There are some of us for whom only a Gibson or Fender will do, but there are also a lot of us who just want the right guitar for us. Godin makes a lot of right guitars for a lot of people, and the Session LTD is a great example of how the Canadian company takes a familiar concept and gives it a distinctly Godin twist. It’s clear that it takes its cues from a Stratty perspective but it’s not just a Strat with a differently-shaped pickguard.
TIME TO ROCK (MAPLE)
The body is made of Canadian Laurentian basswood with a rock maple neck (available with either maple or rosewood ngerboard: the review model’s is maple). The fingerboard radius is 12”, flatter than vintage but not ‘super shredder axe’ at. The 22 frets feel well-finished and are rather large, with further takes it away from comparisons to early Strats. The pickups are a combination of brands: there are two Godin GS-1 single coils in the neck and middle positions, and a Seymour Duncan SH-11 Custom Custom humbucker in the bridge (with an Alnico 2 magnet and a hotter-than-vintage coil wind). The pickups are controlled by a 5-way blade switch into a master volume and a master tone control, the latter of which is a push-pull pot which engages a coil split for the humbucker. The bridge is very clever too. It features the Godin Tru-Loc system which lets you set your own bar placement via a simple allen key adjustment. It locks the arm into what Godin calls your Custom Comfort Zone.
THE CUSTOM CUSTOM, AS IS CUSTOM
The first thing you’ll notice when you plug this guitar in is that the Custom Custom is a particularly punchy-sounding pickup, hotter than a PAF but not ridiculously so, so it allows your tone to breathe when you really pile on the distortion. It has a bright attack and a warm sustain, and it feels more than a little reminiscent of Eddie Van Halen’s 1980s tones especially through a Marshall. But when you pop that coil split it cleans up further and takes on a more twangy, country-ish edge that blends really nicely with the middle pickup. And speaking of those two single coils, they’re very clear and bright. They might be a bit too thin and clean for some players but they have that springy 50s Stratocaster sound that works so well for blues and country, and is taylor-made for clean tones.
A LITTLE OLD, A LITTLE NEW
This is a very playable, comfortable guitar that’s capable of a wide range of tones, although to be fair those tones tend to be more blues/rock/country/pop than djent/death/ thrash/grind. If you’re looking for a mature, refined guitar that can get a little rude when you need it too but is especially suited to more controllable tones, the Session LTD packs a whole lot of tone into its slightly familiar, slightly unique form.
Hits and Misses
Bright, clear punchy tones
Clever tremolo system
Nicely playable neck
The tones may be a little thin for some