If you are looking for that ‘wow factor’, but still want something with elegance and performance at heart, this intriguing Multiac Grand Concert Duet Ambiance from Canadian manufacturer Godin may end your search.
As you can plainly see, it’s not your traditional classical electro-acoustic – however, its innovative electronics and non-standard design offer something different for the serious performer, who regularly plays plugged in. It proves slightly cheaper than other nylon stringed guitars in our article covering the best acoustic guitars under $2000, so how does it compete?
Let’s address the elephant in the room – this guitar has no sound hole, just like every other model in Godin’s Multiac series. If you are a die-hard traditionalist, you may want to stop reading now. However, for the rest of us, this guitar has lots to offer.
The body has a relatively traditional shape which is found across the Multiac range, with a very generous single cutaway. It features a chambered mahogany body, with a solid cedar top, and the guitar comes in three colors – a classic natural, an elegant lightburst, or a more extroverted white, which are all attractive and all finished in high gloss.
There’s a very comfortable soft C-shaped Honduran mahogany neck, which is bolted on to the body at the 12th fret, with an ebony fretboard and 19 frets. The neck features a full 2” nut width, so it’s perfect for true classical styles. Finally, made in North America, the craftsmanship on display is excellent, as you’d expect from a Godin.
As the focus is on amplified playing, the Duet Ambiance is loaded with battery-powered state-of-the-art custom Fishman electronics, which allows you to shape and blend the sound of the guitar to your specifications. The undersaddle transducer has four individual virtual microphone models, and a 4-way selector switch allows you to choose the model that suits you. Very versatile!
The rest of the hardware on the guitar is pretty standard for a guitar in this price range, and includes a slanted headstock with quality Godin custom tuners with a great action, as well as a gig bag – a hardshell case would have been nice considering the price, but you can’t have it all.
Despite having no traditional sound hole, the Duet Ambiance still has a good presence when played acoustically, although it’s hard to compare to a traditional nylon-stringed guitar. Thankfully we don’t really have to compare them, as the sole aim of this guitar is to make you sound amazing through an amp. And it delivers.
The tone is naturally warm and clear, and can be tweaked in a myriad of ways thanks to the versatile and wide-ranging controls, and blendable sound imaging. Another huge bonus is that, no matter how high the volume, feedback issues are almost non-existent.
We can agree that Godin’s Multiac Grand Concert Duet Ambiance is different, and it won’t appeal to every classical guitarist. But it certainly has a lot to offer, and is undoubtedly tailored to the performer who plugs in – whether for a concert or recording.
With the generous nut width, ultra comfortable neck, and unrivaled electronics, this is a superb performer, and allows serious guitarists to get some sensational tones, wherever they perform.