Godin Richmond Dorchester w/ Bigsby review

Retro curves on a modern electric

  • £849
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Our Verdict

Would we choose this over a Gretsch Electromatic? Well, it plays beautifully, stays in tune and looks amazing. We just might.


  • Excellent blend of retro style and modern comfort and build.


  • Pricey.

Canadian firm Godin's new Richmond range comprises designs with differing degrees of retro stylings, including the model on test here, the Dorchester.

Built in the Great White North to exacting standards of quality, while the look and vibe may be straight from the golden ages of rock 'n' roll, the performance is certainly bang up to date. For anyone who's struggled with a vintage mosrite, where unstable tuning can seriously impair any Johnny Ramone fantasies, this is great news.

"It couldn't be any more retro, mixing classic Mosrite and Gretsch curves with modern construction"

The Dorchester that perfectly sums up what the Richmond range is all about. It couldn't be any more retro, mixing classic Mosrite and Gretsch curves with modern construction. The offset body and angled neck pickup immediately catch your attention, and it positively drips with chrome. In short, it's exceedingly cool.

Made from poplar, it's mostly hollow save for a solid central half-block of silver-leaf maple, which the pickups and hardware are mounted upon. Nothing says vintage like a Bigsby, and the flat-mounted B50 unit is kept stable by a chunky yet practical bridge array enclosing six roller saddles, which dissipate friction and allow the string to remain in pitch as you wobble the vibrato.

Lace Alumitone humbuckers incorporate chromed aluminium frames and ceramic magnets, and the four-way blade switch gives the three pickup selections you'd expect plus one you may not: the bridge and neck together wired in series, rather than in parallel.

Tonally, the setting sounds huge and gives a sparklingly clean amp a boost of low mids. The solo'd bridge pickup is twangy enough to cover surf, country and rockabilly: add a vintage-voiced fuzz pedal to have some real fun.

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