The Acoustic Guitar Forum

Go Back   The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > Archtops

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 11-05-2018, 10:29 AM
Carbonius Carbonius is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 1,343
Default Godin 5th Ave P90's vs HB's (TV...)

I'm looking to get an archtop. I want acoustic type strumming rhythm abilities, nice clean tones for fingerstyle & also the ability to have some distortion/overdrive tones. I'm not looking for burn your face off metal, just to overdrive it a bit at times for leads and also some natural breakup in some rhythm parts

I started this thread titled Am I looking at the wrong guitar?? I mostly heard about Godin 5th Ave. I really wish I could try one. The specs are nice, slightly wider neck, different ratio tuners for treble side vs bass side. It also comes with a case and the total price is LESS than the Epi & Gretsch I was looking at. I find the Godin gets more praise for workmanship.

Can you please describe what the differences are between Godin P90's and Godin HB's on these 5th Ave??

Also, can the HB's have a coil splitter added?? This would really open up the tonal palette I think.

Anyone hear the "TV Jones Classic" PU's in the more expensive Uptown line??

What do ya figure?? THANKS!
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 11-05-2018, 12:52 PM
mr. beaumont mr. beaumont is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 7,803
Default

I'd be all over the 2 pickup P-90 model. P-90's sound great with a little grit, but they also maintain clarity nicely...using the bridge or middle pickup selection should give a nice jangle for strumming.

Actually, you might even be able to get away with the single pickup model, as the neck pickup alone can still sound great strummed, as long as you're playing clean...if you go dirty, it will muddy up a bit.
__________________
Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:

http://www.youtube.com/user/jeffreymatz
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 11-05-2018, 02:27 PM
Denandannie Denandannie is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Notthern California
Posts: 27
Default 5th Ave Kingpin II

I recently purchased the Godin 5th Ave Kingpin II with P-90's. Its my first archtop so I have nothing to compare it to. Still, I like the mellow sound using the neck and middle pickups. Playing through my Gensler Acoustic Array it sounds awesome. My only complaint with the Gensler is that the reverb is not enough for my taste. Will probably add an Holy Grail reverb soon. Bottom line is that the 5th Ave is a **** nice archtop for an entry level.
__________________
Dennis
-----------------
Gibson SJ 200
Gibson J 35
Godin 5th Avenue Kingpin II
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 11-05-2018, 08:43 PM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Staten Island, NY
Posts: 8,758
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carbonius View Post
...I want acoustic type strumming rhythm abilities, nice clean tones for fingerstyle & also the ability to have some distortion/overdrive tones...just to overdrive it a bit at times for leads and also some natural breakup in some rhythm parts...

...I mostly heard about Godin 5th Ave. I really wish I could try one. The specs are nice, slightly wider neck, different ratio tuners for treble side vs bass side. It also comes with a case and the total price is LESS than the Epi & Gretsch I was looking at. I find the Godin gets more praise for workmanship.

Can you please describe what the differences are between Godin P90's and Godin HB's on these 5th Ave??

Also, can the HB's have a coil splitter added?? This would really open up the tonal palette I think.

