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  1. #1

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    I traveled yesterday to a guitar store where they had several Godin Multiac guitar models.

    Although I had gone there to look at something else, the Godin Nylon SA really got my attention. I really liked this instrument and found it very comfortable to play sitting down. I have spent a little time lately trying to get a Bossa Nova right hand rhythm down, and I found I like that on this guitar.

    I have spent the last 10 years primarily playing hollow body archtops.

    My reaction to the Godin model really surprised me. I have a classical guitar that I have not used for almost 15 years now.

    I would love to see a good dialogue on the various Godin nylon string models. I think there is some kind of comparison chart on the Godin web site, but I am having trouble finding it again.

    Not sure if I would ever use the SA feature. It seems they quickly identify the various pickup, electronic systems, but do not know what other parameters change.

    I used to think that nylon string guitars were primarily played fingerstyle. However I did see a few people playing them with a flatpick on line. Is this common?

    I think I would like to see some good video of people playing these guitars? Any favorite performers or You Clips recommended? Not exactly sure how I would use one of these. Don't think I would want to haul it to a gig to play just one or two tunes.

    I thought this was the year where I was going to really focus on music and not on gear. ................


    Danielle

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Sylvain Luc is a big player of the Godin's, both steel & nylon, just search for him in youtube, he has a ton of vids, to many for me to pick a fav.

  4. #3

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    I play an ACS. I don't use the synth but it happened to be on the guitar I bought. It still has a bit of a plucky piezo sound to it but it's the best nylon sound I've been able to find at gig volumes without feedback/projection issues. I really like it and it is very comfortable to play. Works with a pick for soloing.

    Lione Loueke plays a multiac.

    Also, I got mine for a hell of a deal from this dude:
    slightlytouchedguitar.blogspot.com
    Last edited by drbhrb; 05-18-2015 at 11:11 AM.

  5. #4

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    I have the Grand Concert "Duet Ambiance," and I absolutely love it. Best plugged in sound of any "electric acoustic" I've ever played, and a surprising amount of unplugged volume (plenty for practice)

  6. #5

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    What's the difference between the Grand Concert and the SA?

  7. #6

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    Also use the SA -- fantastic neck and incredible evenness all across the finger board. Just great to play jazz on....

    A joy to play!!

    GC is larger --larger chamber body wider neck

  8. #7

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    Yeah, GC is larger body, "classical" width neck, no synth, dual source pickup (piezo + mic modeling)

    Feels more like a classical in your hands as opposed to a "hybrid."

  9. #8

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    They make 3 nut widths: GC is 2"(?), standard SA is 1-7/8", and the "Slim" is 1-11/16, I think. MOP is that they should bump up the Slim to 1-3/4". The radius is pretty shallow, 16". I think the new ones are Richlite, you can get ebony on a used one if that matters to you.

  10. #9

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    The Grand Concerto model is available as an SA model, if I recall correctly. The SA designation is the 13-pin piezoelectric pickup. Not straight MIDI. Needs to go through an interface USB into the computer or into a Roland or Axon guitar synth.

  11. #10

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    silvain luc is truly wonderful on that Godin

    massive ears , check 'isn't she lovely'
    with Birrelli

  12. #11

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    Godins are nice guitars. I wouldn't constrain myself to playing a nylon string guitar just with your fingers. I have a La Patrie Hybrid CW and I play it fingerstyle and with a pick. I use a nice John Pearse 3.2mm Fast Turtle and it produces a lovely dark, articulate tone with the nylon strings.

  13. #12

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    Yeah...I grew up in a predominantly Mexican neighborhood...folks used picks on nylon string guitars ALL the time...never thought twice about it, but I do really like the feeling of "fingers only" on nylon, much more than on steel.

  14. #13

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    I've been mainly a stratocaster, telecaster player but I've fallen completely in love with my Multiac SA. Its the only guitar I've played for months.

  15. #14
    I gather the ACS models are designed for playing at higher volumes. I do not see myself playing at any high volume events. As I rarely plug an instrument in when practicing at home, I am thinking I should rule out the ACS models. I have not played an ACS model. Ruling out ACS does seem to rule out a lot of wood selections.

    I would not want a 2" nut. This rules out the Grand Concert models.

