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Archtop P90 guitars, Godin Kingpin 5th Ave or??

buzzp

Member
Messages
6,985
I love the sound of P90 archtop guitars, but want to know my options for my price range, around the $500 mark if possible (give or take). It doesn't need to have 2 pick-ups or a cutaway. Just needs to have a good classic look and play well (and sound good, duh).

IF it makes MUCH more sense to save up for an old Gibson 125 or something, I guess that's OK too. But please, help me out with some options!

Here's one that I like:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Godin-5th-A...851?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2c7e12462b
 

SPROING!

Member
Messages
8,796
Does it need to be fully hollow?
In my opinion, the best bargain out there right now is the Epiphone ES-339 P90 Pro model.
A Casino could be found in your price range, a Casino Coupe or a Wildkat.
Ibanez came out with a small P90 last year, though I don't recall the model. I believe it was $500.
But the Godin is a great choice, too. It's a bigger body with thin wood, however, and is a feedback monster with any volume if you're not cautious.
 

e???

Member
Messages
2,963
I'm thinking 50's es125 lately. The fact that they're still that cheap is pretty nuts. Yeah I gotta start saving too... Loars feel cheap and I think they sound that way, played a few of them lately. The 5th Ave's feel and play decent, but I've never liked the pickups, way too bright. There are some good new and used casinos out there, but I've never played a wildcat or a coupe that stayed in tune. You might also wanna look at an epiphone century from the 60's. Those 50's-60's p90's are magic, but then again SD antiquity's are pretty close to that old sound too.
 

buzzp

Member
Messages
6,985
I actually have a full hollowbody, but it's not routed for p90s and the finish is too pretty to risk damage.

I've looked into the Loars before but that's unfortunate they feel/sound cheap. I'll look into the 339 pro model, that might get it done for me, just need to find one to play!
 
Messages
1,478
Does it need to be fully hollow?
In my opinion, the best bargain out there right now is the Epiphone ES-339 P90 Pro model.
A Casino could be found in your price range, a Casino Coupe or a Wildkat.
Ibanez came out with a small P90 last year, though I don't recall the model. I believe it was $500.
But the Godin is a great choice, too. It's a bigger body with thin wood, however, and is a feedback monster with any volume if you're not cautious.
All the above is correct.

SPROING got a Casino that was a dud, mine is/was very fine, and despite being full hollow not at all problematic playing loud '70s-style punk rock. Mine did have some mods from a prior owner, fwiw.




I have seen similarly variant opinions about the Epi WildKat. It may just be that these are production-line guitars which are going to vary, or maybe I'm not as picky as some. I have a WildKat I like a lot too. Design-wise it is very feedback-averse, as it is actually more a chambered solidbody than it is what most would classify as a semihollow.

 
Messages
6,837
I actually have a full hollowbody, but it's not routed for p90s and the finish is too pretty to risk damage.

I've looked into the Loars before but that's unfortunate they feel/sound cheap. I'll look into the 339 pro model, that might get it done for me, just need to find one to play!
Did you play one?

I saw an artist here in town who tours with one and it sounded fantastic. Thats my experience, anyway.

People say that Gibson LP Standards feel cheap. YMMV of course and always.
 

buzzp

Member
Messages
6,985
Did you play one?

I saw an artist here in town who tours with one and it sounded fantastic. Thats my experience, anyway.

People say that Gibson LP Standards feel cheap. YMMV of course and always.

I haven't had a chance to play one, no. I just want a solid sounding archtop p90 style guitar around the $500 mark that gets me some warm cleans. I'm not a headstock "snob", but I really don't want an Ibanez
 
Messages
1,478
People say that Gibson LP Standards feel cheap. YMMV of course and always.
Uhh, what? This is not a particularly prevalent opinion that I've seen. Obviously there is always going to be a Gibson-hater crowd, like there is for any major brand. But to ascribe it to "people" in general is demonstrably inaccurate, from what I've seen on numerous online fora, having been in a bunch of bands, and having written about music for a couple decades.

Did you mean to say there are even some people who say that?
 
