Guitar Review: Godin LG
Godin is a Canadian guitar company by Robert Godin, a long-time luthier. Based in Quebec, the company has developed a quiet, but strong reputation as a maker of quality, hand-made guitars at affordable prices. The Godin LG – with its shape an homage to the iconic Les Paul - is another example of their fine guitar making.
The LG is no longer in production, with its run beginning in 2003 and ending in 2007. The current equivalent is the Core series. When in production, the LG came in two versions. The earlier model featured Seymour Duncan single-coil pickups, and it was later paired with a version featuring Godin-designed humbuckers. This review will be on the single-coil version, otherwise known as the P90.
The LG P90 is, in some respects, an updated version of the Les Paul shape. It is thinner than the traditional Les Paul, with a short bout and smoother, rounded corners. It makes the guitar look aesthetically pleasing, although the downside is that the guitar is awkward to play sitting down. There is some balancing issues and the guitar tends to tilt downwards, and the smooth contours also means it is prone to slipping.
There is no pick-guard on the guitar. There are two Seymour Duncan soapbar pickups, recessed deep into the body. Actually, most of the guitar is low, including the default action. Rounding out the electronics are a three-way tone switch, a volume knob and a tone knob.
It comes in several shades, from a metallic black to bright gold. The headstock is black and features the Godin signature in white paint.
The choice of neck is interesting, because it is fairly deep and is reminiscent of an acoustic guitar. This feels good to the hand, but it also makes it awkward initially to play at speed. Having a faster neck would have been a wiser choice, or even just a few inches shaved off the radius would have helped.
When cranked with distortion, the Godin LG shines. The guitar has a snarling quality that, in a band situation, bites through the other instruments. As a result, the guitar sounds aggressive and brash, like a swaggering gang member walking down a street.
The three-way switch and the tone knob are surprisingly sensitive and as a result, it is possible to coax a wide range of tones from the guitar. The guitar is equally capable of warm and soulful growls, as well as sharp, tight tones. It's a great rhythm guitar, and also capable of launching tasty lead sounds.
The pickups are very hot and are highly responsive to distortion. Perhaps too hot, because there is a heavy amount of feedback from the guitar. The guitar is prone to squealing and hums loudly when not being played. While that is a minor problem when playing on stage or in rehearsal, in recording situations the guitar needs to be in another room to the amplifier.
The guitar is all-mahogany, which gives the guitar good resonance with good bass response. Due to the thinness of the guitar, the LG P90 isn't particularly heavy to play. Although, if you are not used to the weight of an all-mahogany guitar, the weight can take some adjustment.
The responsiveness of the three-way switch and the tone knob also means the guitar can be used in a variety of situations aside from rock. The neck pickup is great for blues when the tone knob is pushed towards the mids. The bridge pickup is great for indie stylings with its bright sounds, or even country with the tone knob pushed towards the treble region to get that country twang.
The Godin LG is a great rock guitar. Tonally, it has all the qualities that a rock guitar should have – it is aggressive, loves distortion and it is possible to go from wailing solos to biting rhythm tones. It has a wide tonal palette which makes it a workhorse in many situations. The pickups are too hot for their own good, the guitar shape lacks some balance and the neck could be faster. However, those are minor quibbles to an otherwise excellent guitar.