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A Guitar Player Magazine Editor's Pick, the Godin Montreal Premiere is packed with highly quality features:
While cherry may not qualify as a "classic" tonewood to traditionalists, it turns out to have some very attractive qualities. Cherry is acoustically loud, clean and produces a very clear midrange with nice upper end detail. Sonically it is crisp like maple but with a little stronger bottom end. The grain is pretty nice too, and the fact that it is domestically available in Canada helps to keep the cost down.
The nickel plated Godin humbucking pickups are moderate in output, and are the same ones used in their previous Montreal model, and the 5th Avenue Uptown. These pickups complement the cherry construction, and are naturally clean, with good note separation, a smooth top end, and a slightly soft attack that makes them easy to control. They Montreal is devoid of the sometimes heavy, muddy midrange that afflicts many humbucker guitars and works very well for clean rhythm playing and snappy lead work. Rolling off the tone control provides a smoother jazzier side, but the Montreal never gets particularly woody or wooly sounding. The boosted and distortion tones are lean with a lot of top end sparkle and harmonics, and are well suited to crunchy blues and fusion more so than the chugging low end needed for harder styles of music. The spruce center core effectively manages any feedback issues, so you can crank this guitar without fear of it howling.
The Montreal neck profile is somewhere between a late 50's "Kalamazoo" profile and a Slim 60's. We measure about .870 at the first fret, and .915 at the 12th. It's reasonably chunky down low, but does not taper much. The fretwork consists of nicely finished medium frets and a factory setup that affords low action that is virtually buzz-free even when played aggressively. Godin guitars are very consistent out of the box (or gig bag), and require very little -- if any -- adjustment to get them dialed in.While the Godin Montreal Premiere does not break any barriers in modern guitar design, it's an attractive and nicely crafted instrument that is well suited to pop, rock, fusion and jazz styles of music. If you are a fan of famous 335 players like Larry Carlton and Lee Ritenour, the Godin Montreal can get you into the zone at an extremely attractive price.