Faith Legacy vs Martin D10E

Hi everyone,

I’m in the market to upgrade my Yamaha APX600 that I’ve been using to learn on, and I’m at a stage where my eyes are wandering to something a bit nicer (ssshh don’t tell the Yamaha!).

I saw the Martin D10E is within my budget and seems to match most of my requirements - sub-£1k, dreadnaught or similar, with pickups, solid wood, and of course that desirable Martin name (I know, I’m weak ok) and I think it’s around 44 or 45mm nut. I find my APX is fine but I think that bit extra with would be good.
I’m no expert in specs but have a rough idea about it. I’m maybe at the lower end of intermediate as a player.
Anyway, I’ve had my eyes on the D10E for a while.

So I went to my local music store and asked about it and the store expert suggested the lower end Martins, ain’t all that and directed me towards Faith, which I’ve never really given much attention to before. I’ve since done a bit of research and they seem rather nice guitars with a good reputation. Like the materials it’s made from are of higher quality such as bone pins rather than plastic on the Martin, and with ebony goodness, basically they sound as if they use good materials etc.
Given my leaning towards a 45mm nut it seems the main Faith looks like a Faith Legacy (I’ve seen a Mars version within my budget and that’s a very similar price to the Martin D10E).
If i had to go for 43mm then i could also include the Faith blood moon neptune.

Another one I had in mind was the Gibson G45, I believe, but it didn’t have pickups and not sure the nut, so i’ve kind of rule that out.
But mainly I’m interested in D10E vs Faith Legacy.
I understand going and playing them is the way to find out, but it’s a bit hard to get my hand on those guitars :slight_smile:

So let’s assume it’s between the Faith Legacy Mars, and the Martin D10E, does anyone have experience of these two and can push my wallet one way or the other? I’m open to alternatives, but focusing on these two would be great.

My feeling says the Faith probably is the better value for money. But given this guitar would probably be the one I’ll be holding onto for the long term, I wonder if I got the Faith would my eye still be wandering to that Martin name on the headstock, as that’s what I’ve mainly thought I should get as my long term guitar. But I have heard good things about the Faith and if it’s a better guitar than the D10E, I could be happy with that.

EDIT: I should probably mention I like folk style guitar, and I like both strumming and fingerpicking so an-rounder is nice.

Thanks for your time
Enjoy your day

Welcome to the forum Vanian

To Help you make an informed decision From Martin’s Website about the D10E
It has an FSC® Certified Richlite® fingerboard and bridge,
Bridge Pin Material: White Plastic
Saddle: Compensated White Tusq
Nut Material: White Corian

No bone or ebony on the D10e this isn’t a bad thing just don’t want you to buy one then find out it isn’t what you thought it was.
I’ve played a lot of Martin guitars and they are well made, those you have them love then. If that’s what you want you may as well get it or you’ll have that itch to buy one until you do. If you find out you don’t like it you won’t loose a lot of money when you sell it. They hold their value better than other brands.

I hear a lot of good things about Faith guitars but can’t give an honest opinion because I’ve never had the opportunity to play one.

Thanks for the advice, Rick. Appreciate it. Are you named after Stich Method? He’s my 2nd favourite YouTuber, after Justin of course.

But yes, I hadn’t really thought about resale value - that’s a very good point, a Martin would probably hold it’s value better so more wriggle room if I didn’t like it. Though I’ve heard it’s hard to find a bad Martin :slight_smile: I don’t think I’d go wrong with a Martin, but the guy in store said there’s more bang for my buck in the Faith. I guess I would be happy with either but when we are paying higher, we want to get the best one for the money

I heard bone pins have a little better effect on tone, but I doubt my ears would notice anything. In fact I’m sure so :slight_smile: Besides, I think they can be bought online to swap out the plastic ones, so not a big issue.

