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Tired of hauling three or four guitars to a gig? The Godin LGXT may be your silver bullet. Featuring two Seymour Duncan pickups, six saddle mounted transducers on a floating bridge, a 13-pin synth output, and very flexible switching, the LGXT is at least three guitars in one. Plus being a Godin, they manage to make it all sound good, and be very easy to use.
With its AAA carved flame maple top, the Godin LGXT is the Total Package:
At first blush, the LGXT seems like a daunting challenge to master. Lots of sliders, knobs and the like. But a quick glance at the owner's manual -- or hitting the Godin website -- will get you off and running. For our test we ran separate cables for the electric guitar into a conventional amplifier (Dr. Z. Remedy) and the "acoustic" guitar into a QSC powered speaker.
And then there is the 13-pin synth output which adds a whole extra dimension, and we could go on at length about that. Needless to say you can add practically any sound -- horns, keys, voices, strings -- and use it alone or blend it with any other of the guitar sounds. We used a Roland GR-20, not state of the art, but more than capable.
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 ebony fingerboard, and the 1-11/16 wide neck is a nice width for both traditional electric playing and "acoustic" work.
The Duncan Jazz Model SH-2 neck humbucker has a warm, fat sound with enough output to elicit a little crunchy edge out of our Dr. Z. The tone is on the darker side, but it's not flabby, and the low strings have a good solid punch. Stepping on our JHS Charlie Brown (JTM45) pedal added a pleasantly bright vintage crunch that was detailed, musical, and lively. Piling on excessive gain can get a little swampy, so pedal discretion is advised. But when using gain in moderation, the LGXT 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. Voiced nicely for classic rock and medium crunch, it responds well to a variety of gain settings and maintains good articulation even when pushed. It bears noting that the longer scale and bolt-on neck construction of the LGXT may have something to do with these sonic characteristics. As compared to the "fatter" sound of a set neck Gibson-scale humbucker guitar, you get cleaner harmonics and more note-to-note clarity.
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. You can dig in hard without any excessive low end boom muddying up the sound. 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 LGXT so switching over to the acoustic mode requires either turning down the electric guitar volume or having some type of mute switch on your pedalboard. Luckily our BBE Acoustimax preamp does have a mute, so quick switches in live situations are pretty easy. 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. Maybe the floating bridge helps give it a little more spaciousness and depth, and there is none of that annoying piezo quack or crackle to be found. 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. The LGXT is an excellent "situational acoustic" that's super handy and much easier to dial in than a conventional acoustic guitar. And of course there is never any feedback.
The Godin LGXT 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. Factor in Godin's build quality and that nice flame top, and there's not much out there that comes close.