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Godin A4 fretless

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by flacko, Jan 7, 2003.

  1. flacko


    Dec 6, 2001
    Surrey , UK
    Anyone own one? Would be interested to hear your views on this bass.

    I played one recently at my local music shop and was impressed with the playability of the instrument. I have a number of questions though.

    I play in a blues/rock band. How well does the bass cut through the drums and guitars ?
    Do you get any boominess from the bass ?
    How do you adjust the action and intonation ?
    What type of strings does the bass use : those fitted felt like heavy flatwound classical guitar strings to me ?
    What type of pick-ups does it use (is it a small mic inside the sound chamber) and how would you get to it to adjust it?
    The sound seemed pretty similar played anywhere between the bridge and neck. Is this your experience?

  2. FunkySpoo

    FunkySpoo Supporting Member

    Feb 6, 2002
    I haven't played one. If you haven't been to their web site they have lots of info there. The URL is


    Hope this helps. If not there are a few A4 and A5 players around that should be able to help you out.
  3. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    hey Rick,

    Is that Tibetan Buddhist monastery still there in Poolesville ?
  4. FunkySpoo

    FunkySpoo Supporting Member

    Feb 6, 2002
    Yep, right there on River Road. It's really beautiful.
  5. maxvalentino

    maxvalentino Endorsing Artist Godin Guitars/ Thomastik-Infeld

    Whew! I almost missed this thread........
    I am a Godin player (and endorsee). I have both a fretted A4 and fretless A5 (set up with a high C).
    These are excellent basses. The quality and craftsmanship is certainly well above the "usual", and yet somehow they are able to keep the costs down (suppose it helps that they grow their own trees!)

    Superb necks and a certain "je nais sa quoi" that is only attainable with semi-acoustics.

    the necks are totally adjustavle via trus rods, and so the action can be set lower or higher as you might need.
    The bridge is a fixed thing. It is like and acoustic guitar bridge...not much you can do there, but then again it is set right. With a fretless, setting intonation is a constant...and usually done via your ears and hands.

    THe electronics are superb. The L.R. Baggs system is one of the best available, and gives a great sound without the "clack" which other piezos deliver.

    I use Thomastick-Infeld Acoustic Bass strings, which are bronze wound on nylon core, and were developed by Rick Turner (who knows a thing or two about piezos and semi acoustic basses!) Very light gauge and tension, and they really work the best on these basses. I have tried TI flats, and while it gave more "thud" (like an upright) I didn't find the sound fit my needs. I have also used TI jazz rounds on the fretted....same story; I keep going back to the acoustic strings.

    I have used my Godins exclusively as a solo bassists, but have also found them to very good in studio sessions (of which lately I have been a lot), and many engineers/producers have called me specifically asking for the Godins. I have done rock, jazz, blues, gospel and hip-hop sessions with these basses. And they have performed superbly.

    Live they sit well with bands...I play mine in numerous jazz, swing, blues, and latin projects.
    As with all semi-acoustics, they require a lighter touch from your right hand, but their responsiveness is incredible. Different hand positions will garner different tones. People often cinfuse mine, in solo shows, for a guitar when I do flamenco-type stuff. playing lightly up by the neck is the most believable faux-upright sound I have heard. And back by the bridge can yield Jaco-ish tight, dtailed tone. In between, with judicious use of the 3 band eq, can give a very cool vintage p-bass sound (it rivals my '67 p!).

    They can, like all semi-hollows, get boomy. The eq, esp. the mid control handles this well. Feedback is not an issue with these basses....they can get loud.
    They are great for blues, as well as an incredible dub/reggae sound when played with a palm mute technique!

    Different strings, such as the TIs, will give much better results than the D'Addario flats that are stock to them.

    I play fingerstyle, slap, tap, even modified flamenco guitar techniques with them.

    For sample you can hear their recorded sound as samples from my CD, "A Caravan Of Dreams" at mp3.com
    The album was recorded with mostly the fretted A4 (strung with TI Acoustic Strings).

    Hope that helps....
    Max Valentino
  6. flacko


    Dec 6, 2001
    Surrey , UK
    Thanks for the reply Max. Incredibly helpful.

    I was really impressed with the A4 fretless when I played it. It was also the first fretless I had played - it seemed to fall under the fingers naturally and I loved the ebony fingerboard.

    I'll tell you how I get on.

    Loved the music samples by the way - Drifting Again and Here Now particular favourites. Beautiful.

    I have been playing classical guitar for many years now , I'm fairly new to the bass, and I would love to hear you transcribe and play some Baroque lute/guitar pieces on the bass. Perhaps you already have.

    Also some later pieces could sound great - there is a Ponce (unlikely name I know) Prelude No 6 that you could make your own I'm sure.

    All the best.

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