Santana Retro vs. CU24?

24Fretter

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I get the scale length difference and the pickups; anyone want to run down anything else for me? I love pattern regulars (RIP in '22, DISAPPOINTED), never had my hands on a santana, how do the neck profiles compare? Anything else I should know? Thanks!
 

Andrew Paul

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Both awesome Guitars. You already understand the scaling difference. Santana only has a three way switch, neck profile is extremely comfortable only one choice pattern to the Model itself where custom 24 you have multiple choices. Controls volume/tone/switch are out of the way and are comfortable to use unless you play with the volume swelling with your pinky. Older models like Santana I have hotter pickups than Santana Retro, the bridge pickup on Santana I was ceramic magnet. I’ve owned three Santana models over the years. I prefer Guitars with “Swiss Army” pickup sound selections for example my favorite is MEV. I will also say that the West Street limited is an incredible guitar with its non-waxed (potted) pickups that rock. Sergio and Bodia can add more to this. Someday I will buy a retro again though, one with a roasted maple neck.

Hope this helps. Andy
 

sergiodeblanc

Don’t you ever cry again for the rest of your life
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In an alternate universe EVH continued playing drums, the Super Strat never happened, and DC LP style guitars kept evolving and proliferated. The Santana platform is a glimpse into that timeline.

Other guitars are trash.
 

24Fretter

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Both awesome Guitars. You already understand the scaling difference. Santana only has a three way switch, neck profile is extremely comfortable only one choice pattern to the Model itself where custom 24 you have multiple choices. Controls volume/tone/switch are out of the way and are comfortable to use unless you play with the volume swelling with your pinky. Older models like Santana I have hotter pickups than Santana Retro, the bridge pickup on Santana I was ceramic magnet. I’ve owned three Santana models over the years. I prefer Guitars with “Swiss Army” pickup sound selections for example my favorite is MEV. I will also say that the West Street limited is an incredible guitar with its non-waxed (potted) pickups that rock. Sergio and Bodia can add more to this. Someday I will buy a retro again though, one with a roasted maple neck.

Hope this helps. Andy

Thanks for the info! I'm not a fan of hot pickups and it looks like the ones in the Retro are more polite than the older ones, which seems to be the overall trend.

Can you describe the neck profile? Most of what I have is pattern regular, which I really like; not sure from looking around the web how the Santana profile compares. I know it's larger; does it have that soft V shape pattern regular does, or is it more of a U or D?
 

McMahon67

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If it’s anything like the Pauls Guitar neck profile, I find them too fat and uncomfortable….. I love my pattern regular. But… I speak out of turn, since I’ve never once picked up a Santana.
Usual preference disclaimers apply.
I recommend you pick one up and feel it before buying. All the online advice you’re seeking is no substitute.
 

Andrew Paul

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Thanks for the info! I'm not a fan of hot pickups and it looks like the ones in the Retro are more polite than the older ones, which seems to be the overall trend.

Can you describe the neck profile? Most of what I have is pattern regular, which I really like; not sure from looking around the web how the Santana profile compares. I know it's larger; does it have that soft V shape pattern regular does, or is it more of a U or D?

If it’s anything like the Pauls Guitar neck profile, I find them too fat and uncomfortable….. I love my pattern regular. But… I speak out of turn, since I’ve never once picked up a Santana.
Usual preference disclaimers apply.
I recommend you pick one up and feel it before buying. All the online advice you’re seeking is no substitute.


From what I remember neck is similar to Pauls profile, definitely fatter than pattern regular but thinner than wide fat. I found it VERY comfortable. Best I can describe since I don't have one anymore. I was hoping someone on the forum could better describe Retro neck.
 

24Fretter

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I recommend you pick one up and feel it before buying. All the online advice you’re seeking is no substitute.

Totally agree but unlikely any dealer near me would get a core Santana, they seem to be a lot more rare than CU24s and McCartys.
 

McMahon67

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Yeah that’s a kick in the n%ts. I have the same problem around Calgary. Someone will happenstance some advice shortly I’m sure!
 

AaeCee

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Santana necks are some of the most hand-filling from PRS, definitely deeper and fuller than the pattern regular or older 'standard'. FTR, I still have a Santana Brazilian Ltd. (full Brazzy neck), and have owned two older Santana sigs as well as an S-III. All had big necks but were slightly different.

As for sounds, I find the breed to sound consistently thick and full, kinda like a good LP in some ways, but also surprisingly rich with the knobs rolled off a bit for smooth jazz type tones. And as others mentioned, unlike many other PRS models with wide ranging switching options, Santanas are fairly simple but still remarkably versatile. Mine sounds so good it scares my LPs.
 

bodia

Authorities said.....best leave it.....unsolved
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Santana necks are some of the most hand-filling from PRS, definitely deeper and fuller than the pattern regular or older 'standard'. FTR, I still have a Santana Brazilian Ltd. (full Brazzy neck), and have owned two older Santana sigs as well as an S-III. All had big necks but were slightly different.

As for sounds, I find the breed to sound consistently thick and full, kinda like a good LP in some ways, but also surprisingly rich with the knobs rolled off a bit for smooth jazz type tones. And as others mentioned, unlike many other PRS models with wide ranging switching options, Santanas are fairly simple but still remarkably versatile. Mine sounds so good it scares my LPs.
totally agree about the LP sounds. My first Santana led me to move my '58 RI. I would also say that while the Santana neck is "chunky" it's no where as close to the baseball bat that my '58 RI had. I find the Santana necks to be one of my favorites.
 

24Fretter

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24 where do you live? I’m in Texas and have a Westie that you can play. Not sure if the neck is identical but would imagine it’s similar.
Tennessee. Really the only dealers here are small shops that carry mostly SEs, and Guitar Center, which is always all cu24/McCarty. Don't think I've ever seen a Santana in there.
 

sergiodeblanc

Don’t you ever cry again for the rest of your life
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Tennessee. Really the only dealers here are small shops that carry mostly SEs, and Guitar Center, which is always all cu24/McCarty. Don't think I've ever seen a Santana in there.
Yeah! I think (I know) I waited over 20 years to play a Santana, they were just never in shops.

It was actually @Rider1260 ‘s house that I first laid my hands on one. Called dibs immediately and fortunately Mike was kind enough to let his KL33 go.

I’ve had five (US) Santana shaped objects since then, kept three, and am convinced it’s the best guitar ever made. Although my pecking order is: West Street Limited>KL33>Santana
 
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