Guitar Review: Faith Mars FRMG All Mahogany DreadnoughtPosted: November 17, 2016
I first learned of the existence of Faith guitars about two or three years ago. I was, naturally, intrigued by the name: I am a priest, and thus I am all for faith. If you go to their website you will find a wide array of acoustic guitars, all designed by owner and master luthier Patrick James Eggle. His guitars have a solid following in the U.K., and the brand has won the award of the U.K’s Best Acoustic Guitar for four consecutive years. Rather impressive. The brand is now available in the United States as a new British Invasion. And just like the lads from Liverpool, the reviewed guitar is FAB!
The model reviewed is an all mahogany slope shoulder dreadnought — the Faith FRMG Mars (all body styles are named after planets, and Mars is the name given to slope shoulder dreadnoughts). I’ve been interested in an all mahogany dread for some time, and have played/tested a few. I recently reviewed the Fender Paramount PM-1 Standard Dreadnought All-Mahogany NE (long name!), and compared it to a Taylor 326ce, but wasn’t satisfied with it — it lacked the sustain of the Taylor. So, I come to the Faith Mars mahogany dreadnought.
This guitar is a beauty! The body’s gloss finish is perfect, and doesn’t overwhelm the simplicity of the design. For ornamentation there is a simple, thin abalone rosette. Mother-of-Pearl makes up the inlay of a “f” at the 12th fret, and the Faith logo inlay on the headstock. The body is bound with rosewood. The bolt-on mahogany neck is satin — a touch I prefer to a gloss neck — and adds to the ease of play. Fretboard and bridge are of ebony, my preferred wood. The nut width is a dreadnought’s typical 1 11/16 inches (4.3cm), and string spacing at the saddle is more than adequate for arpeggio articulation with a pick. The standard hardshell case is quite substantial with a nicely padded grip. Overall, this is a lovely, tasteful, well designed, and well made guitar.
The guitar plays as good as it looks! It is a joy to play, and plays with ease. Since Faith is a British company, well, I had to try out some Invasion tunes. The intro of the Beatle’s “Eight Days a Week” rang out clear, and this dread sounded great with the opening riff of the Hollies’ “Bus Stop”, and The Kinks'”Waterloo Sunset”. I think the descriptive English phase is, “Brilliant”! Compared to the above mentioned mahogany Fender Paramount, the Faith’s sustain is impressive, and it puts out a robust volume. The construction of the guitar makes it alive with complexity of tone! But other necessary sonic details are not lost: from base, to mids, to treble there is great clarity — equaling that of the Taylor 326ce (and this Faith is priced about $750 less than the Taylor). There is one surprising sonic quality: the wood is a “bright” mahogany, but I truly believe the typical warmth associated with species will come forth as it is played and it ages. No electronics come with the guitar — my only complaint.
In my opinion, I would compare the quality of this Indonesian import to that of Eastman guitars — an equally sound, well made import made in China. Based on my experience, both Faith and Eastman guitars will stand up to any comparable North American made acoustic guitar that will cost a third more than either of these two brands.
As I write this review, there are only a few dozen Faith distributers in the U.S. If you’re like me, no Faith distributer is within 500 miles. Thus, my advise is to explore the Faith line-up of guitars online (www.faithguitars.com), Reverb and EBay, and don’t be afraid to boldly buy one, because once you play one — like me — you’ll be a believer!
Keep on playing!
P.S. I have also reviewed two other Faith guitars since this posting’s original date, Blood Moon Neptune electric acoustic! Guitar Review: Faith Mars Legacy Drop Shoulder Dreadnought