    Ruling out the above seems to leave the Encore Nylon, the Nylon SA, and the Nylon Duet Ambience. I am leaning towards the Nylon SA, as that is what happened to play and liked.

    How are the electronics in all of these models? Any problems with hum? Anyone have any opinions on the electronic systems for the models that I am left with here? I hear of mics in guitars I tend to think of something that may be overly sensitive to volumes / feedback. Not sure where I am still trying to get a better feel for the model differences.

    Tough to find all of the models at one place to compare.


    Danielle

  16. #15

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    I love Godin guitars. Have three currently (Montreal, a P90 5th Ave and Jazz 5th Ave). Absolutely adore them.

    Multiac's on the other hand .... :-(
    I have tried three in the past 9 months ... first had a fault, and I also had miss givings about the piezo sound so I returned it. (I loved the neck on the slim ACS. So elegant, smooth and slim.)
    But thought I would give them a second try, so I arranged to borrow one for a weekend (the chambered duel miked version). Again hated the sound

    Succumbed for a third time after seeing one in a sale, but returned after a week in exchange for a different guitar.
    Just can't get on with the piezo sound at ... despite the loveliness of the neck on the slim ACS model.
    I also suspect Godin put very low tension strings on new Multiacs to reduce the thump of the piezo ... but this results in a very sloppy feeling guitar.

    The sound to my ears is just dead. They are zombie guitars.
    They need tons of reverb and a bit of delay just to embody the sound with any sort of liveliness.

    I can understand why they might be the best compromise if you need to gig with an amplified nylon in a loud environment ... but just for the pleasure of playing a guitar, I feel they have no 'spirit'.
    Last edited by drewbuchan; 05-19-2015 at 12:30 AM.

  17. #16

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    I bought a used SA (15 years old I think, ebony neck, got a good price) last year and couldn't stop playing it during 6 months, very comfortable (sitting and standing) nice neck.
    I play it trough a Yamaha AG stomp (old one too but goooood!) with reverb and chorus, avoiding this way the piezo sound that is real. My amp is a Vox AGA70 (there's one channel with a tube, really good).
    I use all this for bossa (the reason I bought the Godin), it's good too with a pick (solo and my poor tries of chord melody).

    If you are in love with this guitar buy it! (pay attention to the fretwork on new ones, sometimes not so good) Think of effects and an appropriate amp, good luck!

    french Michel

  18. #17

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    I would recommend buying a second hand if you really are determined to own one,
    Loads on ebay, especially in the US.

  19. #18
    The one that I tried and liked in the store was a Nylon SA. They had it plugged into a Schertler amp. I must admit that I did not take the time to observe how they may have had the EQ set.

    (For reference, the guitar that I play most of the time these days is an Eastman AR503CE.)

    I have never bought or sold anything on ebay. I was wondering if there is a common standard for ebay instrument conditions. I was once at a local high end acoustic dealer where he showed me a surface level scratch maybe 1/2" long, not very deep, very difficult to see, on the side of an instrument, that I think could have been buffed out. He said that would prevent him from listing an instrument as being in mint condition. Other than that one problem, the instrument the finish was flawless.

    Anyone use the SA feature? I have to wonder where we are on the technology curve here. Is it still being widely used or are we on the downward slope of the popularity curve.


    Danielle

  20. #19

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    This is as good as it will ever get on a Godin Multiac Nylon

    Sylvain Luc's solo is a killer

    PS
    FWIW I'm selling a 2005 Godin Multiac Nylon. Located in Europe.

  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by drewbuchan
    I love Godin guitars. Have three currently (Montreal, a P90 5th Ave and Jazz 5th Ave). Absolutely adore them.

    Multiac's on the other hand .... :-(
    I have tried three in the past 9 months ... first had a fault, and I also had miss givings about the piezo sound so I returned it. (I loved the neck on the slim ACS. So elegant, smooth and slim.)
    But thought I would give them a second try, so I arranged to borrow one for a weekend (the chambered duel miked version). Again hated the sound

    Succumbed for a third time after seeing one in a sale, but returned after a week in exchange for a different guitar.
    Just can't get on with the piezo sound at ... despite the loveliness of the neck on the slim ACS model.
    I also suspect Godin put very low tension strings on new Multiacs to reduce the thump of the piezo ... but this results in a very sloppy feeling guitar.

