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  1. #1

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    What are everybody's thoughts on the Godin 5th Avenue?


    Godin 5th Avenue-godin-5th-avenue-jpg

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  3. #2

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    Recently I bought the Godin 5th Avenue Kingpin model as the tailpiece of my primary guitar broke off at the hinge and I needed a guitar within a few days. I wanted a guitar that was inexpensive but had a decent sound and playability. I had seen the Ibanez Artecore series but in the past had played a few and wasn't impressed with their sound ( very affordable though ) I retried them with no change of heart. Ibanez makes a custom Artecore series with an upgraded pickup ( either custom 58's or super 58's depending on the model ) but was only able to find one of them used in a shop to try out and although better sounding than the initial models wasn't what I was looking for. This led me to the above Godin model which surprised me. First the appearance is very basic with no high gloss finish ( I have the natural finish ). The appearance of the pickguard is a little off also but these were very minor issues to me. The action and playability on the guitar I picked up were very good right off the shelf and have not needed adjustment. The stained model was also there but did not play as well and had some notable defects. The sound is amazingly bright and even across the strings and is quite loud acoustically, none of the dullness I had noted with the Ibanez models. In addition the P90 pickup is also quite bright, clean and full sounding. It's a different sound than the Armstrong pickup on my other guitar, less jazzier but was still quite usable for comping and clean for lead line usage. I was hoping to get away cheap as I didn't really need another archtop and this was I think in the $600-700 range. What struck me as funny though was that they apparently ship without a hardshell case so I had to add that to the cost. Overall though I thought it was far better guitar than the other guitars in that range that I played ( Ibanez and Epiphone also tried a PRS solidbody which had nice sound but not what I was looking for ) Hope that helps!
    Last edited by keith; 09-26-2009 at 11:06 PM.

  4. #3

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    i've played a few and thought very highly of them...so i finally broke down and ordered a kingpin model, no cutaway single pickup job. It should arrive wednesday and shortly thereafter i'll post a full review with pics.

    in the meantime, do a search at this site--they're thought of pretty highly around here...godin's a cool company, they make affordable instruments with "green" wood choices that are generally regarded as some serious bang for the buck.

  5. #4

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    I've posted a few short comments on 5th Avenue on this forum before, but never really a full review.

    First and foremost, it is a laminate-wood guitar, so if you are of a view that only a solid top guitar can be an acoustic guitar, look away now

    I've got a black acoustic 5th Avenue (not Kingpin).

    It is a surprisingly playable and well built guitar. In half a year of everyday playing, and looking for every little problem, I've found only one issue - fifth fret 6th string is slightly less sustaining than the surrounding notes. It is not "dead" in the real sense of a "dead fret/note", and really I have spent hours testing every note on every string to see how well balanced it is up and down the neck until I found that issue. In real playing it is irrelevant as it is not noticeable.

    The flat/satin finish is very cool. 5th Avenue with that finish and simple hardware is a decidedly unblingy beauty (matter of taste, of course).

    The neck, with its slightly flatter (U?) profile feels wide and is fingerstyle-friendly. The guitar responds well to both fingerpicking and flatpicking, and at least in my hands, seems to favour rounder heavy picks for a big round tone.

    The action is adjustable, and the guitar reaches good volume with a very low action. It is a relatively small guitar, it is light, sits well balanced and is pleasure to play. Many people have reported not being able to put it down in a shop - it happened to me too.

    Because cherry laminate seems to be very strong, the top, back and sides are pretty thin, and it makes for a very light guitar, which makes it quite resonant but as it is relatively small, it can't compete with bigger bodied beasts.

    Tone wise, you can string it with PB strings, as it comes from the factory. Alternatively, it takes silk-and-steel strings really well, or you can put flatwound 13s, and with a bit of a volume sacrifice get the feel of an unplugged electric archtop. With flats, it is louder than an unplugged 175, but not louder than an unplugged NYL-2. I keep on changing strings as I find it amusing how it changes character and becomes a "different" guitar. Currently I have 12-56 Labella silk and steels, which give it a chug without too much of a zing. Strummed hard with roundwounds, it can compete with flattops for volume, but at no point it can sound anything like a flattop.

    As it is a strongly forward projecting guitar, I often get surprised by the recorded sound or by the reaction of people listening to it.

