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ELECTRO-ACOUSTIC

£559-£699

REVIEW

FAITH

FECS Eclipse Saturn & FS Natural Saturn

With significant improvements like better timbers, sexier trimmings and all-new pickups and preamps, the Faith brand is looking more tempting than ever. Review by Jerry Uwins

Launched in 2003, Faith guitars are made with all-solid woods throughout. The whole range underwent a big Series 2 revamp in 2006 – the date at which the gloss-black Eclipse electros were added. Now the brand has progressed to Series 3, with yet more tweaks designed to further enhance quality and value. These changes – which apply to both our review samples and, indeed, all Faith guitars – include higher-grade back/ side timbers, in this case mahogany; rosewood body binding on the Naturals and flame-maple on the Eclipses; macassan striped ebony headstock overlays instead of rosewood, and broader, plusher abalone rosettes. The pins on the ebony bridges, which have been slightly restyled, are now arrayed in a gentle curve to help minimise stress along the grain.

FECS Eclipse Saturn This all-black cutaway spruce-top dreadnought is a mighty fine looker. The flamed binding contrasts beautifully against the impeccably shiny lacquer, and on the inside the guitar is as clean as a whistle. Like all Faiths, it has a useful strap button at the heel. The gloss treatment is continued up the full-scale mahogany neck, which has

Six trimpots provide a degree of individual string balance

Soundhole decoration is more lavish than before

Tweaks include higher-grade backs and sides, plusher abalone rosettes and the Shadow L4020 Hex electro system a mainstream span and a comfortably slick, shallow-to-medium-depth ‘C’ profile. Bridge string spacing is only a gnat’s under 55mm, so it’s a good allpurpose arrangement.

Cosmetic re-jigs aside, the main development on the Eclipses is a new Shadow system: the L4020 Hex. This involves a Nanoflex 6 undersaddle transducer with a separate pickup

FINAL SCORE FAITH FECS ECLIPSE SATURN Build Quality 19 /20 Playability 18 /20 Sound 18/ 20 Value for money 18 /20 Looks 17 /20

TOTAL

90%

FACTFILE Faith FECS Eclipse Saturn DESCRIPTION: Cutaway dreadnought electroacoustic. Made in Indonesia PRICE: £699 inc. case BUILD: Engelmann spruce top, mahogany back/sides/ neck. 20-fret ebony board. Ebony bridge, Tusq nut/ saddle, Grover tuners. Shadow L4020 Hex with Nanoflex 6; Volume, Bass, Middle, Treble, Pan, Phase, string gain trimpots, auto-chromatic tuner OPTIONS: FECJ Jupiter jumbo (£729) or FECV Venus (£689) – cutaway with L4020 Hex LEFT-HANDERS: No FINISH: Gloss black

SCALE LENGTH: 650mm/25.6" NECK WIDTH: Nut 43mm 12th fret 52.5mm DEPTH OF NECK: First fret 20.5mm Ninth fret 23mm STRING SPACING: Nut 36.5mm Bridge 54.5mm WEIGHT: 2.16kg/4.75lb

Like these? Try these.. Takamine EG531SSC Solid spruce/sapele, three-band TK40 preamp w/mid-contour RRP: £599

Epiphone DAVE NAVARRO ‘JANE’ Solid spruce/sapele, hexagram neck markers, Two-band eSonic system RRP: £499

Note: both the above are gloss black and cutaway, with tuner-loaded preamps

FEBRUARY 2012 Guitar & Bass 87

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