NAMM 2024: Alex Lifeson unites with Godin to channel and evolve his Hentor Sportcaster with the new signature Limelight guitar – “It was not quite enough for me to just develop a reissue of that very special instrument"

Alex Lifeson Godin
(Image credit: Alex Lifeson Godin)

NAMM 2024Rush guitar fans will already know the legacy of Alex Lifeson's Hector Sportcaster guitar well. As the Canadian prog-rock visionaries prepped to record their 1981 Moving Pictures album, the guitarist needed a new creative tool to craft the parts he was creating for the trio's next musical step.

It came with a highly modded S-type guitar that would be dubbed the Hentor Sportscaster. More Sportcasters would follow and become synonymous with Lifeson's work with Rush during the '80s. Despite tribute builds becoming available to fans, there was never any kind of official signature model. Until now…

In true Rush spirit, the Lerxst Limelight guitar isn't a recreation of the original that he used to record the classic song that inspired its name, it's more a progression. 

Created in partnership between Lifeson's Lerxst brand for signature guitar gear releases and fellow Canadians Godin Guitars. the original Sportcaster's ‘Frankensteined’ body construction is reflected, but idiosyncracies like the mismatched pickup outputs and tuning difficulties caused by its original Floyd Rose have been addressed with Godin luthier and design talent.

"The original Hentor brought together a mix of tone and playability that empowered me to explore sounds and styles of playing that I had never attempted before,” says Lifeson. “Ultimately these things became signature parts of my style. When the idea came to reimagine this guitar it made sense to partner with innovators like Godin who I knew I could trust to utilise the advances in technology and manufacturing skill to create something that could power a new generation of players looking to push their own boundaries.”

 “It was not quite enough for me to just develop a reissue of that very special instrument,” notes Lifeson. “This was an opportunity to showcase 40 years of evolution within that solid platform. Well, Axe and you shall receive!”

Alex Lifeson Godin

(Image credit: Richard Sibbald)

The result has a contoured swamp ash body finished in Cream, maple neck with 12" radius ebony fretboard with medium stainless steel frets. The pickups are in HSS configuration like the original Sportcaster, but unlike the Bill Lawrence models of the original, this time they are by Mojotone; made to Lifeson's specs for enhanced balance across the combinations. 

The locking tuners are 18:1 ratio and buyers have a choice of tremolo; either an Original Floyd Rose or Vega Trem with Graph Tech net. 

Both options are priced at $3,999 USD

Alex Lifeson Godin

Simon Godin with Alex Lifeson at the Godin factory  (Image credit: Richard Sibbald)

“Collaborating with Alex Lifeson, an iconic artist who continually pushes tonal boundaries, is more than an opportunity—it's a testament to our shared pursuit,” says Godin Guitars President and CEO Simon Godin.  

"At the heart of our ethos lies a commitment to musicians driven by passion. Our history is woven with guitars that embody purpose and innovation, such as the Acousticaster, Multiac, and LGX. We're relentless in our pursuit of tone, seeking the extraordinary. Together with Alex, we’ve fused our expertise and passion to craft instruments that transcend expectations. This collaboration represents a union of two relentless forces, aiming not just to build guitars, but to sculpt vessels of inspiration, setting new standards in musical expression."

More info at Godin Guitars

Rob Laing
Guitars Editor, MusicRadar

I'm the Guitars Editor for MusicRadar, handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before MusicRadar I worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including Editor of Total Guitar in the UK. When I'm not rejigging pedalboards I'm usually thinking about rejigging pedalboards.