    The sound to my ears is just dead. They are zombie guitars.
    They need tons of reverb and a bit of delay just to embody the sound with any sort of liveliness.

    I can understand why they might be the best compromise if you need to gig with an amplified nylon in a loud environment ... but just for the pleasure of playing a guitar, I feel they have no 'spirit'.
    My experience has been pretty much exactly the opposite of that described above. The guitar has great feel, high quality build, sounds great through my Fishman amp with really no tweaking required.

  22. #21
    Playerizor, which particular model do you have?



    Danielle

  23. #22

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    I've never been a huge fan of Luc's live tone, I think I've heard folks get much better sounds out of the Godins...but can't argue with his playing! DAMN!

    I'd like to hear him play my guitar...

  24. #23

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    I've been playing the Multiac SA 7-string for several months now, mostly on high volume gigs with my African group. It was perfectly set up out of the box, and is a great compromise between a classical and an electric guitar, in that the fingerboard is plenty wide, but has a slight crown, making it easier to play jazz chords and slightly more plectrum-friendly. As far as amplified sound goes, there is no better system available for nylon-string guitars than the RMC; I have installed that system in several guitars, and all it needs is a nice little processor like the Zoom A2 or the Yamaha Stomp or Korg Acoustic Pandora. Spend some time tweaking the settings and you're sure to find a sound that you'll like. The Godins are also built like tanks, take a lot of punishment, but are stable as can be. I generally use a handmade flamenco guitar that's a modified 7-string with the RMC system for my less-loud gigs, but the Godin is a fine jazz/world music/fusion axe. Rather hard to beat the price points as well. I know I'd have to spend 4 times as much to get a handmade nylon 7 with the RMC system built in. Like every other guitar, one has to choose the model that "fits", although I had no choice with the 7, but it's almost perfect (I would like more frets on the 1st and 2nd strings).

  25. #24

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    Check out the Rick Turner Rensissance RN-6 semi hollow nylon string. I have one and it gets a great sound, easy to mostly eliminate the foibles of piezos. Our own Paul Kirk has a nice video on YouTube of his.

  26. #25

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    The Turner guitars sound great.

    I need to do a nice recording of my Godin. I swear, it sounds more like a real acoustic guitar plugged in than anything I've ever played. The pickup system in the Duet Ambiance is the bees knees.

  27. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by DanielleOM
    Playerizor, which particular model do you have?



    Danielle
    I have the Nylon SA and play it through a small Fishman amp with just a little reverb.

  28. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont
    I've never been a huge fan of Luc's live tone, I think I've heard folks get much better sounds out of the Godins...but can't argue with his playing! DAMN!

    I'd like to hear him play my guitar...
    Damn !

    exquisite ..... momentous

  29. #28

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    I've got the Multiac Nylon Duet. It's got an internal Baggs pickup and mic setup that you can blend. It doesn't have a synth pickup. They make them now with the Fishman system. I can't tell you which is better but I like mine a lot. Sounds terrific through my Acoustic Image Corus. I also like the playability of the instrument. I keep thinking I'd like to get a conventional classic guitar with a pickup, but I'm never displeased with the Multiac when I take it out on a gig.

    The system is very quiet, by the way. It has a regular 1/4 inch jack and a cannon jack. You can use either one or both. I did a recording session a few weeks ago where I plugged into an amp with the 1/4 inch jack and they took the cannon feed direct into the board. Sounded clean and quiet. No complaints here.

  30. #29

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    I am also a player/fan of the Grand Concert Duet Ambiance. The acoustic volume is great for practice and it is very difficult to get it to feedback. You can blend the piezo with the microphone simulations and get a lot of variety of sounds.

    I am curious how you use the phase switch button, only for decreasing the feedback ?

  31. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont
    The Turner guitars sound great.

    I need to do a nice recording of my Godin. I swear, it sounds more like a real acoustic guitar plugged in than anything I've ever played. The pickup system in the Duet Ambiance is the bees knees.

