Review: Farida M-2 & B-10E

Farida M-2NS – soundhole rosette

Kitarablogi.com had the pleasure to review two acoustic steel-string guitars from Chinese brand Farida Guitars:

The Farida M-2 is a parlour-sized guitar, while the Farida B-10E gives you this company’s take on a miked-up, slope-shouldered Gibson steel-string.

Farida B-10E – soundhole rosette

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Farida M-2NS – beauty shot 1 – new

These days a guitar is called a parlour (or parlor, if you’re so inclined), if its soundbox is smaller than a Martin OM- or 000-body. While parlour guitars have gained a growing followership over the last few years, it is still surprisingly difficult to find reasonably priced exponents of this species.

Farida Guitars’ M-2 (current price in Finland: 465 €) ticks all the right boxes to whet a parlour lover’s appetite – a slightly shorter scale length (62.8 cm/24.7″), a 12th fret neck joint, and a classical-type open headstock.

Farida M-2NS – back beauty

The M-2’s soundbox is made from a beautiful solid red cedar top, and laminated mahogany for the rims and the back.

The mahogany neck is glued into the body in traditional fashion.

Farida M-2NS – headstock

The three-on-a-strip tuners are of a decent quality.

Farida M-2NS – bridge

The Farida M2’s top nut and compensated bridge saddle are both made from a man-made bone substitute.

Farida M-2NS – fretboard

The fretwire used on this parlour has a narrow and medium-height profile.

There’s a very nice red hue to the M-2’s rosewood fretboard.

Farida M-2NS – body beauty 2

This very cleanly built acoustic instrument comes in a thin natural satin finish.

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Farida B-10E – beauty shot 1 – new

Farida’s B-10E (425 €) is the brand’s affordable version of Gibson’s famous slope shoulder (or round shoulder) dreadnought design (first released in the mid-1930s as the Advanced Jumbo). Like the name says, this guitar type differs from the more common Martin dreadnought by virtue of its rounded ”shoulders”.

The B-10E sports a solid spruce top finished in a gorgeously deep gloss sunburst.

Farida B-10E – back beauty

The mahogany soundbox has also received a gloss finish, while the mahogany neck goes for a modern satin finish.

Farida B-10E – headstock

Farida have come up with a good-looking headstock shape, at least in my opinion. The B-10E’s headstock face sports a beautiful rosewood veneer.

Farida B-10E – tuners

The machine heads are very decent Schaller-style models.

Farida B-10E – bridge

As with the parlour model, Farida’s slope shoulder dread also comes equipped with a self-lubricating Tusq-type nut and compensated bridge saddle.

Farida B-10E – Fishman Isys T

The B-10E features a Fishman Sonicore under-saddle transducer connected to an Isys T preamp.

In addition to the large volume control, the preamp also comes with a phase inverse switch (to combat feedback), a pre-EQ curve (called Contour), and a digital tuner.

Farida B-10E – output jack + battery

The output jack is found in the end pin, with the easy access battery compartment nearby.

Farida B-10E – fretboard

Despite this model’s rather affordable status, the fret job on the B-10 is actually surprisingly clean.

Farida B-10E – body beauty 2

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Farida M-2NS – body beauty 1

To some parlour snobs – yes, there are such people – the only ”correct” neck profile for a guitar of this type is a wide and massive V-neck (also called a boat neck). True, a boat neck is the authentic option, but many modern players do feel quite alienated by such a profile.

Luckily (and sensibly) the Farida Guitars M-2 comes with a very player-friendly, modern D-style neck profile.

Talking about comfortable: The M-2 is a very lightweight and compact little instrument, which fits effortlessly in your lap. This means that this parlour is a great choice for young players and many women, too. You don’t need to be a Folk music fan.

Farida’s M-2 delivers the sound you’d expect from a small-bodied steel-string guitar. There’s not a lot of deep bass, the mid-range has a certain boxy quality, and the whole is rounded off by a healthy dose of chiming top end.

The M-2 is a fabulous choice for fingerstyle players, because the tight bass response of a parlour leaves ample room for the full character of the mid-range to shine through:

But a small body doesn’t necessarily mean a puny sound – this Farida is a nice little barker when played with a plectrum. Thanks to its sinewy bass register this guitar is also easy to record:

The rhythm guitar parts on this demo song feature both test guitars. The Farida M-2 is in the left channel and the B-10E can be heard coming from the right:

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Farida B-10E – body beauty 1

Farida’s B-10E offers a lot of value and enjoyment for a very moderate price.

Here the neck profile is a slightly more rounded, oval C.

This Farida gives you the punch you’d associate with a well-made dreadnought guitar, suitably seasoned with the warmth this model’s Gibson-type scale length brings into the mix.

In contrast to the parlour, the much larger body of the B-10E equates a hefty boost in the bass and treble registers.

Played fingerstyle you’ll get a stronger bass content and more top end sparkle:

This larger-than-life persona, so typical of dreadnoughts, is also present when you switch over to a plectrum:

Fishman’s Isys T system is a very workable addition for live use. A piezo-only pickup system is always a bit of a compromise, in terms of sound fidelity, but the Isys T does a good job. In these clips the first phrase has been recorded with Contour off and the second phrase with Contour on:

The rhythm guitar parts on this demo song feature both test guitars. The Farida M-2 is in the left channel and the B-10E can be heard coming from the right:

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Farida M-2NS – beauty shot 2

Based on this review, Farida seem to offer a lot of guitar at very fair prices. Both the Farida M-2 and the B10E are beautiful steel-string guitars that offer easy playability and inspiring sounds.

Farida B-10E – beauty shot 2

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Farida Guitars M-2 + B-10E

M-2 – 465 €

B-10E – 425 €

Finnish distribution: Vantaan Musiikki

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Pros (both models):

+ value-for-money

+ finish

+ fretwork

+ acoustic sound

+ easy to use pickup system (B-10E only)

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