The Saturn is one of Faith Guitar’s original acoustic shapes that launched the brand in the early noughties. Like the rest of its brethren, this guitar was designed by master builder Patrick James Eggle, and the superb level of craftsmanship here really speaks for itself. The fundamentals of the brand revolve around their exceptional build quality, rather than fancy bells and whistles. As Eggle himself told me: “If it’s designed right, feels right, and sounds right, you don’t need to do anything else,” and with the Saturn, I couldn’t agree more.
The first word that comes to mind on initial inspection is “solid”. The Saturn is a hefty dreadnought-style guitar, constructed with solid Indonesian rosewood for the back and sides, and subtly figured Engelmann spruce for the top. As per its title, this guitar looks incredibly beautiful with its hi-gloss finish, effortlessly catching the light from all angles. The neck is carved from a pleasing shade of brown mahogany, while the fretboard is made from Macassan figured ebony. Golden Grover Rotomatic tuners adorned with dark wooden pegs add subtle, classy contrast to the instrument – a nice touch. Quarter-sawn spruce tidily reinforces the core of the Saturn, leaving plenty of room for the included Fishman INK3 undersaddle pickup. Like the majority of Faith’s offerings, visual flourishes are kept to an absolute minimum. A 5mm abalone rosette, two strips of solid flamed maple binding, and mother of pearl ‘F’ inlay at the 12th fret are the only discernible additions.
The Saturn plays excellently right out of its deluxe hard case, thanks to Patrick James Eggle’s rigorous setup standards. The neck is finished in a comfortable satin layer and is carved immaculately with the right balance of heft and usability. A smooth-shouldered cutaway provides easy access to the upper frets, making both chords and single lines a breeze to play. Most noticeably, the entire instrument resonates as one unit when strummed, rather than a sum of multiple moving parts.
I was slightly surprised at the tones the Saturn initially produced. For one, the traditional booming qualities of a dreadnought were somewhat lacking; those expecting a deep, focused, and bass-heavy sound may be slightly disappointed. Not that this is a bad thing – while leaning towards the treble end of the spectrum, the Saturn’s tonal response still remained fairly balanced as a whole and can definitely suit a wide range of playing styles.
The tried and true Fishman INK3 preamp serves its purpose without complaint. The tuner is both accurate and snappy, with a brightly lit display to cover the darkest stages and the brightest of outdoor gigs. When plugged in, this guitar began to truly shine. The onboard three-band EQ allowed me to dial in some of the absent low end, all while retaining the Saturn’s naturally crisp highs.
Overall, the Saturn was a joy to play. It’s an instrument that relies on high quality craftsmanship to get its point across, rather than obnoxious inlays or over-the-top appointments. While I’d personally prefer a dreadnought style guitar with a little more oomph in the low end, the Saturn’s value is undeniable.
Hits and Misses
Excellent build quality and quality control
Great sound when plugged in
Slightly lacking in the low end