Godin XTSA Review in 2021 – Before You Buy

Godin XTSA – Truly Special

Sound
Playability
Overall Quality
Value For Money
Versatility

Summary

Pros:
-Versatile pickup configuration
-Great Acoustic guitar sounds
-Really warm and thick tones from humbuckers
-Single-Coil pickups add tons of tonal options
-Really comfortable to play
-High-quality
-Solid value for money
-Tremolo bar
-Synthesizer access gives you endless tone options

Cons:
-For some people(me), guitar synth access is not so important feature
-You need to buy a guitar synthesizer if you want to use the synth access
-Upper fret access is only OK
-Not the easiest guitar to play(still comfortable tho)
-Cable jack comes loose sometimes
-Single-coil sounds are not the strongest aspect of XTSA

Godin XTSA is a super-versatile and comfortable guitar that offers lots of features and tones. Personally, some of the features are not so important for me(guitar synth). With a tight budget, paying for these features is probably not worth it if you don’t need those.

And the fact that you have to buy a guitar synthesizer to access these synth features reveals that tapping into the full potential of this guitar is not cheap.

But if your budget has room and you really need the features of this guitar, I wouldn’t hesitate to buy this. It is worth the money and there is a high chance that you are not going to be disappointed. Plus this is a North-American-made guitar.

4.7

How Godin XTSA sounds:

YouTube video

Compare Prices:


Godin is a real gem. You don’t hear much about them but you know that they exist.

And this Godin XTSA is a super-versatile guitar that might be worth your money. But it’s not the best option for everyone…let me tell you why.

Godin XTSA specs:

Body type: Solidbody

Body wood: Silverleaf maple with poplar wings

Neck wood: Mahogany

Neck shape: Godin Ergocut

Scale length: 25.5”

Truss rod: Yes

Fretboard material: Richlite

Fretboard radius: 16”

Number of frets: 22

Nut width: 1.687 inches (43mm)

Pickups: Godin GHN1 humbucking neck pickup, Godin GS1 single-coil middle pickup, Godin GHB1 humbucking bridge pickup. RMC transducers on the saddles

Pickup switch: 5-way

Bridge: Tremolo bridge

Who crafted this review:

photo reveals owner of guitaristnextdoor.com

Author & Reviewer: Teemu Suomala

Playing guitar since 2009. Mainly focused on electric guitars, although plays acoustics too. Started this blog in January 2020.

FREE Access for You! Secret Page Reveals 5 Must Learn Electric Guitar Riffs That Accelerate Your Learning (For All Beginners Who Love Rock and Metal)

(If you want to make progress fast, this is for you). Just tell me where I should send the link:

By entering your email address you agree to receive emails from Guitarist Next Door. We’ll respect your privacy and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Use the table of content to jump to the section you want:

Godin XTSA Review (Solid Body 3-Voice Electric Guitar)

Godin Xtsa Electric Guitar Light Burst

Sound

Really versatile. 

I was going to leave it like that but I figured out that I should inform you more…

This guitar has a Flame maple leaf top and Silver leaf maple body with polar wings. Maple adds some brightness and crispiness to your tone.

XTSA has an HSH pickup configuration, 2 Godin humbuckers, and one Single-Coil, plus a 5-way switch. 

So you are able to get really warm, thick, and dark sound out of this guitar, without losing too much spanky and bright tones either. You have plenty of tonal options, and this is great news for people finding a great all-arounder electric guitar.

But this is no Start or Tele sounding guitar. I noticed that. You can move close to these sound-wise with 1 single-coil, but these tones are not the strongest side of the XTSA in my opinion.

This axe also has RMC pickups.

This means that each individual string has sensors that pick vibration up. After that, the Custom preamp amplifies the signal. The purpose of this is to make the guitar sound more like an acoustic guitar.

And this one actually surprised me, because acoustic sounds are really good. For example, this doesn’t lose to plugged Yamaha APX-600 at all. 

Plus this one has a built-in Bass, Middle and Treble knobs for acoustics sounds(the fourth knob is volume). So you are far from limited with acoustic tones too.

But wait a minute. There is more. This guitar works with Synth too! 

XTSA uses a 13-pin system that converts the vibration of the strings to the hexaphonich synth signal.

(Check this Wikipedia article if you want a detailed guide about what Guitar Synthesizer is. And this article, if you want to know what Synthesizer in general is).

Simply put, you have access to hundreds of different sounds and features with Synthesizer. Usually, keyboards are known for this ability.

For example, with Guitar Synthesizer and Godin XTSA, you have access to hundreds of different amps and guitars. Also, you can access tones that other instruments provide! 

 The ability to connect with a guitar synthesizer is a cool bonus, but not really necessary for everybody.

Note: You will need to buy a guitar synthesizer to access these different tones. This guitar works with Roland GR-series synths and with most 13-pin devices. For example, this is a great choice Roland GR-55S Guitar Synthesizer if you are going to buy a guitar synth.

I think that at this point you agree with me. Versatile. That word comes to mind when thinking Godin XTSA. 

And tremolo bar adds that versatility just a little bit more. It’s a one point more for Godin XTSA in my books.

But before we move on, hear how this axe sounds with the synth:

YouTube video

Playability

The neck is made of mahogany and for me that works fine, no need to complain about that.  

