FJCE review by Faith

logo Ultimate Guitar
  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 4
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 7.6 Good
  • Users' score: 8 (1 vote)
Faith: FJCE
1

Price paid: £ 500

Purchased from: PMT Manchester UK

Sound — 9
I upgraded from a Crafter DE7N, which I thought sounded great, but the Faith has a depth and tones that I have never heard before. Sounds great after setup (see below) the sound is rich and full, and I fail to see how anybody could be unimpressed with the sound this guitar makes.

Overall Impression — 8
Finger-style or plectrum, after the setup, the guitar plays beautifully. I would definitely buy again (but I'd pay more attention to the setup) In 40+ years of guitar playing, this is the best instrument I've owned, and I'm sure it would compare well with much more expensive guitars. If only the technician who signed the setup certificate had been more professional and careful, this would have been a very different review, but having said that, a relatively small outlay for a professional setup has left me with a beautiful, capable, full-sounding instrument. My rating below is post setup, as-delivered, it would be at least a couple of points lower. Overall, though, I'm very happy.

Reliability & Durability — 9
I think this is a quality guitar, using quality materials and good manufacturing techniques, I see no reason that this will not last a very long time indeed. The hard case will also help to protect it from some mishaps that have happened to my other guitars.

Action, Fit & Finish — 4
Afte playing maybe 20 guitars in the shop, I began to lose track of all their good and bad points. I was aware of some slight playability/buzz issues but the balance of cost vs performance seemed about right, so I bought it. Playing more extensively at home, and in the quiet, two things started to really annoy me; a high first-fret action, and buzz around the fourth fret position. Although the shop offered a set-up, I wasn't sure how comprehensive that would be, so I paid a Luthier to do a full setup (40) He lowered the nut action, smoothed out some uneven frets and raised the saddle slightly. The difference was amazing, and the guitar now plays as well as it looks. Included with the guitar was a certificate signed by the technician who set it up, and saying it had been properly done. I can only assume this guy was either bored, or incompetent, because I realized after some extended playing, the setup was very poor indeed, in fact almost unplayable longer term. Such a shame that a great guitar such as this can't be finely set up prior to delivery. Some fairly minor adjustments made all the difference in the world. Disappointing I had to pay to get it right, but PMT did me such a good deal, the total price was still under what other shops were selling it for.

Features — 8
A beautifully-made, and beautiful guitar designed by Aparick Eggle, and made in Indonesia. Solid spruce top, mahogany sides, and high quality materials and finishes throughout. Pickup works well (but would have been better for the inclusion of a tuner) Machine heads are the smoothest I've seen, and though I felt at first, the included hard case was unnecessary, I have come to really appreciate it. Overall, a guitar to rival Taylors and Gibsons.

2 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Noodlerman
    First - a correction. This guitar was designed by PATRICK Eggle. As for the rest of the above review, I have to agree with it. I bought my FJCE about 18 months ago and am now finding that the setup needs a complete check and overhaul. The guitar has not been abused but already needs a thorough going-over by a luthier. That being said - it does sound amazing with very bright trebles and rich bass. It's price is increasing - I now note that it's advertised at around the 610 range so for that amount of money, be VERY sure that the setup is A-OK.
    Jayelem
    As an update to my review above, I have continued to try to develop the setup on my FJCE. the downside of this has been that I have spent huge amounts of time tweaking and adjusting. The upside is that I now know a huge amount more about a good setup than I did. Although the guitar played well, I still felt it wasn't achieving its full potential, and to cut a very long story short, this is what I learnt: a). The problem I had was with the saddle. b) My luthier hadn't fully diagnosed it. He tried to lift the saddle when actually, the problem was that the relatively soft "Tusk" material had worn small grooves where the strings sit, and these were having a profound effect on the sound. c) Asking the approved agents for spare parts was a waste of time; none even replied. d) The saddle is critically important to sound, and though there are lots of sites that describe truss-rods, nut-height, and, to some extent, saddle height, very few pay much attention to saddle shape, which seems to me equally important. e) having a smooth, correctly-shaped saddle is paramount. I ended up buying a bone blank, and hand-filing one. f). There are good sites that tell you how to set-up. If you're mechanically competent, don't be afraid to have a go, following the sequence neck relief/saddle height/nut height. You can spend lots of time and be careful to get things right, sometimes, even luthiers rush. Having done this, and made sure the neck-relief and nut-height were OK, the sound and playability increased dramatically. I therefore go back to my original point; Faith guitars are beautifully made with quality materials, why on earth can't they get the setup right? (To be fair, I'm sure Faith aren't alone in this; even much more expensive guitars had similar faults) I have had to learn the hard way about guitar setup, and eventually, this has done me a favour, in that I am now much more au fait with guitar mechanics, but not everyone can do this (or wants to) My low rating is probably not representative of the quality of a fabulous guitar spoilt by a poor setup. If anyone from Faith reads this, I'd be interested in their comments on this, and the poor support from appointed agents. I'd reiterate noodlerman's comments above on this or any other quality guitar...be sure the setup is OK, or make sure you're willing to get stuck-in, or have a luthier you can trust (and I guess my final learning point is that an iPad can't differentiate between Patrick and Aparick!) I hope these comments come across as constructively as I intend them to.