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Norman Guitars

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I am looking at buying a good solid top guitar in the $300 to

$400 dollar range. I recently tried a Norman B20 HG and

really liked the sound. It has vintage Grover tuners, has been set

up to lower the action, and the saddle (taylor) and bridge pins (bone) have been replaced. It is used (about 5 years old) and has been taken really good care of. Does anyone have anything bad to say about Norman guitars?

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Normans are made by the Godin company who also makes Seagull, Simon & Patrick and Art & Lutherie acoustics. I've never played a Norman but if they are anything like the other Godin acoustics it will be a well-made good sounding guitar.

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Yes. I play a B20-12. I've been playing it for about 8 months. Bought it off my luthier who distributes them for Norman here in Louisville, KY. I paid about 625.00 (US) with the hardshell case. I like it well enough but I wish it had more volume at the high end. The action was a little high when I bought it but I took it that way just to get some time on it "as is". Three months later I took it back and had the action adjusted which included shaving the bridge down in order to lower the saddle and allow neck adjustment. I found it much more playable. I have a moderately fast fingerpicking style and need finer tolerances on the action than as set up from the factory. Still, I think the treble a bit weak. Otherwise, it seems to be of sturdy construction and has a good plain look about it, IMO. It is a great guitar for the money and perhaps a little underpriced considering the quality of workmanship and materials. One thing I did notice is that it is more sensitive to changes in humidity than any other guitar I have owned so you might keep that in mind if you expect to be exposing it to climate changes - especially higher humidity. It doesn't like that.

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Hi,

I owned a Norman and it was beautiful sounding. Paid 275 for it used, sanded the bridge lower and it was easy to play. I gave it to my niece when I got a couple of Larrivee's, she loves it.

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Got Norman B20 - just over a year old - solid cedar top I think?? Liked it in the shop, then went off it for a couple of months. Now back with it with a vengence. the sound just gets better. I think I could do with changing the bridge and the nut (I'm happy with the tuners) as bridge showed sign of wear almost immediatley I bought it. Otherwise wouldn't change it for the world (well almost)

 

Phil

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I have also a Norman B-20 12 string-nice,well made and for the price and decent sounding....

some history:the original "Norman" was a small Quebec company run by Norman Boucher and the Norman marque was incorporated by the Godin(LaSiDo) company in the late 1970s....Boucher guitars are now made by the Norman Boucher family.

I had an older Norman in the early 80s....it was a heavy guitar and ended up with a warped neck....

The current Norman line I think is nicer looking than the Seagulls and sound superior...(my opinion)

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Norman are not made by Godin, or any other manufacturer for that matter, where do you get your information?

 

The Norman B20 has Cherry back and sides with a 3 piece spruce top, available in Laquered or Natural finish. You can tell the year of manufacture by the soundhole inlay work.

 

There is a community of Luthiers in Princeville and La Patrie, Quebec who manufacture some of the greatest guitars in the world, they export under various different brands, as mentioned above - Norman, Art&Lutherie, Simon&Patrick etc

 

They are very good, very loud guitars, though I always found the neck on my B20 to be a little thin, and the bass response to be very poor, there are some soundclips I've posted before on the MP3 thread above.

 

I would reccommend these guitars, but try all of the guitars the shop has before buying, quality and tone vary.

 

They have recently started promoting 12 strung units quite heavily under the Simon&Patrick brand.

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"Norman are not made by Godin, or any other manufacturer for that matter..."

 

OK so they appear via spontaneous generation maybe? :confused:

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Originally posted by fingerstyleman

Norman are not made by Godin, or any other manufacturer for that matter, where do you get your information?


....

 

Godin Guitar Company! :p

 

But I'll digress...

Besides its "cheesey" name, I prefer the Norman brand over the other brands Godin guitars markets...

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Originally posted by franchelB



Godin Guitar Company!
:p

But I'll digress...

Besides its "cheesey" name, I prefer the Norman brand over the other brands Godin guitars markets...

 

They put their brand on the output of a community of local luthiers, a smaller scale version of the production chain Epiphone used to have with Sammick, or Tanglewood wwith the Cort facility, who now of course market under their own name.

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I have owned a few Normans in the good old days: B-20 12 strings,a B-30, a B-50 and a B-68 (they don't make those anymore) from the sixties. At the time in the province of Quebec, Normans were the cool thing to own because all the Quebec artists were using them. It was almost a "patriotic" thing to do. They have changed over the years. The b20 was then all plywood including the top and had no binding at all. They have always been good value for the money.

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I have acquired a mid 70's(I think) Norman E.S.

I was wondering if anyone knew how to actually date the guitar.

 

There's a red label inside with a large white maple leaf serial #2669 and model E.S.

it needs new tuners and I'd like to replace them with original brand...

any help would be appreciated..

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I think the best thing about them is their "recorded" sound. It's really good.

 

In your price range, I'd also look for a used B50 (laminated maple b/s, if I'm not mistaken) to try.

 

Really "pushing your budget", you might be able to find an ST-68, which is their top-of-the-line model. Solid top & back, laminated sides.

 

The only thing "negative" that I've noticed with some of the Normans is a little "hump" where the neck meets the body (15-fret-ish).

