Godin Multiac Nylon SA Fretless
Review – Jahloon, 2003
Purchased: Sounds Great, Heald Green, UK. June 2003.
Cost: £899 (pounds sterling) including fitted hard case.
This is a semi-acoustic nylon classical guitar with blond finish and ebony fretboard. The acoustic build is such that there is ample volume for practising without amplification. Playing position is comfortable and you do get the impression this is a quality instrument. Supplied strings are standard nylon and wound wrapped, see the strings section for comment on these.
This guitar is dual output, using an RMG individual bridge pickup to drive Midi / Roland 13 pin type equipment, and also combining the six signals to an individual jack socket.
I tend to use the guitar mainly through the Roland VG-88 guitar modeller, which really opens up the possibilities of the instrument. Fretless bass is particularly effective and some of the mixed string combinations, lower two bass strings, top four treble strings can prove a dynamite combination. Sitar emulation, always difficult on a fretted guitar, where you need to bend a note 4 semitones or more becomes acheivable on this fretless. For a video demo of this technique look at the Sitar Patch fretless demo – (file size 1.7 Meg)
I cannot rate this guitar against other nylon string fretless guitars as I have not (at the time of writing 2003) played any others, but it is a very useable instrument, not as difficult to master as you may think. It also looks the part, there is no mistaking the fact that there are no frets, or markers on the fretboard itself. Handy markers do exist on the side of the fingerboard (you will need these at first).
I have played Godin’s fretted equivalent Multiac Nylon and have to say that both models I tried did not match the class of the fretless. It just has that little extra feel, maybe its just a one off, maybe its just that special thing you get with some guitars and not others, even if they are identical models.
Overall, this is a pretty fine instrument, the longer I have it the more I like it. The more I play it the more I think that this is not really a guitar, it is something different, with different possibilities. Once you forget frets and listen with your ears (what else?) the philosophy becomes clear, you are free to create, you are unfretted.
More Godin Reviews
Glissentar vs Multiac (Shoot-out)