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  1. #101

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    I was at music store in a nearby city and they had 2 kingpin 2s both P90s. One of those 2 sounded really good to me and the first in about 5 tries with 5th Aves to find something that sounded right to me ear.

    They had it discounted pretty low for quick sale. There are some used ones around for a bit cheaper that I want to try out before I commit.

    In the meantime... i checked out an original Godin Montreal, the all mahogany semisolid with the bolt on neck.

    I liked everything about it, it has splittable coil humbuckers that sounded Les Paulish in the HB position and very much Telecaster in the SC.. Except with a bit more thickness than a Tele but with good spank.. The bridge piezo sounded really nice blended in about 25 percent and was passable fully on as an acoustic emulator.

    I bought it and consider it one heck of a great buy for 750US. With a small tweak putting a treble bleed cap on the volume control, this will most certainly be the favorite guitar in the house at a fifth of the value of my main guitar.

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #102

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    The Godin is gone. Traded it this morning for a 2007 Eastman AR803ce-16. The Eastman suits me much better and has that chunkier, woodier tone that I was searching for. He loved the 5th Ave Jazz for the slightly brighter tone and lighter weight so we decided it was a good swap. Pics of the new girl.


    Godin 5th Avenue-received_201343870421162-jpg

    Godin 5th Avenue-received_201343927087823-jpg
    Attached Images Attached Images Godin 5th Avenue-received_201343907087825-jpg Godin 5th Avenue-received_201343937087822-jpg 

  4. #103

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    Glad it all worked out okay for you, Esport.

    For future reference, I have had several 5th Avenues and found they are very versatile. They can get a variety of sounds, from acoustic-electric (something like the modern Benedetto sound) to the darker "jazz" tones many seek (think 50s ES-125 or ES-175). To get the sound you want, it is important on the fixed pickup versions, like the Jazz and P90 Kingpins, to adjust the polepieces.

    With fixed pickups--those without overall height adjustment like some humbuckers--the polepieces serve not only to balance the strings, but to effectively raise the overall height of the pickup as well. Closer to the strings, the guitar sounds more "electric." Farther from the strings, and the excellent acoustic properties of the 5th Avenue come out. On my own Jazz, I currently embrace the acoustic tone and have the polepieces set in about flush with the floating pickup cover. If I want a more electric, compressed tone, I adjust the polepieces up to about a 1/16" clearance with the strings with the strings held down at the last fret.

    To avoid a storm of protests that would detract from this thread, let me say now that I don't mean a 5th Avenue can sound just like a Benedetto or ES-125. I use those names above only to give a frame of reference to the tones I am seeking to describe.

  5. #104

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    5th Avenues are great.
    I had the non-cut acoustic, to amplify it I had a Vintage Vibe floating CC pickup put on it. It was a seriously good guitar!
    Pretty decent acoustic sound for a laminated small bodied archtop too. It's one instrument I really regret selling.
    It'll really open up when you replace the plastic bridge with a nice ebony or rosewood one.

  6. #105

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    Yep. It's a desert island guitar for sure.

    I loved my cognac-burst Kingpin but sold it to buy another guitar. I missed it so much I got a black 5th Avenue and installed a GFS floater. I miss the P90, which was uniquely suited for that guitar, but at least I can amplify it if I need to.

    It has some of the best ergonomics around--super light, comfortable body, smooth neck. I have kept mine strung with round too--DA Pure Nickels.

    It's the little black dress of guitars--everyone should have at least one in their guitar closet.

  7. #106

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    Godin = phenomenal bang for buck. I have their Multiac nylon encore and would consider their archtops, LPs, and teles, if I already didn't have too many...

  8. #107

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    I've been talking up the Kingpin here for almost ten years, I think...and I still think they're the best "budget box" on the market. Remarkably good instruments.

  9. #108

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    I'm with Jeff. I used to borrow one of these all the time. Great sound. And yes, a rosewood bridge is probably a worthwhile $20 upgrade.

  10. #109

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    I just put an ebony Stewmac on my Ibanez and like it very much. Think I'll order a rosewood one for the Kingpin.

  11. #110

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    Quote Originally Posted by omphalopsychos
    I'm with Jeff. I used to borrow one of these all the time. Great sound. And yes, a rosewood bridge is probably a worthwhile $20 upgrade.
    The previous owner of mine put a rosewood bridge on it. Sounds good. I can't say whether it sounds different from the original.

