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My New Godin Freeway 4

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by christle, Nov 28, 2003.

  1. christle

    christle Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2002
    Winnipeg, MB
    I got rid of some old gear and got myself a Godin Freeway 4. I don't have pics, but the link will take you right to the model I have purchased. Mine is the the one with the leaf top.

    I really like the bass. It is very similar to my Fender Precision in that it has 20 frets, split P pickup (and a J pickup at the bridge), and a reasonably traditional body shape. The tone is excellent. I can get a decent variety of tones suited to the music I play. Controls are volume, volume, tone. I took it to two band practices and it suit the bill rather nicely. One band plays hard rock originals, the other plays covers of Motown, the String Alongs, Eagles, Poppa Chubby, and other similar material from the 60's and 70's. In both cases I was able to dial in a tone that suited the music I was playing. Comments from band members centered on the amount of presence the bass had and the amount of bite and growl I could get out of this thing.

    The fit and finish are very well done. No complaints there. Interestingly the pickups are set right into the body rather than on springs. Apparently this is to enhance the tone and help with sustain. This bass has incredible sustain. You got love that!

    The neck, which is hand finished, is also very nice. Not quite a Jazz and not like a Precision either. Sort of in between. The neck is very fast and easy to play. You can very easily stay with proper technique on this neck.

    Another plus is that this bass is really light. No shoulder wear with this baby.

    The only cons were small strap buttons which were immediately replaced with Dunlop Dual-Design strap locks, and the intontation was a little rough out of the box. I set that before the second practice. Strings, which claiming to be Godin are in fact D'Addario XL170's. I needed to stretch these a bit so it would stay in tune. Once stretched, no problem. I guess they were really fresh. I will likely order some TI flats and put them on this bass as they are my favourite string.

    Well that's about all for now. I am off with the flu today and anticipate some practice time with this new family member.

    Dan :bassist:
  2. bazzanderson


    Oct 7, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Congrats! I really like the Freeway bodystyle...kinda "new" kinda "traditional" at the same time. Very classy.
  3. christle

    christle Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2002
    Winnipeg, MB
    My bandmates felt the same way. That is one of the things that attracted me to it. The tone, though, it unbelievable for a bass in this price range. I'm in love ;)

  4. Turlu

    Turlu Supporting Member

    Sep 11, 2000
    Ottawa, Ontario CANADA
    Godin makes exceptional quality guitars and Basses with high quality components. And the best of all, the Company is Canadian !( and has plants in the USA so it makes a perfect mix ! ).

    Good luck withthe Freeway !
  5. Atshen


    Mar 13, 2003
    Grim Cold Québec
    Congrats! I've rarely heard other low-priced passive basses sound that good. Really growly and aggressive! I wonder how it would sound like with an onboard preamp...

    If you have any problems and/or questions about it, PM me!

    Oh, and thanks for the comment about the body shape! ;)
  6. christle

    christle Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2002
    Winnipeg, MB
    Thanks! It was nice to support the home team with this purchase. The only other Canadian guitars that I am aware of are Dingwall. I am sure there are others but you sure don't hear about them. This is one really fun bass.

    Dan :bassist: :D :bassist:
  7. christle

    christle Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2002
    Winnipeg, MB
    Hmmmm....Nah, better wait until after Christmas to think about that one.

    Thanks. I will if something comes up.


    Dan :D
  8. Atshen


    Mar 13, 2003
    Grim Cold Québec
    No kidding. I designed the final body shape (I work for Godin). That's why I told you you could PM me if you have problems. :)
  9. wingnutkj


    Mar 27, 2003
    Wow - I hadn't realised that there was a replacement(?) for the SD bass. It looks really nice. Has the bridge been moved a bit further back? I presume it balances a bit better with that and the more conventional top-horn?

