Review of Faith Eclipse Venus 12 String Acoustic Guitar
We're great fans of 12 string guitars here at iGuitar. We've also
been consistently impressed by the quality of Faith's acoustic
guitars. But will the Faith magic touch hold true when the company
makes a 12 string? Rick Graham found out.
Having reviewed a number of Faith acoustic guitars in previous
issues, I'm fully aware of the kind of quality that the company put
into their products. The man at the helm of their design department
is none other than Patrick James Eggle, who enjoyed considerable
success during the '80s and '90s with his electric guitar designs
and who has more recently become renowned as a maker of beautiful
quality acoustics, as reviewed in iGuitar issue 5.
As well as creating his own handmade instruments, Eggle also
oversees the Faith brand which, though mass produced in the Far
East, has won unanimous praise from reviewers for its quality of
design and manufacture.
In iGuitar issue 9 I reviewed a Hi-Gloss series concert guitar
) and this time around it's the turn of the 12 string Venus version
of the Eclipse series. Just like its six string counterpart, it
features similar specifications and an onboard Shadow L4020 HEX
preamp and Nanoflex 6 pickup, delivering a stereo output of really
Like all of Faith's current product line, the top is made from
Engelmann spruce, mated, in this case, with solid mahogany back and
sides which allow the guitar to deliver a more focused mid-range
tone. The guitar looks visually stunning with the black high gloss
finish. "With the Eclipse series, the black colour is actually part
of base coating process, with a thin layer of lacquer applied on
top. We never apply the lacquer so thick that it restricts the
sound, rather we allow the thin layer of lacquer to sink into the
grain of the wood a little, ensuring the wood is free to move
sufficiently." Eggle says.
The wood of choice for the neck is mahogany upon which is a
maccassan figured ebony fingerboard. I personally love the mother
of pearl 'F' logo at the 12th fret which I feel adds a touch more
elegance into the mix.
In action the Venus had a very robust and rich sound, full of
subtle tones and nuances as a 12 string should be and with a great
playability to match that sound. Though this isn't a cheap guitar,
it needs to be borne in mind that it is by no means an expensive
one, either and the quality on offer here is, frankly, in advance
of quite a lot of 'major brand' acoustics which can
command far higher prices. Good value for money? You bet!
Amplified, the Faith comes even more into its own, thanks to the
advanced onboard Shadow HEX system. As well as offering an onboard
three band EQ with Bass, Mid and Treble controls, the preamp
features a volume control, pan control, phase button, onboard tuner
and perhaps the most important element: individual volume controls
for each pair of strings. For acoustic players, there is nothing
worse than an unbalanced sound between strings and the HEX system
alleviates this issue beautifully with a simple turn of the rotary
control. Couple all of these features with a pristine high quality
output and you are ready to go in any musical situation - and
thanks to the quality of the Shadow preamp, none of those
characteristics were lost when we put it through our PA system.
The Venus never lost any of that beautiful richness when playing
higher up the fretboard either and I'm talking 12th fret and above
here, thanks to the great addition of the cutaway.
With any 12 string, an extremely important aspect to get right
is the quality of the machine heads. I can't imagine many things
worse than a 12 string that doesn't hold its tuning. It's bad
enough with six, never mind 12! I can assure you that you needn't
worry as, in this instance, the Venus comes equipped with high
quality Grover Rotomatic tuners which do a sterling job of keeping
the Venus nicely in tune.
The Eclipse Venus 12 string is another triumph for Faith
Guitars. Everything about it exudes the high quality that the
company is well known for and with this model, the addition of the
HEX pre-amp really does make it a 'must try' for those of you
looking to invest in a new 12 string.
Check out the full review inc. video of the Faith Eclipse Venus
12 String by Rick Graham in Issue 12 of
Guitar Interactive Magazine (