    John

  12. #111

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    I changed the bridge on mine as well. I had sort of a metallic "ping" on notes, coming from the bridge/string length behind the bridge.

    Wood bridge cleared that right up, but a piece of felt woven through the string probably would have too.

    I did think, after fitting the wood bridge properly, there was a bit of an increase in acoustic volume.

  13. #112

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    Congrats for the new axe! I have heard only good and excited reviews about Godins. I have almost got one for some times, mostly because P90 powered jazz guitars are a bit rarity. Maybe sooner than later...

    Does somebody know records or songs that are recorded with Godin 5th Avenue jazz guitar?

  14. #113

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    Quote Originally Posted by Herbie
    Congrats for the new axe! I have heard only good and excited reviews about Godins. I have almost got one for some times, mostly because P90 powered jazz guitars are a bit rarity. Maybe sooner than later...

    Does somebody know records or songs that are recorded with Godin 5th Avenue jazz guitar?
    FYI, there'e actually a model called the 5th Avenue Jazz, which has a cutaway and a floating mini-humbucker. I assume, though, that you meant the one we're talking about here (the 5th Ave Kingpin), which has a set-in P90 and no cutaway. There's also a model called the 5th Ave Kingpin CW II (a cutaway and two P90s).

    The only "name" I'm aware of who plays a Kingpin is Sylvain Luc (he also plays some other Godin models); there are a bunch of videos of him playing one on youtube, so search there.

  15. #114

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    I had a 5th Avenue Jazz briefly and I have to say, I like the Kingpin better. For me....it feels better, sounds more interesting and looks cooler than the Jazz. I may do a short sound example of the Kingpin but so many others have done it far more justice than I probably can! As a concession, here's a pic of the now gone Jazz and the new Kingpin.
    Attached Images Attached Images Godin 5th Avenue-20181019_160249-01-jpg Godin 5th Avenue-img_20171117_132922-jpg 

  16. #115

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    Quote Originally Posted by Esport
    I had a 5th Avenue Jazz briefly and I have to say, I like the Kingpin better. For me....it feels better, sounds more interesting and looks cooler than the Jazz. I may do a short sound example of the Kingpin but so many others have done it far more justice than I probably can! As a concession, here's a pic of the now gone Jazz and the new Kingpin.
    I've wanted to try the Jazz because I'm curious as to what it's like acoustically vs the Kingpin, but never encountered one in the wild. That Godin "cognac burst" is very nice looking. A guy I know has the CW II in the color, and it looks great (sounds great too).

    John

  17. #116

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    Quote Originally Posted by John A.
    I've wanted to try the Jazz because I'm curious as to what it's like acoustically vs the Kingpin, but never encountered one in the wild. That Godin "cognac burst" is very nice looking. A guy I know has the CW II in the color, and it looks great (sounds great too).

    John
    Unamplified, the Jazz wasn't quite as mid-rangey and acoustic as the Kingpin. Neither sound particularly "good" acoustically, IMO. And I agree, the cognac finish is really really nice. The fact that the Jazz I had was a blonde never sat well with me. It was a very nicely made guitar just not my cup of tea.

  18. #117

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    Quote Originally Posted by Esport
    Unamplified, the Jazz wasn't quite as mid-rangey and acoustic as the Kingpin. Neither sound particularly "good" acoustically, IMO. And I agree, the cognac finish is really really nice. The fact that the Jazz I had was a blonde never sat well with me. It was a very nicely made guitar just not my cup of tea.
    Interesting. I would have thought the opposite given the floater vs set pickup (even though I realize the kingpin's top is not routed, just drilled for the pickup wire). I play mine unplugged a lot. The fact that it's not a full-on acoustic is a plus for me because I'm in a relatively small apartment and I try not to bother family and neighbors.

    John

  19. #118

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    Gray Sargent:


  20. #119

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    The single-P90 Kingpin is still on my bucket list.... the Jazz interests me, and I'm torn being both a Charlie Christian and Johnny Smith fan, lol, but I like the "journeyman's" look of the Kingpin better, I think...

    Are the bout sizes the same? Or is the Jazz a bit wider?

  21. #120

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    Quote Originally Posted by John A.
    I'm in a relatively small apartment and I try not to bother family and neighbors.

