Godin Signature Series Summit CT
Godin Guitars, godinguitars.com
Originally published in Guitar World, March 2010
Godin's Summit CT is an interesting and versatile electric solidbody.
Canada's Godin Guitars has offered superbly crafted instruments for more than two decades, but the company didn’t really score on the American market until it introduced the semihollow, acoustic/electric hybrids in its Multiac Series. These guitars became a sensation for their acoustic resonance, fast flat fretboards, and flawless fit and finish.
The newest Signature Series member is the first non-hybrid and pure solidbody electric in the line. Even without the hollow chambers and hybrid acoustic electronics, the Summit CT resonates with a loud and percussive ring that’s more akin to its hybrid brethren than a typical solidbody, making this fine-tuned guitar perhaps the most versatile of the series.
Godin used the knowledge it gained from building hybrid acoustic/electrics to maximize the Summit CT’s acoustic properties. Every wood and component choice is aimed at creating a solidbody electric that can ring and magnify string response in ways that are surprisingly similar to a hollow instrument. The stout mahogany body may not be the obvious choice for a guitar that’s meant to have such vibrant acoustic qualities, but it’s actually ideal for creating the necessary frequency depth and dynamic potential. A carved slab of highly figured and flamed maple adds visual appeal and serious presence in the high and low frequencies. To enhance the maple’s tonal contribution and ultimate string energy, Godin made the fretboard of ebony, which is harder than maple and accentuates the uppermost portion of the frequency spectrum.
To ensure that the brightest tones actually reach the pickups, an offset four-bolt pattern is used to couple the snugly fit neck with the mahogany body. The satin-finished mahogany neck feels like what you might find on a top-hanger acoustic. It’s carved with a slight V shape behind the first five frets and gently tapers to a C-shaped hill. It’s a subtle departure from a continuous C shape, but it makes grasping chords comfortable on the exceptionally flat 16-inch-radius fretboard.
The Summit’s sunken Tune-o-matic-style bridge and specialized string-through design also aid in resonance transfer. Instead of simply terminating the string balls in a metal tube, Godin mounts a resonance-enhancing plate inside the string cavity and string routes.
The Summit CT has a Seymour Duncan ’59 in the bridge slot and a creamy Duncan Alnico II Pro in the neck position. A five-position selector switch provides humbucker and single-coil options. Best of all, Godin’s active and proprietary High-Definition Revoicer (HDR) circuit lets players turn the passive pickups into a harmonic-enhancing active system at the push of a button.
Even when strummed acoustically, the Summit CT produces a multidimensional tone similar to an acoustic strung with phosphorbronze strings. It’s an interesting effect that translates well through a clean amplifier. Played through my Victoria Golden Melody, the Summit CT displayed brilliance and sparkle that I’ve never heard from a solidbody electric. With the High-Definition Revoicer active, the upper-mid harmonics became even more pronounced, while the highs compressed slightly and the brassy qualities diminished.
When I activated a Klon overdrive in front of the Victoria, the Godin became an adept partner for jazz fusion and refined blues. There was a spatial relationship between the areas of the frequency spectrum and a percussive thump that defined each string hit, which made the Summit CT sound like an acoustic/electric hybrid. When the HDR was used in conjunction with an overdriven amp, like the Klon and Victoria rig, or my FJA-modified Marshall, the Summit became a neo-jazz shredder.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Godin's Summit CT is an interesting and versatile electric solidbody. In addition to its very convincing acoustic tone and response, the guitar’s flat ebony fretboard and High-Definition Revoicer circuit make it a sublime instrument for any number of jazz and shredding styles.
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