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Would PRS and Mesa “exist” as they do today without Santana?

SSIA

  • Yes, the quality was there and they’d be just as huge without Carlos

    Votes: 174 62.8%
  • No, wouldn’t be as big without Santana’s name.

    Votes: 103 37.2%

  • Total voters
    277

Benz2112

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,919
The question is whether history is rewritten if Carlos doesn't give Randall and Paul his blessing, and i have to say yes. There were lots of pros that were gearheads during the same period, but Carlos can probably be out down as the godfather of boutique gear. Would someone else big come along? Maybe, but would that person have come along before the money ran out? Who knows. Carlos changed the market for the better.
 

jaded1592

Member
Messages
82
Right, that’s the question. Almost definitely some of A and some of B. Paul has said he wouldn’t have gotten the loan for the first factory without Carlos. At least not when he did.

Paul has ambition and drive that I’m not sure Collings ever did too. I don’t know if Collings would want or could handle the type of business Paul has.
That's an important part of the equation that gets ignored in these comparisons.

Is Collings starving or struggling to keep a roof over his head? Contrary to popular belief, not everyone is trying to be the next big thing.
 

jaded1592

Member
Messages
82
He died two years ago. :(
Oops. Sorry, obviously not that familiar. :facepalm

But actually, after looking them up, their history still looks like it matches the point I'm trying to make. The guy founded the company and ran it for 44 years. If it made him a decent living and has lasted this long, that is by no means a failure just because they aren't the size of PRS. Most business ventures only last a few years; keeping one going since 1973 is a major achievement.
 

Pahom

Member
Messages
227
Not 100% sure about Mesa, but PRS's success is solely based on a business relationship it developed with Guitar Center. Seems like Mesa became popular through GC, too.
 

fjrabon

Member
Messages
3,800
Not 100% sure about Mesa, but PRS's success is solely based on a business relationship it developed with Guitar Center. Seems like Mesa became popular through GC, too.
Both of those happened after Santana endorsed. If anything that’s probably a point in favor of the Santana thing.
The thing a lot of people seem to be missing is *when* Santana endorsed. For both companies he endorsed them when they were virtually unknown. Paul had made maybe 20 guitars and Mesa was mostly known for modding fenders. Carlos literally came up with the second half of the name: “Boogie”
 
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djg714

Member
Messages
1,008
from the Mesa website:

Around 1969 we wanted to play a prank on Barry Melton of Country Joe and the Fish. So I took his little Fender Princeton amp which, stock, puts out about twelve watts and has a ten-inch speaker. I cut up the chassis to fit big transformers and entirely rebuilt it using the famous 4-10 Tweed Bassman circuit. After careful measurement, I cut out the speaker board and squeaked in a twelve-inch JBL D-120, the hot speaker back then. When I finished building it, I took it out to the front of the store to get a good play test and who do you think happened to be hanging out right then? Carlos Santana. He just wailed through that little amp until people were blocking the sidewalk. When he stopped playing he turned and said, “**** man. That little thing really Boogies!” Word spread fast and before long there were over a hundred little Princeton/ Boogies appearing on Bay Area Stages including the Fillmore and Winterland …all of them built up a dirt path in a mountain shack I had converted from an old dog kennel
 

Melange

Member
Messages
188
agree on the statement that Santana had a huge influence on PRS. Not sure about Mesa , I think they stand on their own
 

Comanche5

Member
Messages
1,842
I remember what put PRS on my radar and it wasnt Santana. The first one I noticed was the all white one in the Rollins Band video for liar. Second one was Silverchair. After that there were a number of nu-metal bands using the PRS/Warwick combo for guitar/bass. Incubus had a whole bunch of sweet models as did 36 Crazyfists. I know the guy from Opeth used them for ages and likely still does as well as VOD back in the day.
So yea, thats what brought them to the attention of myself and my guitarist as we were growing up. We've owned 4 of them between us.
As far as Mesa.... soooooooooo many metal bands were rocking rectifiers in the 90's.
You're likely in my age bracket. Meaning we both missed the actually rise to prominence of both companies. I have a Mesa/Boogie Mark IIA that came with the original typed owners manual. It includes a list of users that's the who's who of the time, e.g. Santana, The Who, The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, and many others. By the time nu-metal came around, the companies were already well established.
 

dwk302

Member
Messages
1,947
When I think of Mesa, I think Hetfield and Petrucci. When I think of PRS I think Tremonti.

Might be a generational thing but Santana means nothing to me. I don’t see him as someone who influenced a lot of guitarist.
 
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sixty2strat

Member
Messages
11,506
I was there this is what I recall

Carlos was a big act till maybe 84.
He gets slammed now but he was a musicians musician back then, so people did pay attention to his gear, not everyone but he had respect from a lot of guys
Carlos was a big print ad endorser for mesa.
Carlos was seen using a PRS as his number 1. Nugent was linked' with the Byrdland , lesse IIRC had a dean ad.
That said Mesas were rare and the old wood n wicker ones were ripped off cosmetically by legend amps. So if your ripped of there is a certain cachet
other guys used them like the stones and LA session guys, Hard rock metal guys might have on in the studio but Never saw them on stage
They were rare as no one had the in stores or locally;
I saw Santana in 1981 at the manm music center that held about 10-15 k, saw him at a free radio station show in 1987, so he fell far and fast to give you some idea of his change. By that time /PRS and Mesa were big names.
 

s2y

Member
Messages
19,139
Almost everyone I knew with Mesa and PRS with the NU metal scene. Neither were my cup of tea, but I'm well aware that the amps and guitars are at least somewhat versatile. I'd consider a PRS at some point. I suppose I'd consider a Mesa if I needed a new amp, although perfectly satisfied with my Carr Rambler.
 

sixty2strat

Member
Messages
11,506
When I think of Mesa, I think Hetfield and Petrucci. When I think of PRS I think Tremonti.

Might be a generational thing but Santana means nothing to me. I don’t see him as someone who influenced a lot of guitarist.
More an issue of knowing your history.

I saw Carlos using a PRS almost 15 years before Creed was around , Now I see them used by lawyers n Dentists 40 years latter
 

sixty2strat

Member
Messages
11,506
Almost everyone I knew with Mesa and PRS with the NU metal scene. Neither were my cup of tea, but I'm well aware that the amps and guitars are at least somewhat versatile. I'd consider a PRS at some point. I suppose I'd consider a Mesa if I needed a new amp, although perfectly satisfied with my Carr Rambler.
Marshall suffers a similar rep the head banging amp, Roy Obision used them on a UK tour and brought the 1st one back to the US.I took a lot of flack in the 80;s for my plexi, at auditions they expected me to be some yngwie clone ….I played progressive rock regae blues jazz rock n country rock and alt rock on it
 

boo radley

Member
Messages
2,120
Not 100% sure about Mesa, but PRS's success is solely based on a business relationship it developed with Guitar Center. Seems like Mesa became popular through GC, too.
IMO, PRS's success owes almost entirely to the concept of a '10-top,' and understanding and marketing to the boutique buyer long before anyone else.
 

scotty31

Member
Messages
3,512
I always knew Carlos played PRS. I reckon he brought them recognition, but they stand on their quality. They're great guitars.

I didn't know he played Mesa. For me, Mesa was the domain of Foo Fighters, Prince, Metallica, etc.

Im a big player of both (perhaps its my advanced career in banking.....). But i have been on a Mesa kick for a while. Absolutely love the Mark 3 and Lone Star Classic. Have a Tremoverb.
Running a PRS CE3 (precursor to the CE24), McCarty Soapbar & looking to get a Tremonti in as a Les Paul challenger.

They build great gear.
 




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