    The finish is not easy to ding. Vintage style tuners are love-or-hate: I love them. The bridge on early ones (like the one I have) is rosewood, and it is functional and easy to adjust. It fits well. The later models are fitted with a dense plastic bridge (the same as on the Kingpin), which probably is easier for quality control and also cheaper for production. I played one in a shop, and it still was very much a 5th Avenue.

    Finally, I've got a fitted lightweight Tric case for it, which recently survived two pretty serious downpours. Very good.

  6. #5

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    well, mine arrived yesterday, and i thought i'd post a few things about it.

    it seems really well made. nothing at all seems chintzy or second rate. it's a looker, the satin finish is gorgeous, that the cognac burst is prettier in person than photos show. mine has a really nice grain pattern on the top...the headstock is painted gloss black, with a little strip of unpainted wood that serves as headstock "binding." i hadn't noticed that before...it looks lovely...and the faux tortoise is really nice, it even has a little "irridescence" to it...still, it's also kind of a no frills, workman's archtop, which i think really draws me in, being a simple telecaster fanatic (as you all know)

    i strung it up right away with flatwounds, .11 gauge. My first impression is that i'll probably end up with at least .12's on here (shorter scale than what i'm used to, so less string tension) the guitar plays remarkably easy, and is actually the first instrument i've ever bought that needed no setup work whatsoever. intonates as perfectly as a floating bridge with non-indivdually adjustable saddles can. Action was almost too low for me, but it presented no issues as far as buzzing, so i left it, and now a day later i'm adjusted to how easy it plays.

    unplugged the sound is pretty much what you'd expect from a smaller bodied archtop-- no too much volume, but the notes just SNAP right out at you. i could definitely see how some folks would put acoustic strings on the non-pickup version and go all freddie green. With the volume rolled back, i can do a passable imitation of herb ellis' unamplified comping that he did with oscar peterson so often.

    plugged in, it's a very old fashioned, old school sound. like barney kessel's early volumes on prestige, or that trio record jim hall made back in the fifties with the guitar, piano, bass lineup. played with my thumb, i can even get a little wes action, but overall, the sound is brighter. even plugged in and turned up, it retains most of the characteristics it had unplugged-- quick attack (and decay) and a real defined "snap" to each note. The volume and tone controls are very usable, and roling a little volume off darkens the sound ever so slightly without turning anything "muddy." Seems like this guitar really loves a tube amp--kinda compliments it's old school sound the most, however, i got good results thru my zt lunchbox with the redstone extension cab as well. it was almost too bassy thru the polytone, I'll have to retry that with a different EQ setting than usual...

    I'll take some pics tomorrow and finish up by posting those here too. I've got to wait a bit to make a truly unbiased review, but so far it seems, in the realm of budget archtops, this one is really in a class above anything epiphone or ibanez. I'm pretty sure I'll have no problems saying goodbye to my Emperor Regent.

  7. #6

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    Congrats! That was fast. I guess you don't need to be convinced that single coil pickups work for jazz. I'm wondering who made the P-90 -- was it in house? And can you think of a comparable guitar that's currently being sold -- a non-cutaway w/ a P-90. I can't think of any.

  8. #7

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    No doubt I am displaying my ignorance of current prices, but can't vintage full-body ES-125's be obtained for comparable prices ?

    cheers

  9. #8

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    I think MrB payed 500 something for it. The 125 was discontinued awhile ago (1970?) and in the end Gibson was making T (thinline) and C (cutaway) versions, so a full depth non-cutaway won't be easy to find, and my guess at a price would be at least double and closer to triple to what he payed.

  10. #9

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    in good shape, a full depth ES-125 will run about $1500. in not so great shape, they can be had for under a grand, but they'll need a few hundred bucks worth of work to be playable...

    yeah, i scored this for $500-- "b stock." There's a small scratch on the headstock, and it saved me $200 bucks!

    and let's face it, the 125 is a plywood student model too.

  11. #10

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    Ahhh, I see. It was my impression that the old 125's could be obtained for $1k US and that the Godins cost about the same ... sorry, my bad.

    And "student model" is the right description, nevertheless I wouldn't compare the two guitars on an equal footing, would you ?

