It might seem perverse that this cutaway electro model actually comes in cheaper than the non-cut acoustic Mahogany Spruce, but the Flame Maple has laminated back and sides. You’re not being visually short-changed, mind, because the outer veneers are richly figured, helping make this a handsome-looking instrument, especially when you factor in the peghead’s flame-maple overlay – it really sets off the tuners and various motifs a treat. In other respects, cosmetic embellishments are largely the same as the other Anniversary’s, though the back doesn’t carry a centre strip.
The neck’s construction, size and string spacing are virtually identical to the Mahogany Spruce’s, and it has the same type of open-pored satin finish. Dimensionally it is in fact a smidge deeper along the crown, so you’re immediately confronted with another hefty handful when playing at higher positions, though the cutaway does improve the sense of accessibility, and this sample’s lower action provides an easier, faster feel. One positive aspect both guitars share is very well fitted and polished fretting which allows smooth string bends in conjunction with the rosewood fingerboards’ gentle camber.
Powering is provided by Godin’s latest Quantum preamp, the Q1T, which is similar to the original Quantum but adds an auto-chromatic tuner. A compact brass plate carries rotaries for volume and two-band EQ, plus the tuner’s on/off button directly under the LCD read-out. It’s a very simple, straightforward layout. The tuner works efficiently, and handily can be used without the guitar being plugged in.