The Farida A-SR Steve Rothery acoustic guitar, in the words of the man himself…
The Farida A-SR Steve Rothery Acoustic Guitar has whipped up something of a storm since its announcement a few weeks ago. The second of Farida ’s stunning new artist series of guitars, this model was designed with the input and extensive knowledge of the legendary Marillion guitarist, in collaboration with Farida ‘s master craftsmen. The result is simply stunning. A smaller bodied guitar, it produces a huge, full tone that you’d expect to hear emerging from a far bigger instrument. When plugged in, the Fishman Ellipse Aura preamp system provides an amplifiable signal that is both natural and flexible, via its ability to blend between the under-saddle pickup and a sound-hole microphone.
Steve is a very busy man, but he managed to take time out from sessions at Peter Gabriel’s Real World studios to answer a few questions about the new Farida A-SR. UK Farida brand manager Sam Salisbury caught up with him…
Sam Salisbury: Hi Steve, I hope it’s going well in Real World. What ideas did you start out with for this model in terms of acoustic tone?
Steve Rothery: I was looking for an instrument that would work well in a live situation and that had a nice balanced sound and good projection.
Sam Salisbury: Why did you choose the smaller Auditorium shaped body?
Steve Rothery: I chose the smaller Auditorium body after playing a friend’s Taylor acoustic of a similar design. It seemed an ideal shape to use on stage.
Sam Salisbury: Its quite modest and understated in terms of the guitar’s aesthetics- was that intentional?
Steve Rothery: I wanted a pure performers instrument, understated not flash or garish.
Sam Salisbury: Where did the idea for the Celtic knot come from?
Steve Rothery: The Celtic knot came from my love of folk music. I grew up in Whitby and the annual folk week was one of best things about living there. Folk music is still quite a strong influence in what I write.
Sam Salisbury: What kind of action and playability were you looking for?
Steve Rothery: I wanted a reasonably low action as I’m primarily an electric guitar player and anything too high and heavy would make it difficult for me to play the kind of parts I write.
Sam Salisbury: What was your first impression of your model? You must have played some amazing instruments during your career. Does this stand up with them?
Steve Rothery: I was struck by the beauty and elegance of the finished guitar. I think Farida have done an amazing job. It’s one of those instruments that when you start playing it, you don’t want to put it down. It stands up to the very best instruments I’ve played.
Sam Salisbury: Are you happy with how the project has worked out?
Steve Rothery: I’m really happy with how this project has turned out and I really hope to work with Farida on a 12 string acoustic and jumbo bodied model in the future.
Joe is a contributor for the Dawsons Music blog. Specialising in product reviews and crafting content to help and inspire musicians of all musical backgrounds.