    John
    I am very fortunate. I leave lived in an apartment for more than 15 years (ex got the house, no surprise there) and like to play amplified at a reasonable level. I have never received a single complaint from neighbors or landlord. My apartment is directly over a storefront and the wife of the storeownet once told me "I love it when you serenade me while I work".

    A nice compliment indeed.

  22. #121

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jehu
    Gray Sargent:

    I had a Cognac Jazz model for about a year. I thought that it was a great guitar and sounded very nicely balanced acoustically and electrically. However, the one thing that I didn't like was the neck-to-body joint. You can see it in the picture. The underside (the cut away area) has a sharp body ridge that doesn't follow the contour of the neck. It sticks out as part of the body. You can see it at the binding line in the photo. Not really what I wanted in a cut away, and I was kinda surprised that Godin went with this type of design. Almost everyone else smooths out that joint. I know that it isn't an oversight on Godin's part, but not the best way to deal with that joint IMHO.

  23. #122

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    I have one and I really enjoy it. I'm thinking about replace the bridge only.

  24. #123

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    All the 5th Avenues are good guitars. I have had several and currently have a Jazz and a straight acoustic one. I call them the Telecasters of archtops, because they're reletively inexpensive, easy to modify, and I can set one up to play like butter in about five minutes.

  25. #124

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    Philip Catherine started playing a 5th Avenue Composer after using an ES-175 for may years:


  26. #125

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    Saw Godin's post on Instagram and just wanted to give them props for the fact that they keep coming out with affordable, good quality, made in North America archtops.


  27. #126

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    I’m a fan but... Bigsby.

  28. #127

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    My thing with Godin: Redesign the body so that it flushes out with the neck at the cut away. It was a big enough deal for me that I sold my Jazz model because of it. You can see the body binding in the video to see what I mean. Other than that they are great guitars IMHO.

  29. #128

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    Quote Originally Posted by MAJackson
    Saw Godin's post on Instagram and just wanted to give them props for the fact that they keep coming out with affordable, good quality, made in North America archtops.

    Look out Gretsch, we're coming for your lunch.

    I'd love to see a Kingpin 1x P90 with a cutaway. I'd trade my my Kingpin for that and few bucks, but alas ... I have to admit those Dearmond clones sound pretty good, though.

    John

  30. #129

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    Quote Originally Posted by lammie200
    My thing with Godin: Redesign the body so that it flushes out with the neck at the cut away. It was a big enough deal for me that I sold my Jazz model because of it. You can see the body binding in the video to see what I mean. Other than that they are great guitars IMHO.
    Does that really get in the way of the left hand?

    Godin 5th Avenue-godin1-jpg
    Godin 5th Avenue-godin2-jpg

  31. #130

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    Funny that neither one of the pics show the player going up into the upper registers. It did get in my way. The actual neck heel is reasonably small. But the body has these sharp edges not only adjacent to the fret board at the bottom edge, but also at the heel. I hesitate to be too critical of Godin, because other than that they are great guitars. The Jazz model that I had sounded wonderful and was stunningly beautiful. It just wasn't a "full board" guitar for me. I need that.

    BTW, it looks like P. Catherine busted his pick guard. Wonder if he lost a little control negotiating those edges when he went on a high run? Hmmm! Probably not, but you might get my point.

  32. #131

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    Quote Originally Posted by lammie200
    BTW, it looks like P. Catherine busted his pick guard. Wonder if he lost a little control negotiating those edges when he went on a high run? Hmmm! Probably not, but you might get my point.
    Actually I did get your "point" (pun, ha!). If I sounded doubtful or cynical I didn't mean it at all. It just appears to me that the binding thing is so small that it would barely matter. The pics were strictly for illustration. But I've never played one, so I don't doubt at all that it did for you. And I do know how much I notice a 32nd" difference in neck widths.

    And the broken pickguard IS funny.

  33. #132

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    I would definitely recommend finding and playing one to see if theses ledges that I am describing would affect you. If you can follow the white binding line at the 14th fret that points back to Catherine's body you can see how the neck heel is much smaller than the body. All right/square angles and very clunky. Sorry for my bluntness on the subject. I really wanted to like the Jazz model that I had but this one thing prevented me from doing so.

  34. #133

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    The ledge thing is cost-saving bullshit, laziness and bad design.
    You know it.
    I know it.
    Godin knows it.