    It's funny that both the Godin and the Turner guitars sound more acoustic through an amp than most acoustic guitars with a piezo pickup. They are both semi-hollow construction; I think that reduces the piezo thump that tends to come through and it also seems to reduce the nasal quack. Since I got my Turner I rarely play my Takamine classical through an amp because the Turner just sounds better.

    Rick Turner and Seymour Duncan have a joint venture, DTAR, that produces some top-notch aftermarket acoustic amplification products.

  32. #31

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    I still don't understand the difference between the Nylon-SA and the ACS-SA.

  33. #32
    Woody,


    It's my understanding that the ACS models, are constructed in a manner that makes them more suitable for playing at higher volumes. I would think that would make them less desirable for some one that wants to practice at home without plugging in.

    You would think there must be a document or web page somewhere that gives a better picture regarding the construction. However I have not found it yet.


    Danielle

  34. #33
    I have been wondering about sustain with the Nylon multiac AC. Do you find it is similar to the average acoustic classical guitar?

    Danielle

  35. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woody Sound
    I still don't understand the difference between the Nylon-SA and the ACS-SA.
    nylon sa: solid spruce top

    Acs-sa: lam (iirc) maple too

    And slightly different body shapes.

  36. #35

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    I'm using the Godin Nylon Duet Ambience model right now.

    I would like to know the difference between the Duet Ambience model and the Grand Concert Ambience model.

    I know that the Duet Ambience model has a smaller fingerboard and a smaller body size than the Grand Concert model. By the way, what is the difference between the two models' sound?

    If the grand concert model has a thicker body and has a richer sound, and is softer, the question arises whether the grand concert model is a better model than the duet ambience model.

    So I thought about changing it to a grand concert model, but I'm more concerned, because very nice about comfortable fingerboard of the Duet Ambience model.
    Can you tell us the difference between the sound and guitar tone of this grand concert model and the duet ambience model?

    What could be called a better guitar?

    And, how do you set up a Godin nylon guitar amp on a live stage? It was my first time using an electric nylon guitar, so I played it on a fender amplifier, but the sound was very bad. So I tried it directly on the mixer, but this sound was very bad than when I connected it to a computer with an audio interface.

    How can I get good sound and tone from live performances?

  37. #36

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    I bought one many years ago from Brandon Ross, who is an excellent guitarist. I had it for several years, and it sounds great, I wasn't playing it much for a while and sold it, and now I'd love to get another, but the Concert edition, what i loved about it, was how easy i could plug it in and tweak it slightly to get a nice recorded tone without setting up mics etc... you can record nice sounding nylon string quite easily, and it played nicely too

  38. #37

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    The Grand Concert models have wide fingerboards and only 19 frets, but really sound excellent when properly EQ'd and effected with an outboard processor and amplified with a hi-fi rig like a Bose Compact. The other models have more frets, which could be important for some players, but are less "acoustic" in construction, so will have a bit more sustain but perhaps a little less "body" to the sound. Playing them with a pick works fine, I even use distortion and other effects on my Multiac, although finger style is the best. They are really hard to beat for the price. I've ben gigging almost exclusively with my Multiac Nylon 7-string for years now, never an issue, no work needed by a tech, always reliable, excellent intonation, and the SA feature is great fun with a Roland GR-55 synth (which also incorporates the VG-99 technology); I get all the synth sounds as well as a double handful of modeled guitars from an L4 to 335 to a variety of Fender models, eliminating the need for a steel-string instrument on most gigs. Just be sure to have a 9-volt battery in your gig bag, when the battery goes, it goes fast, even though they last generally a full year of regular gigging. The only time I gig with my conventional steel-string electric is if I need to bend more than a 1/2 step, as in blues; nylon strings won't bend more than that. I generally use the normal gauge D'Addario coated EXP basses and Luthier trebles and change strings maybe every 2 years!

