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Godin 5th Avenue Guitar

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With the plethora of electrified hollowbody axes available today-flattops with piezos, acoustic archtops with piezos or magnetic pickups, semi-hollowbodies, et al.-Godin’s “’50s-style” 5th Avenue acoustic archtop comes across as a fairly shocking anachronism. This is especially true within its student-friendly price bracket ($625 list), a niche that has in recent years seen a flux of Asia-made ES-335 and ES-175 copies. I picked the guitar up at its Winter NAMM debut in January and searched for a stereo input until I got the point-this is an ax primed for un-amplified rhythm picking.

In a vague way, the 5th Avenue calls to mind an inexpensive guitar from the time before inexpensive guitars existed in their own highly competitive and quality-demanding market. Laminate Harmony and Silvertone archtops are the instruments I’m thinking of, but those pieces were marred by all sorts of material and production snafus-cheap binding that would easily warp, mystery-wood construction, poor fretwork and other department-store-ax mishaps.

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