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Old 01-06-2018, 01:54 PM
marty bradbury marty bradbury is offline
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Hello folks. I have been playing acoustic guitar for around 12 years. I've been leaning towards purchasing an electric guitar. I like all types of music but tend to go for the "Carlos Santana sound". So basically looking for an all around good electric guitar. Any suggestion. would be greatly appreciated. I only keep one acoustic around the house and would only want one versatile electric.
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Old 01-06-2018, 02:23 PM
Dru Edwards Dru Edwards is online now
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PRS SE has a Carlos Santana model. The SE is the Korean made line. $729 below. You could find used ones as well. What price range are you looking at?

http://www.guitarcenter.com/PRS/SE-C...tric-Guitar.gc
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Old 01-06-2018, 03:53 PM
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Almost any electric guitar with two humbuckers will get you there. Of course Santana plays a PRS, but Carlos has been seen playing Gibson Les Paul and SG guitars among others. Much of the Santana sound is in the amp. He's been playing through Mesa amps forever. But with just about any amp and the right pedal you can get very close. And a lot of his tone is simply in his fingers.
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Old 01-06-2018, 03:54 PM
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Marty:

Most of Carlos' tone comes from his amplification path... as you will discover, the amplifier is intrinsic to any electric guitar sound. I would place the amp's importance far above the actual guitar being played, something like 25% guitar and 75% amplifier/signal chain.

Also, there is a huge component of the electric guitar's sound that is only revealed when playing at higher volume levels. I'm not only talking about distortion/saturation, but the interaction between player/guitar/amplifier. There are a lot of ways to get around having to play at high volumes, but that interaction between amp/guitar player just doesn't happen until the sound pressure levels go up substantially.

As with an acoustic guitar, how an electric "feels" in your hands and lap or hanging over your shoulder is paramount, so find something that feels right to you, that feels good on a strap and in your lap... many electric guitars feel much better and more "playable" when they are on a strap; one of the reasons that I have never gotten a Les Paul is that I could not hold one on my lap for the life of me!

A Gibson 335 is a time-honored choice for versatility and feel... there are a LOT of variants on the basic design, some exceeding a "normal" Gibson 335... depends on what sounds you want to make. I happen to like (and use) both the humbucking tone and the single coil tone, so I have a guitar that has the ability to do both, via "coil tap switches".

I know that both Yamaha and Ibanez have been making a wonderful version of the 335 for decades now, and can be had for much less than a new or used Gibson - and they are frequently much better built.

Another aspect of an electric guitar is the string gauge; if "normal" gauge for an acoustic is light gauge (12's), then normal ofr an electric might be considered 9's... personally, I have 11's on my Gibson 345; they are a little bit "stouter" than 10's and I love the feel and stability of them... and many players prefer 10's, 9's, or even 8's (Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top)!!! Similar to acoustic guitars, you can change gauges to something that suits you; however, when you go out to "shop" for your electric guitar, be advised that most you try will have 9's on them and will feel pretty loose to an acoustic player.

Go on out and play a bunch... see what you like. Electronics can be changed to greatly affect tone (pickups, switches and volume and tone pots), so I'm pretty sure that most any guitar you like holding will have the capacity to produce Carlos' tone (through the appropriate signal chain).

Good luck! Let us know what happens... oh, and one other thing? This is a VERY DARK and TWISTY rabbit hole you're about to go down...
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Old 01-06-2018, 04:10 PM
Tony Done Tony Done is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jseth View Post
Marty:

Most of Carlos' tone comes from his amplification path... as you will discover, the amplifier is intrinsic to any electric guitar sound. I would place the amp's importance far above the actual guitar being played, something like 25% guitar and 75% amplifier/signal chain.

Also, there is a huge component of the electric guitar's sound that is only revealed when playing at higher volume levels. I'm not only talking about distortion/saturation, but the interaction between player/guitar/amplifier. There are a lot of ways to get around having to play at high volumes, but that interaction between amp/guitar player just doesn't happen until the sound pressure levels go up substantially.