The Faith seems to have better ebony tuning pegs, ebony fingerboard and ebony pickguard etc, and it is ‘roasted’ to simulate aging tone apparently. It may not make much difference but if they are the same price, and one has bells and whistles (oo, imagine the possibilities if it literally had bells and whistles) then it’s hard to ignore. On the other hand, a Martin is a Martin and that makes it desirable :slight_smile:

Hey @vanian and welcome!
Faith owner here and actually went through a similar dilemma when buying, although not against a Martin.
I’ll post up a my experience and thoughts later on but what I will say initially is I don’t for a second regret buying my Faith!
Not being a tease, honest, just time to get some food! :wink:

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No I had the username stitch long before Ian had his youtube channel and Ian uses Stich no “t”

There is more bang for the buck in Faith. If you are in the UK or EU you won’t get a warranty from Martin. The dealer has to deal with all warranty work. Isn’t Faith a British guitar company?
You may want to check out Lowen Guitars as well. They are built in Ireland and top of the line.
Ed Sheeran has them build guitars for him now all thou it’s a small body not a dred. Ed Sheeran's Favourite Guitar To Use On Tour! - YouTube Martin do make great guitars but if you compare price with other quality guitars they are mare expensive by as much as $500

Bridge pins have very little to do with tone. The string going over the saddle kill most if any effect on tone. Two of my guitars have pinless bridges and sound great. If you look up Lowden you’ll see their guitars don’t have pins either and are top of the line world class guitars.

Bottom line is you can get a middle of the road Martin or a higher end Faith for you budget. It’s up to your ears.

Oh, I’m much better deciding when it comes to food.
Generally seems Faith folk seem satisfied customers too.
Happy eating!

I tried some martins in store and really didnt get on with them, ended up with a Maton.

Ah, so Stich borrowed it from you and dropped the ‘t’ so you wouldn’t sue :wink:

Yes, I’m in the UK and Faith is British though they’re put together in Indonesia - though the D10E is from the Mexican factory I think. I’ve heard of Lowen, but only the name. I’ll have a look.
What do you think of the low end Martins? Do they compare well to the high end of less prestigious makers? Or is it obvious they are lower end? The D10E seems to be on the entry level to Martin. I guess that’s the crux of my dilemma - a low end Martin or a high end Faith (or alternative), and if a low end Martin would make a good long term guitar since I don’t want to upgrade later, and learning and improving only, I guess i’d never need a high end.

I did try a low end Martin in the store, I think X series? And it felt and sounded quite nice, so I imagine the D10 would be similar. Though the guy at the store seemed to rate the Taylors and Faiths higher.

Let’s compare value between the 2 guitars

Faith: top Torrefied Canadian Sitka Spruce
Martin: top Sitka Spruce

Back and sides
Faith African: Khaya Mahogany
Martin: Sapele

Neck
Faith: Mahogany
Martin: Select Hardwood (meaning what ever is on hand)

Fret Board
Faith: Macassan Figured Ebony
Martin: FSC® Certified Richlite®

Nut/Saddle
Faith: Natural Bone
Martin: Saddle Compensated White Tusq (man made) Nut White Corian

Bridge pins
Faith: Natural Bone
Marin: White Plastic

All info can be found on Faith Guitar home page and CF Martin Guitars home page.

Both Martin and Taylor you’ll will be paying for the name and getting less for your money but that’s up to you. This is coming from a guy who owns multiple Gibson Guitars which are also over priced American Guitars but I love them anyway.

If you really want a Martin get a Martin you probably won’t regret it. If you want value for your money and a great guitar get the Faith. Let us know what you decide. There really isn’t a wrong answer. It’s only money :money_with_wings:

Thanks so much for looking into it.
I think as you say I probably can’t go wrong with either.
I think the Faith wins on paper, but a Martin wins on reputation and the Martin factor, and is slightly cheaper.
Shame I can’t test them. Maybe I’ll try have a go to try hold a Faith at the weekend even if it’s a different model, and a low end Martin to get a feel how they compare.
Thanks for the help, very nice of you all :slight_smile:

And if anyone has played either of both these models, it would be interesting to hear too :slight_smile:

Interesting discussion, like many top brands they trade a lot on their name.

“the Martin factor” is that it has martin on the headstock. This assumes a certain level of build and QC for sure.

But it doesnt mean its a better built or better spec/sounding guitar than the faith.

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A couple of comments. When I was first learning it was on a Maton with the narrower nut (1 11/16") like your Yamaha. A friend (brilliant guitarist) put me on to a guitar with a wider nut. 1 3/4" and said it would make my playing easier. At that stage I was only playing fingerstyle. It did make my playing easier. Chords that seemed impossible were now only hard and it gave me extra encouragement to try them. I was concerned it would make it harder for me to play guitars with a narrower nut if I got handed one in a social situation. He assured me over time i had nothing to worry about. And he was right. I still prefer the wider nut but can play either if needed. I’ve heard the opposite from others so spend as much time playing the wider nut guitar in the store before you make your decision.

