Review: Riversong G2 Special Edition

Traditionalists might want to move on, but if you’re more adventurous or searching for an acoustic that looks and plays more like an electric, read on.
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Riversong G2 Special Edition

Riversong G2 Special Edition

The Riversong G2 Special Edition’s dazzling looks and unique design command attention. Traditionalists might want to move on, but if you’re more adventurous or searching for an acoustic that looks and plays more like an electric, read on.

The Ice Blue finish on the G2’s flamemaple top is stunning. It’s basically a burst that gradates from dark to light blue down the body’s length, with a clear pickguard that allows every bit of blue to shine through. Other aesthetic points of interest include an assymetrical headstock shape and wooden maple-leaf fretboard inlays honoring Riversong’s Canadian heritage.

Unique build elements abound. They include a completely adjustable one-piece neck that runs to the 24th fret and continues through the entire body, as well as skeletal bracing, an additional topside soundhole and a “double reaction” bridge. The G2’s Necknology technology lets you adjust the action by loosening the back-strap strut button and turning a screw located on the lower back of the guitar, which in turn actually raises or lowers the entire body angle of the neck. A gauge by the strap button functions as an action barometer. I preferred it set right at zero. The neck is not glued in at the 14th fret where it meets the body, and intonation automatically conforms as the neck moves about in its pocket, allowing for adjustments to string height at the back end. The bridge isn’t glued in either but rather relies on string tension to keep it in place. That allows Riversong to custom-fit each bridge to each top during the final stage of the build.

The G2 Special Edition plays more like an electric than any other full-sized acoustic I’ve ever encountered. The neck has a super-low profile, meaning it’s quite thin and on the narrow end of the spectrum at the nut. Making barre chords is an absolute cinch, and linear licks flow like water under the fingers. The continuous neck design mitigates the need for much of a heel, which in turn facilitates upper-fret accessibility, and since the neck isn’t forced to adhere to the body, there’s no 14th fret hump as you move into the upper reaches. The whole system is truly ingenious. Although I was bothered by a bit of buzz from the neck resonating against the pocket when I’d hit an open A string, Riversong says this is due to changes in humidity, and there is an adjustment to tighten the neck pocket that should eliminate the issue. I’m also concerned that such a low-profile design may lead to hand-health issues over time for players accustomed to thicker acoustic necks.

While one might expect an ultra-modern, edgy tone from such a forward-minded design, the G2 actually sounds quite warm, mellow and somewhat soft, especially when fingerpicked. Riversong includes a sample of its wooden picks, which deliver a powerful, edgy attack, and the combination sounds practically traditional, in a folk-rock way. The tone is focused in the middle range, without excessive boom in the bottom or too much treble on top. The G2’s onboard Fishman Flex M pickup and preamp system is simple and stealthy, with two small knobs to control volume and tone, and does a fine job.

The Riversong G2 Special Edition in Ice Blue is an intriguing option from the Great White North. It appeals to the unconventional and is ideal for acoustic-rock applications. Its body feels strong, yet the guitar has a graceful quality that’s entirely suitable for vocal accompaniment. I dig the depths Riversong have gone to deliver such a radical instrument, and the G2 Special Edition is merely one of many available from this progressive Canadian manufacturer.

SPECIFICATIONS

Special Edition G2 Flame Top Ice Blue

CONTACT riversongguitars.com
PRICE $2,720 direct

NUT WIDTH 1 5/8”, Graph Tech Tusq
NECK Walnut
FRETBOARD Walnut, 25.5” scale
FRETS 22
TUNERS Graph Tech Ratio Tuned Machine Heads
BODY Walnut back and sides, flame-maple top (Humidguard Touring Top)
BRIDGE Walnut
ELECTRONICS Fishman Flex M
FACTORY STRINGS D’Addario EXP16 .012–.053
WEIGHT 5 lbs
BUILT Canada

KUDOS Ingenious design, stunning looks and yogi-like flexibility
CONCERNS Relatively quiet for its size. Low-profile neck could be ergonomic concern over the long term

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