Price paid: C$ 390
Purchased from: Domenic's Music Shop, Orleans, ON
Sound — 9
The sound on my guitar is incredible. Very warm and balanced, neither too bright nor too mellow but with plenty of complex overtones. It has incredible sustain - best of any acoustic I've ever tried. The voicing is quite deep but the treble notes still seem to ring out quite well - as I say, it has a very balanced tone. I think this is important in any guitar since it means that, in the end, the musician is in the driver's seat. It's not a very loud guitar, but since the body is relatively small, you wouldn't expect it to be. It's perfect for voice accompaniment.
Overall Impression — 8
I absolutely love this guitar. I play all styles with it - rock, folk, finger-style and classical. I think the thing really shines for voice accompaniment - I ought to install some pick-ups in it. I have another Godin guitar and am similarly impressed with it. No matter what your playing style, whether beginner or seasoned veteran - these are the guitars to buy. I do, however have two gripes with the Godin line of guitars - there are seven brands each with their own line-up of guitars in different body-styles and combinations of woods giving the impression of incredible choice. However, if you look at the specs, you'll notice that the necks are only available in three different types - steel six-string, twelve-string and classical. Since the neck is one of the most important aspects of the instrument-player interface, if the particular neck on offer is not to your liking, you are SOL. Second, of all that tremendous range of guitars, only a tiny fraction are available left-handed, and mostly lower-end models.
Reliability & Durability — 7
I'm not too sure about long term durability since the guitar is not very old, however there is already quite a deep gash on the top. The finish is very thin so is unlikely to provide much protection, while the Cedar top seems quite soft - handle with care. The lack of binding on the bottom will also make the guitar more delicate. Apparently newer Godin guitars have the necks epoxied in place whereas on the older ones the neck was bolted in place - thus it is now impossible to do a neck reset. As I've pointed out already, this is unlikely to be a problem since the maple neck is very stable and the saddle very high.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
These are very well put together guitars. The only problem I've had with it so far is that the action was slightly too high. I've heard this about all the Godin-group guitars - you will likely not have a problem in this area. The maple neck seems extremely stable, but even if the action does increase with age, the saddle is very high so there's plenty to shave off and there are slots cut in it to increase the break angle of the strings. Very nice touch... The stain on top is slightly uneven, but here I'm picking nits because I haven't used up my character quota.
Features — 8
Mine is a lefty. Handmade in Canada in Princeville Quebec by the Godin group. Solid Cedar top, back and sides of Wild Cherry (3-layer laminate), maple neck, rosewood fingerboard and saddle. Mine is the "antique sunburst" finish - a very pleasing tobacco stain all over with a shaded stain on top. It has a very thin satin veneer. Cream binding on the top only. The body is the same size as a Concert classical. Tuners are cheap no-name but work fine. Top is quite thin but it has very thick bracing which might explain some of the sonic characteristics (balanced tone, lots of sustain, but relatively quiet...)