    The ES-125 that I began playing on was a deeply resonant instrument with incredible tone, richer sounding than a 175 even, because of the full body I suppose. (My Uncle still has that guitar, which he bought for $60 new.)

    Insofar as the Godin being superior to the Epi Emp/Rej, I have NO problem accepting that

    cheers

  12. #11

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    I'm pretty sure I'll have no problems saying goodbye to my Emperor Regent.
    So Mr. Beaumont,

    The Godin sounds and plays better than the Epi? From what I have listened to on youtube I find that the Godin sounds too much like a flattop acoustic where as the Epi videos seem to have that real jazz sound. Does the Godin have that jazz sound?

  13. #12

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    IMHO, it plays a lot better...i've got the action really low, almost to the point of where i might want to take it up a little, but i have no buzzes or rattles. The tuners are great-- restrung it, tuned it up, two little stretches and no tuning issues since. The epi always had some sympathetic buzzes coming from somewhere, the tailpiece, the pickguard, an internal brace, or something.

    i've seen the youtube videos you speak of, and i'm not sure why they sound like that--this guitar sounds nothing like a flattop. maybe with really heavy bronze strings, the sound would be different, but this is pretty "archtoppy" in tone. Even though it has a smaller body, it's a good deal louder than the epiphone--especially apparent if you're sitting in front of it hearing someone else play...the sound is nowhere near as good as a solid carved top instrument, it's really an electric guitar thru and thru, and i would imagine the acoustic only model might lack in tone for some folks. Still, it can do a passable unamplified comping tone--again, more like herb ellis behind oscar peterson than freddie green, at least with my string setup...bronze strings and higher action might open it up a little more--but i'm fine with it as an electric that i can also practice on unamplified.

    plugged in, it's a very classic jazz tone--barney kessel tones, grant green tones, old kenny burrell--that sound. it'll take some more experimentation and tweaking to see if it can do more modern tones-- maybe a P-100 pickup swap for a humbucker in there...i dunno. Vintage Vibe does a CC style blade pup in a P90 housing, so i think about that too, but for now, i like the tone i'm getting--so i just gotta tweak a little and get to know it....i will say this, it does not seem like it's going to be an especially versatile guitar.

    like i said, i do have to wait a bit before i can make a really unbiased review-- it's still the "honeymoon" period for me. But i always felt the epiphone was a really nice looking guitar that just didn't really deliver unplugged or plugged in...this guitar may not be as pretty (but it does have a charm to it) but so far it appears in can back it up in sound, and especially in playability.

    as for the sounds of the old 125's, it's hard to say...i've played a few, since i've always wanted a guitar like that...this godin is definitely easier to play than any of the 125's i've tried, but that's really becasue they were 60 years old, and needed a little love and attention! the sound plugged in is pretty similar--the 125's i played did seem to have a little more tone unplugged--i'm guessing overall becasue the action was higher and the strings might have been heavier--that can actually make a big difference. it certainly doesn't have the "vibe" of an old 125, but it's also less than half the price, and completely replacable if anything happens...

  14. #13

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    I'm not at the point in my life right now where I want to restore a guitar-- i just want to play 'em. I do think someday I'll have a 125 with a CC pickup with hopefully all those positive jimmy raney vibes still inside...

    I don't want to sound like i'm coming off too hard on the epiphone either, really...i think it's a decent budget axe...but i found myself unhappy with the amplified sound, so i had no real use for it other than for quiet unamplified practice. I feel like i could gig this guitar (and i will, next weekend)
    Last edited by mr. beaumont; 10-01-2009 at 02:18 PM.

  15. #14

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    I tried a cutaway model again today. Didn't like the c/w, so I'm sticking with my acoustic model.

    However, the burgundy finish was a nice addition to the line. Like it better than the black.

  16. #15

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    thought i'd finally post a pic. Had the guitar for about three weeks now, and I'm still really enjoying it...I did use a silver sharpie to add side position markers to the 15th thru 21st fret-- helps when I'm doing harmonics...I'm also debating a set of amber gibson-style knobs...but that's just shallow me wanting to do something to the guitar to make it "mine"-- no desire to change anything about how it plays or sounds.

