I was thinking about a new guitar for a long time because I needed an acoustic guitar that would be easy to travel with and still be useful in my church applications. I already had a Gibson J-200 with a basic piezo bridge pick up. This is a beautiful guitar and it sounds great, but it’s huge! I have a gig case for it and it feels like carrying a cello around. In college, I custom ordered a ATA flight case for it and that case is huge as well. The flight case also began to show wear even after only flying with it a few times. I also came to prefer carrying my instrument onto the plane for obvious reasons.
So, I looked into selling my J-200. I looked up the serial number and “blue book” value. It’s not a cheap guitar. In fact, the process made me realize that I love this instrument and I don’t want to sell it. I want to pass it on to my children’s children.
I started to look into dreadnaughts and the Taylor “concert” style guitars. These all looked like great instruments, but I was not convinced that they would be any better to fly with or would be that different from my current instrument to really justify the purchase. I was also looking at Godin guitars which I had always been interested in. I especially began to notice them after I saw Jaime Valle play one in a club in San Diego. Godin’s have a thin body shape like an electric guitar. They are instruments designed for stage performance and not recording or “unplugged” performance.
Then I came across the Gidin A6 Ultra. It’s basically an acoustic guitar with that thin chambered body of the Godin. But they added a humbucker pickup so that it’s basically capable of both electric or acoustic sounds. It’s not the first guitar to ever do this, but it’s pretty affordable and it also looks great. Honestly, I’m not a fan of sci-fi look of the Parker Fly guitar. It’s also more like an acoustic guitar that can do electric, so in that sense, it sounds like an arch-top electric.
I was able to really try it out this weekend and there are a few things I need to work out. One is that the piezo lacks gain. Even though there is a battery powered preamp in the guitar, my sound guy was saying that he had to crank the gain up on the acoustic sound. We might try an active DI next time and see how that helps. I’m also temped to get one of these, except it means another $200.