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They put their brand on the output of a community of local luthiers, a smaller scale version of the production chain Epiphone used to have with Sammick, or Tanglewood wwith the Cort facility, who now of course market under their own name.

 

I don't understand. It sounds like you're saying that a group of local luthiers (not Godin employees) make these guitars, put the Norman name on them and sell them to Godin. Do these guitars bear other names on occassion? Or, are these luthiers under exclusive contract to supply only Godin with only Norman guitars?

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I am looking at buying a good solid top guitar in the $300 to

$400 dollar range. I recently tried a Norman B20 HG and

really liked the sound. It has vintage Grover tuners, has been set

up to lower the action, and the saddle (taylor) and bridge pins (bone) have been replaced. It is used (about 5 years old) and has been taken really good care of. Does anyone have anything bad to say about Norman guitars?

One quick comment: I think you mean a "TUSQ" saddle. I have no idea what a "Taylor" saddle is unless you're saying someone took the saddle out of a Taylor and put it in the Norman.

 

Anyway, a while back a newer member up in Toronto, Canada (well, it's up from here, anyway, LOL) had found a Norman B20 for CDN$300 on his local Craigslist. He posted asking if it was a good deal. For whatever reason, folks kept trying to talk him into a Seagull. I was the only one who told him to go for the Norman. :confused: I'll give you the same advice.

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Norman are not made by Godin, or any other manufacturer for that matter, where do you get your information?


The Norman B20 has Cherry back and sides with a 3 piece spruce top, available in Laquered or Natural finish. You can tell the year of manufacture by the soundhole inlay work.


There is a community of Luthiers in Princeville and La Patrie, Quebec who manufacture some of the greatest guitars in the world, they export under various different brands, as mentioned above - Norman, Art&Lutherie, Simon&Patrick etc


They are very good, very loud guitars, though I always found the neck on my B20 to be a little thin, and the bass response to be very poor, there are some soundclips I've posted before on the MP3 thread above.


I would reccommend these guitars, but try all of the guitars the shop has before buying, quality and tone vary.


They have recently started promoting 12 strung units quite heavily under the Simon&Patrick brand.

 

Godin owns Norman, Seagull, Simon & Patrick, La Patrie, Richmond, Art & Lutherie.

 

Norman Boucher started the company Norman years before Godin bought it.

 

You can now buy guitars made by Norman Boucher's son. Boucher guitars (High quality guitars) http://www.guitareboucher.com/content/view/14/35/lang,en/

 

Godin bought several of the smaller luthiers in Quebec, Canada it's true, but they now own all those products and look at the specs, they all are very similar for models of the same prices with a few differences (neck).

 

So, if you buy a Norman, it's a Norman but it is owned by Godin and the quality of a 400$ Norman is the same as the quality of a 400$ Seagull. The neck is different from a Seagull or a Simon & Patrick. The look is a bit different too.

 

Epiphone is owned by Gibson but an Epiphone LP is a cheaper version of a Gibson LP. It's not the same pattern for Norman and Seagull. It's not the same pattern either as Cort or Samick building guitars for other companies (PRS, Fender, Ibanez... name it) and putting other company's name on the headstock.

 

******************************

 

To the OP: The B20 High Gloss (or Gloss) is a very good guitar. If you like it, get it!

 

By the way, I live in Canada, in the province of Quebec... where Godin is based! ;)

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I owned a Norman model B 30 serial number 101 I bought it used and I’ve had it over 40 years   It plays beautifully

I can’t seem to find any information on this model

Most everything that I see refers to the B 20 model   does anybody know the differences between the two?

it would also be nice to have an idea of how old it is

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why don't you email Godin and ask? My B-30 was either '77 or early '78. It may be as old as 76. I traded an Akai tapedeck for it in autumn, '79.

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IIRC*: It will be all solid wood, handmade in Canada -- guessing mid to late seventies. I think the Norman factory burned down in 1980, was rebuilt, but Normand lost control to bean-counters in 1986, quality suffered in a quest for cheaper production, and Godin bought the name/factory in 1988/89. The B30 had/has been dropped from the line up. The founder of Norman (Normand Boucher) has a son (Claude) building some serious acoustics. Spendy, but a top quality guitar imo. Robert Godin worked (distribution) with Normand after meeting on a hunting trip around 1970. 

The first Norman was built in 1967, and last I heard was still owned by the Boucher family. 

Godin (I've only heard) is reported to have very helpful customer service -- so as Glenn F suggests - 1-514-457-7977 (have your serial # handy, and 7 digits (or less) will likely perk them up. A B prefix means likely an eighties guitar as I understand)

If all else fails, Boucher Guitar's customer service might be a good place for info. https://boucherguitars.com/about-us/

(looked around a little too - but a lot is in French)

(so they're pretty killer in the right hands)

The bolt on necks were a pet project for Normand, and were to make the the guitar more easily adjustable -- not as a cost cutting effort. (body looks like cherry maybe)

All the best, and Season's Greetings!

Edited by Blind Dog
I'm old & feeble minded?

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Top was solid cedar, back and sides the usual laminated cherry. I miss mine. Funny enough, I commented on that video years ago.

Edited by Glenn F

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