My experience with PRS guitars is limited to an american made PRS Standard 24, that I bought used in the states for about 1500$. That was an amazing guitar, worth about 3500$ new. Unfortunately I had to sell it due to a relocation. Fast forward to today, I received this 2017 SE Santana, made in Korea, and I thought :"Korea" and I thought "SE"- student edition, can't be even close to the one I had long ago.
Boy, was I wrong, and , boy , was I pleasantly surprised!! This guitar is , veneer on the top excluded (the american made one had a solid carved maple top) just as good as the american one.
Is is NOT a student edition as far as quality. Great fretwork, could not find a single flaw as far as fit and finish. And it sounds great with the new and improved pick-ups. I'm sure it can get better with the "original" Santana pick-ups that come on the 4000 plus $ american made guitar, but in a blind test you'd be hard pressed to tell the difference I think. My only "con" for this guitar is that it does not have the same head stock shape and center abalone inlays on the body as the 4k $ american made Santana. But hey, it's not 4K $ - it's 900 $.
It also comes with 24 frets on the new 2017 version and the same pot location as the american made Santana.
It is great sounding, it stays in tune, the trem is an exact copy of the machined american made one, only its an alloy version of it, but with great sustain, as the trem block is a nice chunky piece. The tuners are smooth and of very decent quality, albeit not locking as on the american one, but they are , by no means, cheap in feel and operation. The nut is a black man made material, but it is cut and finished very well, it does not bind with even hard use of the tremolo. The frets are medium jumbo, rounded edges, very smooth. The fretboard is rosewood, with a nice grain to it and finished very nicely.
Overall, I wish it had the specific Santana headstock, but other than that - I highly recommend it for not just beginners, but anyone that longs for a good quality guitar for less money.
Would I buy it again ? You bet ! Would I buy an american made one again ? Only if money was no object.
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