Faith Mars FRMG review

All-solid wood mahogany dreadnought

  • £689
Finishing is very sharp with no pooling around the bolt-on, properly quarter-sawn mahogany neck's heel

MusicRadar Verdict

The Faith Mars FRMG might be a big guitar, but it's finish and tones are certainly not heavy-handed.


  • +

    Tidy finish. Excellent general construction. Rootsy rock tones. Long sustain.


  • -

    A little toppy. No electro version.

MusicRadar's got your back Our team of expert musicians and producers spends hours testing products to help you choose the best music-making gear for you. Find out more about how we test.

With design handled in the UK by Brit luthier Patrick Eggle, Faith is now a major international player.

Boasting planet-themed models, very clean modern design and affordable Indonesian manufacturing, Faith has won many awards, and judging by this recent introduction, will continue to do so.

The standard dreadnought is the Saturn, available in nearly all of the Faith series. The 'drop shouldered' Mars appears in only the Classic Burst, Signature, and this two-guitar Mahogany series.

The 'drop' or 'slope' shoulder dreadnought goes back to the 1942 Gibson J-45, which featured rounder shoulders. As ever, there's much debate over the tonality of the rounded-shoulder design over the square shoulder but it's often down to other differences, not least materials, bracing, scale length and constructional style.

"It makes for an excellent rootsy rock rhythm bed - think classic-era Rolling Stones"

The price includes a hardcase, and amounts to a very good deal. Top and back are finely centre-jointed, and the darker wood bindings look like rosewood - more milk chocolate-coloured than the Macassar ebony used for the fingerboard, head facing and heel cap.

Internally, the top has scalloped spruce X-bracing, and it's very tidily done, as are all the subtle details, such as the abalone soundhole ring, 12th-fret 'F' inlay and simple, stylised Faith headstock logo.

Finishing is very sharp with no pooling around the bolt-on, properly quarter-sawn mahogany neck's heel. The headstock is spliced on to the main neck under the 1st and 2nd frets, and the heel block is a separate piece.

It's very well done, as is the deep, D-section neck and the fretting - the 'board is 'invisibly' bound in the same material as the fingerboard, which means we don't see any fret tang. Tidy.

By design, the FRMG is a big ol' bird, with a pretty standard 'all-purpose' nut width of 43mm (1.69 inches), and 55mm (2.17-inch) string spacing at the bridge. You wanna strum or pick? Both work well here. With a low - but not ultra-low - setup, and wide electric-like frets, a little shredding is perfectly possible, too.

The voice is a little tight and bright, but we'd expect this to mellow with playing; the hardwood mahogany top gives a more fundamental, almost compressed sound, compared with spruce - yes, we're generalising - and it makes for an excellent rootsy rock rhythm bed - think classic-era Rolling Stones.

The low end is fairly piano-like, less 'soft' than our well-gigged Martin dreadnought. The surprise is the long sustain and delicate tonality with fingerpicked, dropped tunings.

There's no electro version - the only all-mahogany electro is the Neptune baby jumbo - but with dual strap buttons, the FRMG is stage-ready, and a quality soundhole pickup would work extremely well.

Dave Burrluck

Dave Burrluck is one of the world’s most experienced guitar journalists, who started writing back in the '80s for International Musician and Recording World, co-founded The Guitar Magazine and has been the Gear Reviews Editor of Guitarist magazine for the past two decades. Along the way, Dave has been the sole author of The PRS Guitar Book and The Player's Guide to Guitar Maintenance as well as contributing to numerous other books on the electric guitar. Dave is an active gigging and recording musician and still finds time to make, repair and mod guitars, not least for Guitarist’s The Mod Squad.