Godin 5th Avenue Kingpin – Mini Review


Sometimes, you happen upon something unexpected. After checking out that Albert Lee at Guitar Center, I was noodling with a bunch of semi and full hollow body import guitars (Epiphone Dots, Casinos, Zephyrs, Sheratons, 339s). They were OK. (I once had a fabulous Sheraton but sold it to a friend)

In the middle of the rack was this interesting baby. It’s a Godin 5th Avenue Kingpin. Godin is a Canadian company that’s known to make great guitars but they don’t see a lot of distribution in the states. On a whim, I pulled it down and plugged into a Fender Blues Deluxe. All I can say is WOW. The socks were knocked off and landed in the store’s drum department. The 5th Avenue sounded huge with the single P-90 single coil pickup (my favorite type of pickup). I dialed in a little dirt and notes jumped out. It was articulate and touch sensitive…with an almost biting Gibson 335 tone but with more bottom. With the amp turned off, it had a nice acoustic sound that would be great for around the house playing.

Fit and finish were flawless with fretwork on par with something from Fender’s custom shop. The matt/satin finish was nice enough – subdued. This was clearly a product of fine CNC machine work and hand finish.

Even better news, there’s a two P-90 version available! (and a no-pickup model too)

Here’s a very tasty jazz video featuring the guitar: Some cool jazz with the Godin

and another video with more blues/rock (and some raunch in the middle) Second Video

Music Man Albert Lee – Mini Review


I made a little visit to Guitar Center after dinner tonight (a dangerous habit). I’ve been looking at these Music Man Albert Lee models for quite some time but have never played one. This one isn’t much of a looker with the plain wood finish. (kinda boring actually) The all-rosewood neck had perfectly finished frets but was too skinny for my taste. It’s too bad, it played great and the 5 different pickup sounds were very versatile. Les Paul, Tele, and Strat tones in one guitar. Fit and finish were flawless. It even had a compensating nut (Buzz Feiten) to improve the intonation. And that all-rosewood neck!! MM needs to offer a more traditional neck contour as an option – they’d sell a lot of them.

While I was there, I picked up a couple of MM John Petrucci models. Again – beautiful finish, very versatile pickup system, great playability but the necks were too small for me.

These guitars are on par with the high-end, boutique brands out there. But, I’d recommend trying one out to see if you like the neck size first.


Not exactly a rock and roll topic. But, after some research I realized that my homeowner’s policy basically was useless. It turns out that you must have specialized musical instrument insurance if you have anything valuable. Clarion insurance seemed to be the best deal out there with the most comprehensive coverage. Anyway….this ended up being a new topic in the book!