Too often, the notion of plugging in a thin-body guitar and getting a reasonably natural acoustic/electric tone is more dream than reality. With decades of experience, Godin is taking on that challenge with its ACS SA, a chambered nylon-string that aims to offer improved sonics, easier playability, and access for guitar synthesizers.
One factor that distinguishes the ACS SA from Godin’s popular Multiac series is a narrower nut, catering to standard acoustic and electric players. With a width of 1.9″ (compared to the 2″ of some Multiacs), the friendly ACS neck is “medium-wide.” If you need something narrower, check out an ACS Slim.
The ACS SA has a 25.5″ neck, chambered maple body, and a thicker cedar top that reduces feedback at high volumes. The mahogany flat-D-profile neck has a fretboard made of Richlite, a dense, natural ebony alternative. A contoured neck heel, generous cutaway, and bolt-on joint complete the feeling of rock-solid construction.
Things get fun in the electronics department, with a standard 1/4″ jack for output to amps and preamps, and a 13-pin-jack to access Roland-type guitar synthesizers. Inside, an LR Baggs transducer system delivers sweet nylon-string tone and effortlessly dovetails with the synthesizer of your choice.
Tested with a venerable Roland GR-20 synth, the ACS SA seamlessly wove together nylon and synthesizer colors, thanks to surface sliders perfectly sited on the upper bout. You get separate Volume sliders for the acoustic/electric and synthesizer signals, plus Treble, Middle, and Bass. Two buttons allow the guitarist to step through synth presets on the fly.
Tested in live-band rehearsals and at a recording desk, the ACS SA was impressive. Its live sound yielded warm, high-fidelity nylon tones without piezo quack or feedback, and handled heavy effects like reverb and delay like a champ. Plugging directly into a digital interface also delivered excellent timbres.
If the ACS SA sounds like what the doctor ordered, you should spend a few minutes researching Godin ACS and Multiac models to understand their differences. While they use the same general body shape, some have wider or narrower nuts, thinner or thicker tops, and other key variables.
It’s easy to appreciate the Godin ACS SA. With a reasonable mid-zone price, this six-string is pretty much a classical gas.
This article originally appeared in VG’s February 2022 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.