“The Summit CT Convertible is designed to deliver vintage vibe with the playability you’d expect from a modern guitar,” says Godin’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Mario Biferali. “It’s the best of both worlds, like a classic muscle car that drives like a Ferrari.”
Godin introduced the original Summit CT in 2008, did a major overhaul including a new body shape and a set neck for the Summit Classic CT in 2015, and then only produced a couple hundred of those before slightly refining the shape in 2016 to retain more of what Godin calls its own identity.
The CT stands for “carved top,” which in this case is maple with a high-gloss gold finish that looks very classy. The Summit Classic CT sets itself apart from classic single-cutaway solids in several ways, including a chambered body, Godin’s proprietary High-Definition Revoicer, and, in the case of this Convertible model, a pair of Duncan triple threat P-Rail pickups. Each P-Rail can be a single-coil rail, a P-90 single-coil, or both combined for humbucker thickness. (It’s also available with a pair of Seymour Duncan humbuckers or P-90s.)
I set the CT Convertible outside in the California sunshine to search for blemishes, but its beautiful body only looked and felt more impressive upon close inspection. Removing the back plates revealed flawless wiring, all tight and tucked in place perfectly. With no jagged edges anywhere, it was all smooth and sexy. The chambered body is lightweight and über-resonant. Low strings sounded super snappy, and the top end truly popped, inviting me to play slap-style licks.
“There are five little domed chambers around the perimeter of the body’s top half,” explains Biferali. “We tap-tune each chamber to a different note, similar to the way an acoustic guitar manufacturer would tune a top to match the body. It helps ensure an even sound across the neck, so there’s no dead notes.”
Plugged into a Rivera Sedona Lite 25-watt 1x10 combo, the Summit had more of an open woodiness rather than the tight projection of a fully solid body. That changed dramatically with a push of the High-Definition Revoicer button (or H.D.R.), which took the pickups from passive to active. The guitar became more of a fire-breathing dragon with lots of punch and bite. Those funky slap licks were suddenly alive! According to Biferali, the original Summit CT was the first Godin to feature the H.D.R, and it’s been standard equipment ever since.
Between the H.D.R. option and the natural versatility of the P-Rails, the tonal combinations seemed virtually limitless. In passive mode, the P-Rails were on the softer, unobtrusive side of the sonic equation. In active mode, they were much bolder, but not excessively so. When I was dialing in the Summit at soundcheck for an Allman Brothers tribute gig with less-thanideal stage monitors, some of the fellas were having trouble hearing enough articulation until I hit that H.D.R button. “Yeah, whatever you just did is good,” they said.
Playing through a Rivera Knucklehead and open-back 2x12, I settled on P-90 mode for clarity’s sake with the neck pickup, and humbucker mode for thickness and attack most of the time on the bridge pickup. Together they formed an awesome combination. The H.D.R. came in handy for particularly important rhythm cues and bumping lead tones over the top of the band. During long jam sections, I’d back off into passive mode to leave the other players more space.
The Summit’s tonal options were endlessly interesting and useful for playing Dickey Betts’ parts in an ensemble with ample opportunities to rise and fall dynamically. It was an optimal test for Godin’s Summit Classic CT Convertible, and the instrument passed with flying colors both in terms of fluid playability and unparalleled sonic versatility that was easy to take advantage of with all the options at one’s fingertips. Bottom line: Players of all stripes should take this Convertible for a drive!
SUMMIT CLASSIC CT CONVERTIBLE
PRICE $1,695 street
NUT WIDTH 1 11/16", GraphTech Tusq saddle
NECK Set mahogany, hybrid C/U shape
FRETBOARD Bound Richlite, 12" radius, 24 3/4" scale, large dot inlays
FRETS 22 medium-jumbo nickel/silver
TUNERS Godin custom nickel-plated w/26:1 ratio
BODY Chambered Spanish cedar w/carved maple top
BRIDGE GraphTech Resomax Tune-omatic
PICKUPS Two Seymour Duncan P-Rails
CONTROLS Volume, Tone, 3-way switch plus two 3-way mini switches for pickup selection (P-90/humbucker/single-coil rail), Godin High-Definition Revoicer button
FACTORY STRINGS D’Addario EXL110 Nickel Wound, .010-.046
WEIGHT 7 lbs
KUDOS Extremely versatile. Very resonant. Fine playability.