Simon & Patrick Showcase Rosewood Concert Hall
Despite the brand name, the Simon & Patrick Showcase Rosewood Concert Hall is actually of Godin heritage - part of the same stable as Seagull.
Our review acoustic is classified as 'Concert Hall', Godin's take on the classic Martin 000/OM 'medium' body, but slightly squarer at the shoulder and at the bottom than some of this style.
Dimensionally, things are pretty similar to the Martin 000/OM blueprint, albeit trimmer across the lower bouts, very slightly bigger in depth with a similar taper to the sides.
It displays what an increasing number of us appreciate about the OM-style: a sort of halfway house, all-rounder feel that sits between the smaller parlours or 00's and larger dreadnoughts of the acoustic world.
The top is 'pressure-tested' solid spruce and is constructed with a compound curve. This light arching is found on virtually all steel-strings, and Godin's subtly different recipe aims to increase structural integrity, allowing the top to be thinner and more lightly braced.
The bracing itself is Adirondack or red spruce - known for a more 'dynamic' character compared with Sitka spruce - which should result in an impressively lively top. There's an 'Integrated Set Neck' said to work in conjunction with the compound curves of the top to eliminate downward pressure from the fingerboard onto the top.
It simultaneously reduces any tendency the neck may have to twist or warp over the years. Maple dowels have been inserted into the base of the heel of the neck, which Godin believes makes the neck several times stronger.
This Showcase has an understated but undoubted air of the upmarket about it. The rosewood body is bound and purfled in solid woods; there's the always-classy slotted headstock with its open-gear vintage-style tuners; ebony and maple layered veneer facing; and mother-of-pearl inlaid logo.
The finish is a serious high gloss, beautifully emphasising the rosewood's figure. It shares compound curve spruce top and the integrated set neck, but the neck is quite different in profile, more of a shallow 'U'.
The string at the nut is a fairly slim 43.3mm - the masculine half of this writing duo, with his chunky digits, found this more of a problem, but everything sat happily for the feminine half. All the more reason to try before you buy.
Everything about the Simon & Patrick has a refined quality and that certainly applies to its sound. It's rounder, rich and invitingly dynamic. This S&P even keeps a healthy amount of strength in the lower mids and stays punchy when you lean into it with some heavier strumming.
Gentle fingerpicking, especially with nails or fingerpicks, showcases the resonant qualities of that top, too. This guitar is a dream to record: it sounds enormous and placing it in a mix is a breeze, because there's no booming low end.
This model is fitted with a B-Band A6T pickup system with onboard chromatic tuner as standard. It's a sophisticated setup with an under-saddle pickup plus a soundboard sensor and a fader to mix the two.
A three-band EQ sits alongside a feedback-busting notch filter and phase switch. It's a highly versatile, stage-ready system.
All-in-all, this guitar is refreshing and stimulating to play, harking back to some classic early instruments with its lighter North American-style build sensibility
The OM-style Concert Hall bodies certainly have some of the petite 'small body' appeal you get in a parlour guitar, but with a much broader sound. As always, try before you buy, but you won't go far wrong with this instrument.