Godin 5th Avenue ‘Kingpin’ Archtop Guitar

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The Godin Kingpin pays homage to the post-war Gibson ES – 125 full-bodied archtop, with its single P90 pickup, body mounted tone, volume controls and tortoise pickguard. Instead of the laminated maple or mahogany body of the original, the Kingpin is made from laminated wild cherry. And whereas the 125 sported a traditional rosewood bridge with adjustable saddle, the Kingpin has been brought right up to date with the latest technology from Graphtec – an adjustable bridge which (they say) mimics the tonal characteristics of ebony. It’s a fine looking instrument with a 16-inch body and a nicely matched top table showing plenty of wood grain beneath the tobacco/sunburst stain. With an unbound rosewood fingerboard and 21 medium frets, the Kingpin is an excellent player with a typically Gibsonesque neck.

The intonation is spot on and the articulation and separation is excellent. Tonally it is warmer and smoother than its original buddy. But while the Godin branded P90 offers a typical single coil response, it does not have the bite, the punch or the power that you might expect from such a pick-up. I would suggest removing the cover and replacing it with something like the Wilkinson P90 ‘Pro’ model with Alnico 5 magnets that is wired to the original Gibson specs. This would then potentially give you that classic vibe both in sound and vision.

For more go to www.godinguitars.com