Why did I buy it?
I was doing quite a bit of gigging and needed a back-up guitar. I had my American strat with single coils as my main guitar so figured it would make a nice change to get something with humbucker pickups. I was saving for a Gibson Les Paul studio however on the day I went to the guitar shop they had (for the first time in a year!) sold out. I was really disappointed because I had been looking forward to my new guitar so decided to just try out everything else they had in the shop with humbuckers in my price range. I picked up the PRS Santana SE and wow! I probably played it for well over an hour before deciding I liked it much better than the Les Paul. Looking back I have always prefered thinner necks and lighter guitars and this does feel a bit like a strat so maybe that’s why I liked it so much. Mind you the sound was awesome and this was a real shredders guitar (I think I always strung it with 9s but replaced high E with 10s when I broke them). This guitar was from the first batch of the second wave of PRS SE’s about the same time they had to pull the Tremonti after Gibson tried to sue them, so probably around 2002.
How does it sound?
As mentioned above this became my shredding guitar that I used for everything that was straight ahead high tempo rock. I used to quite enjoy rocking Bach’s Toccata and Fugue and also taking on our violinist on speed contest’s with the sailors hornpipe so you sort of get the picture! My only complaint was with the neck pickup which I found really muddy so replaced it with a DiMarzio PAF pro which made quite a difference. I think I only ever played the guitar through the Mesa V-Twin on either the blues or the solo setting.
Sell or Keep?
Well I sold it in the end however only because I had pretty much given up gigging and didn’t have room for my six or seven guitars at the time so was cutting back to one of each type. I figured it was cheap enough that I could buy a new one if I really missed it, or more likely get a (proper) PRS if I started playing more often.