For advice on cleaning Faith Naked guitars, please see the section below.
The simplest way to keep your Faith Guitar clean is with a lint-free cloth. A regular wipe will keep dust and dirt at bay. Guitar polish should be applied to lacquered areas only with a microfiber cloth.
Do not apply polish to satin-finished or unlacquered areas - such as the back and sides of the Faith Natural or Trembesi series.
Make sure to test the polish on a small, inconspicuous area first to check for any unexpected reaction between polish and lacquer. After every use, we recommend wiping the body and strings with a dry, lint-free cloth.
Solvents sometimes found in plastic, leather, or vinyl (used on accessories such as straps or stands) can also tarnish the lacquer over time, so keep a watch on any areas that start to discolour.
Perspiration can also tarnish the finish of your guitar as well as leave oily residue on the strings.
Guitars with a light, satin finish — such as Faith Naked series — cannot be polished and due to the nature of the satin finish, will naturally mark and tarnish more quickly.
Once a Faith Naked guitar is marked or dirty, it is not possible to polish out or remove the mark. This is the characteristic of the simple finish type...the plus side of which is the great tone.
Don't forget that your skin naturally secretes oils, acids, and minerals in perspiration. So it is quite common for guitars of all types to mark and stain in areas that are most often in contact with skin. The effects of skin-contact will be more evident on satin-finished guitars than gloss-finished.
How to Change your Strings
Always loosen the strings before removing them. Do not cut them at tension.
Remove the bridge pins using your fingers or a specially designed "pin puller" available from your local music store.
Acoustic guitar strings have a metal ball on one end and a plain end at the other. Once the bridge is removed, the metal ball end is to be placed into the appropriate hole in the bridge, and pushed through so that it is approximately an inch inside the body. Then the bridge pin is inserted back into the hole with the long groove facing toward the neck (if it has a groove). Once the pin is partially re-inserted, hold the pin, and pull the string through thus securing the ball end. The bridge pin then secures the ball end against the bridge plate. The ball end should not be directly underneath the bridge pin, because if it is, the pin will push out of the hole. The pin is held in place by a cantilever action rather than all-round friction within the hole.
Once fitted correctly, the bridge pin should be pushed back fully into place with a thumb or finger. Do not hammer or glue the pins into place.
When to Change your Strings
Over time, the strings on your Faith guitars will gradually become tarnished and lose their brilliance of tone. When this occurs it's time to fit a new set of strings.
Faith Guitars are fitted as standard with coated strings (12 - 53 gauge). Coated strings will offer a longer lifespan and increased brilliance. If you are fitting particularly heavy or extra light gauge strings, we strongly advise that you have the guitar checked out by a qualified guitar-technician, as various adjustments may be required to ensure the neck responds accordingly.
We recommend changing all 6 strings at once. Changing only one string at a time can result in an unbalanced sound.
We are often asked about re-fitting bridge pins after they have been removed to change strings. Many people are surprised to find that their Faith Guitar bridge pins do not wedge tightly into the holes.
In fact, bridge pins should never been held in place by friction all around the hole. Rather, the bridge pin should be held in place by a cantilever action caused by the ball end of the string pushing against the side of the lower portion of the pin.
When fitting new strings, it is often helpful to bend the ball end of the string in an 'L' shape. Then the ball end can more easily wedge under the bridge plate of the guitar - rather than just sit under the end of the pin, and push the pin out.
When the ball end of the string is in the hole, place the bridge pin back into the hole, and hold it lightly with your thumb. Then pull the string through until it stops. If the ball end is under the bridge plate as it should be, the pin will stay in place.
See the below example images for more detail.
Your new Faith Guitar is made of solid wood, which is a very good thing, as solid tonewood resonates much more effectively — and therefore sounds much better — than the laminated plywood found on many other inferior instruments.
Solid wood acoustic guitars require humidity levels between 45 -55% and live best in temperatures in the mid-70s Fahrenheit. Making sure you keep your guitar in that range will help it to have a long and happy life.
Solid wood is also much more susceptible to changes in humidity, continual air conditioning, or extremes of temperature. Increases in humidity will cause the wood to take on more moisture from the surrounding air thus causing the wood to expand. And decreases in humidity will result in moisture being lost from the wood and the wood shrinking as a result.
You must avoid radical changes in temperature or humidity. If your guitar has been out in the cold and you bring it inside, DO NOT OPEN THE CASE. Allow it to set for several hours to come up to room temperature. And of course do the same from hot outdoor temperatures into air conditioning.
If these changes occur quickly, the tone woods may split or bow. The neck my move or twist unnaturally. Or the glue may weaken, causing problems with joints, bracing, or bridge integrity. So, rapid changes in humidity — either up or down — are to be avoided at all costs.
Tell-tale signs that you need to change your guitar’s environment:
The good news is you can do something about it, and here are a few suggestions:
Please note that problems caused by failing to take proper care of your instrument are not covered by your warranty.
We recommend you seek professional advice from a professional guitar technician before adjusting the action of your guitar. Incorrect adjustments may permanently damage your instrument.
Long term we recommend visiting your guitar tech at least once a year to check over your guitar and adjust as necessary.
Do not adjust the neck truss rod without a full knowledge of the implications. There is an Allen key / hex key included in your Faith Guitar case if you do wish to make adjustments, however. With the headstock facing away from you, turning the Allen key clockwise will tighten the truss rod, reducing the neck relief (straightening the neck) and conversely turning the Alley key anticlockwise will loosen the truss rod, increasing the neck relief (allowing more neck bow).
The truss rod should be adjusted no more than one quarter turn at once, after which a few minutes should be allowed for the neck wood to re-adjust itself before further adjustment.
