One of the most exciting new guitar designs for Jazz lovers is from Godin. It is s the 5th Avenue line of Jazz guitars. The first guitar in this line was Godin 5th Avenue, an archtop fully acoustic guitar without a cutaway. It is reminiscent of 1950 achtops. But of course, it was a modern guitar built from Canadian Wild Cherry instead of mahogany or mahogany and spruce.
Although I own only one guitar from the Godin family of guitar companies (the Ami Parlor by Arts and Lutherie) I love the Godin companies (Godin, Richmond, Seagull, Simon & Patrick, Norman, LaPatrie and Art & Lutherie). The company is primarily located in Canada but in fact has a factory in New Hampshire. Each of the named companies is located in a different location. They use a lot of local, renewable wood, particularly Canadian Wild Cherry.
Godin has continued to add models to the 5th Avenue line of archtop jazz guitars.
All the models share some design features. They are 16″ wide at the lower bout. They have a 24.84″ scale length and 1.72″ nut width. The necks are Maple and the bodies are Canadian Wild Cherry except as noted. The bridge instead of being rosewood or ebony is made by Graphtech from Tusq, an artificial substitute.
Here’s their current offerings.
The first electric model in the lineup has a single P90 pickup in the neck position. The guitar comes in Black, Natural (shown) and Cognac Burst finishes which are described to be similar to a French polish in appearance. The estimated price is about $700. This does not include the recommended Godin TRIC case which can be purchased for about $80. The non-electric version of this guitar, though not part of my survey, can be purchased for about $545.
Image links to product page at Music123.
The next model adds a cutawy and another pickup to the Kingpin. Other specifications are the same as above. The guitar comes in Black, Burgundy, Cognac Burst and Natural. It is available online for $995 including the TRIC case.
I’ve tried this model out at guitar stores and I’ve spoken to others who have played the guitar. The consensus from this limited sample is that the guitar does not sound the same as old archtops or even new mahogany or mahogany and spruce archtops. It has a unique voice. That said, everyone said they liked the sounds from this guitar.
Image links to product page at Musician’s Friend.
The newest model in the 5th Avenue line is the Jazz. The image shown is the most stunning of the variations with a flame maple laminated top. The two other finishes, Piano Black HG and Natural Flame HG, are made from Canadian Wild Cherry. The laminated Flame Maple top has a core of wild cherry. The pickup has been changed to a floating mini-humbucker. The price is about $1895 and includes the Godin TRIC case.
Image links to the product page at Musician’s Friend.