from South Florida
On April 23, 2014, Premier Guitar met with Carlos Santana’s guitar tech, Ed Adair, before a show at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. Adair walked us through Santana’s collection of custom PRS guitars, a Pete Cornish- and Teese-stocked pedalboard, and a collection of holy grail amps.
Santana tours with a rack full of his signature PRS models. Although he has a lot of backups, Santana tends to play the same guitar all night. At the moment, “Salmon” and “Son of Salmon” are in heavy rotation. According to Adair, each guitar has a few modifications: “The locking saddles are the third generation of a design that Paul Reed Smith and his team came up with. Paul had a design drawing within a few days and we had them installed on the ‘Salmon’ a short time after.” When Santana wants to bust out some old-school Spanish guitar, he goes to his Jazz Electric Nylon model built by luthier Toru Nittono.
After being retired from use for some time, Santana’s original, snakeskin-covered 100-watt Mesa/Boogie is back onstage with the master. Santana also plays through a pair of Dumble Overdrive Reverbs and a pair of Bludotone Universal Tone heads—one of which is a prototype. The amps drive a pair of paisley-covered PRS 4×12 cabs. One cab is loaded with four Celestion Vintage 30s, the other sports two Celestion Vintage 30s and two Celestion G12-65s. (more…)
Carlos Santana talks with PRS guitar founder, Paul Reed Smith and explores what to look for in a new guitar. He says the best guitars serve your creativity—they feel comfortable (not fussy), like an old t-shirt so a musician can focus on playing from the heart. Carlos salutes Paul for his mastery in guitar making, expressing that because PRS guitars are so solidly built, musicians who play them can draw forth the song from inside themselves with ease.