Price paid: £ 350
Purchased from: Guitarguitar
Sound — 5
There are two types of Acoustic archtop guitars. In one style the bodies are carved from solid thick planks of wood, take months to make, are appointed with the finest furniture, and prices generally start at 8,000 and may go up to 30,000 or more. These are bought by top professional players with rich daddies, or by rich daddies. The Godin body is pressed plywood, probably made like a car body panel. These cost hundreds rather than thousands (unless they carry the Gibson logo perhaps) and are rarely suitable for professional performance. The sound is invariably connected to the price.
Overall Impression — 5
I'm 62 years old. I have been playing guitar for over 40 years and own a wide range of expensive and cheap guitars. I recommend the guitar as a budget jazzer, with limited tone and volume, but good playability. (Although mine needed a tweek on the truss-rod) I should also add that this model needs the special deep-reach truss rod key that came with the guitar. An ordinary tool will not have the reach) This sort of adjustment should only be done by someone who knows what they are doing.
Reliability & Durability — 6
The guitar has at least one exceptional build feature. Many of the best archtop guitars have a fingerboard which is cantelevered over the body, so as to leave the maximum of the table to vibrate. In a plywood guitar this is somewhat pretentious, but still, it's nice to see that acknolegement of traditional design. All appointments, tuners, bridge etc. are adequate.
Action, Fit & Finish — 5
Set-ups for most floating bridges are somewhat inaccurate. With the strings slackened, all that can be done is to nudge the bridge into a place where most of the strings tune open, at the twelfth, and on the twelfth harmonic. Tuneomatic bridges may help, but if the guitar has a simple compensating bridge, you have to accept some minor inconsistency in the tuning; and it should be remembered that many great guitar-players have managed with them.
Features — 5
We think this guitar is entirely made in Canada. Neck is unspecified but probably maple, body pressed plywood, probably spruce. Satin finish. I suspect that coloured guitars, (this one is black) are chosen because of minor faults in the veneer and which don't affect the tone. This 5th. Ave is the Acoustic version.