This was an early xmas present
from my girlfriend, Dani. I don't know what year model it is, but
the pickups alone indicate that was probably made before 2000.
I haven't modified this instrument (well,
yet), but it is sufficiently innovative in the design of its electronics
that I will detail it for anyone who is interested.
I love the look of these pickups!
Unfortunately, these are no longer available on Godin guitars. Now
that have more traditional looking Seymour Duncans on this particular model.
I haven't heard those, but I tried out a used one with the Tetrads and
was hooked. They produce the "throaty" sound I'm always looking for.
I can occasionally find cheap single coil pickups that give that, but those
also produce 60 Hz noise that kills the enjoyment. Ironically, it
is the humbucking mode that actually gets the sound right, even though
you can tap either pickup with the five-way. Specifically, the combinations
available with the selector are (A is the neck-most coil and D is closest
to the bridge):
1 - A,B
There is also a mid-range boost that is switchable
via a push-pull pot on the tone knob. I honestly didn't know about
this feature until a couple weeks after I had the guitar. I wanted
to try out a different set of knobs on it and... hey, what's this now?!
2 - A
3 - A,B,C,D
4 - C
5 - C,D
I have tried the Parker Fly guitars,
and I really wasn't impressed with the acoustic sound (I was even less
impressed with the magnetic pickups, BTW). That was unfortunate,
since I think there is a lot to like in a guitar that innovative overall.
However, the Godin blows it away. These are six individual L.R. Baggs
transducers and a 3-band EQ with a volume control. The resulting
sounds are wonderful. The EQ gives a really wide range of options.
I was able to shape the sounds very quickly and get exactly what I wanted.
This is where the "SA" part of
the name comes from: Synth Access. (I have no idea what LGX stands
for, incidentally.) At present, I don't have a guitar synth, although
I did briefly some years ago... back when Roland's GR-30 was on the market.
More about that some other time..
Check out the guts of the control cavity!
(I took this picture; the other two on this page were taken by the original
The guitar has three outputs, believe
it or not. Of course, it is advertised as "three voice" guitar
because of the above options, so naturally you would want the option to
split things up.
Output #1 is a regular 1/4" electric
guitar output. No acoustic sounds, just the standard pickups.
Output #2 is a 13-pin output and is
capable of carrying all three voices (electric, acoustic, synth) and connects
to Roland guitar synths and/or midi interfaces.
Output #3 is a dual function jack (also
1/4"). It gives you the bridge transducers and the magnetic pickups.
Naturally you can have one voice or the other by turning the volume up
or down on either. However, if you have a cable in output #1, then
the only output from here is from the bridge transducers. This is
good if you want to run these sounds in stereo or through separate amps
|The controls explained...
The acoustic pre-amp is "selected"
by turning up the volume control. Similarly, the magnetic pickups
are brought "on-line" with the volume control. Personally, I would
prefer a three-way switch (i.e., one, the other, or both) like that found
on a Parker guitar or a blender. L.R. Baggs actually makes
the latter alternative in the form of their Control-X Mixer/Preamp, but
I think I can live with the present configuration.
As for the mini toggle switches, those
are dedicated to the synth. Specifically, switch #1 is a three-way
selector that alternates between the acoustic/electric sounds and synth
voices: either just the synth, the other other two, or a mix of whatever.
Switch #2 is a momentary switch that "scrolls" through the programs on
the synth. Wow, you hardly even have to use your feet to play guitar
Finally, the synth volume is controlled
by the "chicken head" knob (not original) in the middle. The other
two knobs are the volume and tone for the magnetic pickups.
Aesthetically, the guitar usually
hits the mark. The body design is obvious reference to a Les Paul,
but with some modifications. For example, the top is arched, but
in an unusual manner: it is more beveled or something. I can't quite
describe it. The flattened corner is a bit of a distraction, but
I guess it serves to draw attention to the technological advances over
more conventional instruments. Still, this is somewhat offset by
the amber finish on quilted maple. The company offers other colors,
although nothing too colorful as yet, and mostly on flamed maple.
The headstock leaves a bit to be desired
though. I mean, it's pretty vanilla, and the logo/model are weak
designs to be advertised so loudly. The neck is mahogany, but the
fretboard is ebony, and it is cool. As I've alluded to
elsewhere on this site, I really like a smooth, glossy neck. This
is pretty nice for unfinished material and the dark color is a very attractive
contrast to the amber. The effect is further accentuated by the minimalist
fret markers (can you see them?) and the black heads on the Schaller tuners.
A neat feature I have not seen
previously in guitars with bolt-on necks is this interesting way of angling
the block. This allows you to get the plam of your hand as close
as possible to the back of the neck when you're playing in the pocket.
For more info about guitar synthesizers
in general and Roland's GR-33 in particular, check out this
A lot of people write me with
technical questions about their LGX guitars, especially problems with the
piezo pickup/preamp. I'm not an expert on the electronics in these
and really can't provide assistance at all. Often these emails come
as a last resort when L. R. Baggs and/or Godin fail to respond or, if they
do respond, fail to actually help their customers at all. If you've
had a better experience with these companies than those who I've heard
from have, please tell me. If not, let me know that as well.
At the moment I do not recommend Godin on the basis of abandoning their
customers when their products fail.