Godin 5th Avenue Jazz Guitar Review – Classy and ElegantGuitarSpotting
Godin 5th Avenue Jazz Review
A Classy and Elegant guitar.
In this Godin 5th Avenue Jazz review, you’ll learn about a modern semi-hollow archtop guitar built for jazz, with excellent mature sound and tone, great sustain, and impeccable build quality.
While it can handle many styles of music, it was designed specifically for jazz musicians.
It’s a premium guitar suitable for anyone from a jazz student to a seasoned pro, and comes with a high-quality TRIC Case.
It’s a beauty.
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Where is the Godin 5th Avenue Jazz Made?
Godin began manufacturing guitars in 1972, in the small town of La Petrie, Quebec, Canada. Through the years, they have earned a reputation from many musicians and guitar afficionados as a company that consistently manufactures high-quality instruments.
The vast majority of their guitars are crafted in Quebec, Canada, with serious attention paid to quality control, detail and innovation. As a result, purchasing a Godin guitar means that you should receive a nearly flawless instrument.
Sound and Tone
The Godin 5th Avenue Jazz has a smooth and rich tone, producing a warm, open sound that is consistently full-bodied throughout each string. Chords sound full and evenly balanced.
When used acoustically, it produces a clean, bright sound with a surprisingly punchy low end, and projects quite well.
Overall, it’s got a pleasing, intimate “woody” sound with good resonance.
When plugged in, it sounds even smoother, with a warmer, mellower tone, and excellent sustain.
The sound is well balanced, with great separation, full bass range, excellent mids, and smooth high end. You can also achieve a darker jazz tone as well, by adjusting the tone control knob or the amp settings.
This guitar is well suited for both fingerstyle and flatpicking, and has excellent clarity to reproduce more complex sounds. It continues to sound balanced and in tune as you move higher up the fret.
However, it can sometimes be prone to feedback at higher volumes.
This video provides a good example of the guitar’s sound quality:
Build and Design
The Godin 5th Avenue Jazz is made using molded laminate wood (either Canadian wild cherry or flame maple, depending on the model), with a cherry wood core.
It’s got an ebony fretboard and ebony tone and volume knobs, a custom trapezoid tailpiece and adjustable Tusq bridge by Graphtech. It includes open-geared nickel tuners and a contoured high-gloss headstock.
The scale length is 24.84”, and the nut width is 1.72”. The neck width is user-friendly, and the ebony fretboard has a 16” radius, suitable for faster fretwork.
The 5th Avenue Jazz is slightly smaller than the other 5th Avenue models, making it easier to hold and more comfortable to play.
It uses a floating mini-humbucker pickup at the neck, allowing for more resonance in the guitar top, and a brighter, more acoustic-sounding tone.
It has an arched top and back, and Venetian cutaway for better grip, providing easier access all the way up the neck. The neck joins the body at the 14th fret.
It may look cool set up in your home, but it’s got impressive playability, and you’ll want to pick it up a lot. It’s made with top-notch hardware and designed to provide accurate and stable tuning and sound.
The 5th Avenue Jazz guitar models are all made with High-Gloss custom polish finishes.
Everything about this guitar suggests quality. Certainly that’s to be expected in this price range, but you should feel confident you’ll receive a subtle yet stylish guitar in pristine condition.
Be aware that the action may be set a little high out of the box.
As the tonewoods mature, the guitar tone will enhance, and the harmonics will become slightly richer as the guitar ages.
This will also help preserve its value.
Semi-Hollow vs. Hollowbody
The 5th Avenue Jazz is a semi-hollow archtop guitar.
So what exactly is the difference between a semi-hollow and a hollowbody, anyway?
Both are hollow on the inside, but a semi-hollow usually has a piece or block of wood running through the inside of the guitar body. This helps make it less prone to feedback than a hollowbody. Semi-hollow guitars are generally lighter, thinner and a bit smaller in overall size, making them a little more comfortable to play for longer periods of time.
Semi-hollow guitars are more versatile overall, with a warmer tone, more modern sound and longer sustain. They’re also a little bluesier, and handle overdrive a little better than many hollowbody guitars.
Hollowbody guitars do produce a better, louder sound unplugged, but you can still practice at home with a semi-hollow acoustically. This can even work to your advantage, if you want to practice but keep it quiet. And the 5th Avenue Jazz actually sounds pretty good unplugged.
The Godin 5th Avenue Jazz is an archtop guitar. The term refers to steel-stringed guitars with a full body and arched top (and often arched back as well).
Archtops cost more to produce than many other guitar types, and are quite popular with jazz musicians. The design of the f-holes was inspired by the violin, and provide the guitarist with a little more control over the sustain of each note.
Archtop guitars produce a mellower sound than a flat top guitar, and can also sound a little bluesier.
They were designed to optimize the sound produced when plugged into an amplifier, allowing greater volume with little or no feedback, and are also less likely to be affected by humidity or warping caused by rigid strings.
The Godin 5th Avenue Jazz is a premium model with better build quality and sound than regular Godin Fifth Avenue guitars.
There are currently 3 styles to choose between. They are all essentially the same guitar, just with varying color styles and tonewoods.
The Natural Flame option (pictured) includes a flame maple top with a wild cherry core, and flame maple wood for the back, sides, and neck.
The Piano Black High Gloss Finish model is crafted with a Canadian wild cherry top, back & sides, and a silver leaf maple wood neck.
The Sunburst model is made using the same tonewood as the Natural Flame version (flame maple top, back, sides, and neck, with wild cherry core), but with a High-Gloss sunburst finish.
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Each Godin 5th Avenue Jazz guitar include a premium 5th Avenue archtop TRIC hardshell case.
TRIC guitar cases provide protection not only against regular damage caused by bumping or dropping the guitar, but also against the elements. The initials TRIC stand for “Thermally Regulated Instrument Case”. These high-tech cases are temperature tested in order to protect the guitar from extreme temperatures, ranging from approximately –35C (-31F) up to +65C (+150F), helping prevent damage from extreme cold or excessive humidity.
Godin TRIC cases are made using a hard composite foam designed to absorb impact, and are surprisingly light and hermetically sealed.
The 5th Avenue Jazz is perfect for practicing at home, and for use at smaller intimate gigs. It can also be used for recording.
It was designed to focus on jazz, along with several sub-genres including swing, fusion and Latin.
But it can also hold its own when playing the blues, alt-country and some rock as well.