However, adjusting the neck truss rod is not simply an easy fix for a high string action. See your local guitar technician for a full diagnosis of the cause of any unduly high string action.
Most guitars need to have a slight concave bow to the neck. A dead straight, flat neck is rarely the ideal setup.
Setups: What to expect
All Faith Guitars sold in the UK will go through Patrick James Eggle's workshop to have a pre-delivery cosmetic inspection, action check and basic setup. Faith Guitars sold in the U.S. will be inspected and treated in a similar way, by Connolly Music. The goal is for each guitar to arrive ready to impress and delight those who play it.
However, once the guitar reaches the store, it is their responsibility to ensure that it remains in top condition. Bear in mind that due to changes in weather and humidity both inside and outside the store, guitars will move, especially when they are very new and adjusting to a new climate. And as much as we would like to see every Faith guitar sold within minutes of it arriving in a store, the reality is that the guitar you are playing or buying may have been on the wall for a period of time. During that time, the store should have taken care of its condition.
Remember that Faith Guitars - and others - are made of solid tonewood. Wood can and will move as it acclimates to its new home in a warehouse, a music store, your living room, or a studio. Your guitar will need adjustment once or twice a year, and this will probably cost a few dollars.
Guitars are living breathing things.. kind of. By their nature, they are not household appliances like refrigerators, stoves, or a TV. What feels, looks, or sounds amazing to you may differ from what is perceived by someone else. Every piece of wood is slightly different in look, tone, and feel. And since Faith guitars are handmade (not from a big, machine-controlled production line), areas such as the neck may have marginal differences in feel.
When buying a guitar in a store
We always recommend buying guitars in a store, where you are able to test the actual guitar you will be buying. This is the best way whenever possible, as you can inspect it, and test the feel and sound to make sure it "hits the spot."
Don't be afraid to ask the staff about a setup if you feel the guitar needs it. The staff may be able to offer advice as to why the guitar is the way it is. Or if there is a problem, all good retailers will naturally want to sort it out.
When buying guitars online
When buying online, you will have a guitar delivered that you have never played. If it doesn't feel quite right, you'll have to set it up yourself, or arrange it with the store it came from.
Unless the retailer expressly states otherwise, you must assume that the guitar will not be setup well. It may be.. but there is no absolute guarantee. Remember, the guitar you are buying may have been in a box in a storeroom for months prior to sale. Always ask whether it will be checked over or setup prior to shipping.
Sometimes though, guitars do develop problems that need attention. The store will be at hand to arrange any service that is required, and they are your first port of call in this instance. Naturally, Connolly Music is here to assist the store as and when necessary.
Whether you're taking your Faith guitar on the school bus or the tour bus, don't forget that your instrument is more than just another piece of baggage.
Ideally, when traveling by car, place your guitar in its case flat on the backseat. Don't put it in your car's trunk or cargo area. They experience greater fluctuations in temperature and are rarely ventilated properly.
When traveling by plane, we recommend using a specific flight case for your guitar. These are often made of ABS plastic or aluminum, and offer the maximum level of protection for your instrument. When possible, carry your guitar to the gate, and check it with the airline's agent at your gate (if you can't bring it on board). That way it will be handled with greater care and you can collect it at the gate as you deplane. If the instrument is traveling in the aircraft's baggage hold, we recommend loosening the strings and keeping the instrument as tight inside the case as possible.
Here is a link to the current rules for US air carriers regarding bringing your guitar on-board a plane.
Using the On-Board tuner
How to use the Digital Tuner on a Faith Guitar preamp.
The tuner function on the Shadow Performer-Tuner preamp is chromatic. Therefore, you have more tuning options than if it were just guitar notes, EADGBE… This allows you to use it to tune any alternate tuning you choose.
So, how does it work?
Jack Sockets / Strap Buttons
Faith Acoustic Electric guitars use a standard jack socket/strap button arrangement, the same as many other manufacturers. As a result, the strap button size is a fair bit larger than a regular "standalone" strap button, and so we're often asked about how to get the strap fitted onto this larger button.
There is no special answer. Rather, it's just a case of solving the problem in a practical way. Thousands of people use straps on these larger buttons every day, but we do understand it's often much more difficult — and on occasion plainly impossible — to get some straps strap to fit over the jack socket button.
Here are some ideas:
Feedback when amplified
Why does my guitar feedback when amplified?
You should not experience feedback at low or normal amplified volume levels.
For years, luthiers have been trying to make acoustic instruments as resonant as possible. Using solid timbers - as Faith Guitars do - is one of the very best ways to do this, and as the instruments are "played in" and as the wood matures, one would expect it to be become more resonant and sweet-sounding. This is basically because the wood is gradually moving more freely, and is exactly what you want from an acoustic guitar!
Likewise for many years, musicians have wanted to amplify their acoustic instrument. But they have often encountered the dreaded issue of on stage feedback when they get to a certain volume. This is essentially why solid body electric guitars became the obvious choice for rock-n-roll bands.
Plus, every guitar has its own "resonant frequency." So sometimes you'll find that a certain note sets off feedback more than any other. This is simply because your guitar is sympathetic to that frequency, and in itself, nothing can be done to change this. But over time, you may find that the resonant frequency changes, as once again the solid timbers mature further.
The bottom line is: the more resonant the instrument, the more feedback you may experience at higher volumes. It's a sign of a good acoustic instrument.
So, how can I combat feedback?
However, after a few particular guitars stubbornly refusing to comply with feedback busting techniques, we experimented and found the following:
If the pickup cable is clipped appropriately — which it probably is — then one more thing to try is: