(John Gorbe | Posted 2011-07-21)
The nylon string guitar is perhaps the most romantic instrument ever built. The soothing sounds of fingers sliding across nylon strings can conjour images of beautiful scenery of faraway lands and remind us of loved ones. There is no denying the affect that this guitar has on human emotion but there are nylon string guitars of lesser build quality that leaves a lot to be desired. There are also guitars that almost play themselves and are of high quality. This review is of one guitar that is cut from the mold of the latter.
The Multiac ACS-SA Lightburst Flame Nylon USB not only looks, plays and sounds beautiful, but itís also a creation of technology that allows the player to take advantage of computer access for limitless possibilities. Letís start with the specsÖ
The ACS-SA features a chambered silver leaf maple body with a flame maple top, mahogany neck mated to an ebony fingerboard, 16Ē fingerboard radius, 25 1/2" scale, 1 7/8Ē nut width, USB output for direct and easy computer access, and a Custom RMC electronics with 13-pin connector for direct control of Roland GR Series and Axon AX100 guitar synths.
This guitar is every electric and steel string players dream. Many times a player from a different style will pick up a nylon string to find theyíre holding a classical guitar with a neck so wide they canít perform on it! This Multiac features a neck width between a classical and a steel string to make the switch very easy. There is just enough space to accomodate fingerstylists, but not too wide that you canít play with a pick. Itís a very comfortable neck that fits my hand perfectly and I have small hands!
Shifting around on the neck was effortless thanks to the ebony fingerboard. Ebony is so nice because it contains natural oils that make for a beautifully finished piece of wood that aids the player into a frictionless journey across the fingerboard.
Tuning the guitar was a breeze with smooth tuning machines and the stability was very good. The strings were tied correctly from the factory on both ends of the instrument, which contributed to the stable tuning. This is very important because nylon will slip if not tied properly; this causes major tuning problems.
I was also impressed with the setup, which was again straight from the factory. I found it a joy to play in all registers of the fingerboard and didnít encounter any buzzing. The guitar simply played beautifully and kept asking to be played more and more.
Not only did this guitar play great, but it sounded great as well. Unplugged, it has enough volume to be heard and works very well for practicing. The overall sound is tight and well balanced from low to high frequencies. Every note is rich and full no matter what string is played.
Plug this baby in and you hear its true colors and why so many of todayís players are using the Multiac series in their live setups. I turned the volume up and was able to play at a loud level without a hint of feedback. I applied a little multi-tap delay through a Maxon AD999 Pro and began my serene journey as I plucked a few strings. I honestly couldnít stop playing because the guitar has a warm, buttery quality with enough articulation to make it rhythmic when needed.
The EQ is very musical with the treble set at 6k, the mids selectable at either 700 or 1200Hz, and bass at 100Hz. This makes the guitar very versatile in a live setting so it can cut through a mix with a large ensemble or settle in with a small ensemble. This is the kind of instrument that a professional will use in a variety of situations and styles, so the onboard electronics are appreciated.
I happen to have a Roland GR1 Guitar Synthesizer so I had to plug in the 13-pin cable and test out the tracking on this beauty. It didnít disappoint. I dialed up a harmonica patch and set the guitar to only play the harmonica sample through the amp and it did so perfectly from the lowest note to the highest note. I then brought up a flute sample and blended the guitar with the synth and you could say I had way too much fun! The guitar tracked really well with a variety of samples. Applying a synth like the Roland GR series and you have roughly 400 instruments at your feet ready to be played!
The Bottom Line
If youíre an electric player or steel string acoustic player looking for a nylon string I think an obvious choice is to look at anything from the Multiac series from Godin Guitars, especially if you perform and/or work with technology. The ACS-SA USB has beauty, style, comfort, and is equipped to handle anything the future has to hold thanks to the 13-pin and USB connectors.
To learn more about Godin Guitars visit them at: www.godinguitars.com