The Godin SD is a bit of a hybrid. It has a single cut body, slightly off-set waist, flame maple top with a pickguard, six-a-side headstock, 24.75” scale neck and a SSH pickup configuration. It’s kind of in between a couple of things, without being exactly like either of them, and actually works well because of this middle ground position.
Acoustically, the SD is really loud. Not only that, but much of this sound comes from the neck. There’s nothing passive about the
luthiery here – someone intended to make a really nice instrument and the whole guitar rings vibrantly before it’s plugged in.
Like most Godins, it’s a very light guitar so there’s no dense material soaking up any of the good vibrations, and the flow of information from neck to body and back again is enhanced by the rock solid neck joint. The figured maple face has a three dimensional image that is subtle and classy, and almost sparkles under stage lights.
The maple neck is that shallow D shape that Godin seems to love, a touch wider than usual, and very positive in the hand. It has a very smooth curve, creating the , and never flattens out at any point – so the left hand isn’t distracted by changing topography. Anywhere on the profile feels pretty much the same. As usual there are 22 nicely dressed frets with easy access to the upper frets due to the bevelling at the rear of the neck pocket.
This guitar sounds great. Godin’s own pickups are impressive, with good harmonic content and plenty of output. The single coils have a really nice throaty bite and the humbucker really growls when you need it to. The front pickup sounded fantastic through the Green Screamer and the Ulbrick 12AXE gave the back pickup some solid grunt. The lightweight body really affects the clean sound in a positive way and, no matter which amp we used, the SD maintained it’s signature voice.
The tremolo unit is an update on Leo Fender’s design and works as it should and, after a quick adjustment, returned to pitch every time. It has a positive feel and can be set up as light or heavy as required.
The SD is another example of a working class guitar that doesn’t look “down market” – it has what you need to do the business, and nothing extraneous. It’s well presented, plays great and has some solid tones that don’t thin out as you climb the neck.