Thursday, October 30, 2008

Meet My Farida D52

Have you met? This is my Farida... Farida, meet the world...

I'm sure some of you have already met my baby (not Mikayla, neither is she Melanie), she is my other baby, and her name is Farida.

I bought this beautiful piece of guitar about 2 years ago from Pas. Julian Low, she should be about 3 years old now. Pas. Julian in turn bought her from the Guitar Store. Born in China the Farida D52 comes with a sitka spruce top with abalone shell soundhole inlays; South American mahogany sides and back with beautiful wood binding; 2-piece mahogany neck with rosewood fretboard adorned with mother of pearl (snowflakes and diamonds) inlays; nut and bridge made of whale bone; and chromed machine heads; finished off with matte/natural finish.

I have found my Farida D52 to be the benchmark for all other dreadnaughts to emulate. It is loud and boomy yet defined. The tone is very (did I say very? Yes, very, VERY) warm. To date I have not heard a guitar that gives a warmer tone. At the age of 4, she is just beginning to open up... gosh! Can't imagine when she opens up... When strummed it will easily engulf your cell group host's home, smaller halls will also be completely saturated with her sweet tones; when finger plucked it is just intimate and simply romantic. Perfect for times when you want to sing a simple song, as the voice of the guitar will shine through, just get your voice out of the guitar's way.

Recently I was considering selling this baby off for an upgrade. I was, and still is, looking for a Taylor (7, 8, or 9 series with Cindy in lays) or McPherson. I quickly realized my folly in wanting to trade her in for a "better" guitar during my trip down to Singapore. I was there for a holiday and also to hunt for a new guitar. After trying all the guitars that a Malaysian in Singapore could get his hands on, I realized that all dreadnaughts actually want to sound like MY dreadnaught! I quickly repented and decided that I was never going to part with my baby.

Sounds too good to be true? Check out this 5-star review on the Farida D52. I quote their bottomline, "For: Beautiful sounds, slim neck, great quality woods; Against: Nothing at all!" Believe it!

Click here to download the full review from Total Guitar Magazine

Note that my piece was specially selected and hand-carried by Guitar Store's guitar techs from the factory in China. Three of their technicians went over to check out the factory and guitars before bringing back these guitars. My piece was one of only six that were specially chosen to be brought back as samples. When it got back to Malaysia, Pas Julian immediately tried it out and immediately took the guitar home on credit term without second thoughts, it was that good. When I tried it out in Pas. Julian's house I wanted to immediately take it home as well, but he did not want to sell it then. However a few months later he made me an offer for the guitar and I pounced on it!

So since this guitar was going to be my legacy to Mikayla, I decided that I have to (finally) put in some electronics so that I can use it sometimes. For a long time I was considering the AER AK 15 plus pickup system. For the longest time this was the best choice because of 1) the non-invasive system that would not harm any part of my guitar, as no holes needed to be made to install this pickup, and 2) there are two sources, a standard piezo (under saddle pickup) as well as a mic. These two sources could be blended to create a different sound. Once I decided to put in the electronics I decided to give my friend Jon Koo a call for some consultation before taking action. He quickly pointed me to another similar very new system by Fishman - the Fishman Ellipse Matrix Blend. This system was available in JS Music, and the guitar tech there was highly recommended.

So last Friday I went over to JS Music to try out the system in view of installing it on my Farida. When I was there the guitar tech that I was consulting (Ng) realized that this was one of the first pieces of Faridas in Malaysia he immediately exclaimed that he was one of the guys that hand-carried it back from China. Small world. He was the guitar tech that was recommended by Jon Koo and some other guitarists that I know, he no longer works for the Guitar Store he now works for JS Music. I decided that it was fate that brought us all together so very quickly I decided on the Fishman system and I even got a special price for it. It would come up to RM900.00 (inclusive of installation).

As I type this my baby is in being fitted with her electronics. I'm so excited to get it back this Friday. I hope it is ready by then. I will be woship leading again this weekend (don't ask), and I am really looking forward to breaking in my Farida in with her brand new Matrix Ellipse Blend pickup system.

Check out my baby on some other sites:

Farida's Official Site
D52 on Farida's UK Site
Farida's YouTube Channel
The Guitar Store

** Watch this space, more pix of my Farida with the brand new Matrix Ellipse Blend coming up.


steven said...

Jelus jugak ni. You have Farida.

Hamidah, Ludah, whatever 'da' but why Farida (malay sounding name from China? weird)

Just joking ;) Nice guitar.

Lemuel Yee Ngan Foong said...

Yalor! Sound like Malay, but I am willing to overlook that for the sake of the sound!

Very excited to get it back from JS Music. Will have a lot of fun with it this weekend. =)

Stephen said...

The guitar sounds very balanced. When I first played it 2 years ago, I did not really like it. But now it sounds better.

You should try playing my Alveraz. It is not only balanced but he sound is bright too.

Unfortunately, Fishman did not have the pick-up that does not require cutting a hole when i installed mine. But I was told 80% of the best sound comes from the top front piece wood.

gavin said...

may i know how much does it cost? planning to get farida once i better my techniques

Lemuel Yee Ngan Foong said...

Gavin, Do I know you?

I bought mine second hand. It was still in perfect condition, might as well be considered brand new. The retail price for a new D52 now costs about RM2500 without electronics.

Drop me a line if you want some help in choosing and buying guitars. Would love to be a busybody and try more guitars out.

Anonymous said...

looking for farida guitar n met you here. have fun with ya farida. cheer up!


Lemuel Yee Ngan Foong said...

Beatrice! Fancy meeting you here!

Let me know if you want help choosing a piece, I can help you pick one out.

The Farida not very suitable for a church setting because it has a very "big" sound. It is very good if used as a solo instrument, but in a band it might take up too much "space".

Let me know what you want, I can help you choose.

Anonymous said...

hey there mate,

I am going to get a Farida D-52NS soon... and u inspired me more... there are pros and cons about ANYTHING...

U mind telling me how is the PROS and CONS of this D-52?? Is it worth to get it???