Anyone hear the "TV Jones Classic" PU's in the more expensive Uptown line??
Lifelong Gretsch guy here (I've had at least one in my stable since early 1964, presently down to three), owned my CW II since 2012, and since I have extensive hands-on experience with both brands I'll offer my observations/recommendations in that light; grab a cold Molson or two and some chips-&-salsa - this might take a while :
  • First off, IME Jeff's 100% right about the P-90 CW II - that's the model we own, TMK it's the most popular iteration, if you're looking for clarity and "air" along with warmth it's one of exactly two brands in the $1K+/- price range you need to be considering - and although I've never even seen (much less tried) one in person, I tend to think there's a good reason the humbucker version is a slow seller. P-90 guitar though it may be, don't expect the kind of raw crunch and drive associated with Leslie West, George Thorogood or Woodstock-era Pete Townshend and Carlos Santana (I also own a P-90 Les Paul goldtop and I'll guess based on head-to-head comparison that the Godin pickups are about 5% underwound compared to most Gibson originals, similar to the ones in some of the better-sounding early/mid-50's ES-125/ES-150 models I've played); as Godin's ads state the CW II is built along the lines of the classic (and classy) bread-&-butter archtops of the early-1950's like the first-version ES-175D and Epiphone Zephyr Regent - quite frankly I like the tone better than the "thud-&-mud" often found in the vintage jazzboxes (there's a definite and unmistakable element of old Brooklyn Gretsch in the tone - not surprising since they're using similarly lightweight woods) - so if versatility in an easy-handling package (mine weighs just a tick over five pounds - comparable to a Seagull mini-jumbo) is the name of your game this might just be your guitar. PSA: I understand Tony Bennett's guitarist has been using one in concert for a number of years - what I said about classy - and I think both he and his boss have more than a little experience in the tone department...
  • Again speaking as an owner I'm quite familiar with the Korean-made Gretsch 5400/5600-Series E-matics, I'll state unequivocally that their tone/QC/playability exceeds many of the (several hundred) "Golden Era" Brooklyn originals I've played since I was a kid (if you grew up in that time/place your first "good" electric waa a Gretsch, period) and, along with the aforementioned Godin CW II, you're not going to find a higher-quality instrument in this price bracket (well worth saving up a few extra bucks if you're interested BTW - and my made-in-China Epi Ultra 339 isn't even in the same hemisphere quality-wise); that said, the various combinations of pickups and body construction will each provide you with different tones, so I'd recommend finding a way to audition any models you're considering before you make your decision. Speaking in the very broadest of terms - again as a lifetime owner who plays every new Gretsch product that I can get my hands on - I can give you an idea of what to expect (as always YMMV depending on your playing style, setup, associated amplification, etc.):
    • 5400-Series full-hollow thinline: the classic "Brooklyn Gretsch" hollowbody tone with a subtle midrange "thump" not present in the vintage originals, as a result of the thicker woods used in their construction (as stated above Gretsch used very thin woods back in the day - thinner than many acoustic instruments - which accounted for much of their lively, "airy" tone); I've seen several local-level Beatles-tribute bands use the walnut/gold 5422 as their "George" guitar, and played with flatwound strings through a Vox AC30 in a live setting you'd be hard-pressed to tell the difference from a Country Gent. Personally, I'd sooner have a new 5420 than the Godin Uptown with TV Jones Classics - comparable quality/tone at considerably lower cost (I'm familiar with the Jones PU's in Gretsch livery), and nothing beats that cool Gretsch visual vibe...
    • 5600-Series semi-hollow: IMO the most versatile design in the current Gretsch lineup regardless of price, this one'll not only cop 95%+ of those iconic Chet and "King George" tones but will take you into 335 territory with a distinct Gretsch twist; if you like to explore the harder side of things once in a while - classic rock, '60s-70s blues-rock, Southern, or anything else for which you might consider a Gibson 335/345/355 - the 5600 is a real hidden gem...
    • "Blacktop" Filter'Tron: As company ad copy states this one was reverse-engineered from a '70s Baldwin-era Filter'Tron, IME a different flavor of Gretsch than the "High Sensitive" Filter-tron tones I grew up with (and that most players think of when they hear "Gretsch"); IMO this one's a great introduction to "That Great Gretsch Sound" for the soapbar P-90 crowd: thicker, more midrange emphasis (as compared to the distinct upper-mid peak of the Brooklyn F-Trons and their Professional Series reissues); crunchier, but without ever getting muddy as full-size humbuckers (or hot-wound P-90's) can often do - and if you need your leads to cut through the band without resorting to sheer volume, or you want to goose the front end of a high-gain tube amp into the sweet spot without getting thrown out of the club (both of which sound like primary considerations in your case), these just may be your pickup...
    • Super Hi-lo'Tron: Unlike their (justly) oft-reviled '60s namesake (only Brian Jones - with the puke-green Double Annie he used in the early Stones days - and George Harrison seemed to like them) these are a true humbucker designed to have the Hi-lo frequency response with more power/gain, and as the owner of both a '64 Double Annie with original Hi-lo's and a '16 3-PU/cats'-eye 5622T-CB with the current "Super" version I'll say they came fairly close; they're an excellent match for the 5600 semi-hollows BTW, and that's where they seem to have found their home in the Gretsch lineup. IMO one big plus in the current versions is that they dialed back the Fendery trebles of the originals - never were a good fit for a lightly-built hollowbody guitar IME - and while they sound good through my '65 Super Reverb RI (the original Hi-los were not only screechy to my ears when I played them through original blackface Supers back in the day, but had a tendency to feed back when you reached club-level volume) they really shine through an EL84-equipped amp: I can get "NME '65" Vox AC50 Beatles tones through my Bugera V22 (the retrofitted Eminence Swamp Thang and Russian mil-spec tubes make it sound "bigger" than an AC combo), and a recent test-play of a current twin-PU 5622 through an AC15 had me channeling every 1964 George Harrison lick I could think of. Never heard them on a full-hollow - not even sure if they produce one at this time - but at around 7-1/2 pounds on the strap the current 5600's are almost two pounds lighter than their recent predecessors (and less than one pound heavier than the 5400 full-hollows); they'll also give you some nice near-acoustic fingerstyle tones if you dial in your guitar/amp combo right (used mine on a couple recent gigs where I needed to travel light and leave the Rainsong at home) - as I said, very versatile while remaining unquestionably Gretsch in execution, and if I could only own one electric for the rest of my life I'd happily reach for my 5622...
Hope this helps...
__________________
"I've never wished a man dead, but I have read some obituaries with great pleasure."
- Mark Twain

Last edited by Steve DeRosa; 11-05-2018 at 08:54 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 11-07-2018, 01:24 PM
Carbonius Carbonius is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 1,343
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve DeRosa View Post
Lifelong Gretsch guy here (I've had at least one in my stable since early 1964, presently down to three), owned my CW II since 2012, and since I have extensive hands-on experience with both brands I'll offer my observations/recommendations in that light; grab a cold Molson or two and some chips-&-salsa - this might take a while :...
Hello Steve. As a guy who is often told his explanations and answers are too long, I appreciate your reply!! I like a lot of details and the reasons for those details. You've provided both. A lot to chew on there.

