Guitar Review: Faith Mars Legacy Drop Shoulder DreadnoughtPosted: September 12, 2018
The name Faith Guitars is little known in the United States. I discovered the brand just a few years ago. I must admit the name Faith drew my initial interest. Now, I can have a lot of fun with the name since I am a priest in the Orthodox Church, but I’ll spare the world such plays on words. This is my third review of a Faith guitar. Here reviewed is the Mars Legacy.
It is a slope, or drop shoulder dreadnought (hence, the “Mars” aspect of the name). The tone woods are a solid, torrefied (kiln aged / “toasted”) spruce top, and solid mahogany back and sides. The fretboard and bridge are ebony as are the pick guard and the facing of the head stock. The nut and saddle are of bone. There is maple binding around the body, front and back. An abalone rosette surrounds the sound hole, and a mother-of-pearl “F” inlay is at the twelfth fret (the position markers are on the side of the fret board). Mother-of-pearl also makes up the Faith logo on the head stock. Further, it is well made, and offers a touch of quality that some “mid-priced” guitars often lack. For instance, the frets are smoothly finished on their ends — a nice, “high-end” touch. The inside of the guitar is clean and tidy. As with all Faith guitars, the neck is three piece mahogany with a satin finish. However, the body has a nice, completely even gloss finish. Overall, the Mars Legacy is an attractive guitar: it is simply appointed with a solid, quality appearance. This Legacy series dreadnought is a step up from my other two Faith guitars, as good and sound as they are in my opinion (Guitar Review: Faith Mars FRMG All Mahogany Dreadnought GUITAR REVIEW: Faith Blood Moon Neptune Acoustic/Electric (FNCEBMB)). Additionally, the hard case is light-weight and sturdy.
The Mars Legacy is an acoustic-electric guitar. Briefly, it has a Fishman “Flex Blend” preamp / pickup. There is an under saddle piezo along with a condenser mic tucked inside. The volume button (when depressed for a moment) doubles as an on-board tuner (when plugged in, the guitar is muted if tuned). Other controls are treble, base which possesses a “phase” control when depressed. There is a 1/4 inch jack, as one would expect. When plugged in, the tone is very nice. However, the base and volume are without position markers. Hence, I am still fumbling through adjustments — it is my only complaint about this fabulous guitar.
The Mars Legacy is very playable. The set-up is “ALAPWB” (as low as possible without buzz). The satin neck aids movement up and down the neck. The nut width is 45mm, or 1.75 inches — a touch wider than you’d find on the majority of dreadnoughts, but does not detract from any playability.
What about tone? This is a tone machine! There is a clarity of notes when played, about which another guitarist (far better than I) commented, thus giving witness to my testimony. There is a good amount of base, but I don’t think it is overwhelming. Since it has a mahogany body, the mid-range is rich. For example, when I played an arpeggio of 1, 5, 1 of a D chord the result was rich and robust. The same response occurred with a 5, 4, 1 arpeggiated descent and ascent in the key of G. Robust also is the sustain — the guitar rings out long and clear with a satisfying volume as a dreadnought should possess. As I have played the guitar, there is a wonderful “blending” of the notes in any chord as they are strummed. I might add (and this is strictly subjective), the tone that comes of the top has an sonic “texture” that fills a room.
This is one tremendous guitar! It goes for about $1250 in the United States. I would put this guitar up against just about any North American dreadnought going for $400 to $600 hundred dollars more (as a later addendum: I have tested Taylor’s new Grand Pacific dread (a 317), and prefer this Faith model). I am thoroughly impressed with the Faith brand. Again, this is the third Faith guitar I have purchased, and I am a true devotee. I urge you to give one a workout, and I think you will be very pleased with this make of guitar so little known in North America. Also, check out the Faith lineup at www.faithguitars.com.
Keep on playing!