I have been playing for 27 years. I did the coffee house circuit while in college. I have owned a Gibson dreadnought, a 23 year old Guild Mahogany D-4NT and played numerous models by such noted luthiers at Bourgeois, Breedlove, Collings, Flammang, Froggy Bottom, Goodall, Huss & Dalton, Kinscherff, Lowden, Martin, Olson, Santa Cruz, Taylor, Webber, Wingert. This Goodall has a singularly expressive, complex voice. Pianistic is a word often used.
My favorite aspect is Tone: This guitar is inspiring in its responsive, open, lush sound. Every detail in finish and design is subtle yet rich. It just has a sound that inspires me.
The worst aspect: I wish I had done more research into the sensitiveness of these exotic hand made guitars. They take quite a bit more care and I have purchased a hygrometer to maintain the humidity levels in my house.
Where Obtained: Music and More, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
1995 James Goodall Koa Standard. Hand made in Hawaii. Flamed Koa back and sides, Spruce top, Mahogany neck, curly Maple binding, heel and back stripe, Ebony fretboard, bridge, tuner buttons, truss rod cover and headstock veneer, Abalone rosette and abalone/brass bridge pins. Bone nut and saddle. Clear pickguard. An undulating cinnamon stripe in the honey Koa sides skirts the entire guitar. Beautifully matched wood. This is Goodall's unique version of a dreadnought with very rounded upper and lower bouts. Bigger than a dreadnought. Wide neck and flat fretboard, reminiscent of a classical neck. No electronics.
This is a four year old demo. Not a scratch on it. I have just purchased it with the warranty to me intact. After some visits to the dealer's tech, we have it set up where I can get deep resonant heavy handed bass as well as very responsive flat picking action. The neck profile is a shallow C, which opens my hand to the fretboard, making stretches more accessible. I prefer its neck profile to that of the V Martin neck. This guitar is perfectly matched in all its details. The Koa back and sides shimmer with flame. The interior is spotless.
Absolutley fits my desire for a big, rich, complex and free rolling sound. This guitar just breathes out notes. The bass is full and clear. The mid-range is strong. The treble rings. Long sustain. I had been looking at a number of guitars, especially Lowdens, and I still love those guitars, but when I pulled this Goodall down, its sound sold me. So big. Resonant. I can play pounding delta blues bass lines, fast and clear blue grass flat picking leads and rich jazz chords. I can do and hear more and thus must grow as a musician to realize the instrument's potential.
The Goodall philosophy, if I may paraphrase, is, build it strong where it needs to be. Bolt on neck. The back braces are full sized beams. The soundboard is graduated around its perimeter, Benade's "hinge", which ads a richness, a depth, a freedom to its sound. This guitar is meant to be played, and I play it hard, but it is so exquisite I wouldn't take it to an open mike night. It is just too beautiful.