This review was submitted by Guitar Jar contributor: Mark Angel
So, I’m an electric guitar player really, but when I moved to leading the music in my local church, acoustic guitar seemed to be most appropriate.
Over the years I’ve owned several acoustic guitars, and I eventually settled on a nice Ovation bowl back Celebrity Deluxe in cherry red.
I had the guitar professionally setup and it played beautifully. The trouble is, when you hit the prime age of 40 you start to expand in places that were previously not so flabby, and I eventually found that my Ovation’s bowl-back was incompatible with my bowl-front. Hmmm.
I started to look at “hybrid” guitars. These are guitars that usually are shaped like electric guitars but have acoustic (Piezo) pickups and electric pickups in one guitar.
There are many variants around but I finally settled on the Godin. It got great reviews and I liked the look. The idea of having an acoustic pickup that, at the flick of a switch, turned electric was a cool idea too – not that I could ever imagine using it, but it still caught my imagination.
Now, I could list all the features or you could surf on over to the Godin site and take a look: http://www.godinguitars.com/godina6ultrap.htm. One point to note is that this is an expensive guitar but it does not come with a hard case (a decent gig bag, yes, but I like a hard case for my instruments). The good news it does fit a Tele case – just – as long as the case isn’t too tightly fitted. It does also come with Schaller style strap lock buttons on the guitar. A nice touch for those of us that prefer our guitars to stay on their neck and not land on the floor when getting a bit wild.
When you strap this guitar on it feels very comfortable. Slightly more bulky that a Tele, but very similar. Slightly lighter than a Tele but still with some weight. None of the controls are labelled; neither are the two output sockets (one for the electric pickup and one for a blend of acoustic and electric), so some care is needed when plugging in and making adjustments, but the manual that came with the guitar is quite clear.
I miss the tuner in my Ovation – but then again every effects pedal, drum machine, recording device has a tuner in it nowadays so no real hassle. And if a tuner isn’t nearby I use my organic God-given tuner – my ears. Don’t forget ‘em guitar players. Mine work better than any electronic tuner any day. No battery light either but you can tell when the battery needs replacing as the guitar starts to distorts and loses “life”. I try to remember to keep a spare battery in my case at all times.
Unplugged this guitar sounds like a cardboard box with strings on it, but then that’s not really what it’s about. It makes enough noise to make practice without an amp nice and easy but you probably won’t get far without reaching for that jack lead. Plugged in it comes to life. The acoustic pick does still sound like a Piezo but it’s really quite a well rounded sound. I’ve even recorded with it plugged in which is rare for me.
So what about the electric pickup? Well to me it sounds like a muddy, woolly mess, but I guess you could call it “brown sound”. I’ve tried the electric pickup with various amps with the same or similar results. So is the electric pickup a waste of time? No, because what I do find is that blending in some electric pickup with the acoustic pickup adds some sparkle and warmth – and that is now my standard setting. I’ve tried electric strings (horrible) and various gauges of acoustic strings and eventually settled at some D’addario EXP with a 10 on the top.
This guitar feels like a workhorse. I don’t think it will ever go wrong!
I bought this guitar without playing it – they are rare in this country so I had to buy it from an Importer (www.importedinstruments.com). It’s the first time I’ve ever done that with a “decent” guitar but I was not disappointed. This is my goto guitar when playing out live if an acoustic guitar is needed and I can see it remaining so for some time. It probably does need a decent setup on it at some point but it‘s perfectly playable as is.
And I think it’s rather cool playing in a church with a “God in” guitar.