As with an acoustic guitar, how an electric "feels" in your hands and lap or hanging over your shoulder is paramount, so find something that feels right to you, that feels good on a strap and in your lap... many electric guitars feel much better and more "playable" when they are on a strap; one of the reasons that I have never gotten a Les Paul is that I could not hold one on my lap for the life of me!

A Gibson 335 is a time-honored choice for versatility and feel... there are a LOT of variants on the basic design, some exceeding a "normal" Gibson 335... depends on what sounds you want to make. I happen to like (and use) both the humbucking tone and the single coil tone, so I have a guitar that has the ability to do both, via "coil tap switches".

I know that both Yamaha and Ibanez have been making a wonderful version of the 335 for decades now, and can be had for much less than a new or used Gibson - and they are frequently much better built.

Another aspect of an electric guitar is the string gauge; if "normal" gauge for an acoustic is light gauge (12's), then normal ofr an electric might be considered 9's... personally, I have 11's on my Gibson 345; they are a little bit "stouter" than 10's and I love the feel and stability of them... and many players prefer 10's, 9's, or even 8's (Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top)!!! Similar to acoustic guitars, you can change gauges to something that suits you; however, when you go out to "shop" for your electric guitar, be advised that most you try will have 9's on them and will feel pretty loose to an acoustic player.

Go on out and play a bunch... see what you like. Electronics can be changed to greatly affect tone (pickups, switches and volume and tone pots), so I'm pretty sure that most any guitar you like holding will have the capacity to produce Carlos' tone (through the appropriate signal chain).

Good luck! Let us know what happens... oh, and one other thing? This is a VERY DARK and TWISTY rabbit hole you're about to go down...
I very much agree with all of that. As a long-time acoustic player, it took me decades, literally, to connect with electric guitars due to my failure to appreciate the importance of the amp. I find it helps to think of the instrument as the whole package - amp, pickups, lump of wood, in that order.
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Old 01-06-2018, 05:24 PM
KevWind KevWind is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marty bradbury View Post
Hello folks. I have been playing acoustic guitar for around 12 years. I've been leaning towards purchasing an electric guitar. I like all types of music but tend to go for the "Carlos Santana sound". So basically looking for an all around good electric guitar. Any suggestion. would be greatly appreciated. I only keep one acoustic around the house and would only want one versatile electric.
So very much depends on your what is your budget range ? And are you looking for just a guitar, or a guitar and amp ?

As others have said as far as a particular signature types sound That involves basically three things and it seems probably in this order player, amp, guitar
As noted Santana has played a number of different actual makes . Currently he plays PRS almost if not exclusively

In the PRS line the price structure starts with SE line, then the S2 line, and then to the Full USA made line starting with the CE 24 and up from there.
(again depending budget) the starting point for a budget guitar could be the SE Santana the Dru mentioned and Sweetwater appears to offer it for a really good price of $485 https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/SEStdSanVCV8d

How ever if you really are after a more of an "all around sound" you might want to jump up to at least the SE custom line . Starting at about $800 with the advantage of having , switchable picup's with either humbucker or single coil options

Again my advice having gone through this same journey last year is decide on a budget range first .........
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Old 01-06-2018, 05:35 PM
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Bob Womack Bob Womack is offline
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I've put together a couple of little articles to help people choose their first electric guitar. You can find them HERE and HERE. I hope they offer some help!

Bob
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Old 01-06-2018, 05:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jseth View Post
Marty:

Most of Carlos' tone comes from his amplification path... as you will discover, the amplifier is intrinsic to any electric guitar sound. I would place the amp's importance far above the actual guitar being played, something like 25% guitar and 75% amplifier/signal chain.

Also, there is a huge component of the electric guitar's sound that is only revealed when playing at higher volume levels. I'm not only talking about distortion/saturation, but the interaction between player/guitar/amplifier. There are a lot of ways to get around having to play at high volumes, but that interaction between amp/guitar player just doesn't happen until the sound pressure levels go up substantially.

