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La Patrie Etude Electric Classical Guitars

la patrie guitars

Did you know that the famous Chet Atkins once used a La Patrie Etude in one of his performances? This is something I discovered when I was borrowing an Etude for the first time from a friend.

This guitar’s tone, however, immediately made it clear to me why Chet Atkin chose it. The sound was rich and creamy, which made me think of this guitar even more. In this article, I’ll gloss over some of the important features of the Etude while adding some personal remarks of my own.

Check out our list of best classical guitars under $700.

Image by Godin Guitars

Made InCanada
Model Etude
Body Canadian Wild Cherry
TopSolid Cedar
Neck Mahogany
Scale 25.66 inches (651.76 mm)
Nut Width 2.08 inches (52.83 mm)
Weight8.00 lbs (3.63 kg)
Fretboard Rosewood
Frets19
BracingFan Bracing
ElectronicsQ1T Cutaway Pickup
BridgeRosewood
InlaysSide Dot 
Truss RodDual Action
CaseAvailable
DesignClassic Acoustic, Hollow Body

La Patrie Etude is a model of classical guitar that has become known for its high quality and low price. This guitar was made by skilled luthiers at La Patrie, a Canadian company that is known for making high-quality acoustic guitars. The guitar’s solid cedar top provides a warm and rich tone, while the laminated wild cherry back and sides give it a distinctive character and projection.

Image by Godin Guitars

La Patrie Etude Fingerboard

The fretboard of the La Patrie Etude is made of Rosewood, which is a dense and heavy hardwood commonly used in guitar making due to its durability and ability to sustain notes well.

The fretboard is attached to the guitar’s neck with a dovetail joint, which makes the connection between the two parts strong and stable.

The La Patrie Etude has a standard scale length of 25.5 inches, which is the distance from the nut to the bridge. The fretboard is 12 inches in radius and has a nut width of 2 inches. 

Image by Godin Guitars

The frets on the La Patrie Etude are made of nickel silver, which is a mixture of copper, nickel, and zinc. The frets are precision-cut and installed into the fretboard with a technique known as press-fitting, which involves pressing the frets into slots in the fretboard. After the frets have been dressed and leveled, the instrument is ready to play with perfect intonation.

Piezo Pickup

This acoustic-electric guitar uses a passive, under-saddle piezo pickup system known as the Godin Q1T pickup. 

The piezo element of this pickup system is located underneath the guitar’s saddle. The vibrations from the guitar strings are sent to the guitar body by this saddle.

Know more about classical guitar pickup

Image by Godin Guitars

The Godin Q1T pickup comes with a built-in preamp that lets you change the tone and adjust the volume. The preamp has a volume slider and a 3-band EQ with controls for bass, midrange, and treble. A 9-volt battery in a compartment on the side of the guitar powers the preamp.

The pickup includes a tuner that can be accessed through the preamp. You turn on the tuner by pressing a button, and a tiny LED screen shows you the note you’re playing. The tuner allows for precise and speedy guitar tuning, even in chaotic settings.

Bridge

The La Patrie Etude has a bridge made of rosewood. The bridge is carved from a single piece of rosewood and finished to a smooth, precise fit on the guitar’s soundboard, following a time-honored tradition.

Each string has its own saddle slot on the bridge. These slots are slightly angled to account for the different thicknesses of the strings and make sure that the tuning is right all over the fretboard.

To prevent the strings from coming loose and to facilitate string changes, they are secured to the bridge by knotting them or using the traditional “tie-block” method. 

In addition to the bridge, the La Patrie Etude has a saddle, which is a small piece of bone or synthetic material that rests on top of the bridge. It connects the strings and serves as a center point. By adjusting the saddle’s height and placement, the guitar’s intonation and note accuracy can be adjusted for the entire fretboard.

Pressure Tested Top (wood)

The classical La Patrie Etude guitar features a solid cedar top. The top is about 2–3 mm thick. Using a combination of spruce and cedar struts, the top of the guitar is braced to distribute string tension evenly. Cedar’s high resonance allows it to be used to make a loud noise with little exertion.

The laminated wild cherry wood body is distinctive to the La Patrie Etude. To prevent warping and splitting, the laminated wild cherry wood is constructed from layers of cherry wood veneer sandwiched between thin layers of adhesive.

Bracing

The La Patrie Etude is supported by “fan bracing.” The braces have a fan-like arrangement. The braces radiate outwards from the soundhole’s base and extend to the guitar’s top edges.

In the La Patrie Etude, the fan braces are made of spruce and scalloped to reduce the bracing’s weight while maintaining its strength and rigidity. To support the top and still let it vibrate freely, bracing is glued to the inside of the guitar’s top.

What Makes La Patrie Etude Guitars Special?

The neck of the La Patrie Etude Guitars makes them special because it’s all about comfort and quality. It’s designed for smooth and easy playing, making it a great choice for both new and experienced guitarists. 

The craftsmanship is top-notch, ensuring it’s durable and stable. Plus, it adds to the guitar’s elegant classical look, making it not just a great-sounding instrument but also a beauty to behold. 

Custom Polished Finish

The La Patrie Etude from Godin Guitars is popular for its custom finish, which is a thin, lightweight finish that allows the wood to vibrate freely and produce a rich, resonant sound.

The Etude’s custom finish is inspired by the French polish of the 19th century. It is applied in a series of thin coats, and each coat is rubbed out by hand until the finish is smooth and even. The result is a finish that is both protective and beautiful.

The Etude’s custom finish is much lighter, which allows the top to vibrate more freely. This results in a richer, more resonant sound. Also, the custom finish allows the wood to age naturally, which means that the guitar will sound better and better over time.

Image by Godin Guitars

Conclusion

If you’ve read this far, I’ll tell you this: the La Patrie Etude has genuinely blown me away. The price of this guitar is great. The skill and care that went into making each instrument are clear, so it’s no surprise that the La Patrie Etude has become such a popular choice. I imagine that deep in the Canadian snow, La Patrie keeps a castle full of incredible guitars.

For me, that’s how the Etude Q1 came to be. Despite many cheaper options being available, once you choose this guitar, you can’t go back to something else. It’s not expensive, but rather surprisingly affordable, making you feel lucky to have found this hidden treasure.

Pros and Cons of La Patrie Etude

Pros

Craftsmanship: The La Patrie Etude is known for its exceptional craftsmanship. he La Patrie Etude has a bright, clear sound that is perfect for fingerpicking and other solo playing styles.

Sound Quality: The Etude produces a rich, warm, and balanced tone, which is highly regarded among classical guitar enthusiasts. The combination of high-quality tonewoods and skilled craftsmanship contributes to its impressive sound.

Affordability: La Patrie offers excellent value for the price. The Etude provides the quality and performance of more expensive classical guitars at a relatively affordable price point, making it accessible to a wide range of players.

Cons

Sensitive to humidity: The Etude’s wood top is sensitive to humidity, so it’s important to keep the guitar humidified to prevent cracking.

FAQs of La Patrie Etude from Godin Guitars

Sharif Leen
Latest posts by Sharif Leen (see all)

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