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FARG - it's the First Act (is a) Real Guitar Club!

Discussion in 'Guitar Owners Clubs' started by FastMattTX, Oct 23, 2010.

  1. funstuie

    funstuie TDPRI Member

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    Can anyone suggest replacement bridge for a ME4002? I got it for $20 so I am going to strip the finish, put in new Pickup, replace wiring, tuners (suggestions on what to go for appreciated?) and refinish it.

    I am thinking of using this as a test fabric paisley finish.
     
  2. Lockheed_Tvr

    Lockheed_Tvr Tele-Meister

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    This Gotoh bridge from Stew-Mac is an exact replacement. I have one on an Ibanez. The string spacing, mounting screw spacing, and overall size are exactly the same as your 4002.

    That said, the design is identical and it might be cheaper just to use the original and buy new saddles as the basic bridge plate itself is essentially the same as the Gotoh.
     
  3. funstuie

    funstuie TDPRI Member

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    Thanks for the response. And good to know it's basically the same design. I will look into replacing the saddles etc first.
     
  4. FastMattTX

    FastMattTX Tele-Meister

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    TimmyV, congrats on your "new" ME501! Lots of fun to be had there!

    Lockheed_Tvr, my ME501 and PW580 are also pretty loud unplugged. I wonder if there's something about the "Kei" body shape that lends itself to resonance?

    It was probably designed to look good and "nest" well to minimize material usage but I wouldn't rule out a happy coincidence!
     
  5. Lockheed_Tvr

    Lockheed_Tvr Tele-Meister

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    Odds are it is a lucky coincidence but maybe there really is something to that brass "tone block" on the back!
     
  6. TimmyV

    TimmyV Tele-Holic

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    You wouldn't believe how much the brass will add to the resonance of a guitar. Right now my me501 is tore down. I just did a fret level and dress on the the neck and added some new stainless steel saddles. I also just got a set of wilkinson 19:1 tuning machines in the mail for it. Next comes the tusq nut and some better pots and output jack. After she's done I'll put it up against any Les Paul and I guarantee it will win. No Joke! And I'll probably only have a total of $150 in it. I love taking cheap guitars and making them play like a million bucks!
     
  7. mlove3

    mlove3 Tele-Afflicted

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    ok, another question, I've picked up a couple of first act guitars and found the fret edges a little sharp, hate that.
    ME951 owners, how are those frets? I see a couple on ebay stupid cheap, I'm on the fence.
     
  8. Lockheed_Tvr

    Lockheed_Tvr Tele-Meister

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    I don't have a 951 (Though I might look for one) but I do have a couple like the 501, 601, 445 that are a step above the really entry level First Acts and those range from acceptable to quite good in the fret end department.

    My 501 only has a few ends that are not quite completely smooth and my ME445 (and the 446 and 447) all have fret ends that are just as well filed as my more expensive guitars, about on par with my Flying V.

    I would imagine that the 951 would be in that middle range of acceptable.

    Not that everyone wants to take on a project but I finally bought a fret end file from Stew-Mac and started working on some of my necks as I acquire new ones or mod one. It was easier than I thought it would be and has turned one neck from "I hate this" to "I look forward to picking this one up."

    I haven't taken the plunge on the tools needed for leveling and crowning but just taking care of the ends was very rewarding and wasn't that hard. I think the file was around $15.
     
  9. TimmyV

    TimmyV Tele-Holic

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    The fret ends aren't that hard to do. There are tons of videos on YouTube to show you how to do it. Heck I learned how to do all my fretwork from YouTube. The key is to have the right tools. As the poster above said. A good fret job can turn a clunker into a cruiser.
     
  10. Lockheed_Tvr

    Lockheed_Tvr Tele-Meister

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    New Craigslist find!

    ME562 - After seeing the first post from FastMattTX who created this thread, I've been on the lookout for one but I've never seen one in the wild. In fact, when I google it, the only image hits are for that very guitar from the first page of this thread.

    But this popped up in Tampa! I'm not in Tampa but my mom is... She was gracious enough to go get it for me. Thanks, mom!

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    It doesn't seem to have the original knobs, which is a bummer, and the previous owner put the stripes on. I like them, they might stay. The truss rod cover is a replacement. It's made of wood and looks hand made.

    The board was very dry but I've taken it apart, cleaned it up, very lightly filed the fret ends, oiled the fretboard, and re-soldered a loose pickup ground. After restringing and setting up it has the lowest action I've seen on any of my guitars except maybe my G&L. Just perfectly level frets. I have to wonder if someone had worked on them.