I also decided after I was progressing with my playing to treat myself to a nicer guitar and it was a fun journey. I spent a good year chasing that better guitar. I played mostly Taylors and Martins with a few others thrown in (Gibsons, etc). For me, the Taylors suited me better than the Martins. This isn’t to put you off the Martins, more to emphasize it’s a very personal choice. Don’t go as much for the reputation as you do for the sound of the guitar in your hands.

And be confident you are happy with the sound. One Taylor I got had a great feel, looked lovely, etc but just didn’t quite have the volume / projection I wanted. I thought it might get better as I got more used to the guitar. It didn’t. Thankfully I’d got it second hand and was able to sell it later for very similar to what I paid for it. With the next Taylor I got I spent a bit more time playing it and it was much better. Take your time, you have a friendly Yamaha to keep you company in the mean time.

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Right, and usually I don’t go for paying for the name for things. At all though there’s a certain allure to a Martin, and based on great reputation in this instance. I haven’t head many a bad thing said about their guitars. Faith isn’t really a well known brand globally at least, but based on user positive comments I’m happy to consider it over the Martin. Though aesthetics counts a little too, like I’m impressed with the Faith, but their logo is rather big and tad ugly (in my eyes), and we all like our guitars to look the part :slight_smile: But i would get use to it. It may well be better than the Martin in tone too :slight_smile: Maybe there’s even some lesser known ones better than both, the challenge is find out which :slight_smile: It’s interesting as you say, usually i find non-brands just as good as brands, but I think Martin has earned the rep, as far as i can see. As with Gibson and Taylor i suppose too. :slight_smile:

Hi Tony, thanks for your input. This is very helpful for my other dilemma on the nut width, as I feel if i had a sliver of extra room it would help a lot. I just feel that extra space, even if only slight would be a big help. So it’s nice to read about your experience. The only thing i worried was about fretting with the thumb but i heard it doesn’t really affect it.
And i have an electric with narrower neck of course, so I imagine I would be able to handle either.
Well i have to retire for the night but good to hear about the necks width, I think it might be a benefit.
And yes, my lowly Yamaha does the job for me pretty well for the time being. I hope if I upgrade, there’s a noticeable difference though :))

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Right…fed, watered (or wined rather!)…
I’d first point to this post when I bought my Faith a couple of months ago now.

When I first started learning with Justin’s course I was using a Yamaha from about 20 years ago that I had from previous failed attempts. Proper dreadnought and it was huuuuge, not comfortable at all to play. But I got far enough into the course that I then moved to an electric and didn’t really go back to the Yamaha at all. However I love the sound of an acoustic and finally succumbed to getting a proper modern one (The Yamaha was donated to a local charity shop where it sold within a day apaprently, hope it went to a good home :slight_smile: )

I did much reasearch with the usual suspects but was biased by my love of PRS and had reserved a SE Angelus at my store to test drive but nothing else. When I was there I asked the staff if they’d recommend something else to try alongside it which plonked the Faith in my hands. Busy day in store so I was tucked away in the studio kit room of the store. I tried the PRS first, felt great, sounded great, expectations ticked… Picked up the Faith, played one chord and thought “hang on” that sounds like it’s filling the room where the PRS didn’t. Just so warm by comparison. I was in that room for, literally, 90 minutes playing each back to back and with every song the Faith just sounded better, was nicer and easier to play, seemed to hold tune better (though I appreciate that’s not necessarily a fair statement with an out of the box instrument), and even sat a little more comfortably. Chatting with the staff after deciding and my reasons why they weren’t surprised.

Having had it a couple of months now, so still pretty young, so to speak, and as I said above, I dont’ have a single regret on the decision. Firstly, the Blood Moon I have to me just looks the absolute bomb, it makes me want to pick up and play and the finish is just amaxing quality. Grover tuners are really nice and stable, I recently installed Grover lockers on my electric so was actually quite pleased this came with (non-locking) Grovers too. The satin neck I find amazing to play on, at the moment it’s the biggest tactile difference I’ve felt in a guitar. Fretboard is smooth as, and the frets themselves are nicely edged, the neck is very smooth.