    Story time:
    I like my SD a lot - it was my first "serious" bass after my cheapo Jazz clone started falling to bits. I'd been checking out a nice Jazz bass in one of the local stores during my lunch break one day, but decided to wait a few days until I had more time to see what else was available. On the Saturday, I did the tour of shops, didn't see much that inspired me, and was debating whether or not to go to the one last shop which was a bit of a distance away, or head straight down to get the Jazz. I decided to go to the last shop because they're nice guys and it's my favourite out of the local music stores. They'd just got a Godin SD bass in a couple of days earlier, and it pretty much leapt off the rack at me. I tried it and really liked it, but was still torn between it and the Jazz, so I headed along to give that one another go. It was sold, and the other Jazz they had in stock just wasn't the same, so there was an anxious journey back to get the Godin, all the time thinking "it'll be bloody typical if it's gone as well". Luckily it wasn't, so I bought it and have been playing it ever since. I've never seen another one in any of the local stores, so if it wasn't for that peculiar twist of fate, I might have missed out on a great bass.
  10. christle

    christle Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2002
    Winnipeg, MB
    Well that puts a different spin on things :). I just got back from band practice and we did some Motown with it, wow! I was able to easily dial in some vintage tone with this bass. Amazing. Just about made the guitarist cry.

    Regarding the body design. I love it. Very ergodynamic and light. I can easily hit the higher frets with no problem at all. This bass in a nice player and really compliments my Fender nicely. It may move into first position if things keep going the way they are.

    Cool job BTW. And for a company I like. Now if L&M would just carry your catalogues :rolleyes:.

    Dan:bassist: :bassist:
  11. I've had my leaf top Freeway 4 since the spring, and wouldn't change a thing other than what I have already done, which is install a Hipshot Xtender (had to do a bit of filing to get the slightly larger Hipshot tuner into the neck & even then it's very snug). I only wish that it had 21 frets instead of 20, as I do go to high E on some stuff (high G too)...but then again, that's an excuse to have more basses.

    I think that the Freeway makes an excellent bass for cruise ship gigs, and would not put a pream in it due to the amount of screwdriver use involved with accessing the electronics compartment. IF it's gonna be active, gimme a screw-less battery compartment door, or a cover with only 2 screws. I also think that the Freeway has potential as a V-bass platform, thanks to the acreage between the bridge and the jack. Pity that Godin does not offer this model in a fretless version. I e-mailed them last week & learned that the hard way. Another pity is that the 2003 models seem to have the Godin name on the body as well, if the current issue of BP is to be believed.

    It's a good "grab it & go" bass for those hastily-called practices and emergency fill-in gigs. It's not my main bass, but it's better than all but a few of the dozens of Fenders I've played over the years.
  12. Atshen


    Mar 13, 2003
    Grim Cold Québec
    The body has been trimmed down. It's a lot smaller than its predecessor, the SD. Both models share the same neck and electronics, though (except for the SD Pro, which sported a Seymour active circuit). And yes, the Freeway balances much better than the SD.

    Yes, all Godin guitars have the body logo. I haven't seen the latest BP yet. They did a review of the Freeway?
  13. Atshen


    Mar 13, 2003
    Grim Cold Québec
    You could fit a pop-up battery compartment into the plastic cover.

    If you can get a fretless A4 neck, it would fit your Freeway. Both models share the same neck.
  14. thrash_jazz


    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    So the secret's out now? ;)

    Beautiful job, BTW. The shape alone made me want to buy it... now I know exactly who to blame for that particular bout of GAS!
  15. Atshen


    Mar 13, 2003
    Grim Cold Québec
    :ninja: :D
    Thanks, Adam! But keep in mind I just designed the final shape. If it was just me I would've added a jazz-like offset waist. :smug:

    Maybe someday Robert will let me design a new model from scratch... :hyper:
  16. Mike A

    Mike A

    Oct 3, 2002
    I recently bought a used Godin A4 fretless, and can verify that they're quality instruments. The neck in particular is one of the sweetest I've ever played on (Second only to my #6 G&L neck, but it's a very close second)

    Top notch construction all the way around. I don't know how the Freeway solidbody compares to my A4, but the A4 has HUUUUUGE bottom end. (Most likely due to it's semi-acoustic construction.)
  17. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    How much do they go for?
  18. christle

    christle Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2002
    Winnipeg, MB
    $400 to $500 US. I paid $560.00 in Canadian dollars for the Leaf top model.

  19. My Freeway has a bit o' growl to it for a passive axe that makes my Warwick take notice. I just wish that it had 21 frets.
  20. christle

    christle Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2002
    Winnipeg, MB
    Not a problem for me at the moment. I mostly play older material and the original stuff we do I just play so suit 20 frets. Besides, it is worth it to play with a bass this nice.


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