GODIN’S INTRODUCTION OF THE
Multiac Grand Concert Duet Ambiance gives nylon-string players an instrument with an electronics package that now features
Fishman Aura Imaging technology.This system replicates the actual sound of a Duet Ambiance guitar being
miked by a selection of different high-end condenser microphones.Just click the Duet’s
selector to one of the four Images and Aura does the rest (more on this later).
Details of the Grand Concert Duet Ambiance include a chambered mahogany body with a solid cedar top and a classical-width bolt-on neck
with a 24"-radius ebony fretboard. The neck has a comfy “C” carve, and its medium thickness coupled with a nearly flat fretboard creates
an ideal configuration for electric players who don’t want to feel hindered when they switch over to nylon string. The neck’s width might be
an initial concern for some, but it’s easy to get into the generous string spacing once you start playing the Duet Ambiance. (Godin also offers
the new Multiac Nylon Duet Ambiance, a non-Grand Concert model with a narrower nut width that’s more comfortable for players not used
to a classical neck width). The contoured, recessed heel and deep cutaway also make it easy to access the full length of the fretboard.
The Duet Ambiance intonates sweetly,and once the strings are fully stretched, the tuning remains stable and true. This is an
enjoyable guitar to play, and whether you’re doing fingerstyle pop tunes, comping jazz chords, or playing single-note lines, it always
delivers the right sounds. There’s a decent amount of acoustic volume on tap, and the chambered body certainly brings a nice sense
of airiness and resonance to the Duet’s amplified tones that you can appreciate when playing it either direct through a P.A. or
through a good acoustic amp.
In the latter case, we paired the Duet Ambiance with the amp that Godin recommends for it: the SR Technology Jam 150
Plus, which is made in Italy and distributed in North America by Godin. With its wood sides, curved metal grille, and top-mounted
controls, the SR looks more like a hi-fi speaker than an acoustic guitar amp. The biamped power stage pumps 120 watts into
an 8” synthetic cone woofer and 30 watts into a small compression tweeter. Though 150 watts total isn’t a ton of power for an
acoustic amp, in this efficient design it’s enough to get the job done.
The Nylon SA sounded sweet and natural though the Jam 150. With the amp’s EQ set flat (i.e. no boost or cut) and the
guitar’s Blend slider in the full Image position (no signal from the under-saddle pickup) you can easily grok the differences
between the four Mic Image settings.These consist of a Danish Pro Audio small diaphragm condenser, a Soundelux E47
large diaphragm condenser, a Schoeps CMC64G small diaphragm condenser, and the same Schopes again at a distance of
16". All settings produced sounds that captured the airiness of a miked guitar, so it was really a matter of personal taste as
to which Image was preferable. The Danish Pro Audio setting sounded best in our test environment, and whether you even
need to adjust the Blend control to add signal from under-saddle pickup, it’s great to have the option of, say, adding in some
snappier piezo sound to make a lead part stand out.
The SR Technology 150 Plus is a great choice for the Duet Ambiance as it doesn’t impart any appreciable coloration and has
the headroom and speaker complement to clearly translate the sounds of the Fishman Aura images. It’s worth noting too, that the
Jam 150’s mixer-style interface provides way more signal routing options than you’ll find on most acoustic amps, making the Jam 150
useable even with a small ensemble in low volume situations.
Other amps we tried with the Duet Ambiance—including a Genz-Benz Shenandoah and a Kendrick Bad Ass Man 4x10
combo—produced similarly good results, which highlights the flexibility of the Grand Concert Duet Ambiance. This guitar’s tonal
attitude is inspiring, and its ability to cut it for everything from classical to jazz to pop makes it a serious choice for anyone who
wants to bring some nylon-string goodness into their life.
CONTACT Godin Guitars, (514) 457-7977;
MULTIAC GRAND CONCERT DUET AMBIANCE
PRICE $1,795 retail/$1,495 street
NECK Mahogany w/25.5"-scale ebony fretboard
NUT WIDTH 2"
TUNERS Open-gear w/pearloid buttons
BODY Mahogany w/solid cedar top
BRIDGE Rosewood w/compensated saddle
PICKUPS Fishman under-saddle
ELECTRONICS Fishman Aura w/four Mic Images
CONTROLS Volume, Treble, Mid, Bass, Blend
WEIGHT 6 lbs
FACTORY STRINGS Godin HTC Hard Tension Classical (.0285,
.0327, .0410, .030, .036. .044)
KUDOS Excellent quality. Plays well. Aura Images
SR TECHNOLOGY JAM 150 PLUS
PRICE $1,499 retail/$999 street
INTERFACE (Channels 1 and 2) 1/4" and XLR inputs; High,
Mid, Low, Effects, and Volume controls, (Channel
3/4) High- and Low-sensitivity 1/4" inputs;
High, Mid, Low, Effects, and Volume controls.
(Channel 5/6) Dual RCA line-in jacks; High,
Low, Volume controls. Dual RCA recording-out
jacks with level control, effects send and
return jacks, XLR master line out, master volume
control, 48-volt phantom power switch.
EXTRAS Alesis DSP effects (three reverbs, one delay)
POWER Bi-amped; 120-watts low frequencies/
30-watts high frequencies
SPEAKERS 8" woofer, high-frequency compression driver
WEIGHT 28 lbs
KUDOS Accurate sound. Multiple channels with lots of
input and output options.