintage SG I had for around 30 years). I also appreciate the position of the neck pickup and it's tonal properties.

I can't afford a Core PRS. Hard for me to justify, these days especially. But, if I did and could, a Santana would be my first choice!
 
Back when I was in high school I'd have to road trip about 150 miles to go see concerts. This was usually in the form of several friends and I piling into a car and driving to the thriving metropolis that is/was Wichita, KS. We'd make a whole day and sometimes two of it. One such trip, not sure which concert, we stopped at a music store. This was maybe early 1985. They had a PRS on the wall. Having seen them in Guitar Player magazine pictures of Santana I stood there and kinda drooled a little. A guy comes up to me and asks, "You want to play it?" I was shocked. Here I was a long haired punk kid with no money getting the chance to play this really expensive beauty. So long story not quite so long, I was plugged into a Roland Jazz Chorus if I remember correctly (and I rarely do). And I was hooked. The guy asked me what I thought and my reply was "No wonder Santana is so smooth." From that day forth I really wanted a PRS. I have no idea what model it was. I graduated high school in 1985 so it was definitely no later than 1985. Possibly the summer. I've always figured it was a Santana. Funny thing, to this day I don't think I've played another Santana model. In 2002 I bought my first PRS, a purple McCarty. The culmination of 17 years of wanting and waiting.

Oh and back then my guitar was Peavey T-60. Not a bad guitar but it was no PRS.
PRS didn't release the Core Santana until 1995. The only production guitar from PRS in 1985 would have been the CU24. And PRS didn't have production guitars prior to 1985. So that must have been what you played - a very early production CU24.
 
I can't afford a Core PRS. Hard for me to justify, these days especially. But, if I did and could, a Santana would be my first choice!

Willing to buy used? My first PRS was a core Santana, $1700 on my local CL. You just have to hoard cash, look obsessively everywhere you can, at least 10 times a day every day. No biggie.

20200108-164639.jpg
 
Willing to buy used? My first PRS was a core Santana, $1700 on my local CL. You just have to hoard cash, look obsessively everywhere you can, at least 10 times a day every day. No biggie.

20200108-164639.jpg
Agreed. It’s just too easy to get on sweetwater and find exactly what you want within minutes. It’s all about the hunt!
 
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