I remember seeing and reading about Patrick James Eggle in the very cool British publication ‘Guitarist’ in the late 90s. He had a range of guitars that showed (at least to me) some traditional stylings with a bit of his own flair. Being pre or early internet there wasn’t lots of information around so these odd glimpses in magazines was about all I could gather.
After some time it was clear to see that Eggle was a highly respected builder and it was then no surprise when I learned of his association with Faith Guitars a few years back. With an impressive range of acoustic guitars in various configurations and styles we have slowly started to see more of the Faith guitar brand in Australia. Up today – the FVTB.
Firstly let’s decipher the FVTB name. ‘Faith Venus Trembesi’ in full, the guitar comes from their Trembesi line (utilising the Indonesian ‘Trembesi’ timber) and comes in Faith’s ‘Venus’ body shape – makes sense. The build features solid Trembesi back and sides and a solid Engelmann spruce top, mahogany neck and a Macassar figured ebony fingerboard. Gold Grover Rotomatic tuners add some zing to the predominantly understated look with satin back and sides and a gloss top. Faith describe the 15” lower bout and slimmer body depth as main characteristics of the Venus guitar shape and I must admit the body sits nicely without feeling huge. Fingerstyle players, big chord strummers and general guitarists would all be at home on the FVTB with the cutaway adding further flexibility for those needing some extra range.
The FVTB sounded clear and concise with a nice midrange that could suit a host of styles. Single note lines rang out with purpose whilst open string chord voicings and arpeggios had plenty of clarity and sustain. Furthermore the guitar has plenty of acoustic volume. If you’re looking at the amplified side of the FVTB you’ll see the Ink 3. Fishman have long been at the forefront of preamp/pickup systems and I really like the look and layout of the aforementioned unit. Low profile and sleek it almost sits flush against the guitar’s side and features an LCD tuner alongside EQ and Volume.
Faith Guitars may not have as much notoriety in Australia as other brands but it looks like that may be slowly changing. Digging further into the Faith lineup there are a big range of shapes, specs and pricepoints if you wanted to expand your search but for the FVTB you have a nice player for the price. Electronics are well covered with the good looking and good sounding Fishman Ink 3 and the included hard case is an added bonus (I know many think that a hardcase should be included with most mid level + plus guitars but the reality these days is that it’s not always the way!). Check out the Faith FVTB (or indeed any other models) when you get a chance and see some of the Patrick James Eggle designs for yourself.
Hits and Misses
Body shape and size
Fishman Ink Preamp is a winner
Some may miss the fretboard markers (5th, 7th etc)