Godin 5th Avenue
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King Loudness 08/31/2011

Godin 5th Avenue : King Loudness's user review

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The Godin 5th Avenue is an archtop guitar made in the tradition of many of the very simplistic guitars made by Gibson, Epiphone, Harmony, Regal, et al in the forties and fifties. It's extremely no frills, but it sacrifices needless features and excess cosmetics for a vintage and cool tone that's very much at home playing jazz or blues styles. They're built at Godin's factory in Canada and have a pretty basic feature set which includes:

Top: Canadian Wild Cherry
Back & Sides: Canadian Wild cherry with cream binding
Neck: Silver Leaf maple with contoured high-gloss black headstock
Fingerboard: Rosewood
Bridge: Adjustable Rosewood Bridge
Finish: Custom Polished Finish
Radius: 16" (40,6 cm)
Scale: 24.84" (63 cm)
Nut width: 1.72" (4,6 cm)
Colors: Cognac Burst, Natural & Black

UTILIZATION

The design of this guitar is fairly ergonomic considering its purpose. It's not really designed for high octane fast playing, but rather for more laid back blues/jazz type textures. It's a fairly lightweight guitar and doesn't suffer from neck heaviness or any odd order abnormalities. The shape is basically an old school archtop. It looks nearly identical to an old Silvertone that I owned that was built in 1958, so obviously they've got the idea. That being said, it does play better than a lot of these old guitars. The neck is comfortable and it's great for chording work and certain lead lines. The upper fret access isn't stellar due to a lack of a cutaway but that's to be expected.

Getting a good sound of this guitar is easy... just vary your pick attack and/or style to change it up! Because there are no pickups or anything on this guitar, it's up to your hands to determine how it sounds. It's a pretty mellow guitar overall, so you might have to hit it a bit harder to get the volume out of it, but otherwise it sounds great.

SOUNDS

The sound of the guitar as stated is a fairly plain and mellow affair. It works very well for old school blues licks or some jazz comping. Django type lines work really well on this guitar too, due to its understated tone and easy playability. Part of me wishes that it had a bit more volume overall, but that might take away from the really unique and simple voice that this guitar has. It would definitely make a cool addition if you've already got a really loud acoustic in the collection or are just looking for a soft toned guitar to play around on.

OVERALL OPINION

The Godin 5th Avenue is a killer value for money and is a great example of a vintage meets modern archtop. At about $500 new for a non pickup equipped model, it's an awesome deal for someone looking for that downhome sort of voice in an easy to play, great sounding archtop guitar. Godin gear is underrated but built extremely well, so I'd have no concerns buying one myself!