Anybody Have A Godin Bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by KingOfTheRoad, Jul 28, 2005.

  1. KingOfTheRoad

    KingOfTheRoad Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2005
    Hangtown, CA
    Any body have any experience with this Canadian bass?
    I'm looking at a BG5.

    Cheers, Roadking
  2. Played on in a canadian music store and one in a canadian club a few years ago. :p They felt really nice, sounded good and were very light. I haven't looked them since as I tend to stay out of music stores (can't stand all the crap they feed you :spit: ). I would rather listen to respected forum members opinion... but I digress. ;) I remember the Godin's to come in a bunch of wacky faded colors like orange, green, blue, etc. I was considering getting a 5 string Godin before I was given permission to buy my USA Lakland. :hyper:

  3. CetiAlphaVI


    May 27, 2005
    Sorry, I don't have a BG V, but I do own an SD4 (discontinued and replaced by Freeway series AFAIK). It has an active pre with duncan p/j pickups. The craftsmanship is excellent, as it is on my Godin g*&$#r. The price/value is excellent, and based on my experience with their instruments, I would not hesitate to buy another Godin product. The BG series is a step above what I have. The only concern I would personally have with a BG is the fret markers aren't big enough for me.
  4. debaser


    Jun 11, 2005

    I've played a few Godin's - active and passive versions of the Freeway - in my search for a bass recently, and liked them very much. They feel great and are finished impecably, particularly compared to other options in their price range.

    I far prefer the sound of the active Freeway, which from what I can see is fairly similar to the BG5 (which was recently discontinued) - mahogony body, active soapbar pickups, rock maple neck. The passive version didn't seem to have sufficient "thump" for me when compared with Fenders, but the active version certainly has the "thump" to go along with the great feel.

    This weekend will be the big decision'll either be an active Godin Freeway or an MIM Fender Zone. I already know that the Godin wins on build quality; still to be determined are the final decision on sound and playability.

    Good luck with your search! Hopefully some of the plethora of knowledgeable bassists here will be able to offer some more advice to you.
  5. I believe HawkEye has an SD-4.
  6. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    I have an SD4. Very good quality.
  7. dgce


    Jun 17, 2001
    Massachusetts, USA
    Yeah but does anyone have any info on the BG5. I've tried those other Godins mentioned and they're not bad. But the BG5 is the top of their line and that's what this guy is asking about. I'm quite curious myself. Anyone?

  8. Hawkeye

    Hawkeye Canuck Amateur

    Thou doth speak the truth, AND Hawkeye also has a BG-5!

    King, you will love the feel of the BG-5 neck. It is quite flat, shallow, tapered, and easy to get your fingers around. It's a five that doesn't feel as big as a five if that makes any sense. It is not graphite reinforced so, before I got my humidifier at home, I found I was adjusting the truss rod about 3-4 times a year. I haven't adjusted it now in about 9 months and it's still spot-on. The top fretboard markers are small, but the side ones aren't and those are the only ones I look at anyway.

    Even though it's not a string-thru bridge like the Performance series basses, the headstock is a kick-back type, so you still get good, even string tension.

    I found the D'Addarios that came on it to be a weak point. Dean Markley Mediums cured that and gave the "B" more focus. It has a pretty good "B" string for a 34" scale, not as good as my Lakland 55-01 but then the Lakland's a 35" and that axe is known for its B.

    I consider the BG-5 my most versatile bass in terms of sonics. The Seymour Duncan "Basslines" pickups / preamp is very quiet too. I never get any hiss or hum. I can't comment on the newer versions which feature the Godin soapbars.

    The bass is a little more "modern" sounding with a bright, focused character that some may call hollow, but I think it is a very articulate sounding guitar. I run the EQ flat on the guitar with just a little bit of bass boost, and the EQ flat on my Ampeg SVT3 Pro / Peavey 115 BVX BW combination and it does not sound hard or brittle, just very present.

    You can find them for a good price new, but it seems like the Godin resale value isn't the best. This brand is an up and comer, so I expect that will change, as it seems prices in the U.S. are a bit more than Canadian prices.

    I look at the BG-5 as kind of a "poor man's Cirrus". Good luck.

    Oh yeah, Bassplayer had a review of a BG-5 I think around June / July of 2002 if you can figure out how to navigate their old issues on the website.
  9. Hawkeye

    Hawkeye Canuck Amateur

    Hmmm... I don't know if this means anything, but the BG-5 is no longer shown in the Signature series guitars on the Godin website. Only the A-Series and Performance series are shown. Does the Freeway Active 5 effectively replace the BG-5?
  10. dgce


    Jun 17, 2001
    Massachusetts, USA
    Bummer, Hawkeye, you may be right. The updated Godin website sort of suggests that the regular Freeway 4&5 has replaced the SD (ok, we knew that already) but now they have a new active Freeway model with soapbar Godin pickups and mahogany body (which likely has replaced the B5).

    Too bad, those B5s seemed so nice. I've only tried one in a 4 string model back when they used EMGs. I would have loved to try the 5 with the Seymour Baselines. On the plus side, you might be able to score one used on the cheap but you really have to keep on the look out.

