The travel guitar market has exploded in recent years, and relatively late to the game, Faith introduced a pair of UK-designed and Indonesian-made mini-guitars this year – including this down-sized dread' Mini-Saturn that, on paper, looks like a take on Taylor's Baby.
Shape, satin finish and bare- bones no-binding construction aside, Faith's take is seemingly more upmarket. First, we have all-solid wood construction – spruce and mahogany for the body with a solid mahogany three-piece neck and standard bolt-on neck join.
Unlike the Taylor, both Faiths are 12-fret guitars – as in the neck joins the body at the 12th, not the 14th fret. While the Baby uses a 578mm (22.75-inch), the Nomad goes for a more Taylor GS Mini-like 590mm (23.2 inches) – effectively feeling like a standard guitar but capo'd at the second fret.
"This could really help layer and expand your sound in a duo."
Typically crisply made, the slinky natural satin finish is very thin and there's not a sanding mark in sight – internally, it's just as sharp. That top may look a little bland with just a simple, thin abalone band for soundhole decoration, but the quality spec continues with an ebony bridge and rosewood fingerboard, which features quite wide but relatively low frets and Graph Tech NuBone nut and compensated saddle. Smart.
Things feel a bit cramped initially but with a 42.5mm nut width (and 35mm string spacing) and bridge spacing of 54.5mm it's pretty close to the spacing on your bolt-on electric. The reduced-scale, tuned E to E, results in a slightly floppier feel and, yes, the low-end is hardly voluminous, but there's a strong mid-focus that'll ensure you're heard even over a bigger-sized guitar. As we've found with many mini guitars, they're great for ensemble playing or layering parts on your recordings.
Don't forget this is an electro, too. There's a neat side-mounted preamp that offers a highly visible tuner, three-band slider EQ, phase switch to dispatch feedback and even a low battery indicator: very stage-ready.
However, there are no 'flat' centre notches on the EQ, so we have to approximate a midway position that, plugged in, gives a more middy version of our acoustic voice. String response is balanced and dipping the mid slider – a lot – we get closer to a 'standard' electro sound. With a little additional outboard EQ and some compression, it begins to chase a full-sized sound.
Its size might suggest 'travel', but we'd suggest something with a lot more legs to it: a songwriting, recording and performing partner that could happily sit alongside your full-sized guitars or, in a duo or band, really help layer and expand your sound.