The new addition to Godin’s 5th Avenue series, the Uptown GT (gloss top), may look like your run-of-the-mill archtop, but a few key features mean that this model is unlikely to suffer from the usability and stability problems that tend to dog archtop players who enjoy an aggressive style and/or like to play loud.
Many archtop designs incorporate a floating bridge. As the name suggests, a floating bridge is not fixed to the surface of the guitar, so heavy string attack or an unfortunate knock can dislodge the bridge making the guitar unusable. Unless you’ve carefully marked the original position of the bridge, it can be tricky to realign.
Godin’s bridge looks like the traditional floating type, but is in fact pinned to the body with aluminium posts. You’ll be able to give this guitar a full frontal attack without fear of dislodging the bridge.
The Bigsby tremolo system fitted to the Uptown adds real pizzazz. But Bigsby systems can cause tuning problems when partnered with standard tune-o-matic style bridges. Here, once again, Godins have gone that extra step to ensure playability and stability by fitting a bridge with roller saddles.
When plugged in to an amp and cranked up, hollow-bodied guitars tend to suffer from feeedback. Godin has mounted its pickups on the surface of the guitar instead of sinking them into the body. So this guitar will only howl and growl when you want it to.
All the Godin’s I’ve ever picked up have been easy to play, set up well and built to a very high standard. If you’re in the market for something a little different, I recommend you check out the new Uptown.