    Will Godin ever get the respect it deserves???? Ugh!
  11. Yes.

    I had a BG5 for a while (the older version with EMG electronics), and it was probably my favorite fiver ever. Great tone, great B string, excellent playability. The only thing I disliked was the Schaller bridge; the small rollers for string spacing adjustment kept moving when changing strings, and it was a real pain in the arse. The newer models feature a different bridge, though.
  12. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Godin is really skimping on basses IMO, first the SD is gone and now the BG? Guess they dont pull in enough $.
  13. dgce


    Jun 17, 2001
    Massachusetts, USA
    I'd say that's exactly it! Their guitar line is quite diverse and growing. They also have very specialized items like MIDI controllers, acoustic/electric bridges on their electric guitars, hybrid acoustic axes, etc., and most at pretty friendly prices especially considering they’re made in North America. About the only bass that's managed to hang in there is their thinline acoustic 4 and 5 string (again, another specialized axe). It’s supposed to really play like a bass guitar but sound like a proper upright. I've only tried the older version that was shaped like a jazz bass.

    Let's face it, competition is pretty tough. Between MIM Fenders and the avalanche of quality Korean and other Asian imports, Canadian bred Godin basses have a lot stacked against them at least in this price range.

  14. Hawkeye

    Hawkeye Canuck Amateur

    It also doesn't help that they're pretty much clueless about marketing. I like the brand, I would definitely buy the brand, but they keep such a low profile, it's no wonder people don't know about them.

    The BG-5 is a case in point. They have a few reviews on their website. I emailed a long time ago and suggested that they pick up and display the Bassplayer review on the BG-5 as it was pretty positive. No answer, no action, nada. Good press (cheap publicity) is pretty hard to come by and if you're fortunate enough to get it, then you'd better use it.

    Word of mouth can take you pretty far, but in this world of online information gathering and sophisticated marketing, some good brands just won't cut it because they're not getting the word out.

    Godin's business case obviously doesn't support a large bass line-up at their current sales volumes, but they could have done something about that. They have been successful with guitars, why not basses too.
  15. Well I have a BG4 with Seymour Duncan pups and pre. It was a very very nice bass until I started getting problems with the truss rod. Long story short, I sent the bass back to the factory and received a new neck for free (after the warranty had expired). However, it took them nearly 6 months to return the bass to me. And they also put a completely differently shaped neck on it and the finish on the headstock is somewhat different from the body. So basically my pre-new-neck bass was amazing except for the truss rod. Now my bass is still a great bass I just don't like the neck shape too much. It really sounds great too. Very versatile and like everyone else said, the workmanship is great.
  16. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    The BG and SD are no longer on the Godin website. The only bass is the Freeway. So, if you're looking at a BG5 in a store, maybe you can get closeout pricing.
  17. philthygeezer


    May 22, 2002
    My BG4 is as well-built as my Stingray. SD pickups and preamp are clear and precise without being glissy. This bass does more different sounds than anything short of a Bongo.
  18. The Eristic

    The Eristic Supporting Member

    Mar 19, 2005
    Cartersville, GA
    The A4 and A5 are freaking great. I already own three Godin instruments (including the fretless 11-string, the Glissentar), and several others are on my short list (particularly the A5 Fretless and the Multiac Jazz). They stack up favorably against the best and most expensive pieces in my arsenal.
  19. I just aquired a new Godin A5 fretless. I love the neck. It's very similar to a Rick Turner Ren fretless I played.

    I have noticed that I had to be more concered with feedback, but I've been experimenting with amps and settings and I seem to have it dialed for now. I can actually get some interesting feedback on que from certain notes. My son (the drummer) thinks this is cool. He's a big Hendrix fan.

    The 3 way onboad eq is also somewhat touchy. The bass slider is fine up to half way, but gets real "stadium boom" after that. I found that switching from my SWR to a Crate made it sound better. And the OEM strings sound a bit thin on the D and G. I'm going to switch to a flat nylon wrap and try that. If anyone has tried this, please let me know what string you use.

    Overall, I'm real pleased with the Godin. You deffinately need to spend some time getting the sound dialed in, but once you do, it's great.

    Oh yeah, it's a bit heavy too.
  20. O.k. I'll give you my personal opinion of the bg5's that godin put out.

    I like the older models better. They sound clearer, more focused, and are slightly easier to play IMHO. I've also been told that wood quality or assembly or something like that was better in the old ones by some pothead guitarist (this was due to the softwood trade embargo the U.S. had slaped on Canadian Softwood. I can't remeber details, If I see him again I'll ask)

    I personaly like the older EMG's/Schaller setup the best, most growl, attack, bite, punch, in a pianoy fullness way, very slappable if your into that sort of thing, but watch the treble it'll hiss. Very easy player.

    The basslines are very cool, smoother, nice pleasant mid timbre/bark (kinda hollow like someone else here described), also a very versatile sound, but with less hiss. Same easy playing neck.

    New godin pickups are smooth but not as clear or tight, not my bag. Neck seems to have gone to a chunkier asymetracal design, also very playable for a 5'ver, but just not the same as the older symetrical neck designs are IMHO.

    So that's why I own the 97 model w/emgs