If this is your first
visit to Godin, we'd like to take a few minutes to introduce ourselves. We
started building guitars over twenty years ago in a village in Quebec Canada
called La Patrie. The man that started it all is Robert Godin. Robert still
owns the company and he continues to design the vast majority of our guitars.
We are a Canadian company
with our head office located in Montreal and we build our guitars in several different locations, five in Quebec and one in New Hampshire.
For those of you keeping score, that adds up to six factories spread
out over about 1000 kilometers. So why not just have one giant guitar
factory? Although there are some obvious inconveniences associated with
spreading ourselves out this much, the up-side is that these smaller
operations promote a more intimate working environment which gets everybody
more involved and this is reflected in the instruments themselves.
Godin guitars are assembled
in our Richmond, Quebec and Berlin, New Hampshire factories. The necks and bodies are all made
in our original location in La Patrie, Quebec.
We are also known for
our other guitar brands which include our new electric line known as Richmond Guitars, as well as our acoustic brands which include: Seagull, Simon &
Patrick, Norman, LaPatrie and Art & Lutherie.
From the beginning
the company has been more or less divided between our acoustic side
and electric side. The electric side of our business was originally
that of a parts supplier to other guitar companies. We built their necks
and bodies. You might be amazed to find out how many different guitar
brands are all being produced in the same handful of factories. We're
not telling you this because we want to divulge somebody's secrets but
simply to let you know where we're coming from. In any case, what started
out as some generic replacement necks and bodies soon evolved into a
major business producing finished necks and bodies for many established
U.S. guitar companies. The great thing about this is the tremendous
experience that we gained building all of these instruments to their
various specifications. The down side is that the sub-contracting business
is a pain in the neck, so to speak, but more importantly it does not
include the best part of building new guitars and that is: coming up
with new designs and coaxing them through the process that begins with
a sketch and ends with the music.
New Guitar Concepts
Unlike many other
instruments that follow a fairly strict set of design parameters-such as most
orchestral instruments-guitars truly lend themselves to variation in design.
This capacity for variation manifests itself in two distinct ways, there is
the purely visual variation such as, the lightning-bolt-shaped-pointy-headstock-you're-obviously-not-in-an-easy-listening-band
guitar. In other words, guitars as fashion statements. Don't get us wrong,
we are committed to high aesthetic values in all of our designs but what we
find most compelling is the other type of variation inspired by the endless
musical possibilities in guitar design. From designing a Nylon string guitar
that can be played at stage volumes and feel comfortable to a primarily steel
string player (Multiacs) to the creation of the multiple-voice instruments
in our Signature Series, exploring new design possibilities is an integral
part of what we do. The Godin commitment to new guitar concepts is typified
in the Glissentar which is so much of a variation on the standard guitar that
it isn't even a guitar anymore and qualifies as a whole new instrument. The
Glissentar project was not born out of a marketing meeting (i.e.) "Man, I
bet if we built an eleven string fretless acoustic/electric we could sell
a boatload of them." Instead the Glissentar was conceived because of the intriguing
musical possibilities it promised and hearing some amazing Glissentar performances
from musicians like Michel Cusson, Fareed Haque, and Sylvain Luc (to name
a few) that deliver on that promise truly makes the exercise worthwhile.