Editors Note: Unfortunately we didn’t get any pics of the actual guitar in review, so we took some pics from around the web. As a courtesy we have linked the images back to the original source. If you happen to own the images and would like us to remove them from this page contact us and we would be more than happy to comply.
On review today is the Godin SD solid body electric guitar, but before we look at the SD, let’s have a quick look at Godin first, a reputable guitar maker, started by Robert Godin, a Canadian luthier in La Patrie, Quebec nearly 30 years ago.
Robert Godin still is involved in designing their guitars with today’s focus, the “SD” solid body being a popular model since the 1990’s. Now the SD is a fully USA made instrument, made in New Hampshire, using Canadian timbers such as Silver leaf maple for the body, and rock maple for the neck with, in my case a maple fingerboard although you can get rosewood fingerboards as well.
Image courtesy of www.musiciansbuy.com
The Godin on first appearances seems to be a cross between a Telecaster and a Strat but with a humbucker in the bridge. With it’s nice generous curves it combines the easy feel of a short scale (24¾”) with the added snap of a rock maple neck for great note definition and clarity.
According to technical specs on the Godin website, the short scale reduces string tension, therefore making for easy string bending and apparently fills in the low-frequency response. The neck feels compact (43mm at the nut) and with the diagonal radius carved into the body it is a very comfortable guitar and so easy to play. It fits the body well, and the neck is a joy to get around, although for players with big hands, you may find it a tad thin although not Jackson ‘shredder’ thin but thinner than some old vintage Tele’s or Strats maybe.
Image courtesy of www.seymourduncan.com/forum/
Mine is a vintage white with a nicely aged and a well used maple neck. The guitar features high quality geared tuners, which (now brace yourself!) stay in tune! Admittedly I don’t do dive-bombs but they definitely are good enough, with 2 steel string trees to keep it all in place.
Image courtesy of www.alloutput.com
Image courtesy of www.alloutput.com
Now as for electronics, the Godin SD has Godin-Design pickups: 2x single-coil, 1x Humbucker in bridge which brings in some rumour and gossip. Apparently the Godin is called the SD because it originally had Seymour Duncan pickups in them, with a version of the Custom Custom in the bridge humbucker, which may explain why the pickups sound so good, especially the humbucker. Now do your own research but this seemed quite plausible.
Image courtesy of www.en.wikipedia.org
Before I discuss tone a bit more my background is or has been basically Strats or Teles, as I have always loved the woody mellow tone of single coils, but with a love hate relationship with the bridge pickup. The Godin has the best of both worlds, with a beautiful woody warm neck pickup which I argue is essential for great clean noodling work, nice usable middle pickup and an awesome bridge humbucker.
This pup just loves any overdrive or distortion. It is clear, full but yet articulate and warm, not at all mushy and loves searing leads. Now for cleans it is not bad, but obviously shines on OD tones. The components all seems to be quality USA full spec pots, capacitors and wiring, so no cheapo 2 cent parts here.
In order to make the top a little less cluttered, the jack is side mounted and no top mounted jack plate. Just a Tone and Volume knob to sculpture your sounds (also set further away from the strings so they aren’t hit accidentally). The tone and Volume are both Master controls too, so another great little feature.
Godin SD 24 Neck Joint
With a pretty standard Strat bridge, whammy bar and those lovely in-between tones, you can cover a lot of ground with this guitar. The only thing you notice though with a humbucker, you lose a bit of that in-between mid/bridge position twang, one that Mark Knopfler has used a lot. However definitely a worthy sacrifice for the sensual growl of that humbucker.
So in summary, this guitar is a great Strat/Tele alternative that adds a couple of extra features, extremely well priced for a USA made instrument and in all honesty, a quality fun instrument that is definitely worth buying if you can find one for a good price. I have had top quality USA made Fenders and a Levinson Blade Classic RH4 and I can get as good as a tone out of this as any.
So with great quality timbers for tone, overall quality build, great intonation and tuning stability, climaxing in a great tone (and at about $550 second hand) what is there not to like?