2 things I’ll say in conclusion, firstly don’t get hung up on a preferred brand as such, a headstock and logo is all good, but (and most importantly) play them side by side, your hands and ears will tell you which one is yours. Especially for what is not an insignificant amount of money.

Bonus 3rd conclusion :wink: - Definitely take a Faith for a spin though

Look forward to seeing and hearing what becomes yours!!

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The only way to know is play them side by side. You may find you don’t like either and come home with a completely different brand. Good luck in your search have fun playing all those guitars in your price range.

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@stitch Indeed! I wish I could try both, the D10e seems hard to find in store. I suspect I could try some Faiths at the weekend though, the local seems to have several. Thanks for your replies, they’re helpful.

@Notter Thanks for returning with your experience and a fully belly, and really interesting to read through your reply, it was worth the wait. We both went the Yamaha route to start, and I’d definitely recommend them to beginners. It got me playing so can’t be bad :slight_smile:
My first guitar as a teen was a bargain basement non-branded thing, no wonder i never got anywhere. Wish I’d have had better equipment back then, and youtube etc, instead I just had a book which only showed power chords :slight_smile: But getting along ok somehow, as a getting oldie.

I had a look at the SE Angelus just now, it looks quite nice too. Though I think I’ve narrowed my choice down to the ones in this thread. If they have one down at the store when I go I’ll have a look at it too. But I guess there’s so many good guitars around we have to draw the line somewhere or we’d never get one :))
It must be nice to find the PRS ticked all your boxes, and then found the next one even better. I wish they had a private place to test them out in my store, I always feel awkward trying them in public, any skills immediately disappears when people are around :slight_smile: (same as when we try to record anything, the fingers immediately refuse to comply!).

When you strummed the Faith, that’s what happened when I tried an X-Series Martin in the story (I think that’s what it was, I just picked up a similar priced/shaped model to the D10e), and when I strummed a chord it just resonated so well and had that right tone. I need to do that with a Faith, I should have done so at the time.
Yes, I think sometimes the store guitars have that ‘new string’ sound, that even my Yamaha sounds good for a couple of days with new strings. So the store guitars maybe sound slightly better than they are.

And your experience with the Faith seem to echo everything I’ve read online, that they play and sound great too. I don’t think I’ve read any bad words about them. Funnily, a couple of reviewers said they don’t like the internal label :stuck_out_tongue: And one reviewer said the pickups aren’t ideal but that doesn’t bother me, I will be playing unplugged mainly.
And nobody seems to have any regrets buying it. I do feel swaying more towards Faith, I’m hoping to hear from a D10E user too, there seems to be not much online about it but what i’ve seen is all positive too.

Also, I totally agree the Blood Moon version is beautiful and definitely my favourite Faith for looks. But I think I would get the Legacy (as long as the price in a certain shop stays ‘low’…if it goes up then it’ll be a change of plan). And I think I wouldn’t mind having a traditional design guitar.
They said the Legacy has a ‘torrefied’ top (my spell checker thinks it’s terrified), which is supposed to be like a roasting to give it a head start on aging and tone - but i don’t know if this is on the other models or indeed the Martin, i think maybe not.
It sounds like your Faith is a pleasure to play too.

For sure, I think with Martin, a chunk of the price would be going towards that name on the headstock, though there is a reason they are desirable. I think deep down most of us acoustic players would rather like to have a Martin name on our guitar, not everyone of course. But it’s not everything, I would rather have the best guitar than the best name. Just we know Martins have a super reputation. However, having said that, I was watching a YouTube vid on the Faiths last night from a store owner, and he was having a small go at Martin for having a poor, short, warranty on their guitars and he said in his shop he saw more issues with them. But of course we have to take online videos with a pinch of salt sometimes, that’s why i appreciate your views as an owner. :slight_smile:
It’s like those Positive Grid Spark amplifiers… I had half an eye on those since they seem to have glowing reviews on YouTube - but when you look a bit more closely, you get the impression that the vast majority of those reviews have some sponsorship, money changing hands. They seem to know how to market it. But it’s probably still quite good.
I think the shop owner mentioning the Martin things as an aside was being genuine. It wouldn’t put me off Martins too much, as I say they’re desired for a reason. But it’s another thing to think about, and the warranty was mentioned by @stitch too (thanks).

