Price paid: $ 400
Purchased from: Local Shop
Sound — 9
I'm playing this through a Bogner Alchemist 212 tube combo. Immediately I could tell the difference in woods from my mahogany-bodied guitar I had before this. Great attack and note articulation (good for my tastes), but not too bright even on the single coils. Cleans shimmered in the various positions. Treble was pronounced but low frequency undertones balanced out. Picking dynamics and phasing between pickups (in the 2 and 4 positions on the 5 way switch) are clearly evident, perfect for my blues runs. What really pleased me was that whether using the humbucker, single coils, or anything in between, the output is constant. No drop in volume and no crackling using the knobs or pickup switch. Engaging the HDR gives an increase in volume, but with rich harmonics. Noise increases slightly; not bothersome at all though. Singles twang more, and sustain increases on the humbucker. It's almost like a clean boost, but with more harmonic content. Switching to the dirty channel, I get my David Gilmour sound I love. Playing "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" is unreal, using the neck pickup and the HDR for a little more grit. This is with gain low enough to overdrive but nowhere near Van Halen territory. The Duncan Custom is great too. With this level of distortion, I get a beautiful expressive articulation almost spot on with Allen Hind's "Falling Up" (look for Bogner Alchemist demos on YouTube and look at his performance). For more gain, I overdrive with a Fulltone OCD on top of the previous dirt settings. Humbucker=Van Halen. Great hard rock power but not overbearing. Rolling off the tone knob give a full sound closer to Satriani in his "Crystal Planet" days. The single coils still come through with this much gain, and can hold their own with the Duncan. The Godin GS-1 pickups are designed with more of a midrange peak, while their GS-2 singles, found on the Progression model, are typical scooped Strat sounding. However, they are not noiseless, but I haven't reached a level of noise that affects my playing. The HDR increases this noise, especially in the 1, 3, 4 positions. With the HDR on this gain setting, the humbucker can get a little too harsh on the treble, but there is definitely more gain. In passive mode there is less gain but the miss and bass are balanced with the treble again. So the tonal Spectrum of this guitar is quite wide, just don't expect to play too much metal. Most wouldn't but this guitar for metal anyway. This is a great versatile instrument the covers all of the genres I play, including blues, jazz, classic and hard rock.
Overall Impression — 9
I've played many guitars and this is one of the best. If only we had the technology to make a carbon fiber fretboard (like on Parker Fly's) look like maple of rosewood fingerboards. But I dream. Still, it plays extremely well. For the price, I say it's unbeatable. I honestly can't find any significant faults with this guitar. In fact the only reason I'm giving it a 9 is because there are guitars much more expensive and I'm sure there other guitars that play better. But for me, in this price range and playability, its an 11.
Reliability & Durability — 10
The build quality is top-notch, and I'm not the only one who thinks so. I have not heard one bad thing about the quality and durability of any Godin. After a year of constant abuse the guitar plays and feels brand new. When set right the tremolo (which I float) stays in tune with even a lot of use. No electronics issues at all. The HDR, pots, and switches are all in working order. One thing I should mention is that I bought this guitar USED. The owner before me had it for a few years. While he took great care of it (the only signs of previous ownership was some tiny scratches in the finish where the pick hit the body while strumming), I'm very happy that the guitar has performed this well. This is definitely a gigging guitar; road worthy.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
Setup when I got the guitar was quite good, but the tremolo was locked down super tight. I guess they want to keep it as stable as possible during shipping and storage. However I don't care how it's set up before, because I like to do that myself anyway. It's how I get to know and understand my instrument and adds to the fun of playing guitar for me. Frets are flush with the neck, neck joint is nice and tight, and components are installed perfectly. The nut is cut very well too, something cheaper guitars do not have. Even the electronics cavity is finished well. Nice shielding all around. To make it even better the guitar just looks all out sexy.
Features — 9
The Godin Velocity is a well-versed HSS superstrat with tricks up its sleeve. There aren't enough reviews around, so I thought I could give some good information. Firstly this guitar is made from woods crafted in Canada, then assembled in the USA (New Hampshire I believe). The neck and fretboard are from silver leaf maple (comes in Indian Rosewood as well), and the body is silver leaf maple with poplar wings. The top in nicely flamed and goes really well with the sunburst I got. Finish is impeccable, even in the body cavities. The neck dimensions, headstock configuration, and the Vintage Tremolo are all just like a Strat. 22 medium jumbo frets, C-type neck profile, and synchronized tremolo. The pickups are in HSS configuration consisting of 2 Godin GS-1 single coils and a Seymour Duncan Custom hum bucker in the bridge. Standard volume, tone and 5 way switch are there, but with a small button next to the tone knob - the HDR or High Definition Revoicer. This switch when activated changes the pickups from passive to active. It's an extremely useful tool, which I will discuss more later. The only thing I would have liked to have are locking tuners, but haven't needed them as it all stays in tune quite well. Came with a nice gig bag with many pockets and good construction. These are all of the features I'll ever need.