  35. #134

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hammertone
    The ledge thing is cost-saving bullshit, laziness and bad design.
    You know it.
    I know it.
    Godin knows it.

    It seems that a lot of the Canadian builders go that route - maybe something to do with the Larrivee influence.

  36. #135

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    The DeArmond style pickups sound really good...and God in already makes a great P-90.

    Bigsbys...well... I hate them.

  37. #136

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    Quote Originally Posted by Skip Ellis
    It seems that a lot of the Canadian builders go that route - maybe something to do with the Larrivee influence.
    Yeah, I just looked at Larrivee's website. I don't know how anyone could negotiate that kind of joint, but it may just be me.

  38. #137

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    Quote Originally Posted by Skip Ellis
    It seems that a lot of the Canadian builders go that route - maybe something to do with the Larrivee influence.
    In the case of Larrivee and all the other builders who have cutaway flattops with the ledge, it's simply laziness and bullshit design. Oskar Graf is the only builder of the bunch who had a decent cutaway design. Since the early days, some of these builders have made amends for their sins - I've seen flattop cutaway guitars from Dave Wren that eliminated the shelf. I'm sure other have repented as well.

    Oskar Graf is a lovely person and a class act:
    Attached Images Attached Images Godin 5th Avenue-graf-1112-bodyb-jpg Godin 5th Avenue-graf-1112-det-neckjoint-jpg Godin 5th Avenue-graf-1112-fullb-jpg 

  39. #138

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    great they are using tv jones great pickups!!..one of the best pup guys currently out there....the bigsby is a b6 type..so can be removed with no detriment to the arch top

    cheers

  40. #139

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    A bigsby doesn't bother me. Most of my guitars don't have them, but a couple do and it comes it handy for a few genres or for simply just changing things up once in awhile. Variety is the spice of life!

    Design wise, the thing that's always irked me about Godin is the text written vertically on the headstock (the part that reads 5th Avenue Made in Canada). It would look so much better and cleaner without it. The same thing has made me pass on a Gibson Herb Ellis. Superficial I know. But it just doesn't look good to me. Could a luthier "fix" it by scraping it off? Or is getting a cleaner looking headstock simply too much of a hassle relative to how minor a detail it is on an otherwise good guitar?

  41. #140

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    Seems to me all they have to do is widen the heel. Maybe I’m way wrong.

  42. #141

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    Stop it, Godin. You're killing me with all the 5th Avenue models.

    I've already bought 2, and can't deal with the GAS with MORE MODELS.

    So that's enough. K? Thks...

  43. #142

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woody Sound
    Seems to me all they have to do is widen the heel. Maybe I’m way wrong.
    Way right. But it means they would need to make a change to their production process, CAD programming, jigs, training, etc. Dead easy to do but it would cost them money.

    When Gibson, Epiphone and other archtop makers introduced cutaways, they revised their tapered heel designs to fit their cutaway designs. Gibson did it right away. Very early cutaway examples introduced by Epiphone in 1949 have the shelf, but Epiphone moved quickly to fix the design. Here's a '49 Emperor before the change:
    Attached Images Attached Images Godin 5th Avenue-epi-emperor-cutaway-49-jpg 

  44. #143

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    Some of the German builders took a different approach in the 1950s, and tapered the rim at the cutaway to match the tapered heel. It's a thing of beauty. It's where Graf got his design. Here's one from a Hoyer Special (like a Super 400, only better, of course).
    Attached Images Attached Images Godin 5th Avenue-hoyer-special-heel-jpg 
    Last edited by Hammertone; 12-23-2018 at 04:40 AM.

  45. #144

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    i think it is great that godin is tired of being boring and is making efforts to look and sound cool for once. i just wish they were better at it. hint: the dots. and maybe some binding. and some pickguards. and new fholes, etc. as ever, these are steps in the right direction, though. the blue is the closest they've gotten in a while. i think that one is winning, actually, though i'm not convinced it needs a bigsby. the dyna'd one is a cool in a "dude, just get a gretsch" sort of way. the color is nice but it needs a pickguard. the mixed pickup one is a little eesh, visually. that's hard to pull off and again, a pickguard may have helped. i'm also not convinced that's the right combo for an archtop- who wishes their archtop had a paf in the bridge?