Messages
6,837
Uhh, what? This is not a particularly prevalent opinion that I've seen. Obviously there is always going to be a Gibson-hater crowd, like there is for any major brand. But to ascribe it to "people" in general is demonstrably inaccurate, from what I've seen on numerous online fora, having been in a bunch of bands, and having written about music for a couple decades.

Did you mean to say there are even some people who say that?
No, I meant to say "people." You know, more than one human being. Its accurate. One of them being an old bandmate who has also played in many bands, and has written about music and instruments for years. I doubt he's in the forum world though. Is it safe to say the "Gibson-hater crowd" is more than just some people? There is no reason to argue semantics here, but worse things have happened on TGP.

I've read countless comments on this forum alone stating modern Gibsons feel cheap, especially considering the price, in comparison to either vintage instruments or Historic models.
 

SPROING!

Member
Messages
8,796
I haven't had a chance to play one, no. I just want a solid sounding archtop p90 style guitar around the $500 mark that gets me some warm cleans. I'm not a headstock "snob", but I really don't want an Ibanez
My looks would be the 339 (just bought one...awesome guitar) the Casino or Casino Coupe or the Godin.
 

JosephCurwen

Member
Messages
55
The 5th Ave's feel and play decent, but I've never liked the pickups, way too bright.
My experience has been in the other direction - the tone control on my beloved 5th Avenue Kingpin is probably the most versatile I've ever used, and while you can get a very bright tone between 7-10 on the knob, at 6 or below the highs roll off nicely and round out the tone, and below 4 you are in "classic jazz mid/bass" territory with absolutel zero brightness left, all warmth. It has a very very versatile sound, and really captures that "vintage p90" vibe for me. Useful for everything from blues to rockabilly to jazz.

The fit and finish on the Godin was amazing out of the box. My only gripe, if I had to pick one thing with a gun to my head, is that the finish is very thin and the wood very soft - I've picked up a couple small dents in the neck from chance glancing contacts that my other guitars would have laughed off if they even noticed it at all.
 

buzzp

Member
Messages
6,985
Higher than 500 yes, but ES-135's can be found for 800ish if you are patient.

I nabbed this one for 850 off craigslist a couple months ago.


Beautiful sounding guitars, definitely over 1k these days, but I really like the sound of these!
 

zztomato

Senior Member
Messages
11,394
For $500 you can't go wrong with the Godin archtops.
Check out some youtubes of Sylvan Luc- he plays Godin guitars.
Here's one. He uses a black Kingpin (or 5th avenue) in the last part of this concert -sounds great to my ears. Go to 1:10:00
 

buzzp

Member
Messages
6,985
For $500 you can't go wrong with the Godin archtops.
Check out some youtubes of Sylvan Luc- he plays Godin guitars.
Here's one. He uses a black Kingpin (or 5th avenue) in the last part of this concert -sounds great to my ears. Go to 1:10:00
I really like those Gibson 135s the more I listen to them... but I need to find a Godin to play, as well as an Epiphone 339 Pro.
 

SPROING!

Member
Messages
8,796
I really like those Gibson 135s the more I listen to them... but I need to find a Godin to play, as well as an Epiphone 339 Pro.
I've had both the Godin and the Epiphone 339. You can see which one is still around.



I find it cuts way better, doesn't feed back and is way more manageable in size.
They do sound very different. The Godin being a full size hollow and the 339 being a small semi but once the drums, bass and noise kick in, nobody listening is gonna hear the difference.
 

Multicellular

Member
Messages
7,878
I have half a dozen hollows or semi-hollows.
Godin is a fine choice. It does feedback quite a lot, but with one pickup, easier to move to get away from it.

Godin versus like a semi-Epi or Ibanez sounds a lot more acoustic-ish, old schooly. The The Loars are nice, but I slightly preferred the unplugged Godin sound.

Some demo footage of me with my Godin at 10:30. Stock Pickup. Wont hear feedback there, but I was really just at practice level volume. Compare to clean tone of a Les Paul type at 1:40
 




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