I go through periods of research into certain fields and/or products. Recently it has been my quest for the perfect guitar setup. For me this includes amplifier, electric guitar and acoustic guitar. I’ve pretty well decided on keeping my Dean Markley K20-X for practice and recording and just build myself a larger amp later on. I will most likely use a K20-X style TL072 preamp tied to an LM3886 power amp from chipamp.com giving me 50w RMS/100w PEAK power. I’ll be on the lookout for a dead combo amp that houses a 10″ or 12″ speaker for this project to go into.
As for guitars, I’m looking at some sort of humbucker-equipped axe to compliment my single coil Harmony Bobkat H15V and my wife’s strat-style triple single pickup G&L SC3. Ideally the perfect candidate would have a solid tail piece, two pickups, a 3 position pickup selector switch and 2 knobs for volume and tone, 3+3 headstock and probably a Les Paul style body – all made somewhere in North American and retailing for less than $750 USD. Think it can’t be done? I certainly did (which is why I was looking at Korean made PRS SE series guitars earlier), that is until I came across the Richmond guitar line. Specifically the Richmond Empire:
The Empire has all of the features I want and none that I don’t want, it appears to be made specifically for me. Richmond guitars are part of the Godin family of products and are produced in Richmond, Quebec…all of 4 1/2 hours from where I live! Richmond is a new line but the Godin family of guitars have been around for a long time and with rave reviews in quality and playability. The Richmond Empire has an MSRP of $639 USD. I’ve read of people picking them up for $500 but I haven’t seen it in person since there aren’t yet any Richmond dealers within driving distance of my home.
Next up I’ve been looking for a parlor style acoustic to replace my beaten down Toyota (no, I’m not making this up, it is a Toyota acoustic guitar that I got for free from a friend in High School). My primary option had been the Fender GDP100 (now discontinued, although Everyday Music does have one still). It has reasonable reviews and is a sort of budget guitar made in China and shipped to the US as an entry level unit. There isn’t much out there in terms of new parlor size guitars. Or so I thought. While looking at the Richmond guitar website I realized Godin also owns La Patrie who specializes in nylon string classical acoustics. They are crafted in Canada just as the Richmond guitars. It turns out the low end La Patrie is the Motif – a parlor size guitar of medium quality. By medium quality I do not mean it isn’t good, just that it isn’t a professional guitar. It is good enough for home recording but inexpensive enough at an MSRP of $429 that it is relatively budget friendly as well – just what I was looking for.
I love the looks of the guitar and feel that the parlor size nylon string would be my new best friend. They are selling on musiciansfriend.com for $326 right now.
Now all I need to do is save up about $850 and I can put both of these Canadian beauties in my guitar rack.
All Richmond guitars use FSC certified wood only!