As with an acoustic guitar, how an electric "feels" in your hands and lap or hanging over your shoulder is paramount, so find something that feels right to you, that feels good on a strap and in your lap... many electric guitars feel much better and more "playable" when they are on a strap; one of the reasons that I have never gotten a Les Paul is that I could not hold one on my lap for the life of me!

A Gibson 335 is a time-honored choice for versatility and feel... there are a LOT of variants on the basic design, some exceeding a "normal" Gibson 335... depends on what sounds you want to make. I happen to like (and use) both the humbucking tone and the single coil tone, so I have a guitar that has the ability to do both, via "coil tap switches".

I know that both Yamaha and Ibanez have been making a wonderful version of the 335 for decades now, and can be had for much less than a new or used Gibson - and they are frequently much better built.

Another aspect of an electric guitar is the string gauge; if "normal" gauge for an acoustic is light gauge (12's), then normal ofr an electric might be considered 9's... personally, I have 11's on my Gibson 345; they are a little bit "stouter" than 10's and I love the feel and stability of them... and many players prefer 10's, 9's, or even 8's (Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top)!!! Similar to acoustic guitars, you can change gauges to something that suits you; however, when you go out to "shop" for your electric guitar, be advised that most you try will have 9's on them and will feel pretty loose to an acoustic player.

Go on out and play a bunch... see what you like. Electronics can be changed to greatly affect tone (pickups, switches and volume and tone pots), so I'm pretty sure that most any guitar you like holding will have the capacity to produce Carlos' tone (through the appropriate signal chain).

Good luck! Let us know what happens... oh, and one other thing? This is a VERY DARK and TWISTY rabbit hole you're about to go down...
Some really good advice. I like the 335 myself for versatility. I don't need split coils so I'm good with my Epiphone Dot. While it's not quite the same guitar quality as a genuine Gibson 335 it doesn't cost $4000 either. I've got a couple Les Pauls, 4 Strats and a Tele and will often grab my Epi Dot because it feels and sounds so good. And yeah, I play some Santana stuff on it. And if the semi-hollow 335 isn't your thing then a good Epiphone Les Paul is an excellent place to start... unless you want to drop $1000+. Good luck.
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Old 01-06-2018, 06:04 PM
stevecuss stevecuss is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marty bradbury View Post
Hello folks. I have been playing acoustic guitar for around 12 years. I've been leaning towards purchasing an electric guitar. I like all types of music but tend to go for the "Carlos Santana sound". So basically looking for an all around good electric guitar. Any suggestion. would be greatly appreciated. I only keep one acoustic around the house and would only want one versatile electric.
G'day Marty,

You've already received some excellent advice. What budget range do you have in mind? Do you already have an amp?

Until then here is where I would start:

-- any decent electric with humbucker pickups (PRS, Les Paul, 335)

-- a small wattage all tube amp that has an overdrive channel/gain stage (if you have the coin, a Mesa Triple Rectifier will get you there, but it is not small wattage!)

-- a distortion pedal, a compressor pedal, a delay pedal.

that combination will get you into Santana category. His sound comes from the pickup style of his electric, his highly overdriven amp and a whole lot of watts and of course, his fingers. But Santana goes for that "very compressed, high gain, high sustain, thick" sound and the above package will get you there.
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Old 01-06-2018, 06:13 PM
marty bradbury marty bradbury is offline
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You guys are great! I guess my cost would be $700 to $1200. I do agree with the "rabbit hole" comment. I started down when I went in to acoustics but quickly reminded myself "if u like what u got make it work" lol.I do notice how the strings are way on the light side. I toally agree with the comfort level. I know I would also like to be able to play finger style also. I flat pick also. I'm going to assume string spacing is different on electric as they are on acoustic? I have thought of semi hollow body as well as solid body. The hunt is on.
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Old 01-06-2018, 06:22 PM
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Originally Posted by marty bradbury View Post
You guys are great! I guess my cost would be $700 to $1200. I do agree with the "rabbit hole" comment. I started down when I went in to acoustics but quickly reminded myself "if u like what u got make it work" lol.I do notice how the strings are way on the light side. I toally agree with the comfort level. I know I would also like to be able to play finger style also. I flat pick also. I'm going to assume string spacing is different on electric as they are on acoustic? I have thought of semi hollow body as well as solid body. The hunt is on.
Perfect, this is really helpful. I'll assume you're willing to shop pre owned and you need an amp and pedals for that budget, so here goes a recommendation:

