Finally, exclusivity for a good cause! While Fender and Gibson have both recently released very limited edition models at very high prices, PRS Guitars has decided to donate most of the proceeds of this Santana I Limited Edition to a charity, Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Center in Antigua.
Paul Reed Smith and Santana
In the fall of 1980, the young luthier Paul Reed Smith made his way backstage to meet guitar legend Carlos Santana before he took to the stage. That night, Santana played a prototype PRS guitar. He later instructed Smith to build a guitar for him. It was the beginning of a lifelong connection between the two and one that turned out to be crucial to the success of PRS Guitars.
Santana I Limited Edition
The PRS Crossroads Pre-Factory Santana I Limited Edition is modelled on this first guitar. The special features of this “Pre-Factory” model include the body shape, inlays, pickups and electronics.
The contour of the mahogany body with maple top is the precursor of the PRS Santana (affiliate link) available today. Even then, the striking bird inlays made of solid abalone were installed in the fingerboard. The eagle on the veneer of the top plate and the “OM” symbol on the truss rod cover were to become the trademark of the PRS Santana models.
PRS TCI Pickups
The pickups include an HFS treble and Santana bass pickup. Both undergo the new TCI process (Tuned Capacitance and Inductance). This new method developed by PRS can exactly reproduce the voicing achieved in the original guitars, we are told. Either way, it is an interesting new way of voicing pickups and possibly one we could see again in the future with other models from PRS.
The electronics consists of a volume control and two mini toggles. The latter are not responsible for coil splitting, as is the case with current PRS guitars. Instead, the pickups are only turned on or off. Santana himself wanted this layout, apparently, although a simple 3-way switch would have done the same job.
Crossroads Guitar Festival
Only six guitars will be available of the Santana I Limited Edition. They are built exclusively for the Crossroads Guitar Festival. Benefit concerts and the sale of these instruments will benefit Eric Clapton ‘s Crossroads Center, a drug treatment centre in Antigua.
RRP – USD 11999