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Schultzie

Difference Between a Simon & Patrick, Norman and a Seagull?

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In the Godin family of guitars, I believe the Art & Lutherie is generally known as the entry level brand. My question is, are one of the Seagull, Norman and Simon & Patrick better than the others (quality wise, sound wise, etc.)? Or are they all pretty much the same? If not, in what order would you rank them?

 

The only question I asks is because I found guitars that I like from all three brands, so I'm just wondering which makes the best quality guitar.

 

Thanks!

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They are all made in the same factories. Most in La Patrie, Quebec.

 

I don't think that there are too many differences. But I am interested to hear if there are.

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I think the Seagulls tend to have wider fretboards. I've owned 3 Normans (though not anymore) and one Seagull (an S12, which I got last year). I think I preferred my old Norman B20-12 over the S12, and I definitely would put a 1977 Norman B-30 over any entry level Seagull or S&P. I did have a B20-C, which I sold when I got my Taylor. I now regret that. So, I would say, that all things being equal, I preferred the Normans. It is a shame that they don't seem to be distributed here in Germany.

 

Cheers,

 

Glenn

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I have pretty limited experience. I have a Seagull C-12 and a Art & Luther that I got free because someone had mistaken it for a stepping stool. I took (what was left of) the top off and rebuilt it. I was amazed at how shoddy the insides were. The bracing looked like scrap pieces of wood glued together. Nothing sanded or even shaped... just rough cut and glued together. So that is apparently how they are able to produce them so cheap and still have a good playing and sounding instrument. I'm not sure if the Seagulls look that bad inside.

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Well... my Art & Lutherie has very nice construction bracing... some of the nicest I've seen; clean, well shaped, nicely fit, and no excess glue.

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Well... my Art & Lutherie has very nice construction bracing... some of the nicest I've seen; clean, well shaped, nicely fit, and no excess glue.

 

Mine too.... after I rebuilt it.

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My impression has been that Simon & Patrick, Seagull, and Norman are fairly interchangeble. Seagull and S&P have more "better" offerings than does Norman, though all of their guitars are bang up in my book.

 

Most of the Seagulls have a 1.8" nut width, with a couple of 1.72" offerings. All A&L's, Normans, and S&P's (except the classical gits) have a 1.72" nut width.

 

Most Normans are spruce top; most Seagulls and S&P's (I think) have cedar tops.

 

I have a Norman ST68 dread (solid spruce top and solid rosewood back) and it is a sweet sounding and playing guitar. I also have an S&P Songsmith Folk with a solid spruce top and laminate cherry back & sides. It's also a very good guitar. I like its more comfortable size and it has a good, full sound; not tinny at all. Still, the Norman ST68 sounds sweeter still, with the larger dread body and solid back instead of laminate.

 

All Godin family guitars are good. A lot depends upon one's preference in playability and sound.

 

Bill

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Honestly, I've never played or even seen a Norman but the difference between the Seagull and the S&P tends to be the difference between "out there" and "traditional." The Seagull has that bizarre headstock, which is based on solid engineering principles (although I really think a cedar top on a 12-string is a huge mistake), whereas the S&P is much more "it's good enough for Martin." I'm not real sure what the philosophy is regarding the different neck widths. I do know that I wish they had been making Seagulls back in the mid 1970's when I was looking for a wider-necked guitar and ended up buying a 12-string.

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Well aside from the obvious Seagull headstock and nut width, they are pretty much the same quality and build when you look at the upper lines. The Art & Lutherie is an intro line so they dont make any premiere guitars.

 

The entry level guitars... A&L, Norman,S&P,Seagull

All come with a solid top (Cedar or Spruce), Silver leaf maple neck, red wild cherry 3 lami sides & back, rosewood fingerboards and bridges, Tusq nuts and fully compensated saddles by Graphtech.

 

One step up...

Some come with a mahog 3 lami back and sides. Some have gloss tops and even a few of the seagulls have a mahogany neck.

I believe that The Norman B50 and the Seagull anniversary has 3 lami Flame maple back and sides. The lami is the only reason why they would be held back from the next category.

 

Best of the best primere acoustics...

All have a mahog neck, rosewood fingerboards and bridges, Tusq nuts and fully compensated saddles by Graphtech. Solid back and sides come into play here. Mahog, Rosewood and Flame Maple are your choices and high gloss is standard. Upgraded electronics make their way into the top of the line offerings and upgraded tuners featuring gold hardware and cream buttons. Ablone brand names and saddle pin dots make an apperance, and a TRIC case is thrown in for good measure.

 

Norman offers only 2 guitars, the ST68 (cutaway or non) with the rosewood b&s

S&P offers 6 Showcase models with variations of all the solid b&s mentioned and cutaways. A Rosewood folk is offered at this level as well.

Seagull has 7 Artist models with variations of all the solid b&s mentioned and cutaways. 2 of these come with a solid cedar top as well.

 

The primere guitars are said to be made in a seperate shop by a handful of luthiers and they reserve the best quality tops for these models.

The only other difference that I can see is that the S&P's have maple bindings and the Norman and Seagulls have cream bindings. But thats a matter of taste.

 

Lastly...

The seagulls are much more well known and are the best seller of the pack, which is why they are the most available. They went "out there" with the nut width and the headstock and it really caught on with some people.

I have played all of the lines and most of the models offered so I can say that you do know it's a Godin your playing by the build and tone, but there are variations. They are well put together guitars, you just have to try them all and see whats right for you.

 

I hope this helps you out in understanding more about what Godin is putting out there, but when you look at them as a whole... All solid top canadian made guitars with resonable prices... You can't go wrong.

