Godin Rialto Jr. Acoustic
one magical instrument
This guitar requires a lot of explanation from a players perspective. At first blush, it could be mistaken for a small student guitar. However, it is not that at all.
For this particular color scheme, my hunch is that Godin was thinking of something cool and retro for the look. It looks classic mid century. Glossy silver with a white pick-guard, two knobs. Vintage vibe no doubt.
Don't let the look fool you. This instrument is first rate and instantly became a keeper for us.
It's one of those instruments that somehow makes you better because you can see things more clearly - and you have a lot of room to reach for things. I'll explain why. It's in the design. Godin is quite brilliant in this regard.
The neck meets the body at the 12th fret, it's the wide ebony marker that provides a strong visual for your very bottom - there is no cutaway.
This opens up the frets, providing space to visualize things in a different way. It also forced us to get reacquainted with the top of the neck and open strings. This alone has brought us to a new level of playing. The design of the guitar helps to better visualize pathways and connections across and down the fingerboard. It can be a fast guitar. The action with .11's on top is just right. No buzz.
Ok. Now we get to the tone that this little beauty puts out. It's pretty amazing actually. We've read a review that stated this is not a little guitar trying to sound like a jumbo. This guitar is certainly a respectful size for gigging. The sound, even through a solid state practice amp, is blow away. It is deep, rich, you can hear the tone of the steel. It has the acoustic brightness you'd hope to find, and the neck - you can glide on the neck - the fret finish is first rate.
If you look carefully at the pics on the left, you can see the grain beneath the gloss silver coat. The materials are stunning, the craftsmanship second to none. I've read that they use Canadian wild cherry exclusively for these guitars.
Now keep in mind that this is an electric acoustic. In practical fashion I would say it would more accurate to call it an electrified acoustic. Face the amp and get too close, the feedback will howl.
The stock review that you'll find elsewhere will talk up the electronics. We're not techies here. We know Godin well enough to trust that the technology is first class just like everything else they do.
We'll end the review based on how we really feel. The guitar is a keeper. It's one you go to for pure joy when you are in a reflective mood. It's a honey and it plays like butter. I've been blending smooth jazz and ambient lines on it.
It takes any pedal really well. We push it through a Fender Blues Jr tube amp. Pure Heaven.