Price paid: $ 849
Purchased from: SGCNation.com
Sound — 8
Make sure to check out the video to get some actual audio examples of the sound. P-90 pickups seem to be undergoing a sort of renaissance as of late, and I was actually very surprised with how warm and balanced Godin's sound. You can't get an infinite amount of different tones out of it, but the P-90's really are a great touch. As you can hear in the video, it sounds ok unplugged, not really its best feature though. Due to the nature of the build (shallow body, cutaway, size, etc.) it's not a shocker that it lacks the depth and body of a full acoustic. While it may sound a bit thin, it's still very passable as an acoustic, but it shines brightest plugged in on the neck position.
Overall Impression — 9
Overall, the Kingpin II scored a very respectable 8 out of 10 in every category thus far, but there's really something intangible that makes it stick out. Even though it's a little thin acoustically, there's something about it that still makes you want to just pick it up and jam on. I can't decide if it's purely the classy, old-school looks and design that are so charming, but for the money, I've yet to play anything quite like it. Definitely worth checking out.
Reliability & Durability — 8
The quality of the components are seemingly exceptional. The tuners feel good, knobs and switch are solid, and even the bridge is noticeably nicer than others in it's class. I'd have no reason to believe it wouldn't be reliable in any way. As far as durability goes, it is extremely lightweight and, like most archtops, wouldn't be able to take a lot of abuse. Luckily, it comes with that totally uncool and revolutionary TRIC case, so the only abuse you'll have to worry about will be from others making fun of your bicycle-helmet-guitar-case.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
I'm personally not too crazy about the stock strings they ship with, but it plays very well for a factory setup. You can hear a little buzzing in the video, but it should be a simple adjustment away, otherwise it plays great. The finish is top notch, custom finished with a satin sheen that's supposedly based off of 19th century French polishes, the accuracy of which I can neither confirm nor deny. It's also the winner of the coveted "Sean Daniel Pickguard Of The Year" award. Overall very high quality craftsmanship, but docked a few points on strings and setup.
Features — 8