  39. #38

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    I recently bought a Godin Slim Multiac. My love of the nylon string guitar sound led me here and its been a lifelong passion. Love the sound of fingers plucking nylon guitar strings. I was scheming for an electric-"solidish" body nylon string guitar long scale neck with a neck width similar to a jazz guitar. Use my finger plucking classical guitar technique yet with a slimmer width fingerboard like an electric. When I use classical right hand technique on steel strings it chews my fingernails up. Also I like big stretch left-hand chording that I can get on a nice jazz neck. The idea of no feedback and a thin small body. A good nylon string for recording and live.
    So these are some of the things that led me to the Multiac Nylon Slim. Heres my impressions after a few covid-fuelled months... This is a solid build. The neck is great all the way up. Its set up well, from the Quebec factory in my case. Fast yet no buzzing which is impressive as nylon strings vibrate "wider" than steel. Its like playing a long scale electric neck that has great action. I also play with a pick sometimes for soloing. When playing with my fingernails you can really get a wide variety of tones with a rest or free stroke like a true classical. I would say that having the strings so close together unlike a classical wider spacing makes for different technique if you are used to the traditional width neck. Doesn't work for classical really but for jazz with a nylon string, excellent! Compared to an acoustic nylon string guitar these type of instruments require clean technique I have found. Thats because the pickup is very sensitive so your fingernails must be maintained for plucking nice tone. Probably like the difference between an acoustic cello or violin and its solid body version. So playing hard isnt necessary and the better tone with finger plucking is achieved with less. Takes some practice. The on-board 3 band EQ is basic and quite sensitive, good for achieving different sounds on the go, like bossa nova style. At home I use a rack EQ and a good compressor to a stereo board and my old studio monitors. For me this is good for what Im after, the clean sound of the nylon strings. Love that sound! Because these mostly solid body nylon string guitars have no body sound they can be clinical sounding. So I use a stereo FX processor with a room type sound and some digital reverb. Stereo FX is the way to go but I wouldn't bother for a live gig. The synth access port is Roland standard separated 6 string audio with a patch up and down control on the guitar but Im not sure the nylon strings lend themselves to tracking at this point in guitar synth evolution. I haven't got that far but will explore the synth side later. As I play a variety of guitars I like the similarity of the neck to steel strings. But like I said, its not a classical but a hybrid that is getting something different out of me which I am finding inspiring.

  40. #39

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    I have the Multiac Nylon, which is not the slim neck model, although it's not as big as a typical classical.

    It feels good and sounds good. Well built.

    Here are the negatives.

    Lower bout is a little short. It falls off my leg.

    RMC electronics sound very trebly to me. I end up wishing I could turn the treble down further.

    Acoustically, the guitar is as loud as some full body nylon guitars. Very live top. That's a positive. But, amplified, that turns into feedback at surprisingly low volumes. Just before I was going to smash the guitar, I went to an upholstery shop and bought strips of foam. I stuffed the guitar with the foam. The acoustic sound became dull and muffled, but amplified it still sounded fine. One other point -- I first tried blocking the holes in the body, but it didn't make any difference with respect to the feedback.

  41. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar
    I have the Multiac Nylon, which is not the slim neck model, although it's not as big as a typical classical.

    It feels good and sounds good. Well built.

    Here are the negatives.

    Lower bout is a little short. It falls off my leg.

    RMC electronics sound very trebly to me. I end up wishing I could turn the treble down further.

    Acoustically, the guitar is as loud as some full body nylon guitars. Very live top. That's a positive. But, amplified, that turns into feedback at surprisingly low volumes. Just before I was going to smash the guitar, I went to an upholstery shop and bought strips of foam. I stuffed the guitar with the foam. The acoustic sound became dull and muffled, but amplified it still sounded fine. One other point -- I first tried blocking the holes in the body, but it didn't make any difference with respect to the feedback.
    Yes the top is quite live, mine is cedar. Your foam fix is interesting, I wouldn't have thought there was enough room in there! I used masking tape over my archtop guitar F-holes with not bad results. In the 70s I stuffed my old fullbody archtop to the brim with foam I was so fed up! Now I would use open cell audio foam I think. So I haven't tried the guitar live on stage. I am using it for recording in a controlled situation. As far as too much treble, theres a lot there at the flat setting. For finger plucking it picks up the finger nuances well but can take off. It can be tamed with a graphic EQ. Like a 15 band, you can dive right in to the finer upper frequencies compared to the onboard 3 band. Conversely, if there wasn't enough brightness available we would be complaining. EQ is the secret sauce of sound. Its great for removing stuff you don't want but not as good for adding something that isn't there. Even my strat into an amp, first thing into a programmable 7 band EQ pedal. Its very handy for many things like shaping the guitar sound right off the bat for different applications, like funk strumming or a dark jazz sound or a mid boost for rock.

