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Godin Guitars

My first experience with Godin guitars was in the late seventies when a sales representative of the company came to me to show his Canadian made Norman guitars. I felt that they were well made, played well and were a good value so I took on the line and sold them for a number of years.

Then, we stopped seeing our sales representative, and due to changes in the rate of currency exchange we stopped ordering the instruments.

About ten years ago a guitar player and collector stopped at Friendly River on his way home to Canada after attending a disappointing guitar show. We had a great visit and he revealed that he built guitars in Canada and thought they might do well in out shop.  

A few weeks later Tim Dion arrived at my door with a van filled with cool guitars.

Tim has become a great friend over the years. Early on he helped me out with the Ossippee Valley Bluegrass Festival for three days.  Tim is a great player and despite his duties with as a district sales manager still maintains a highly active performing schedule.

A couple of years ago I encouraged Tim to apply as sales representative for Orange Amplifiers. They are an excellent complement to Godin guitars and Tim has provided Friendly River and Orange with outstanding service and expertise. Tim is also fun to hang out with.

A few years ago, our school department  needed an acoustic guitar that just wasn’t in the budget. Tim had our friends at Godin donate not one, but two great instruments at no charge. Those guitars are played constantly by teachers and students and seem to sound better all the time. It is of no surprise that they still play fantastically!

Robert Godin began selling and repairing guitars in a music store in Montreal at the age of fifteen. In 1968 he set up his own custom guitar shop. In 1972 started building Norman guitars. When I was selling Norman guitars, I had never heard of Robert Godin. I asked Tim Dion about where the name Norman guitars came from and he replied ”When Robert Godin owned a music store in Montreal, he took a hunting trip to southern Quebec around the village of LaPatrie. During this trip, he came across a factory where they made wooden window frames, and the owner of the business also built guitars that were of a very high quality. Robert was very interested in these and began to think about making guitars rather than just selling them.  He then sold his store and went into business with the man he met. The rest is history....the owner of the factory's name was...Norman Boucher. The early guitars that were built there bear his name, and the legend lives on!”   Thanks Tim!

The Godin Company builds guitars in Canada and Maine under the names, Art and Lutherie, Norman, Seagull for their steel strings, and La Patrie for their classical guitars. Their electrics are simply Godin. 

Their electric guitars are just great. They are priced starting from the entry level range, but build no entry level instruments. Everything about them is professional. They cut corners nowhere!  They look sharp and have many distinctive and unique features. They are easy to work on and parts are readily available. At one point I approached them about building a run of stripped down guitars same quality with one pick up and fixed bridge that would be at a price point that could compete with anything coming out of Asia. They explained that it was difficult enough for them to keep up production of current models. That is very understandable as they already struggle to keep up with the demand for their outstanding instruments. Godin also builds fine mandolins, basses and even an eleven string, fretless Glissentar that is similar to an oud.

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