Review: Faith Naked Neptune from Richards Guitars.
A bit of a departure for my blog to review a guitar, but I have picked up a beautiful model from
Richards Guitars in Stratford-on-Avon and decided to share. To note: I am a very amateur guitarist (I’ve always been a singer in bands and actual guitarists who know me will agree to my limited proficiency with the instrument), but I have played/owned a few high end models and brands over the years.
The Faith Neptune is a baby jumbo sized guitar, made of all solid wood, and designed by Patrick Eggle. The highly regarded team at Faith been winning awards galore for their acoustic guitars, although I confess I only knew of Eggle’s electric guitars so when I started looking for a new acoustic it wasn’t first on my list. I spotted the Neptune on Richards Guitars’ Youtube channel and was instantly drawn to the instrument’s looks and sound.
The Naked model is stripped back with a satin rather than gloss finish, and an austere look about it that makes it cheaper to produce than some of the more expensive Faith range. Actually, the satin finish gives it a beautiful tone that I preferred to a more expensive Seagull I tried, and much better than a mostly laminate Martin I saw at nearly twice the price (there’s a reason Donavan told John Lennon to sand the gloss off his Epi Casino and Martin). I managed to get hold of a shop model and give it a go and it was good but needed a setup. It was also far more comfortable to hand than the aforesaid Martin and Seagull. This is where I came back to Richards Guitars.
I have a wonderful local guitar tech who I have taken my instruments to in the past, but he has a six week waiting list and we are in a global pandemic so pickups and drop offs are limited. Richards offer a setup as a part of their service to every customer. So I pulled the trigger on one just over a fortnight ago. I can’t speak highly enough about the service from Richards Guitars. The process from purchase to workshop to dispatch was updated as my model worked through the system, and I was kept updated with automatic emails. I did have a query and the responses were quick and helpful. I dealt with Sally and Richard over email, and a genuine passion for the guitars and their customers just exuded from them. That was a refreshing change in the modern world of disposable consumerism – don’t worry I’m not about to go on a rant.
Despite a global pandemic and four day bank holiday weekend it only took a fortnight for a perfectly set up instrument to arrive at my door. You can see from the pictures just how well setup the action was and the beautiful wood top and back. For fingerstyle players, there is enough room at the saddle to take the action down some more, but I generally dig in with my pick so it is perfect for my heavy hands. Guitarists will talk about having a bond with their instrument and it generally takes me a while, but it honestly felt like I had been playing the Faith for years. The look and sound is absolutely stunning. There is a swirling red grain in the ebony fretboard that I adore, and it came with a free gigbag to keep her safe although I may invest in a proper case.
If you’re on the lookout for a new acoustic, the Faith range is a rare breed: a British designed, award winning, beautifully built instrument. All Faith guitars are CITES compliant if you’re at all concerned about sustainability – hint, you should be – and there’s lots of different sizes and models to fit any frame (I’m 6.4 so a baby jumbo size is perfect for me). Richards Guitars is a wonderful seller with a team who are happy to help if you’re unsure what exactly you need. All in all, a fabulous experience and a guitar that will be with me for the rest of my days – hopefully a very long time! Now, I just need to stop myself from looking at the Gordon Smith electrics that Richards have on their website…
Richards Guitars website here
Richard's Youtue channel here