    I did gig it last weekend and it held up great under two hours of playing, no tuning issues, and my hand felt comfortable on the neck the whole time.

    my one beef--if you can call it that--it really doesn't sound very good thru the zt lunchbox-- it really craves the polytone (also sounds good through tube amps, but a good bit brighter)

    anyway, here's me enjoying it at home.


  17. #16

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    wow! nice guitar Mr. B!!

    wiz

  18. #17

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    Lovely grain - the coolest thing about laminated tops is that the manufacturer can select the uppermost layer strictly for appearance. Close-grained spruce carved tops sound sweetest but are not very interesting to look at, hence the introduction of "sunburst" finish.

    cheers,
    randyc

  19. #18

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    Godin 5th Avenue Kingpin Archtop Video Review - PremierGuitar.com

    There is a video review of the guitar. Looks pretty cool but I would have to get rid of something first.
    Or have my 4 and 6 yr. old sons get jobs...

    =-) PJ

  20. #19

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    I'm in the market for a low-end archtop, acoustic only, no pickup, non cutaway.
    There seems to be a few forum members that own the Godin Kingpin and particularly like it with the P90.

    I'm wondering if there is a tonal difference between the 5th Avenue (no pickup) and the Kingpin. There was a Kingpin that I tried locally but it is now sold. The sound was terrible because of a rattle caused by something loose, so that was not a fair test.

    Anybody tried both?
    Thanks

  21. #20

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    I love my P90 equipped Kingpin. Love. But it does not have much acoustic volume or tone to it...even as I have it strung up with bronze strings.

    Seeing that the P90 screws to the top with a minimum of cutting, I find it hard to believe there's much of a difference between the kingpin and all acoustic fifth avenue model.

    It's a pleasing tone though...nice for practice at home...but once you play an acoustic archtop with either solid woods or a bigger box or both, it becomes clear...

    I'd suggest giving the loar lh 300 a serious look if it's an acoustic archtop you want.
    Last edited by mr. beaumont; 01-17-2012 at 11:08 PM.

  22. #21

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    I owned a straight acoustic 5th Ave. for awhile.
    It was a nicely made guitar for the most part and played easy, but the sound was a bit thin and choked to my ears. Not very loud.
    I believe the top was laminate.
    I think it makes a better electric than acoustic, IMHO.

  23. #22

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    I've been gassing for a 5th Avenue for quite a while. I've only played the 2-pickup cutaway model, but what I wanted was the non cutaway acoustic as you mentioned. I agree the sound was not as full as a solid top, but for what it is, I think it sounds great. And the neck was VERY comfortable. I couldn't find any issues with it in the short time I played it at the store.

    After mulling over my choices, I opted for the Loar LH-600. After receiving 2 duds and returning them I looked again at the 5th Avenue. I made a positive/negative list of going with the 5th or trying another Loar and ended up ordering a 5th in the acoustic only model. It's scheduled for delivery Friday. I'll be better equipped to give my impressions over the weekend if you haven't already made your decision.


  24. #23

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    I confirm what mr B and Retroman pointed out. Not much accoustic volume, rather thin sounding accoustically. With the right set of strings it sounds nice amplified - but not that fat jazztone. But you haven't been going for that i suppose. Nice build quality.

  25. #24

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    I was close to buying one until I had a chance to play it for 30-40 consecutive minutes....beautiful guitar but as said..thin sound

  26. #25

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    Thanks to all for your input.
    This confirms my suspicions that the 5th Avenue is best used as an electric. You are right in that they are seem well made and have an attractive (to me) finish. The Kingpin I tried was really nice, except for the rattle.

    Perhaps The Loar is the way to go. There is an LH-300 in a local store. Awesome sound and playability. Unfortunately, the bridge is bottomed out with no remaining adjustment. Based on other's experience, I might have to try several before finding a good one.

    Thanks again.
    Larry

  27. #26

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    I have that exact model pictured above. It stays on the couch and is my go to guitar for noodling while watching tv. They're a lot of fun to play

  28. #27

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    I have the P90 version - same as the acoustic except for the routed pickup. The acoustic version has brass strings, which gives it a brighter tone.

    It is a very nice, comfortable guitar to play. Not extremely loud, but louder than most laminated jazz boxes. I had thought about getting the acoustic version and adding a pickup, either a floating bucker or an undersaddle piezo pickup. If I were buying again and could get a 5th Ave. for under $400, that's what I'd do.