 

N.B. Don't foget that The Godin family includes the classical line La Patrie.

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One slight addition to Endymion's post: A&L offers a laminated top dread and folk, but all its others are solid cedar or spruce. The lam top is a good choice if you want the proverbial beater and will be playing in all sorts of conditions where you'd rather not have to deal with a solid top.

 

Bill

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Norman once led the pack, imo. I regret selling my B-20C. My B-30 basically disintegrated after 20 years of abuse, but it was way better than any Seagull I've ever played. My B-20 12 was very good, but probably needed a proper set up. My S12 is great, but its tone is a bit nasal. As with any model, you need to play various intra-model units, find the best one, and then compare that against another best selection of that given model. It is a bit of homework, but if you get a good Norman, Seagull or S&P, you will be very pleased.

 

Cheers,

 

Glenn

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One slight addition to Endymion's post: A&L offers a laminated top dread and folk, but all its others are solid cedar or spruce. The lam top is a good choice if you want the proverbial beater and will be playing in all sorts of conditions where you'd rather not have to deal with a solid top.


Bill

 

Good catch Broadus. I now remember playing one of these Almond dreads in my local music store.

 

I stand corrected. Cheers!

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This is one of my dream guitars

 

562497.jpg

 

This Seagull Artist Series Studio Guitar is an acoustic-electric dreadnought graced with LR Baggs i-Beam electronics. Features a gorgeous high-gloss custom polished burst finish on both the body and the bound headstock. Like all Artist series guitars, Studio Bursts are proudly and meticulously crafted in Canada. These guitars are artfully created in a secluded acoustic studio, where some of the finest luthiers in the business are able put their care and time into bringing them to life. The on-board LR Baggs i-Beam electronics let you sound your best on any stage!

 

Sound and feel are where the Artist Series guitars really distinguish themselves. The clear bottom end response arrives with plenty of punch and provides a suitable foundation to the harmonically rich sound that sits on top.

 

These guitars will look familiar to Seagull enthusiasts, the straight-pull headstock remains

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This is one of my dream guitars


562497.jpg



One of my favorite guitars of all time. I highly recommend any artist series gutiar.

 

Looking at your post really got me thinking...

 

Its about time that I owned a burst guitar since I've never had one. Have been thinking about it for awhile now. I don't have a 12 string in my arsenal and I thought the Artist series Studio Burst came in a 12 string and it does!

 

Looking at the website picture, the Seagull headstock is more presentable by enlarging it for the 12. I was never a big fan of the headstock as I have said in a few other Godin related threads. The 12 would also make the wider nut width welcome as well.

 

All in all I think I might be gassing here. I gotta stay away from this board and music stores in general. :eek:

 

552482.jpg

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Over the last 10 years I’ve owned and sold about 25 Godin guitars.  

Initially I had an older wide nut seagull but soon realized I preferred the newer ones with the 1.72 nut width.   I’ve owned the regular cedar top, the mahogany back and sided model, and a couple of acoustic electric seagulls, and a 12 string.   Each and every one sounded good but the odd one sounded better.. Clearer, fuller and more open toned   

My wife had some shoulder issues so I tried a few smaller folk size for her from the Godin S&P and A&L lines and soon found myself picking these up more often than my other full size.   While there is generally a trade off in volume and bass, to my mind it’s a small difference as the folk size is just more comfortable to play especially if you're doing a few hours at a time.  

I started watching for them on the used/trade sites and bought cedar tops and spruce tops and songsmiths and entourages and any folk sized I found.   I’d keep one for a few months til I’d find another then compare and keep or trade it on.  In this manner I ended with 4 folk sized Godin guitars. The ones I kept all have that open tone quality to them. (Curiously I have 2 A&L folk that are the same shape but one is a half inch narrower than the other.  It’s my all time favourite.   Don’t know why this one sings a bit better, but it does.) My most recent acquisition is the newer A&L legacy in a chocolate rustic colour. Tried it at the shop and fell in love with it.   Narrow with a classic concert shape and that new rustic styling with the on board elecs, it’s a sweet little guitar. I cant say it’s tone is quite as good as the others I’ve kept but it’s there, and I’m sure will open up with play.  

I tried a few in the shop and while all were similar, a couple did sound superior.  

Ive also played any of other’s Godin products I meet and I have to say some are just a bit better than others.  Apart from the folk sized I’ve collated the standouts I’ve found include a friend’s cedar top seagull with a coated top, another friends outstanding classical nylon La Patrie, and a folk sized seagull entourage.  

With all these Godin products you can get either the classic natural looks or the modern burst and rustic finishes.   

Ive rambled a bit but I love these well made yet affordable guitars and it’s been a great exploration finding my keepers.   

I should mention that I own And have owned numerous other brands and kept a few but my Godin folks are my go to players now. 

It’s also worth a look at the Godin factory tour that’s easily found on YouTube.   It will show how they’re made and perhaps explain why all lines are similar and perhaps point out that the woods used are more key than the actual layups that are more uniform from brand to brand. 

Cheers

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The 1977 Norman B-30 that I had pre-dated Godin's takeover, iirc. It was a superior guitar to any LaSiDo models that I've tried. The neck was interesting. It could rock up and down a bit, in case it ever needed a shim. Sadly, it was in bad shape when I moved to Europe, so I left it behind. Ironically, I met the luthier who's done all the work on my guitars a couple of years later. He could've restored it. Would've cost more than the guitar itself, but that guitar was the only thing that kept me from starving when I was homeless, so it had sentimental value. Oh well.

Edited by Glenn F

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I'd play the heck out of one of these buskin on the streets.

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Edited by Mikeo

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