I do think i need to have a go on a Faith though just to see for myself. I can’t get my hands on a D10E yet, but going on the similar model i think it would be good. Let’s see how the Faith does, if i can get down the the store :slight_smile:
Oh and the Faith has a lovely hard case too, though that won’t sway me, it’s all about the guitar :slight_smile:

But thanks for letting me know how your Faith is, @Notter. I forgot to read your initial post from when you bought yours, which i have now remedied. Yours is a real beauty, enjoy playing!

@vanian You need to ask yourself “What am I going to use this guitar for?” You mentioned you like folk music. Do you sing when playing? Do you have a strong singing voice? Why do you want a dred? The are loud, big and uncomfortable to play when sitting.
Do you play Bluegrass with a banjo and mandolin? This is what a dred was designed for.
If you are trying to decide what guitar you want without actually playing them you’re not doing youself any favors. It seems the only reason you want a Martin is because of what you’ve read and seen on the internet. Yes Martin has a good reputation but so does every guitar manufacture when you only talk to people who love them. You have a Yamaha. They have just as good of a reputation as Martin and their high end guitars are twice as good as Martin for the same money. Check out Yamaha LL series they start at about $1000 and go as high as $6 or $7000
I’m not trying to put you off Martin but I think you should play every guitar you can in your price range before you choose.
Every person I know who owns a Martin guitars Loves them but thats only about 5% of the people I jam with.

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Oh no no, no singing from me. Aside from my terrible singing voice my fingers immediately stop working when I try do anything else :slight_smile: But no i wouldn’t inflict that on anyone, or myself.
I do like folk style mainly, and I strum and fingerpick. I like the dread for a bit more volume and that it is a bit of an all rounder. Plus i like the bigger size for holding, throwing my arm over it. So I actually find the bigger ones more comfortable. I do like Bluegrass to listen to for sure, though I just try a little of that but more later. I’m interested in that style. I do have a basic banjo but honestly i haven’t touched it much since I want to concentrate learning guitar and i think that would throw me. Though will go back to it later.
Also, not so long ago I got a Gretsch Jim Dandy which is bright and lovely sounding and i think it looks great, happy with that purchase. So i have the bright side covered. A dreadnaught would be better for me as an all rounder I think. And I like the look of dreads shape. I tried a similar Martin Dread but not the D10E and it felt a good size to hold and sounded good, so i think it’s ok :slight_smile:
My other guitars are a Gretsch Streamliner, and a Yamaha Pacifica 012, but electric is not my thing so much and, ironically, I got that one to play quietly with headphones at night so I could practice more often.
I’ll have another look at the Yamaha range. I just have an APX600 which is around entry level I suppose but for what it is it’s good, never goes out of tune, just lacks a bit of oomph. Though that’s my first guitar that’s actually a playable guitar :slight_smile: It’s been find to learn on and got me playing and through the beginner stages.
Actually, I think I’m less attached to the idea of a Martin now. But I know it would be ok if I ended up with that, and if it wasn’t a Martin…well that’s fine too, I think especially after the discussion here. The Faith is growing on me, just need to give it a try…and while I’m there I could have a look at some of the other brands. Looks good, seems highly rated, and quality materials, now I just need to hear it in the flesh so to speak and see how it is to hold and play.
I’m still only at higher beginner level or low end intermediate but I feel ready for an upgrade and progress my learning using something nicer. The APX can be a bit flat sounding and a bit less inspiring. Or maybe that’s my playing :wink: Ok it’s definitely my playing :slight_smile: It sounds a bit nicer plugged in, but I tend to wander around the house and different rooms, so I don’t really want to be at an amp much. I like the natural experience :slight_smile:
I play ok, my main weakness is forgetting where the tune is going, what the next chord is and coming to a halt. And my pinky work, but that’s improving. Recently, though, I feel my learning seems to be accelerating and am ‘getting there’, plus I’m putting more time into it and enjoying it more.
But to answer the question what I would use it for, i think a bit of everything :slight_smile:
Thanks for the input, and hope you’re having a nice day.

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