    As noted, the build quality is excellent, and it is an absolutely beautiful guitar.
    Last edited by Doctor Jeff; 01-18-2012 at 10:52 PM.

  29. #28

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    I play my Kingpin unplugged fairly often. While it clearly shines when amplified, it still sounds good to me when it's not. It is not a cannon, but it is very well balanced across the strings.

    As a couch guitar, it is a reasonable second behind my Taylor GS Mini.

  30. #29

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    My 5th Avenue arrived yesterday and I swapped out the strings and did a good setup on it. I don't have a Kingpin here so I can't do a side by side, but in the way of playability, this one plays as nicely as I remember the other one.

    I love the look and feel of this guitar. It's a very nice neck and the body is comfortable to hold. The tone is decent, but a bit brighter than I'd prefer...different strings can address this to some extent. As for volume, there's really not a whole lot. I can't see this guitar cutting through any mix unplugged.

    My take is that it's a very comfortable guitar with just the right amount of volume for solo practice and play, but without a pickup, I don't see it leaving the house much.

  31. #30

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    I'm curious : does anyone actually expect an archtop like this to compete - tone and volume wise - with a traditional flat top guitar ?

  32. #31

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    Well an archtop can have surprising volume...and tone is subjective...a flattop doesn't sound better...only different.

    But I do hope nobody expects too much volume out of the fifth ave or kingpin...it's a small, relatively shallow, laminated box.

    I'd actually say it is pretty loud considering!

    Still great guitars...played my kingpin this morning.

  33. #32

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    On your playing style, intended use, strings and setup.
    I had a 5th ave 1P90 kingpin, and now I own a no pickup one. I strung the kingpin with flats 12 and later with Thomastik 13s. I got the action to be medium and mostly used a 5mm wegen pick. Results were very good for comping, but for soloing I felt it needed more punch when acoustically played. Amplified sound was great. Months later I got a full blown, all solid mahogany Heritage Eagle, gorgeous guitar, 17 inches and all goodies. Guess what, I found that to make it sing it needed strings 13-56 and NOT the thomastik ones as they have low tension, but the regular chromes. With that setup and medium action, the guitar would be playing awesome. Mind you, not like butter, thick strings made up for a right hand workout when playing full chords. On a side note, I think that I discovered why swing guys play with three finger chords!!!
    Loved the guitar but was too much physical exercise for a joyful experience, so I sold it.
    Things happen for a reason, so I got the 5th ave no pickup, put daddario rounds 13-56 and set a medium action...voila! Great, full archtop sound when swing comping with the thumb and high volume soloing with a pick. And no, there is no viceversa, comping with a pick is thin and soloing with fingers has no volume. However, comping with thumb and pick works great (GJ technique).
    Remember that it being an acoustic guitar responds to your every nuance, subletly, angle, touch, style, experience etc. In other words, not sounding like django or freddie green is not the guitar's fault!
    Im happy with the 5th ave and plan to keep it for Gypsy Jazz jams and for my big band rhythm guitar gig, cheers!!!

    Btw, im not a godin endorsee, but this is my 5th godin!!! Realky amazing quality, value and price, specially on the used market

  34. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by va3ux
    I'm curious : does anyone actually expect an archtop like this to compete - tone and volume wise - with a traditional flat top guitar ?
    I've played my Kingpin unamplified a few times comping for singers in low-volume situations.Though it is laminate construction, some of the design features (light weight, non-cutaway, raised fingerboard) tend to enhance its acoustic properties. Not in the same league as a D-28 or even my Eastman 810, but not bad for an electric archtop.

  35. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by va3ux
    I'm curious : does anyone actually expect an archtop like this to compete - tone and volume wise - with a traditional flat top guitar ?
    I don't expect it to compete with a flat top, but it seems that I should be getting more volume out of it for what it is. The fact that the stock bridge isn't making full contact with the top may be causing it to come up short of its potential. I also think a rosewood bridge would help with my tonal preferences but may or may not affect volume.

    This isn't my first archtop acoustic. It's the most comfortable of what I've had, but also the quietest.

