5th Avenue Kingpin review by Godin

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 10
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.6 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.8 (23 votes)
Godin: 5th Avenue Kingpin

Sound — 10
This guitar is very well suited for jazz and blues, both of which I enjoy to play. I plug this guitar into a Fender Hot Rod. The clean sound is very balanced and full. It really is ideal for jazz rhythm guitar or mellow lead parts in any style of music. It is also great for a singer songwriter or just for quiet practicing. The guitar has a very glossy sound, especially on the higher strings. There isn't much variety in the this guitar's sound given that it only has one pickup, but what you are able to tweak on your amp in combination with the tone knob on the guitar should give you enough of a different sound. There is some feedback from the pickup if you are within a few feet of your amp, but that is common of most hollow bodies. The P-90 handles distortion very well, should you ever find the need to play with distortion on this guitar. Acoustically, this guitar has a very midrange sound, and is maybe about half the volume of a dreadnought Acoustic guitar. It could be used to accompany an Acoustic guitar. When unplugged. If you try one out though, I would strongly suggest that you plug into an all tube amp with a very clean sound to unleash the full potential of this instrument.

Overall Impression — 9
One of the biggest features that isn't mentioned anywhere is just how beautiful this guitar is. So much thought was put into the design, and it shows. In my opinion, the cognac burst looks the best, but I also like the look of the ebony model. Very classy look. Something I would like see is this guitar equipped with two P-90s, like many old jazz guitars did, but the one does just fine. If lost or stolen, I would buy another in a heartbeat, if I could find one. It took me a long time to find this guitar in a store near me. Godin is producing a large quantity of these at the moment. They weren't prepared for the amount of demand that that got for these guitars. I really like the feel of the body, it is very light. The neck isn't very fast, so it won't replace hollow bodies like an ES-335 or something similar, but for the money, this guitar simply cannot be beaten. I first started my search for a hollow body with Gretsch, but they are not made nearly as well, and the models comparable in price to the kingpin are all manufactured overseas, in Korea I believe. I bought this guitar after playing it for an hour in the store. You will not find a guitar of this caliber any cheaper anywhere.

Reliability & Durability — 10
Knowing Godin, I would not hesitate to travel with and play Live with this guitar. The hardware is of very high quality, as is the flawless finish. I could definatly depend on this instrument for Live playing, but I will work with this guitar more in the studio, so I'm sure that I will have the guitar forever.

Action, Fit & Finish — 10
Coming straight from the factory, this guitar arrived very well set up. The action was very low, but there was no fret buzz. As soon as I tuned it up, it was ready to be played. Godin's entire product line is just fantastic, and this guitar is no exception. I don't think that any product of theirs has left their factory in poor shape. Godin's pride in quality shines through in this guitar.

Features — 9
Brand New Godin Kingpin with a single P-90 pickup in cognac burst. Made entirely in Canada. This guitar is an archtop. It is very light and comfortable to play. The neck is fairly thin and is very easy to play. The tuners that come with the guitar hold a tune very well. Here are the specs from Godin's website: Canadian Wild Cherry archtop Canadian Wild cherry back & sides Silver Leaf maple neck Contoured high-gloss black headstock Custom Polished Finish reminiscent of the french polish of the 19th century Rosewood Fingerboard Adjustable Tusq Bridge by Graphtech Cream Binding 1x Godin Kingpin P90 single-coil pickup 1x Volume, 1x Tone 16" (406 mm) fingerboard radius 24.84" (630 mm) Scale 1.72" (43 mm) nut width Colors: Black, Cognac Burst & Natural There is a very cool case for this guitar called a TRIC case. It isn't much to look at, but it is very lightweight for a hardshell, very sturdy, resistant to temperature change, and waterproof. This case was not included with the price I paid, but the case only costs around $80, which isn't any more than you would pay for any other hardshell case.

12 comments sorted by best / new / date

    just got my cutaway version II. very well set up from shop,beautiful guitar and plays very easily. will be so much easier to hang round the neck as so light. Cinnamon- have you played one? The sound is always from the strings on an electric guitar, and the resonace and sound is affected by the pickups and body. otherwise all guitars would sound the same wouldnt they?!
    just got my cutaway version II. very well set up from shop,beautiful guitar and plays very easily. will be so much easier to hang round the neck as so light. Cinnamon- have you played one? The sound is always from the strings on an electric guitar, and the resoonace and sound is affected by the pickups and body. otherwise all guitars would sound the same wouldnt they?!
    pretty awesome ive been thinking about getting one for jazz, not a bad price either
    I bought the cutout kingpin II version of this guitar, and I love it. Very good overall for what you buy. It is not good for anything high gain due to extreme feedback, but for blues, jazz, rockabilly, country, this guitar really excels. One thing to keep in mind that the tone selector switch seems to be quite loose. It would vibrate and create an acoustic buzz even while I was playing individual notes. I had mine swapped out in order to minimize this buzzing and it has worked beautifully ever since!
    I just got my Kingpin a month ago and love it. I agree with everything in Minderbinder's reveiw. I wish I had the cutaway version, but I'm very happy with the one I have. A local luthier took a look at it in his shop and was very impressed, comparing it to gibsons he has owned. I love the tone and most of all it's such a light and comfortable guitar to play. I play mostly blues and I'm starting to play a little more jazz because of this guitar - I also play a little slide and the guitar works well for that too.
    accurate review. got mine from here - First Music Store and it's been good to me.. loving the sound when it's plugged into an SR Tech amp.
    I had to sell everything from my NES collection to paintings out of the back of my car. I had to stand in New Orleans and in a terrible bar for 5 hours busking. Not to mention the billion hours I worked at McDonalds. The day came where I took my cash put 750$ down on the table and took this beauty home. And my God is wonderful. It's my new baby. I love it to death. Sleak, comfortable, light. And dare I say a touch of class and elegance that is hard to find in your regular acoustic/electric. You will not regret this purchase.
    Agree with all the positive comments. This guitarist simply wonderful and a joy to play. But, didn't do much for me when I first got it. Put it away, and came back to it. Picked it up again a few days ago and can't put it down. Amazing guitar.
    I heard from my local guitar store that this guitar simply doesn't work. Yep, good craftsmanship and all that, but because it uses nickel strings (due to P90 magnetics, it bypasses the sound of the wood and only picks up the strings), it is pretending to be an electric which it is not, and yet sounds awful as an electro-acoustic - Really thin sounding etc. They recommended buying the acoustic version, and placing a piezo pickup in it, to retain the feel of the guitar. Actually - just noticed this - i was talking to a guy in Westside Music Centre in Somerset! (If you didn't know, thats the same group as posted the previous post!) Talk about double standards!