    not sure what the pricing will be, but the market seems kind of limited. i assume they'll fall between mic/mik gretsches and mij gretsches, pricewise. which makes sense, but they seem like different market segments. i can't imagine anyone interested in a gretsch being dissuaded by these, and vice versa. these are like "cool" guitars for people who are afraid to be "cool" and know they can't pull off a gretsch. like how you have 1%ers and stuff, and then you have the responsible accountants who pull out their giant goldwings on the weekends with their wives in tow.

    hammer- there is something unnerving about the smoothness of that graf cutaway. it just feels off to me in its perfection, somehow, as dumb as that sounds. then again, i don't ponder cutaways much because many of my guitars don't have them and i don't really play the stupid baby frets anyway. if i do, its because i'm using capo like on the 9th fret and nobody makes a guitar or cutaway or neck carve that caters to that, so suck it up, people

  46. #145

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    The Boys from Bubenreuth came up with a few ways to combine a tapered heel with a cutaway before going Gibson. This was the nicest:
    Attached Images Attached Images Godin 5th Avenue-hof-465s-4-jpg Godin 5th Avenue-hof-461s-2xxx-jpg Godin 5th Avenue-hof-committee-1xxx-jpg Godin 5th Avenue-hof-464s-2-jpg 

  47. #146

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    Quote Originally Posted by John A.
    Look out Gretsch, we're coming for your lunch.

    John
    Meh. Gretsch has the Electromatic line, no worries.

    I dig Bigsbys, once you get the hang of keeping them in tune... but a neck-only archtop with a Bigsby does seem a weird combo...

    TVJs effing rock.
    Last edited by ruger9; 12-23-2018 at 10:25 AM.

  48. #147

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    It is kinda puzzling to me that Godin has used the neck joint design that we have been discussing. I have attached some pics of the Jazz model and Montreal model. The Jazz is full hollow, the Montreal is semi. The neck joint designs differ greatly. The Jazz has all the edges and angles that I couldn't live with. The big plus, however, is that the fret board is cantilevered over the guitar's top. Lot of free movement in the top and I am sure that that is a major contributing factor to the good sound that you can get out these models. It also seems like they could still cantilever the fret board with better sculpting of the neck joint to avoid all the angles and edges. It would be a killer guitar if that were the case IMHO. The Montreal has a more conventional neck joint as you can see. No cantilever though and not fully hollow. You would be getting a lot more of the sound out of the pick ups that anything else I would imagine. The first two pics are the Montreal. The last three pics are the Jazz.
    Attached Images Attached Images Godin 5th Avenue-electric-guitar-godin-montreal-premiere-supreme-lightburst-flame-hg-dlx-tric-inc-100-profes-jpg Godin 5th Avenue-jan14_lnu_godinmontrealpremiere_web-jpg Godin 5th Avenue-2012-godin-5th-avenue-jazz-natural-1-5lfeyix-jpg Godin 5th Avenue-35700_5thavenue_jazz_sunburst_close-jpg Godin 5th Avenue-2012-godin-5th-avenue-jazz-natural-3-flieysa-jpg 

  49. #148

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    Quote Originally Posted by feet
    ...i don't really play the stupid baby frets anyway. if i do, its because i'm using capo like on the 9th fret and nobody makes a guitar or cutaway or neck carve that caters to that, so suck it up, people
    I like jazz. I want to hear notes. Lots of them. I've got guitars. They have frets. I try to hit them all. I have spent most of my life playing Fender-type partscasters. I like the baby frets. I also check the fret board smudge patterns on the guitars that I have that I can see them easily on from time to time. If all the frets aren't getting hit I make an effort to hit them. It's just an obsession that I have.

  50. #149

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    ^ good godin comparison pics..i can totally see how that joint/ledge could be problematic when playing the upper frets..you have to readjust your hand position every time you move up the neck...interesting


    cheers

  51. #150

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    Quote Originally Posted by neatomic
    ^ good godin comparison pics..i can totally see how that joint/ledge could be problematic when playing the upper frets..you have to readjust your hand position every time you move up the neck...interesting


    cheers

    Aw, Setzer has been doing this his whole career, no problems. When he gets up high, the thumb comes off the back of the neck, and he wraps around...

    Having a hell of a time finding a pic or a video of him doing it, but he does it quite a bit, I've been a big fan for many years.