  36. #35

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    I have a KingpinIICW and an Aria FA71. They, along with the 70 and solid top 77 are great bang for the buck guitars. Godin makes the 5th Ave. acoustic, Kingpin(no cut away, single pick up) and the Kingpin IIcw with two set P-90's. They recently added 2 or 3 more models in the $1000+ range.


    Godin 5th Avenue-godin-5th-avenue-kingpin-jpg

  37. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by RoyaleT
    I have a KingpinIICW and an Aria FA71. They, along with the 70 and solid top 77 are great bang for the buck guitars. Godin makes the 5th Ave. acoustic, Kingpin(no cut away, single pick up) and the Kingpin IIcw with two set P-90's. They recently added 2 or 3 more models in the $1000+ range.
    i'm trying to figure out what makes the 5th Avenue Jazz worth $1900.

  38. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by Help!I'maRock!
    i'm trying to figure out what makes the 5th Avenue Jazz worth $1900.
    I think Godin said--hey, we'll make a guitar with top quality laminates and sell it for half of what a Gibson 175 goes for.

    Looks like folks aren't seeing that as such a bargain, though...

  39. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont
    I think Godin said--hey, we'll make a guitar with top quality laminates and sell it for half of what a Gibson 175 goes for.

    Looks like folks aren't seeing that as such a bargain, though...
    i think it's just because the price is so much higher than the rest of the 5th Avenues.

  40. #39

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    yes, but it differs in many details of construction. There is a video on YouTube where Robert Godin briefly explains it and also talks about the model that has a Bigsby. It is really not that these are all the same guitars with just a few bells and whistles that are different. One feature is a thicker top. Apologies, i am traveling right now and cannot find that video but i am sure it is not hard to find on YouTube. But it is true that people at Godin could and should do a better job explaining to the jazz community why the jazz model is so much more expensive.

    While i absolutely love Godin guitars (have six of them) the only one i still cannot manage to bond strongly with is my Kingpin. I am also not particularly tempted by the jazz.

  41. #40

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    Dear Friends,

    it depends

    I can say why and what I like in Godin I should at least explain what he’s after
    I saw terrible demos of guitar that actually sounded fine in my hands and saw very nice performance on the guitar that I dislike…
    Some say “bad acoustically” meaning “too low”, others meaning “not metallic enough”,”not ringing”…
    I had often seen the guys cursing nylon and I took that after them and showd how that thing might sound.
    I used to play classical guitar as a small boy – and also played jazz on piano and electric guitar, later I went for renaissance and baroque lute which is my main musical practice now.
    But I still kept fond affection for jazz, from time to time I like improvising and playing staff alone or with some of my friends if it happens, in technique I use all I have obtained from classics and jazz guitar practice and also lute performances… but I never play with plectrum, tried to, but feel better and more interesting in fingerstyle (without nails).
    I used my classics for that jazz practice with a little bit softer lute-like right hand osition and without nails, once I thought about looking for an archtop – not necessarily the top model, but something nice both in acoustical tone and amplified.
    I tried quite a few – Gretsch, Epiphone, Eastman, Ibanez, cheaper guitars like Washbun, Burny, Cort, Loar and other staff… I tried lots of metal string acoustics – from Gypsy Django boxes to westerns
    Frankly, nothing suited me acoustically.
    Yes, I got used to classical guitar touch and sound… to me it is the best acoustic staff, the best amplitude of the sound, the best control of it… the best quality of sound in nuances.
    Most of the metal string acoustics and archtops have thin tone – very often uneven in bass, medium and high, dynamics and touch nuances are very rough. The boxes are too big for the sound that makes me feel uncomfortable (like I am holding piano in my hand which plays like banjo), necks mostly also not comfortable for the purpose. I know maybe these requirements are not for those kind of guitars, but that’s me.
    Then I ran across that Godin 5th ave… yes, it is modest, not very loud instrument, but iy combined a few qualitied that enchated me
    1) The acoustic sound is not loud, a little bit dull, but distinct, chord voicing sound very compact and clear – all this with fingerstyle only, it depends on how you play it
    2) Not small but compact very comfortable to hold and play – close to classical guitar feel in that sense, I would say very intimate (other archtops seemed always – say, “outside of me”, not together
    3) Very well built and prepared for performance – all set up firm and clean, and no chocolate and jam glassy finish))) – just nice warm woods
    4) Amplified – well to me the best it sounds like early amplified jazz guitar… a little dry but warm sound - not Motgomery but - maybe Joe Pass on Virtuoso

    Summary: fine chamber archtop, can fit also in small groups (even acoustically if you can take it ou of it)))) – and it is good if you’re used to classical guitar construction, very well-built
    For big concert box you should try other option.
    Maybe I’ll change my mind in time but this is a guitar to stay

    All that about acoustic and Kingpin (with P90) models only.
    Last edited by Jonah; 02-09-2012 at 09:35 AM.

