I’m a big believer in the all-mahogany, small-body acoustic formula. In the studio, through a nice microphone and signal chain, a mahogany concert-, grand-concert-, or auditorium-sized guitar can make the sweetest sound you ever heard. And in a good fingerstylist’s hands they can exhibit a lovely dynamic range—albeit usually within what you’d call the “mellow” spectrum.


Godin’s Fairmount Composer QIT puts a cool twist on the all-mahogany formula (in this case the back and top are solid mahogany and the sides are layered). It possesses much of the contoured, warm trebles and bottom end that make guitars like the Martin 00 and 000-15 and Guild M-20 such inviting companions. But the Godin adds a perceptible dash of extra midrange that makes it a much bolder-sounding guitar for strumming. If you’re a fully indoctrinated all-mahogany, small-body player (with all the biases toward low-key, toasty tones that such associations imply) these strong mids could come off as just a touch too forward. Some of this extra stridency may certainly abate as the guitar ages. But many players will probably care less if it does, and instead savor the extra presence that makes the Fairmount Composer a killer compact accompanist for more boisterous, and soft-to-loud dynamic picking.

The Godin adds a perceptible dash of extra midrange that makes it a much bolder-sounding guitar for strumming.

Like so many Godin family products, the Fairmount Composer is immaculately put together and is super playable. There are some interesting design idiosyncrasies—the back bracing seems extra robust, for instance—and Richlite was used on the fretboard as a wood conservation measure. But given the $899 street price—with a very nice set of electronics and tuner, at that—this Canada-built concert-body is an excellent value that can hang with instruments that cost many hundreds more.

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