Santana Retro vs. CU24?

zerolight

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May 20, 2019
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The Santana has a more vintage vibe to it. I went Santana because of that - and I like the tone from the 24.5 scale. Unfortunately it had a massive dead spot on any B above the 12th fret, especially on the G string. The PRS UK distributor reckoned that was pretty common on the Santana. I find that hard to believe but I swapped it for a Custom 24 in the end, which I'm happy with. I may look at a Santana again one day.

They feel very different in neck shape - the wide thin feels much wider and sharper in the shoulder. I thought I'd made a terrible mistake at first, but after a few days it's as natural feeling as my strat. I do find the Cu24 easier to play further up the neck - maybe because it's thinner.

Pickup wise, the Santana's are based on 58/15s according to PRS. The bridge was nice, the neck was a bit boomy. It overall had a nice Gibson like tone. Had I kept it, there'd be Wolfetones in there (I have a Wolfetone neck I need to sell now). The 85/15 on the Cu24 are maybe a bit brighter and more modern than I like, but I'm adjusting and probably won't change them. The neck isn't boomy like on the Santana. The 24/08 wiring is nice to have, but don't expect a true single coil tone.
 

24Fretter

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Mar 16, 2022
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Which Santana? Your first PRS?
Retro 10 top. Not my 1st PRS, maybe 31st...
They feel very different in neck shape - the wide thin feels much wider and sharper in the shoulder. I thought I'd made a terrible mistake at first, but after a few days it's as natural feeling as my strat. I do find the Cu24 easier to play further up the neck - maybe because it's thinner.
I'm curious to see what it's like. I'm not a wide thin fan usually. They vary though. The wide thins on my CEs are tolerable, but some CU24s I've played with them feel like a korean ibanez. Much prefer pattern regular; slightly narrower nut and pronounced soft V.

Hopefully the Santana neck will be tolerable. If not I think the price was good enough that I won't get killed on a flip.
 

zerolight

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May 20, 2019
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Hopefully the Santana neck will be tolerable. If not I think the price was good enough that I won't get killed on a flip.
Santana neck is nice. Quite fat. Comfy. Took a while to adjust to the bound edges which aren't rolled as much as the unbound. I really liked the Santana neck. Bit chunkier than the pattern regular but not a bat.
 

24Fretter

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Mar 16, 2022
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So here's my take now that it's here:

Neck: Actual measurements .85" 1st fret, .95" 12th fret. Not as large as a wide fat, or pattern vintage. Much more comfortable than either of those. Also the binding keeps it from having that bit of flare and sharpness at the edges I'm definitely not a fan of on wide/fat or pattern vintage. Something about the shoulder shape on those necks irritates me; the Santana shoulder shape is much better for me. It's large, but a hand filling comfortable large, not a "this is going to make my hand hurt or fight me" large. Coming from someone who loves pattern regular, it's not bad at all. Feels not dissimilar to a "50's rounded" Gibson USA profile.

Larger frets - Love, better than the .047" tall on most other PRS. Shorter scale - Love. Knobs out of the way of where I rest my right hand pinky - LOVE.

Did a quick setup; lowered/evened up the action, touched up 4 of the nut slots that were high, adjusted the pickups (which means lowering the bridge a bit, lower on bass side and raise the screw poles, lowering the neck a LOT, much more on bass side, raising screw poles a LOT).

My favorite neck pickup PRS makes, by far, hands down. Adjusted the way I have it, bright and decently articulate for a HB, and a lot less mud on the low notes than most HBs. At 7k DCR it's a low wind, and it totally works. Less muddy than even the archtop neck pickup in my HB Spruce, which is closer to 6k DCR, but then totally different guitar design to so hard to say. Bridge pup - not bad. Perfectly usable, a little modern with more in the center midrange and a little less high mid/presence than I usually like in a PAF; sounds a bit "overwound" but it isn't, and not enough to be a deal breaker.

Since I have a bunch of CU24s and std 24s, to me this is kind of a modded CU24, and I definitely like the mods. Would probably still prefer one with pattern regular on it, but the Santana profile will work just fine.
 

bodia

Authorities said.....best leave it.....unsolved
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So here's my take now that it's here:

Neck: Actual measurements .85" 1st fret, .95" 12th fret. Not as large as a wide fat, or pattern vintage. Much more comfortable than either of those. Also the binding keeps it from having that bit of flare and sharpness at the edges I'm definitely not a fan of on wide/fat or pattern vintage. Something about the shoulder shape on those necks irritates me; the Santana shoulder shape is much better for me. It's large, but a hand filling comfortable large, not a "this is going to make my hand hurt or fight me" large. Coming from someone who loves pattern regular, it's not bad at all. Feels not dissimilar to a "50's rounded" Gibson USA profile.

Larger frets - Love, better than the .047" tall on most other PRS. Shorter scale - Love. Knobs out of the way of where I rest my right hand pinky - LOVE.

Did a quick setup; lowered/evened up the action, touched up 4 of the nut slots that were high, adjusted the pickups (which means lowering the bridge a bit, lower on bass side and raise the screw poles, lowering the neck a LOT, much more on bass side, raising screw poles a LOT).

My favorite neck pickup PRS makes, by far, hands down. Adjusted the way I have it, bright and decently articulate for a HB, and a lot less mud on the low notes than most HBs. At 7k DCR it's a low wind, and it totally works. Less muddy than even the archtop neck pickup in my HB Spruce, which is closer to 6k DCR, but then totally different guitar design to so hard to say. Bridge pup - not bad. Perfectly usable, a little modern with more in the center midrange and a little less high mid/presence than I usually like in a PAF; sounds a bit "overwound" but it isn't, and not enough to be a deal breaker.

Since I have a bunch of CU24s and std 24s, to me this is kind of a modded CU24, and I definitely like the mods. Would probably still prefer one with pattern regular on it, but the Santana profile will work just fine.
Psyched that you're digging it! Everyone should have a Santana!
 
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