Faith Guitars - Why No longer Avilable At Richards Guitars?
Edit: I cannot believe in this long blog I didn't mention an important detail that I worried about at the time it occurred - and ive been proven correct in terms of quality control and viability to sell the brad. Faith Guitars began drop-shipping guitars direct to end users about 2 years ago. This means a dealer can invest in no stock but have the guitar shipped direct from Faith - basically - the dealer is no more than a glorified advert for Faith with literally no quality control input.
This development (no surprise) coincided with a deep reduction in online pricing making it nigh on impossible to sell guitars with the added value setup service and quality control we provide. In fact - Faith Guitars are now sold so cheap online it IS impossible to provide the service we do alongside. I should have mentioned this in the blog below!! Mainstream high volume sales have no place for personalized guitar buying experience or long term support.
Any dealer not selling online who tries to sell the guitar at an "honest" price relative to the service and support offered could find themselves selling the guitar up to £200 more than online - which I personally believe isnt fair to the buyer of the guitar - or the dealer who has to keep explaining why the price is so vastly different.
Below I have detailed the more generalized reasons in terms of direction with models they prioritize.
I didn't want to make a fuss about it but its a totally fair question that has been raised a lot - so I just wanted to clarify my position.
The reason I didnt want to get into it is that no matter what I say - there will always be someone who will decide their own truth - regardless of the reality - and twist what is said - so sometimes "say nothing" seems to be the only way forward.
The reality is that Faith guitars were a top personal recommendation - at a certain time this was the case. I have recommended them literally for decades - So for some it would come as a shock that I no longer sell them.
Its important to understand, I ONLY sell personally recommended guitars - a collection of guitars that I would recommend to my best friend should he / she / they wish to play guitar. The list of recommendations is based on 27 years research and of course - with time, progress is made in certain areas - new guitars are found and my list has to be revised accordingly.
For the past 2-3 years Faith guitars have become a brand more and more that I put into the mix "to give an option" but without it being my #1 choice.
MOST of my personal recommendations have been discontinued and requests for models that would work well for me were watered down into near misses but not guitars I could recommend.
When the Faith FVBMB (Blood Moon Burst) was launched, it rapidly became my and pretty much every Faith dealers #1 seller. Why? Well whilst most players would tell you its because it sounds so amazing - there is only one reason it sold in buckets - it looked amazing. The golden glossy stained trembesi was an immediate draw. One problem for me? The Faith Trembesi model which I loved - which was understated and combined trembesi back and sides with a spruce top (not trembesi)- which sounded gorgeous was discontinued - because the Blood Moon Burst was far more "sellable" despite it sounding much weaker acoustically. Trembesi isnt suited acoustically to being all trembisi (in my opinion) and the loss of the Trembesi model for me was a tragedy.
Having a model introduced that sounded inferior to the one it replaced that cost significantly more - that would become my biggest seller was a hard pill to swallow - because I take great pride in my personal recommendations - and my total transparency in my approach. My customers HAVE to be able to trust me.
Is the Faith FVBMB a "bad" guitar? Of course not! Its a lovely guitar - looks really pretty - its "fine" but there are hundreds if not thousands of guitars I "could" sell that fit this description and is it a guitar I can personally recommend? Well look at the options...
For the price of a Faith FVBMB (Now retailing at £1100 but heavily discounted to around the £900 mark) you could buy a much higher specification Cort Gold A8 with stunning torrified spruce top and superior Fishman Electronics and solid rosewood back and sides. The Gold A8 is a little more but in another league!!!
The Hand Made Auden at £899 is World Class (the one in the link is the electro at £1000 with incredible Brad Clarke pickkup - again - In another league to the electronics on the Faith)
Not to forget the Furch Blue Gc CM at £999 or the Dowina Pure at £899 also completely hand made and sounds wonderful from a small workshop in Slovakia. The only one of these guitars that were available when I began selling Faith may be the Furch? So you can see as my personal list of recommendations has got higher and higher quality over 27 years - "ok" isnt going to come close to fitting in.
I could go on and on - but if I were to pick on ONE specific moment where my love for Faith guitars was lost it would be when they introduced the best selling - award winning FVBMB - Irionic? Well this is why I have NEVER fitted in within this guitar industry. My values are clearly quite different to the industry and proudly so.
So please dont take this as hate - its not. Its merely the voice of someone who is passionate about their work and make my recommendations with pride.
As I was writing this a friend in the Industry sent me the following image - He was sending it to me because the Cort guitar (Cort Flow OC) shown (which should be with me today fingers crossed!) was selected by Guitarist Magazine Gear Of The Year Award. I think our price will be £1000. The pickup ALONE is over £300 of gear -its STUNNING. Cort guitars MAKE the guitar brands. They are the largest manufacturer of guitars in the World with the highest levels of technology and capable of producing the very best "mass produced" guitars. They are second to none in terms of the mass-produced market. For me to promote a brand there has to be a story line that I can believe in and feel connected to. Sadly I dont feel connected to the direction Faith went in. At £1000 I have hand made guitars from Europe - so why on Earth am I going to get excited about mass produced guitars - unless they have something TRULY special to offer (Such as Cort - who produce guitars FOR the largest brand names in the World like Fender, Ibanez, PRS and were totally responsible for the growth of Tanglewood guitars in the early days as every one was made by Cort. We were by far the biggest Tanglewood dealer in the Country - until they changed factory - and once again, I was in a position having to explain why I can no longer recommend them.
On a side note... I endorse all 3 of the brands shown below - Furch being a brand I have recommended and a very close personal story with over the past 20 years. When I first started telling people about Furch - literally nobody in the UK had heard of them - a little like Dowina now - I love helping people find hidden gems.
This image is taken from 2022 Guitarist Magazine Gear Of The Year Nominations.
Should you wish to take the time to try one of my personal recommendations, I think it would be hard to question my judgement. Dowina, Furch, Eastman, Auden, Cort, Lag - A wonderful collection of acoustic guitar recommendations that span £200 to £5000. From quality affordable through to World Class hand made instruments - every single one a personal recommendation setup to perfection in our workshop.
IF there should be any doubters in the room (lol - There always are!) - Watch this video from 4 YEARS ago. I felt so guilty being part of the "industry machine" selling a guitar that I didnt enjoy selling - that I tried to create this video to help guide people toward personal recommendations within the range (some of which are now discontinued or have risen sharply in price). The entire point of the video was to give honest constructive advice so should people continue buying the blood moon on looks - then that was their prerogative but I didnt have to feel guilty about it as I had done my bit to guide them (this video was on every Faith product page).
2 years after this video Faith brought out the Blue Moon.... OMG.... Made from all solid mango...... Say no more :)
So... The FVBMB Beaters! Why I no longer recommend Faith guitars is perfectly represented in the guitars I recommend over a Faith FVBMB - by FAR Faith Guitars best selling model...