The fretboard is Richlite. Richlite is really similar to ebony, but it is slightly smoother and if you need to do refretting, Richlite will not cause you so much trouble. The difference in feel for these is non-existent for me.

So the materials look great on paper but how do the neck and fretboard feel when the guitar is played? 

They feel smooth, with no rough edges. Nut width is 1.68inches (43mm) and overall, the neck is slightly wider and thicker than I like, but not too bad. 

The fretboard radius is 16 inches, so the fretboard is almost flat, only a slight curve is noticeable. It’s smooth to move your fingers around the fretboard because of this and reaching the frets is easy

The neck is best suitable for crunchy and heavy riffs and for moody jazz or blues in my opinion. But thanks to the almost flat fretboard you can quite easily play pretty fast with this one too.

Again, this is common for single-cut guitars, but upper-fret access is not so good.

But this guitar has a nice carving on the back of the body, which surely makes things easier. Reaching the upper frets is easy as it gets with single-top guitar.

The single-cut shape is comfortable against your body. Your pick hand will not cause you too much trouble either with XTSA.

One thing that I should point out is the weight. This is heavier than most electric guitars. Closer to 15 pounds, when the average electric guitar weight is 12pounds. No game breaker for me, but good to know.

I would not say that this is the easiest the play guitar, but it sure is really comfortable.

Quality

Quality is really solid. I researched the internet and found hardly any complaints about any issues. But I found some, and I will share those with you.

Some users have found that the cable jack comes loose once in a while. It’s easy to fix, but a minor flaw still.

In some rare cases, synthentizator patches can be a little bit noisy. I think that one reason could be the vibration of the other strings. Fix for this is: you need to mute strings that are not supposed to play. 

Or this could be some error in Synth patches or pickups. Either way, this seems to be rare, and I wouldn’t worry about it too much.

Looks

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Romeo Knight (@knight.romeo)

And what about the looks? All the shapes and overall finish are really pleasing for my eyes. But the light burst body color isn’t exactly my piece of cake. But I absolutely love the slightly more expensive KOA- finish. So I recommend that you check that one out too.

Summary

Pros:

  • Versatile pickup configuration
  • Great Acoustic guitar sounds
  • Really warm and thick tones from humbuckers
  • Single-Coil pickups add tons of tonal options
  • Really comfortable to play
  • High-quality
  • Solid value for money
  • Tremolo bar
  • Synthesizer access gives you endless tone options

Cons:

  • For some people(me), guitar synth access is not so important feature
  • You need to buy a guitar synthesizer if you want to use the synth access
  • Upper fret access is only OK
  • Not the easiest guitar to play(still comfortable tho)
  • Cable jack comes loose sometimes
  • Single-coil sounds are not the strongest aspect of XTSA (IMO)

Godin XTSA is a super-versatile and comfortable guitar that offers lots of features and tones. Personally, some of the features are not so important for me(guitar synth). With a tight budget, paying for these features isn’t probably worth it if you don’t need those.

And the fact that you have to buy a guitar synthesizer to access these synth features reveals that tapping into the full potential of this guitar is not cheap.

But if you have room in your budget and you really need the features of this guitar, this is a great choice. It is worth the money and there is a high chance that you are not going to be disappointed. Plus this is a North-American-made guitar.

Check Price on:


Alternatives

Strong Competitor – PRS Se Custom 24-08

Pros

  • High-quality pickups and tonewood deliver superb sound
  • Separate coil-split for both humbuckers adds versatility
  • Wide thin neck shape is comfortable
  • The scale length of 25′ over 24 frets for extra-wide fret spacing(hitting wrong strings is made hard)

Cons

  • High price, out of budget for many
  • Quality control sometimes lets lemons slip through

Separate split coil switches for both humbuckers ensure 8 different pickup configurations. This ensures you with versatility that is really hard to beat.

You can check the full review of this guitar from this article: 5 Best Wide Neck Electric Guitars for Fat Fingers in 2021 – Buyer’s Guide

Check Price on


Great Budget All-Rounder – Fender Player Telecaster HH

This one is an excellent all-rounder with one of the best split-coil tones I have heard. Modern C neck shape ensures easy playability, and the affordable price makes this guitar a really interesting choice.

I definitely recommend that you check this guitar out. Really high value for money.

You can read my full review of this guitar here: Fender Player Telecaster HH Review 2021 – Before You Buy.

Check Price on:


If You Want to Play Metal – ESP LTD Deluxe EC-1000

I tried this for the first time in a music store nearby, and it has been one of my favorite guitars since. This guitar is just gorgeous. It handles everything, but it’s made for heavy riffing. A pleasure to play and listen. It offers great value for money with high quality and stunning tones. 

You can read my full review of this guitar here: ESP LTD Deluxe EC-1000 Review 2021 – Before You Buy.

Check Price on:


Conclusion

Godin XTSA is definitely a nice guitar that offers you versatility. If you need a great all-arounder with access to guitar synth, I highly recommend this axe for you.

If your budget is limited or you don’t need a guitar synth at all, there are better options available for you.

I hope that this review helped you out! I wish you all the best and keep rocking!

Teemu Suomala