Godin creates a unique instrument by fusing elements of the Middle Eastern oud with standard guitar features.
by Teja Gerken
January 06, 2015
Canada’s Godin Guitars is known as much for its adventurous designs as for its affordable North American-made instruments. The company has been a pioneer in bringing MIDI technology to acoustic-electric instruments, and its futuristically shaped Multiac line has become a standard among performers around the globe. Several years ago, Godin raised eyebrows when it introduced the Glissentar, an instrument that fused the oud’s fretless 11-string setup with standard guitar dimensions. In 2011, Godin decided to take the concept even further by releasing the MultiOud, an instrument that is essentially a real oud, albeit a very modern one, with a thin, flat-backed cutaway body (traditional ouds have a bowl back); a pickup; and modern tuning machines. Amazingly, two oud-style instruments aren’t enough for Godin’s catalog, and now the company is offering another hybrid of sorts with the Inuk Steel. The Inuk Steel has the same oud-like body, scale length, and string-spacing as the MultiOud, but is strung with steel strings rather than nylon, and, more importantly, it has standard guitar-style frets and is designed to be tuned like a guitar. This means that you can approximate oud sounds without having to learn to play a fretless instrument or navigate an unfamiliar tuning.
We found the Inuk Encore Steel SG to be an incredibly fun instrument. It is built with quality materials, features Godin’s professional-grade craftsmanship, and sounds great both played acoustically and through an amp (Godin also offers the Inuk Ambience Steel SG, with Fishman Aura electronics). In this video, the Inuk Encore SG is played by Peghead Nation Co-Founder/Producer Teja Gerken and Guitar Theory instructor and acclaimed sideman and session guitarist Mark Goldenberg.
SPECS: Cutaway oud-style body. Solid cedar top. Chambered Canadian Laurentian basswood back and sides. Bolt-on mahogany neck. Rosewood fingerboard and bridge. 23.03-inch scale. 1.6-inch nut width. Chrome open-gear tuning machines. Quantum 1T electronics. Made in Canada. $849 street. godinguitars.com
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