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With its AA carved flame maple top, the Godin LGX-SA is the Total Package:
Test gear: Little Walter 59 Head and matching 1x12 with Alessandro GA-SC64
At first blush, the LGX-SA seems like a daunting challenge to master. Lots of sliders, knobs and the like. But after a quick glance at the owner's manual we were off and running. Using both a conventional amp and powered speaker for the "acoustic" section, we also tested the synth output into a Roland GR-20 guitar synth.
Starting with the electric guitar side, it's essentially a conventional two-pickup electric guitar, and a pretty nice one at that. The nicely polished medium frets are set into a Richlite fingerboard, and the 1-11/16 wide neck is a nice width for both traditional electric playing and "acoustic" work. Richlite is a wood-fiber composite material that is a sustainable alternative to jet black ebony, and it's hard dense surface provides good note tracking for the synthesizer functions. It has the additional benefit of providing a slick, smooth playing surface that is percussive and fast.
The Duncan Jazz Model SH-2 neck humbucker has a warm, fat sound with enough output to elicit a little crunchy edge out of a medium powered amplifier. The tone is on the warmer side, but it's not flabby, and the low strings have a good solid punch. Using a mild gain pedal like a Sparkle Drive or Keeley White Sands added a pleasantly bright vintage crunch that was detailed, musical, and lively. When using gain in moderation, the LGX-SA knocks out chewy rock crunch that's as thick as a Georgia summer night.
The Seymour Duncan Custom bridge pickup is a medium-hot pickup that has a healthy dollop of midrange punch, but the Alnico 2 magnet structure tempers the sharp nasal tendencies that make hot bridge pickups sonically tiresome. Voiced nicely for classic rock and medium crunch, it responds well to a variety of gain settings and maintains good articulation even when pushed.
The 5-way pickup switch provides the traditional neck, combined, and bridge settings plus split tones at the 2 and 4 switch positions. The split position at the neck yields a well balanced sound that is ideal for strumming and rhythm work. The split position at the bridge is a noticeably brighter, slightly quacky tone, that initially makes you wonder if it's out of phase (it's not, we checked). It's got a little bit of that "Strat" style out of phase-ness, and will come in handy if you want to channel a little Robert Cray, or are overcome with the need to play some surf music.
There is no "kill" switch on the LGX-SA so switching over to the acoustic mode requires either turning down the electric guitar volume or having some type of mute switch on your pedal board. Once you've made it over to the acoustic side, you'll be highly impressed by the natural acoustic sound out of what is essentially a solid body guitar. The 3-band EQ has plenty of boost/cut range, and it's also possible to simultaneously blend in the electric pickups. A little "electric" blended into the acoustic sound is a good way to add more complexity and richness, while still sounding largely like an acoustic guitar. We've used the similar LGXT at several gigs and found that for "situational acoustic" guitar it's super handy and much easier to dial in than a conventional acoustic guitar. And of course there is never any feedback.
But wait, there's more: The Roland compatible 13-pin synth output unlocks a veritable orchestra of sounds (literally) and can be used by themselves or blended with the guitar tones. One could write a book on the possibilities; but whether you need a little sitar, or want to double your guitar part with horns, it's all possible. For solo performers with a looper or cover bands, it's a genie in a bottle.
The Godin LGX-SA has a lot going on, and it's a compelling option for the gigging musician that needs a little bit of everything but wants to travel light. It also does not force the player into a series of compromises: It's a fully competent electric guitar with pickup voicings that can range from jazz to hard rock, and it's got convincing acoustic sounds that are eerily similar to Godin's Multiac line. And the synth cracks open a whole new box of tricks. Factor in Godin's build quality and that nice flame top, and there's not much out there that comes close.
We are an authorized Godin dealer and this is a new guitar with all tags, tools, paperwork and certificates. We have over 35 Godin-family guitars stock at all times, and please feel free to browse our other listings, or contact us for delivery time and availability on other Godin models.