WALK THE (THIN) LINE
A thin line semi hollow body electric, the Montreal Premiere sits comfortably in weight and size somewhere between a solid body feel and an archtop. With Canadian Cherry top, back and sides, Godin’s design includes a ‘breathe through’ carved spruce core that is aimed at adding resonance to the overall tone. There are some usual suspects in the rest of the build with a mahogany set neck and rosewood fingerboard. This sunburst finish looks great and loaded with a bigsby tremolo setup and tune-o-matic styled bridge. It leans a little more to the vintage/rock/blues sound and style (although there are some variations in this line with P90s, stop tail piece and more).
WHAT’S GODIN ON?
I’ll be honest, the first thing I did was play a big 6th chord and try the Bigsby and it was great fun! The bouncy resistance and subtle feel makes for a really musical tool. The Montreal Premiere sounds big and rich and resonates nicely. There’s a little chunk in the neck which feels great for this type of guitar. It’s not a huge baseball bat but definitely has a little size to it, although you’ll not notice it after a little playing thanks to the beautiful gloss finish. Woody and round on the front pickup with some fat edge if you pump the tone control, anything from thick voiced jazz chords to big open chord rock. Hit the bridge and you’ll get some bitey twang for blues and rock or more atmospheric tones with some variation. My only wish would be for independent volume and tone controls for each pickup to really allow you to flick between sounds at will.
I can think of a couple of good situations where the Montreal Premiere may fit the bill. Semi hollow jangle tones with the bigsby for some added vibe, jazz guys wanting something thinner than a big body hollow archtop, rockier guys wanting a double bucker guitar with some extra hollow tones and those just after a solid axe with a good feel and nice finish that plays well. Its light, decently priced, can cross quite a few genres and sounds awesome. I want one.