Humor me, I'm going to talk this out. Add your input where you want to (everyone else also welcome).

In a way, if I like the Gretsch tone... I should buy a Gretcsh. Sounds overly simple, but makes perfect sense. However I do find the neck a little tight and I don't like the tuners ratio. But that's it! The tuners would probably be an easy fix if it kept bugging me.

Godin puts 26:1 tuners on the treble side of the 5th Ave (18:1 on bass). Also, their neck is wider. Wait a second... I just went and ran the math. People shouldn't round the Gretsch Electromatic nut width off in error like they do. 1.6875 does not round to 1.68, if anything you round up to 1.69. Anyhow, 1.6875 is exactly 1 11/16. Godin's neck is just 1/32 wider at 1 23/32. I'd be hard pressed to feel that difference I think.

I just found out this morning that the 5th Ave HB's have 4 wires and can be split! The info came right from Godin. That opens up some interesting tonal options! The slightly higher gain HB options while still getting some single coil sounds when I want them. I had a Schecter Solo Custom semi-hollow with HB's once and actually used the neck split more than the HB's. On that particular guitar I didn't like the HB's clean. It had a Duncan "Custom Custom" in the Bridge and a 59 in the neck. For mid gain and beyond they were great, but I'm not looking for that much gain now. I bought it for the Piezo bridge and the ability to mix tones, but the acoustic piezo tone was quite bad.

I agree that the 5th Ave TV Jones seems over priced. Part of that is the high gloss finish. I see that the regular 5th ave in high gloss adds 40% to the price! However another 40% is added just due to the pu's and the silver/gold paint for the TV. Maybe there's something that I'm missing like it's a limited run or something.

I have no ability to try any Godin 5th Ave without buying. I liked the tone of the Gretsch Filter'Tron PU's. Clear without being sharp. I think that's why I'm leaning to P90's. I listened to Tom Jones of TV Jones say that their pickups have natural compression on the high end. I thought that is what I heard with the Filter'Trons on the Gretsch too.

I also liked the Bigsby, but didn't like how I couldn't bring the bar over the strings to hold while strumming (like other wahmmy bars). I assume some people simply file down the stop section at the Bigsby bridge so it has more range??
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 11-14-2018, 10:35 AM
Carbonius Carbonius is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 1,343
Default

Heads up, Sweetwater has a great deal on the P90 version right now. https://www.sweetwater.com/store/det...i-cognac-burst
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 11-14-2018, 01:16 PM
RichardP RichardP is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Tyler, TX
Posts: 70
Default

That Sweetwater price is good AND...I got a coupon from MF today that takes another 20% off that price. Now...I wonder if I can talk my wife into me buying another guitar?

Richard
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 11-14-2018, 01:58 PM
Carbonius Carbonius is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 1,343
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by RichardP View Post
That Sweetwater price is good AND...I got a coupon from MF today that takes another 20% off that price. Now...I wonder if I can talk my wife into me buying another guitar?

Richard
Just commit to washing all dishes, vacuuming and so forth for the next month... and it will be yours! LOL
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 11-14-2018, 02:24 PM
RichardP RichardP is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Tyler, TX
Posts: 70
Thumbs up

It would be well worth it...might throw in some roses too.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 11-17-2018, 08:24 PM
RichardP RichardP is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Tyler, TX
Posts: 70
Default

FYI...She said "Yes, and Merry Christmas!" Ordered it but it is back-ordered and won't be shipped until just before Christmas. Might even make it better.

(Sure hope I like it!)

Richard
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 11-18-2018, 12:00 AM
Carbonius Carbonius is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 1,343
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by RichardP View Post
FYI...She said "Yes, and Merry Christmas!" Ordered it but it is back-ordered and won't be shipped until just before Christmas. Might even make it better.

(Sure hope I like it!)

Richard
Wow, pretty cool! I think Godin is cooking up a nice fresh batch. There's very low stock here in Canada, which is odd considering they make them here. Anyway, should be a Merry Christmas.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 11-19-2018, 09:13 AM
mr. beaumont mr. beaumont is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 7,803
Default

Cool...keep us posted. I predict you'll really dig it.

I was playing mine last night, actually, as the kids fell asleep early and playing plugged in or jamming on my gypsy jazz guitar would have been too loud. But the Kingpin gave me just enough volume unplugged that I could practice and enjoy the sound but not disturb anybody. Winning.
__________________
Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:

http://www.youtube.com/user/jeffreymatz
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 11-19-2018, 03:20 PM
RichardP RichardP is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Tyler, TX
Posts: 70
Default

Thanks, Jeff. I listened to some of your youtube postings last night. Wish I could emulate that. Hope this Godin helps these old hands reach a new level and add to my modest abilities and stash of guitars. My other two are a Taylor 414ce-R and the one I learned on...my dad's 1950 Martin D18. (Believe me...it is much better than I am.) I'm looking forward to some new and different sounds.

Richard
Reply With Quote
Reply

  The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > Archtops

Thread Tools



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:43 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, The Acoustic Guitar Forum
vB Ad Management by =RedTyger=