As folks have mentioned, you'll put your money into three essential categories: guitar, amp, pedals. You can get close with just guitar and amp, but the pedals will really dial in the tone you're looking for.


GUITAR: Preowned Paul Reed Smith or Semi Hollow Body. A PRS Santana Model is under $500 used. The best semi hollow on a budget is the Eastman T386, but if you can't stretch that, then grab an Ibanez or Epiphone within budget. The semi hollow will potentially feedback quicker, but they are a great transition guitar for an acoustic player and I LOVE their tone. f it were my money, I'd try to find an Eastman T386 or an Ibanez semi hollow.

AMP: honestly, almost any tube amp will do, but the Bugera V22 is a great amp for the money. Otherwise, a used Fender tube amp will do the trick.

PEDALS: You want a distortion pedal for sure. Boss DS1 or even the Big Muff is great to get you into Santana territory. Then add a compressor which will help with all that sustain (and cause some feedback with your guitar) and a delay pedal will make the sound bigger. Your local craigslist will likely have all these.

I buy almost all my gear used, you'll save a ton of money that way - cables and pedal boards etc all add up, but with your budget you can get a really nice rig. Enjoy!
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Last edited by stevecuss; 01-06-2018 at 06:38 PM.
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Old 01-06-2018, 06:27 PM
marty bradbury marty bradbury is offline
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Originally Posted by Bob Womack View Post
I've put together a couple of little articles to help people choose their first electric guitar. You can find them HERE and HERE. I hope they offer some help!

Bob
Thanks Bob. Will check them out.
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Old 01-06-2018, 06:29 PM
marty bradbury marty bradbury is offline
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Thanks all. Question about a "pedal" . does this change the tone/sound? So much to learn
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Old 01-06-2018, 06:30 PM
marty bradbury marty bradbury is offline
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Originally Posted by stevecuss View Post
Perfect, this is really helpful. I'll assume you're willing to shop pre owned and you need an amp and pedals for that budget, so here goes a recommendation:

As folks have mentioned, you'll put your money into three essential categories: guitar, amp, pedals. You can get close with just guitar and amp, but the pedals will really dial in the tone you're looking for.


GUITAR: Preowned Paul Reed Smith or Semi Hollow Body. Best semi hollow on a budget is the Eastman T386, but if you can't stretch that, then grab an Ibanez or Epiphone within budget. The semi hollow will potentially feedback quicker, but they are a great transition guitar for an acoustic player and I LOVE their tone. f it were my money, I'd try to find an Eastman T386 or an Ibanez semi hollow.

AMP: honestly, almost any tube amp will do, but the Bugera V22 is a great amp for the money. Otherwise, a used Fender tube amp will do the trick.

PEDALS: You want a distortion pedal for sure. Boss DS1 or even the Big Muff is great to get you into Santana territory. Then add a compressor which will help with all that sustain (and cause some feedback with your guitar) and a delay pedal will make the sound bigger. Your local craigslist will likely have all these.

I buy almost all my gear used, you'll save a ton of money that way - cables and pedal boards etc all add up, but with your budget you can get a really nice rig. Enjoy!
Thanks Steve and yes prepared would be fine
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Old 01-06-2018, 06:31 PM
marty bradbury marty bradbury is offline
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Preowned would be fine
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