Carlos Santana Explains Why He Left Gibson for PRS Guitars, Believes He Saved the Company With Advice He Gave Paul Reed Smith

Frodebro

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Odd to me how much crap Carlos is getting here in a discussion about fru fru guitars. And cheaper versions of fru fru guitars missing the fru fru part.

Given the choice of losing what Carlos added to music or losing what Paul added to guitar?
Easy, Paul did not add anything meaningful to guitar, guitar is still the same with or without Pauls flamey mix of Gibson and Fender.
Carlos added something to music, gave something to the world we would not otherwise have.
The real impact that PRS had was forcing Fender and Gibson to up their games and start producing good quality instruments again. He raised the bar for the entire industry.
 

telemnemonics

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The real impact that PRS had was forcing Fender and Gibson to up their games and start producing good quality instruments again. He raised the bar for the entire industry.
That may be fair, but others like Tokai put the same or greater pressure on the cobweb stifled US guitar industry.

For that matter guys like Kubicki, Suhr, Carvin, Jackson, Charvel also called the slowpokes to arms.
Meanwhile muicians had gone corporate dressing room and I dont think Pauls initial impressive offerings were even sold to musicians.
I did some business with a shop that had lots of new top shelf PRS like Dragons and my sense was that the market mostly saw $10,000.00 guitars in 1999 that just baffld us while we secretly drooled but at the same time thought they were ridiculous.

I sound like I might look down on owners of these finer guitars, but all I mean is that I do not see the need to compare Pauls validity to Carlos' validity, or really consider any guitar brand owner pivotal, except for the few who really changed the guitar.

So like Epi, D'Angelico etc, Strandberg, maybe Steinberger.
But high quality is not an idea, AAAAA flame is nothing new, and I see the challenge to raise the bar but it was not a realistic height with decorating being most notable, and it was really already happening.

Even the SE?
I got a little excited but then saw used Hamers that kicked SE butt and it was sort of bluster over nuthin new.
Literally, racks of used US Hamer guitars next to new SE and around the same price in 2003 or so?
The anticipation was greater than the delivery,IMO.
 

goonie

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Odd to me how much crap Carlos is getting here in a discussion about fru fru guitars. And cheaper versions of fru fru guitars missing the fru fru part.

Given the choice of losing what Carlos added to music or losing what Paul added to guitar?
Easy, Paul did not add anything meaningful to guitar, guitar is still the same with or without Pauls flamey mix of Gibson and Fender.
Carlos added something to music, gave something to the world we would not otherwise have
Odd but predictable. Negativity abounds these days. A throwaway live from Carlos (probably delivered with a wry smile) becomes an excuse to put the man down and complain about the cost of guitars.
 

bonzo898

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Yeah, I read that story previously.

I think he left Gibson because he saw a chance to make some money.To be clear, there's nothing wrong with that. But I think he's creatively telling stories.

I prefer the playing he did in the Gibson days. But I think that's more of a style choice than a guitar choice.
Glad somebody called this out. Santana’s playing and raw tone in the late 60’s when he was using an SG is likely my favorite Gibson tone ever.
 

Ringo

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Glad somebody called this out. Santana’s playing and raw tone in the late 60’s when he was using an SG is likely my favorite Gibson tone ever.
The P90 model SG? like he played at Woodstock? through a Gallien SS amp? That tone?
From what I've read, Carlos couldn't wait to get rid of that SG, he moved on to Les Pauls, then Yamaha and now PRS.
And I don't think he ever played through that Woodstock amp again.
 

bonzo898

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The P90 model SG? like he played at Woodstock? through a Gallien SS amp? That tone?
From what I've read, Carlos couldn't wait to get rid of that SG, he moved on to Les Pauls, then Yamaha and now PRS.
And I don't think he ever played through that Woodstock amp again.
I’m no Santana historian but I was thinking more the Abraxas tone.
 

monkeybanana

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I told my friend he should use an umbrella when it rains outside. One day I saw him walking with an umbrella during a downpour. I thought to myself, I am glad he listened to me.
 

NoTeleBob

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The P90 model SG? like he played at Woodstock? through a Gallien SS amp? That tone?
From what I've read, Carlos couldn't wait to get rid of that SG, he moved on to Les Pauls, then Yamaha and now PRS.
And I don't think he ever played through that Woodstock amp again.

That tone kicked ass. But he got the same tone through his SG and his modified Fender Twins, no GK. He defined "tone" in those days. His best work was done on the SG's IMHO.

He did move to LP's but the still played at least one SG during that time. They all lasted for a few years and then the Yamaha sponsorship thing came along. I don't think he like the Yamaha's or he didn't like Yamaha, one or the other. A few years later was the PRS sponsorship deal.
 




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