Godin A/E models?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Joe_Atlanta, Oct 2, 2001.

  1. I've enjoyed following the A/E threads since I'm considering buying one. I've a question for the folks who have checked out the Godins.

    At the Bass Central site I've seen a p bass shaped acoustibass (discontinued, has a harp assembly inside), p bass shaped A4, and a single cut away(tele?) shaped A4. Are there any significant sound differences in these models?
  2. maxvalentino

    maxvalentino Endorsing Artist Godin Guitars/ Thomastik-Infeld

    Firstly, Godin's are EXCELLENT basses. I have an A4 (tele shaped) and really love it. I do a lot of solo bass performances (like on the recent Solo Bass Looping Tour) and use my A4 exclusively. The tone and response is gorgeous.
    The earlier models, with the metal tines/resonator forks, use an 18 volt Baggs preamp, which of course gives added headroom off the preamp, but also, due to the design allows for some very "ringing" bell-like tones which don't seem to emmante from an "acoustic" instrument.
    The bodies are narrower, dual cutaway shape, but weigh about the same as the newer models.
    The older ones do use Schaller tuners, and so are a little neck heavy, and thus do "the dive".
    The original "Acoustibass" is somewhat of a collector's item now...I have seem them fetch some high prices, but I feel that Godin made some design changes to the new A4's which are more than merely cosmetic. The new, 9v, BAggs preamp is VERY good, clean and quiet, somewhat quiter than the the original...and I have not missed any extra headroom. Batts last a long time, too!
    The redesign of the face of the bass is very nice (removing the control plate and book-matching the solid cedar top), and the aged binding is a very nice touch.
    The body is now thicker, and so allows for a richer acoustic sound without some of the inherent "metallic-ness" of the resonators.
    The quality on all models is well above avg. and the necks on every Godin I have played have been superb. I must say when my A4 arrived via FedEx, opening bthe case and picking up, this felt like a real quality and substantial bass. And playing it just made it feel more so.
    In short any choice would be good...in fact better than good. I suppose it comes down to your budget and aesthetics.
    Dollar for dollar Godin basses are one of the best deals on the market......they pack a lot of tone! More than just ABG-type tone, too. You can get some very "electric" sounds out of these puppies.
    So how much does BC want for their Godin's, anyway?
    Good Luck....Max
  3. Thanks for all the info, Max. I was hoping to hear from you after reading your tour diary and your other posts.

    That's good news about the newer model actually being improved. So often manufacturers will start to cut corners on later models.

    I already have a fretless electric that I love, but it sustains for days and although very warm, it doesn't sound "woody". I'm mostly concerned about getting something that is closer to an acoustic sound.

    www.BassCentral.com lists the various models from a sale $750 (A4 without case) to a list price A5 at $1350. I haven't emailed them and asked about what the real prices are (I imagine 20-30% or so off list). I've been looking for used ones, hoping to save a few bucks. Most of the used ones I've seen are the double cutaway A4, price $400-$500.

    Another question, if you don't mind. The Rob Allen and Rick Turner basses run twice the price of the Godin and are certainly great looking basses. In terms of sound, what are the differences from each other and the Godin?

  4. maxvalentino

    maxvalentino Endorsing Artist Godin Guitars/ Thomastik-Infeld

    Those prices are all good...I have seen them go for much more. The A5 may have a quirk...it is a 34" scale, which means the B does suffer a bit. But, I have noticed that while a 35" scale improves the B it lessens the sound of the G...all about scales and tension.
    Some have complained about the 34" Godin 5-er,tho.
    Acoustic sound, eh? Try putting on a set of Thomastick-Infeld Acoustic BAss strings. They have a monofilament nylon core with bronze alloy wiindings, very light tension and gauge (they were developed with Rick Turner for the Renaissance Bass) and impart that special woodiness, decay and thud you crave. In fact, when I use them nmy fretted A4 you would swear it is a fretless upright!
    Turner and Allen basses are wonderful. IMO the Renaissance by R. Turner is the best bass out there. Very versatile and beautiful sounding. They are both designed a little different than the Godin, but based upon the same chambered theories. The Turner is lighter, and thinner, and use his special designed piezos with a Highlander 18v preamp, with only a treble cut control...you don't need much on board (or amp) eq with a Turner Bass! But they are pricey...and worth every penny!
    Rob Allen takes a little more of an electric bass approach, and I have found that his basses have a more "bass guitar" kinda vibe about them. Again, beautiful woodwork, outstanding electronics (albeit both basses have simple electronics setups) and versatile and comfortable basses to play.
    Both do cost some $$ but as I said they are worth the extra...
    But for the bargain, price by price, feature by featue, Godins are hard to beat. My A4 sounds, or can sound very much like a Ren or an Allen....and there is something, a "je nais se quoi" if you will that is very special about it.
    Not only can it do a faux upright pretty well, it does acoustic Bass Guitar very well ( that Jonas Hellborg sound) as well as a p-bass kinda rumble and even a throaty J bass growl; a kind of jaco-ish tone.
    Hope that helps....try the thomastick strings as they will really bring out that upright-ish character, but, by the way, as they have no steel or iron will not work with magnetic pus...only piezos.