5th Avenue Kingpin Review

manufacturer: Godin date: 03/20/2009 category: Electric Guitars
Godin: 5th Avenue Kingpin
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.
 Sound: 10
 Overall Impression: 9
 Reliability & Durability: 10
 Action, Fit & Finish: 10
 Features: 9
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
review (1) pictures (1) 12 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9.6
5th Avenue Kingpin Reviewed by: Minderbinder, on march 20, 2009
6 of 6 people found this review helpful

Features: 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. // 9

Sound: 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. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: 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. // 10

Reliability & Durability: 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. // 10

Overall Impression: 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. // 9

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