  42. #41
    I've been playing a godin 5th Avenue Acoustic (no cutaaway) for a couple of years and love its playability. Indeed, I prefer it to my '72 Gibson ES-175 for playing comfort. I fabricated a rosewood finger rest based on the Godin's original plastic, adding a Benedetto floating pickup as well as a Fishman archtop bridge piezo, along with a stereo endping jack. I wasn't entirely happy with the Benedetto set up, so I fabricated a new finger rest that is only about an inch wide and installed a Kent Armstrong scre-to-the neck pickup, still using the stereo endpin. I run a TRS cable to an Ultrasound DI Max dual channel DI and go directly into my small mixer rather than using a separate guitar amp. This set up works well for my solo acoustic jazz gigs.

    Because the Godin is realtively inexpensive, I have not felt bad about modifying it. In contrast, I hate to do anything to the ES-175 that might diminish its value. But, agaain, I very much prefer the playabilty of the Godin, and am happy with the tone I'm getting with the dual pickup setup. The floating pickup and bridge pickup together give a natural acoutsitc "woody" (snicker) sound than the -175's humbuckers, better suiting my solo guitar-vocal vintage jazz standards act.

  43. #42

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    Hey, this is Robert Godin's explanation about the 5th Avenue Jazz you were talking about, and it seems about wright, there's a big difference in the quality of the construction.


    Last edited by Monster82; 04-25-2013 at 12:39 PM.

  44. #43

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    has anyone ever done a hands on comparison between the godins and the gretsch g100? i have the gretsch acoustic,non cutaway and added a floating hb. never had the chance toplay either the kingpin or 5th ave.

  45. #44

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    The non cutaway, acoustic only 5th Ave is a fien guitar, IMNSHO faor superieor to any of the Loars, or Gretsch.

    It is important to fit the bridge to the top... the plastic wunderbridge made by tusq, is an improperly cast eiece of plastic that does not fit the top. GODIN claims it is superior to the formerly used rosewood bridge and more expensive to manufacture. Nice story. It still does not fit the top, use the business card test on the wings and corners.

    Fit the bridge to the top, or better yet get a Stew Mac rosewood bridge and fit it to the top.

    Then, put on 12's if not 13's. This makes a huge difference.

    Were I to buy another modestly priced archtop, it would be a 5th Ave non cut non electric.

    Neither of the Kingpins sounds the same as the 5th acoustic.

    I liked them so much I gave one to my grandson.

  46. #45

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    Quality wise, I can agree, but acoustic tone wise the Loars are wimners...IF you like the sound of an acoustic archtop.

    But again, beating Godin's quality in that price range is pretty much impossible.

  47. #46

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    I owned an acoustic 5th Avenue for a while. It can be made loud acoustically, but most aren't willing to use size 13 strings and bang the hell out of it. That's what archtops were designed for...cutting though horns with rhythm chords.
    Regardless, it does make a better electric than acoustic. I installed two different pickups on mine. First, an Armstrong floating min. That was awful. A very lifeless and dull sounding pickup.
    Next was an old gold foil pickup. That sounded pretty good.

  48. #47

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    I wonder if changing the 'tusk' bridge to a rosewood model would have much impact on the
    electric sound of the Godin Kingpin?

  49. #48

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    I tred that...no change in the electric tone, greatly reduced "pinging" from behind the bridge unplugged, and after well fitted, increased bass response unplugged. No noticeable change in volume, overall worthwhile though.

  50. #49

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    Well, it looks like this gentleman enjoys it a lot and one must admit that the tone is very pleasant:


  51. #50

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    Not acoustic, but interesting what this guy did to his 5th Avenue.