Godin Norman ST68 Reviews 5

Went looking for a Martin with 1000 to spend (way back in 1987). Did not know much about acoustics then - except that Martins were supposed to be the best. Tried several guitars (including Martin D28) and bought Norman instead - just as good (if not better) at half the price. Paid 525 to Music Ground, Doncaster, UK Martins? - forget the hype; close your eyes and use your ears.

After 17 years of serious playing and gigging I can't speak highly enough of my ST68. It looks plain enough - nicely understated Martin lookalike - but sounds great, plays great, cuts through the mix at good volume and sustain levels. Feels good too - neck sits in your hand like a well-formed breast. Good quality Schaler tuners; solid Indian Rosewood back; beautifully profiled Mahogany neck with great playability; Ebony fingerboard and bone nut/saddle. Has stood the test of time - proven durability.

I love this guitar, so find it difficult to be critical of it. For such a superb sounding instrument, that knocks the socks off guitars twice the price (and I've tried Taylors, Martins, Gibsons etc) all I can say is that Norman's reputation should be far more high profile - thus enhancing second-hand valuations (but no matter - I'll never sell anyhow). Other criticism? - invokes jealousy amongst owners of Taylors & Martins etc..

Very solid construction - same architecture as Martin (Normand Boucher designed it the same way back in early 70's) - Solid Indian Rosewood back, laminated Rosewood sides, Solid Spruce Top(Adirondack maybe?)- constructed from 800 year old trees; tight-grained and tough. No warping whatsoever in 17 years - still in excellent condition (and I've given it some stick during that time - constant gigging). Maybe ready for a fret-dress, at last!

Bottom line is - would I buy another? No problem - not a 2nd thought. There are better guitars of course, but at the prices they come at - nothing really compares. Simon & Patricks maybe - but they come from the same stable anyhow. I've acquired an SP Pro Mahogany as a sister instrument. I also own a Lowden (superb guitar) - but much more expensive. Norman guitars are top value - so must rate a 5.

Fingerpickjim rated this unit 5 on 2004-09-10.

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