The electronics of the RG-3 really push the envelope of the electric guitar. You get the standard issue volume and tone knobs and the five-way selector switch, but these are the only things that you’ve likely seen before. The three GS3 pickups are made by Godin to specifically compliment this series of guitar and stand out with their large pole pieces. You’ll also notice that the pole heights are staggered and tuned which give a very even-tempered sound and volume across all six strings. Extra wax windings were added to the sides of the pickups in an effort to help reduce hum, but honestly I didn’t notice much difference in interference between this guitar and other single-coil guitars.
To compliment these pickups, Godin uses the High-Definition Revoicer (HDR) that provides a wide variety of different single-coil sounds to choose from. The HDR is activated by a simple and conveniently located switch that allows you to choose between an active or passive pickup configuration. This switch engages a preamp circuit that adds a new soundstage to the guitar. The term “high definition” is quite descriptive of the sound when you turn the HDR on. You get more pronounced highs as well as deeper lows with an even middle. Right hand pick dynamics also come alive with the HDR engaged.
As mentioned earlier, the first thing I noticed when I played this guitar acoustically was how much vibration I could feel through my hands and arms. As for definition and response, I think you will be hard pressed to find a better electric guitar. The choice of single-coils in this guitar with the harmonic resonance from the chambered tone woods make this a truly amazing sounding instrument with lots of sustain and available dynamics.
This guitar is very responsive to hand technique and pick pressure. Competing with a full band, it can cut through nicely with a solid and musical presence in the midrange frequency spectrum. Engage the HDR, and it speaks even more without getting harsh. My first impression of the HDR circuit made me wonder why you would ever want to switch back to the passive mode, but after a few days of playing with this switch, I found many exquisite and usable tones in both modes. I can’t say enough about the clarity and dynamics available with this instrument.
I checked the intonation up the neck on each string and it was spot on with the exception of one very minor string length adjustment on the stainless bridge (screw on the low E). It plays perfectly in tune up and down the neck. The tremolo arm setup on the RG-3 works remarkably well as it stays pretty much in tune right from the start. If you dive it hard, it will take a few cents on the strings here and there, as most other tremolos without locking nut systems will. But I found it to be very musical and definitely well above the average for staying in tune.
The Final Mojo
This guitar is beautifully crafted and built to allow the serious musician to explore and reach new heights. It pushes the envelope in form as well as electronics. If you are looking for something to inspire you to reach your potential, this guitar gives you that space. Great attention has been paid to the finer details of guitar-making and it looks, feels, and plays great. It’s an elegant instrument, and the more I play it, the more I love it.
you are looking for one exquisitely crafted
single-coil guitar to rule them all, one that will inspire you to explore and
push your musical limits.
you don't love single-coil guitars or don’t have the dump-truck load of beans to buy it.