    The pickups are not at all what I was expecting. I have some other humbucker-sized P-90s (GFS Mean 90s) and these sound much closer to real P-90s than that. Except that they seem a lot brighter. They sound really fantastic though my Epiphone Valve Special which is a pretty dark amp.

    I can't believe how nicely it plays. Not just for the price, but overall. This thing is a punk rock machine.
     
  11. TimmyV

    TimmyV Tele-Holic

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    Nice!
     
  12. mcknigs

    mcknigs Tele-Meister

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    I don't know the wood either. My impression, backed up somewhat by others here, is that whatever it is, it has thin veneers of something mahogany-looking on the front and back. I wouldn't swear to it, but I think I determined the scale is closer to Strat than LP.
     
  13. TimmyV

    TimmyV Tele-Holic

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    My me 501 is basswood and its 25 1/2 " scale. And yeah these guitars are really more a kin to a Fender than a Gibson . Though you wouldn't know just to look at em.
     
  14. Lockheed_Tvr

    Lockheed_Tvr Tele-Meister

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    They really are an odd mix of the two. Most FAs have a more Gibson-style look to them but the construction techniques are clearly derived from the Fender template; except for the angled headstocks. Though I do have two S-type FAs that have the more traditional non-angled headstock.

    The scale lengths on 24 out of 25 of my FAs are all 25.5". The only outlier is the SG shaped 222 Adam Levine model at a PRS scale of 25.0". I don't know if the more recent single-pickup black versions are the same as my older white two-pickup model. Other than that, even the more blatant Gibson style models like the 445 and 951 are 25.5" scale.

    Despite that Fender scale length, I find that all of my FAs play more like what I expect a 24.75" guitar to play like - looser, with easier bending. I have no idea why that would be. The Fenders that I own feel "harder" even with the same brand/gauge of strings. Perhaps it is just in my head.
     
  15. TimmyV

    TimmyV Tele-Holic

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    Well with a shorter scale you don't have to bend as far.
     
  16. Lockheed_Tvr

    Lockheed_Tvr Tele-Meister

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    That's my point, the FAs play like a shorter scale, but they aren't.
     
  17. el cheapo

    el cheapo Tele-Afflicted

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    That's what I did with mine...

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    I used GFS tuners, wraparound bridge, speed knobs, strap, pickguard material and dogear P90.
    No complaints here!
     
  18. Lockheed_Tvr

    Lockheed_Tvr Tele-Meister

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    New Gear Day!

    First Act ME201 (Les Paul shape)

    [​IMG]

    I'm on my way to completing my '01 collection. I now have a 201, 301, 501, and a 601.

    This one was pretty beat when I got it. The neck was deeply bowed and the neck needed shimmed. It was filthy and the electronics all worked but were very intermittent. But after some steel wool, lemon oil, polish, and Deoxit it cleaned right up and has no glaring problems. The tuners are in rough shape, a couple are slightly bent but they hold tune. Thinking about replacement.

    I'm not sure what the woods are but it is not plywood and there is an actual cap on top of whatever the base wood is. The cap looks more like ash than maple but it is about 3/8" thick at the top of the carved top. Yes, it has an actual arch to the top! I know, I was surprised, too!

    The hardware is basic import stuff, tune-o-matic, jumbo frets, plastic nut, etc. The switch is an "open" style which is nice. I put a new tip on it.

    Back:
    [​IMG]

    The neck is a very chunky '50s style neck. I like it. The frets ends were finished very well. The crowns are a little flat on a few frets but better than some I've seen.

    Overall, it looked very well used. I like to think that someone learned on it, played it a lot, and then moved up to a "midrange" guitar. I'm guessing they were frustrated with it as the setup was horrible.

    [​IMG]

    Overall, I'm very happy with it. It sounds very "Les Paul-y" and it play quite well. A keeper!
     
  19. janepaints

    janepaints TDPRI Member

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    this week i bought an ME-219 at a local flea market for $20..including DELUXE original gig bag:).

    .i LOVE it...as you did, i removed the stickers...then adjusted the truss rod...then did the bridge for string height/intonation...strung it with d'addario 10's...and then tuned it requinto-style, i.e. it's like having a capo at the 5th fret, so a chord is actually C, an E is A etc..

    .and it sounds and plays real good...i haven't even touched my other guitars since getting it!....i'll make a video of it in the next few days and share it here.
     
  20. E5RSY

    E5RSY Doctor of Teleocity

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    Who the hell strung that thing??? Hilarious.
     
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