Reviewed: Faith FKV12 Naked Venus 12-String Guitar

CMC Music | cmcmusic.com.au | Expect To Pay: $1295

The Faith FKV12 Naked Venus is a full-sized, 12 stringed acoustic guitar from Faith Guitars in England. The FKV12 is a mahogany rhythm machine, being lightweight but still incredibly concise and could be comfortably slung over a shoulder on stage or as a dedicated go-to at home or in the studio for those special tracks that need the modulating sparkle that 12-string guitars can provide like nothing else.

The sound is punchy and clear, and despite the lightweight body, the FKV12 resonant and loud but also responds well to dynamic playing. You’ll feel at home on this guitar, and it translates well from more traditional six string acoustics. The FKV12 is a great 12-string solution that plays well, records clearly and inspires creativity and texture.

 

Faith have been producing phenomenal acoustic guitars since 2002, and the FKV12 is one of the more recent additions to this range of products. With a scale length of 25.4” and a comfortable shape and cutaway that compliments your body, the FKV12 is a great entry to the wold of 12 string acoustics, or alternatively a great addition to an existing collection of musical instruments. The guitar is structured mostly from solid Indonesian mahogany, besides the top wood which is still Engelmann spruce and a satin finish all over. The neck is mahogany as well, again with a seamless satin finish and topped-off with an ebony fingerboard (models pre-2016 had rosewood, but I think the ebony provides a better and more complementary tone to the mahogany). The guitar is incredibly light, almost shockingly so, and could be comfortably played on stage for hours. 12 strings can feel alien when playing one for the first time, however the FKV12 doesn’t bow to this notion. The scale length, coupled with the comfortable body, neck shape and cutaway beyond the 15th fret make for an entirely playable 12-string for a player of any level.

 

The sound of the Faith Venus itself is phenomenal. The whole body resonates beneath your hands and against your chest, and the sound delivered is clear, articulate and dynamic. The guitar remains present and responds well to light or heavy strumming without becoming too much, or overloading a signal without a compressor. Notes are clear and concise, but also full and resonant - but never muddy or woolly. The recorded sound, specifically, is treated and shaped even without any other processing. The old adage that the sound needs to be right at the source rings true, and the FKV12 delivers that sound source to build your recordings on. The guitar also responds well to its space, harder playing in a nice room can deliver resonant roominess, but similar playing in a tighter room simply provides a tighter sound, whereas some acoustic instruments can become boomy in smaller spaces.

 

All in all, the FKV12 would be a great addition to a recording studio collection of little tricks to liven up recordings, or as a go-to for a singer songwriter wanting to dive into 12 string acoustics. The FKV12 records well, doesn’t alienate players and sounds great no matter your use for it, nor style of playing. This guitar responds to your playing and doesn’t dictate the direction like 12 strings can. A great list of tone woods, a satin finish head to toe, as well as an ebony fingerboard make the FKV12 a really great buy. It provides a dynamic but level response in it’s space, as well as resonating against your body, and the cutaway provides great access to the higher frets for new and creative chord voicing. The FKV12 is everything you want from a 12 string acoustic, without feeling difficult. It’s a great transition from regular six string acoustics, from seasoned players to musicians beginning to dabble in the harmonically rich world of 12-strings.

Hits and Misses

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Great size, comfortable

Tunes and intonates well

Great, controlled sound

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