Outside of the hardcore guitar geeks amongst us Godin is a name that rarely comes up. In fact, even within the hardcore guitar geek community, Godin is a name that rarely comes up. Why this is so is one of life’s great mysteries.
I had recently been jamming with some chaps in a blues band. They play a bit of blues, a bit of rock and some soul for good measure. Whilst a Strat would have covered the required sounds, I somehow wanted to justify this musical venture a reason to go on the lookout for a new guitar. Like I needed a reason.
In all honesty a Strat or Tele would have been adequate, however being a somewhat compulsive guitar buyer, who doesn’t own a guitar with P90s, this seemed as good a time as any to investigate. The P90 sound is one that although admired in great measure, too often goes ignored. The iconic 50s Goldtop Les Paul with P90s used by Freddie King and Leslie West with his Les Paul Juniors have shown the world how the humble P90 is more than capable of anything you throw at it.
Although there are quite a few P90 equipped guitars on the market today, Gibson being one of the more prominent, none of the guitars that were immediately available struck me. I considered buying a solidbody guitar and finding some humbucker sized P-90s from BareKnuckle or Seymour Duncan and wiring them together, then a Godin passed my way.
I have several friends and a former tutor who use Godin guitars, primarily the nylon strung multiac guitars. They have nothing but great things to say about the guitars, and they are absolutely correct. Godin guitars receive very high praise and for good reason. The guitars are made to such high standards and with great components it is a touch disconcerting as to why they do not have the recognition they deserve.
My first impressions of the Godin were very promising. The guitar is rock solid without being too weighty. The guitar is well balanced and not neck heavy. The controls are well placed, with the nice touch of having chrome controls knurled making them easy to adjust. Although the vast majority of my guitars have quite a pronounced vintage radius, or a modern Fender radius the flatter radius of the Godin was a welcomed change. After an hour of messing around with the Godin you soon end up flying around the fingerboard. Although there is a change in feel between a Fender and a Godin, you’ll soon end up adjusting to the change in radius and scale length.
The fret work is great for a guitar as affordable as this. The fret ends are finished incredibly well. The frets themselves are of the modern variety being fairly pronounced and wide allowing easy bends and legato playing.
Although the workmanship is excellent, the only part of the guitar that is a little unfinished is the recesses for the strings which could have had a little more attention. This is of course a minor gripe with an excellent guitar.
All things considered, if the cost of a set of pickups will set you back £100 or so, plus the cost of fitting them, and then the cost of the guitar itself, the Godin becomes very attractive.
The Godin, despite not being contoured in the same way a LP or Strat it it is very comfortable under the arm, when seated and standing, having a no frills work horse feel. The tuners feel secure and are accurate whilst still being easy to adjust.
My only reservations for recommending this guitar are; it appears relatively infrequently on the used market so quite hard to try out, Godin’s don’t hold their value when they do sell on the used market, and lastly – the neck.
The neck on this guitar is a chunky one, to me at least. Certainly think more 50s Les Paul than slim. By no means a baseball bat of a neck, slim it ain’t.
The pickups are worth the cost of the guitar on their own. They really are something else. I have always been a fan of Seymour Duncan pickups and these just reinforce that admiration. The pickups are noticeably beefier than your regular single coils, and in this instance almost like a lower output hum bucker than a single coil. When you roll the volume down on the guitar the pickups react accordingly and clean up really well yet respond with more bite when you dig in with the pick.
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What it all boils down to is that this is unquestionably a great guitar. I certainly love the guitar, I like the quirky headstock, which is not to everyone’s taste but it grows on you.
If you are in the market for great guitars with a difference you can’t go wrong with a Godin
Currently Listening to – Joy Spring – Larry Coryell
Products have been purchased with my own money with no incentive to review from Godin or any other manufacturer or distributor. I receive absolutely no payment in any kind for this review. Thoughts are my own and are positive because I wanted the product as I like it.