The first two SE were introduced in early 2000. They were the Tremonti and Santana SE's. Of course the Santana SE never looked like the one in this post. I mean just look at the first version. Its quiet far from the actual shape itself. I was upset the fact that Santana himself endorsed that irrelevant wannabe stick. Both Carlos and Paul's team must've been drunk while discussing the birth of that SE. The frets were minus 2 of 24. The inlays were as though a last minute after thought emailed at the eleventh hour of production. A simplified version of the Santana's own Yamaha Pacifica 1421 perhaps? Indeed the first version looked like it was on an uncertain path of direction or acceptance.
Given the nature of manufacturing mentality back then, for consumers its better nothing at all. Its best to get the first badge cause who knows things may change or messed up down the road. Cost cutting on the next and so on badge was a business culture. Look what happen to Ibanez for example. I certainly couldn't care less about how PRS juggle between the best interest of his company and clients.
Then not long after, out came Santana SE ver 2.0. This one looks even ugly than its predecessor. What a relief for those whom gotten the first one isn't it. Well from a company that only makes
Recently this one came in for setup. I don't know what version this is. It could be 3,4 or 4.2 but it has the supposed essence .Well close enough. Should version 1 or 2 owners buys this again? Yes, because I'm sorry to say you've been had by Paul. You should've waited 15 years later because you want the shape (horns), the finally completed 2 octave 24 frets, the right inlays, the 24.5 scale length which my stewmac notch straight edge won't fit, the fabulous working 6 screw tremolo (for spares who knows), the rightly located but unpractical controls pots/switch and nicer finishes (no green I hope). The eczema infested neck and headstock looks beautiful to stare at. This version is gorgeous,tidy and very very close to the real deal nothing short of fantastic.
But why get con again when you know you can be greedier and just wait a bit more. Who knows Paul would be kind enough to give the blunt Santana II/III headstock on version 5 or 5.2? That'll be Santastic. Wouldn't you agree?