  42. #41

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    HIu
    i have the Godin Nylon Duet Ambience as well..its great. i used to have the Multiac with the RMC pickup sysytem and it was nice but this is wayyyy better with the mic modeling etc..I dont think the Grand Concert has the 4 way switch to change the mic modeling.

  43. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by jazzgtrl4
    HIu
    i have the Godin Nylon Duet Ambience as well..its great. i used to have the Multiac with the RMC pickup sysytem and it was nice but this is wayyyy better with the mic modeling etc..I dont think the Grand Concert has the 4 way switch to change the mic modeling.
    Yea I noticed the top end stuff has the built in mike(is that what it is?) and you can mix the two. Im missing that "acoustic" element and am playing a bit differently. Is that "modelling" a real mic or an emulation?

  44. #43

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    I have the Multiac ACS SA, and kind of want the Duet Ambience. For recording I've gone to using mic modeling plugin to make it sort of like the Duet Ambience. The Mic modeling impulse response was $10, a bit cheaper than buying the Duet Ambience. I don't plan on playing live but if I did, maybe then I'd get a Duet Ambience.

    I posted this before but thought maybe this would be helpful on this thread.


  45. #44

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    One practical issue that I don't like is that the volume controls are all small sliders. There's much less travel on these and it's very difficult to get the fine control that is possible with a rotary control. On all my other guitars I can easily adjust the volume up and down slightly for different parts of a tune, but the sliders are too prone to overshooting and leaving you too quiet or too loud.

  46. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by fep
    I have the Multiac ACS SA, and kind of want the Duet Ambience. For recording I've gone to using mic modeling plugin to make it sort of like the Duet Ambience. The Mic modeling impulse response was $10, a bit cheaper than buying the Duet Ambience. I don't plan on playing live but if I did, maybe then I'd get a Duet Ambience.

    I posted this before but thought maybe this would be helpful on this thread.

    The 3 Sigma seems to get rid of some of the snap and quack, but comes out darker.

  47. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar
    Acoustically, the guitar is as loud as some full body nylon guitars. Very live top. That's a positive. But, amplified, that turns into feedback at surprisingly low volumes. Just before I was going to smash the guitar, I went to an upholstery shop and bought strips of foam. I stuffed the guitar with the foam. The acoustic sound became dull and muffled, but amplified it still sounded fine. One other point -- I first tried blocking the holes in the body, but it didn't make any difference with respect to the feedback.
    Am I reading this correctly? The Godin is as loud as a full-body acoustic, and feeds back? I thought that's what they're NOT supposed to do(?)

  48. #47

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    Mine was loud enough to keep up with full body classical guitars in a class situaton. That was before I stuffed it with foam.

    And, it fed back readily. I recall a duo rehearsal (with bass) where I had a practice amp pointing at me (wrong way to do it, I know). We were playing at a level we could talk over, and the Godin fed back. After I stuffed it with foam, feedback was not a problem.

  49. #48

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar
    Mine was loud enough to keep up with full body classical guitars in a class situaton. That was before I stuffed it with foam.

    And, it fed back readily. I recall a duo rehearsal (with bass) where I had a practice amp pointing at me (wrong way to do it, I know). We were playing at a level we could talk over, and the Godin fed back. After I stuffed it with foam, feedback was not a problem.
    What opening(s) did you use to stuff it?

  50. #49

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woody Sound
    What opening(s) did you use to stuff it?
    There are two openings in the back of my guitar. I used the one that's a rectangle about 2x6 inches or so.

    I cut the foam into strips and stuffed it in.

    I bought the foam at an upholstery shop. I suspect that it's friable and there will be a mess when I try to remove it. And, it's surprisingly heavy.

    I'd suggest figuring out some other stuffing if you're going in that direction.

  51. #50

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    I hope the upholstery foam does not turn into a gooey mess in time. I suggest carded sheep's wool to anyone into guitar stuffing. Easy to remove and lightweight as well.

    Carded sheep's wool is what is used in highend hifi loudspeakers. You don't need a lot of it to kill feedback.