Santana has won 10 Grammy Awards and three Latin Grammy Awards. In 2015, Rolling Stone magazine listed Santana at number 20 on their list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists.

More About Santana

Carlos Santana’s distinctive guitar tone is produced by PRS Santana signature guitars plugged into multiple amplifiers. The amps consist of a Mesa Boogie Mark I, Dumble Overdrive Reverb and more recently a Bludotone amplifier. Santana compares the tonal qualities of each amplifier to that of a singer producing head/nasal tones, chest tones, and belly tones. A three-way amp switcher is employed on Carlos’s pedal board to enable him to switch between amps. Often the unique tones of each amplifier are blended together, complementing each other producing a richer tone. He also put the “Boogie” in Mesa Boogie. Santana is credited with coining the popular Mesa amplifier name when he tried one and exclaimed, “That little thing really Boogies!”

During his early career Santana used a GMT transistor amplifier stack and a silverface Fender Twin. The GMT 226A rig was used at the Woodstock concert as well as during recording Santana’s debut album. During this era Santana had also begun to use the Fender Twin, which was also used on the debut and proceedingly at the recording sessions of Abraxas.

Specifically, Santana combines a Mesa/Boogie Mark I head running through a Boogie cabinet with Altec 417-8H (or recently JBL E120s) speakers, and a Dumble Overdrive Reverb and/or a Dumble Overdrive Special running through a Brown or Marshall 4×12 cabinet with Celestion G12M “Greenback” speakers, depending on the desired sound. Shure KSM-32 microphones are used to pick up the sound, going to the PA. Additionally, a Fender Cyber-Twin Amp is mostly used at home.

Santana Guitar Signature Models:

  • PRS Santana I “The Yellow”(1988)
  • PRS Santana II “Supernatural” (1999)
  • PRS Santana III (2001)
  • PRS Santana SE (2001)
  • PRS Santana SE II (2003)
  • PRS Santana Shaman SE-Limited Edition (2003)
  • PRS Santana MD “The Multidimensional” (2008)
  • PRS Santana 25th Anniversary (2009)
  • PRS Santana Abraxas SE-Limited Edition (2009)
  • PRS Santana SE “The Multidimensional” (2011)
  • PRS Santana Retro (2017)
  • PRS Santana Yellow SE (2017)