Godins are the classic “I didn’t know I wanted it until I played it” guitars. I’ve told this story a few times in these pages but when I worked in a music store we sold a lot of them to people who came in expecting to walk out with something else until they decided to give a Godin a go, and realised how nice they are. This model is equal parts traditional and forward-looking, and is sure to appeal to those who want something a bit Stratty but aren’t necessarily concerned with it being an actual Strat or direct copy.
THAT’S A PLUS
The body is made of Canadian Laurentian basswood with a flame maple top - or is it a photo-flame or veneer? Godin doesn’t make it quite clear in their marketing, but whatever it is, it looks great. The neck is hard rock maple with an ergocut rosewood fretboard (maple is optional) and a 12” fretboard radius. The scale length is 25.5” and the neck is relatively thin, certainly more modern in feel than an old Strat or something, but a little more rounded than most thin necks. There’s also a Godin Tru-Loc tremolo bridge, which lets you dial in the resting point of the tremolo arm with an allen key.
Electronics consist of a Seymour Duncan JB Jr. single coil-sized humbucker (a smaller version of the venerable SH-4 JB humbucker used over the years by artists with surnames such as Beck and Mustaine and Cantrell). There are also two Godin GS-2 single coil pickups with oversized pole pieces; master volume and tone controls; a five-way pickup selector switch; and Godin’s H.D.R. High-Definition Revoicer switch, which revoices each pickup and effectively gives you the benefits of active pickups at the push of a button.
The bridge pickup isn’t quite as fat as a regular-sized JB, but it’s intriguing to compare it to one and see exactly how they differ. Basically the tone is very much within the same neighbourhood but the JB Jr. is a little more focused, since it senses a smaller area of the string than the full-sized pickup. It’s still recognisably JB though, which means it’s great for percussive palm-muting and screaming solos alike. Think ‘hot PAF with an attitude problem’ and you’re halfway there. The other two pickups feel a little darker and more midrange-heavy than typical single coils, with a bit of a ‘fat 60s Strat’ vibe. They definitely keep up with the humbucker, and have plenty of character of their own. The H.D.R. imparts more midrange and output to each pickup setting while removing a little treble edge, giving you fatter, creamier, rounder, hotter tones to go alongside the regular settings.
COVERING THE BASES
This would be the perfect guitar for a cover-band guitarist who needs to cover single coil and humbucker tones in a single gig, and who needs to go from clean to ultra high gain without sacrificing clean character or dirty definition. And the tuning stability is quite nice too. Give it a try.
Hits and Misses
Versatile tones, especially with the H.D.R. switch
Comfortable neck carve