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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. MSquier

    MSquier TDPRI Member

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    Chatham, NY
    Mine is real wood too, even though the guy at First Act tells me its plywood. Mine seems like basswood to me but I could be wrong. The routing in the cavities is terrible on mine, very rough like it was done with a dull blade. But it works.
     
  2. tvvoodoo

    tvvoodoo Tele-Afflicted

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    Western Canada
    Just a few more shots of my First Act "Glaminator" conversion.

    Top Sanded down to bare... limba? Agathis? Nice, 7-piece top!
    [​IMG]

    quick, simple but very effective headstock re-shape
    [​IMG]

    Cleared and curing before sanding and chrome burst
    [​IMG]

    I also laid a strip on the back of the neck and cleared that as well. Once she cures for a couple of weeks I'll need to sand down a couple of runs, and then I'll be ready to go to work the chrome bursting.

    I'm a little concerned on how the really beautiful Krylon Chrome in the body cavities reacted with the Acrylic clear, and suddenly went all industrial-oxidized-looking, on me... not good. I do have a test sheet going on the side to see if this will work - there seems to be a wealth of knowledge on the ... model rocket hobby groups and other model groups - who I find use a lot of krylon products, stuff that I am researching

    I'm not going to get into how I covered it with the wrapping paper here, but it worked pretty well, with proper preparation. Makes the leveling process much easier than fabric - but laying it down is kind of heart-stopping.

    If you want more details how I'm doing it, you're welcome to visit my ongoing and much more detailed project thread over at AGF -

    http://www.agileguitarforum.com/showthread.php?tid=255&page=6
     
  3. tvvoodoo

    tvvoodoo Tele-Afflicted

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    Holy, this thread was buried five pages deep!

    Just wanted to drop in a few pics of the completed guitar. Lots more info, trials and tribulations on completing it over at the thread in the previous post.

    I present to you The Glaminator, a First Act ME-537 - mainly cosmetic mods.

    [​IMG]

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  4. RiverDog

    RiverDog Tele-Afflicted

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    St. Augustine, FL
    Wow that came out looking amazing! Really nice job. Looks like you put some time into it.
     
  5. tvvoodoo

    tvvoodoo Tele-Afflicted

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    Too frickin much for a $45 guitar! But wait there's more!
    That "snowman/skull" thing was freaking me out. Changed it out to brushed stainless from a microwave I salvaged at the landfill. Better.

    [​IMG]
     
    tubegeek, Powwerzombie and cactusrob like this.
  6. FastMattTX

    FastMattTX Tele-Meister

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    Tejas
    Looks great now - the brushed pickguard is perfect. You sure put a lot of work into that guitar!

    Couldn't figure out whether the previous pickguard was supposed to be a pimp or the Monopoly Man on crack! :p
     
  7. tvvoodoo

    tvvoodoo Tele-Afflicted

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    ^ ha you are correct. I won't even dare call it a much of a mod platform, it was really a refin practice platform, and hell I learned a lot for my future paisley project, and explored some new territories. say $100 in tuition costs.

    She's my e flat guitar right now, with the light strings the harmonics totally scream at high gain. Just a stupid fun thing to have for shiz and gigilos - every collection needs a ridiculous conversation piece like this

    Actually, it's quite tele-ish in sound, even with the crunchy pat bucker. Maybe down the road I throw a top loader tele bridge plate and single on it. Maybe I'll just give it to some school kid, I dunno.
     
    first act-a-holic likes this.
  8. Fearnot

    Fearnot Poster Extraordinaire

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    Decatur, GA
    Good to find this, and if there's another First Act club here, it's a well-kept secret.

    Here's mine, a Lola, all mahogany body and set neck, bound rosewood fingerboard, alnico humbuckers (the middle position sounds great), and some nice hardware all-round. As for the neck profile, it's a wide 'D' shape. Anyone who thinks these aren't 'real guitars' hasn't played one!

    [​IMG]
     
  9. MSquier

    MSquier TDPRI Member

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    Chatham, NY
    Nice looking Lola, good to see some 'upscale' First Acts.
     
  10. Fearnot

    Fearnot Poster Extraordinaire

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    Decatur, GA
    Just to be clear, mine isn't one of the Lolas made in the Boston shop, but one of the imports (China? Korea?) like the Delia and Sheena models. Still dirt-cheap on the used market.
     
  11. FastMattTX

    FastMattTX Tele-Meister

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    Think they were known as the "SFA" series. I passed on a used Lola just like yours because the transparent blue paint over mahogany body didn't look good in the pics, but yours looks great. Would love to get my hands on a cherry Lola, and would really, really love to get my hands on a butterscotch set-neck Sheena.

    Congrats on snagging a killer guitar!

    Some of the lower-line FA's of a couple years ago were solid but in need of some serious TLC - took a fret level and crown, a little neck shimming, and a setup to make them into good players. I'm a bit disappointed that there aren't any new $50 First Acts, or $100 Bambusas and SFA's, anymore.
     
  12. Warm Gums

    Warm Gums Friend of Leo's

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    Mar 29, 2009
    Location:
    not here
    Vw..

    Just picked up a new in the box VW for $ 125, all the case(box?) candy including the little FA medallion to put on the car, and a very nice form fit foam case/bag with a tasteful VW inlay...probably worth 40-50 alone.
    Nice guitar, it probably helps that I like Vdubs but this seems better than the PW( which wasn't bad either) probably equivalent to the SFA line.
    The V-stack pre amp is..well I need more time with it, seems like a good way to blow out a tweeter in your car system though. :eek:

    I'm not having much luck in convincing SWMBO that the 06 GTI on a local lot is a " must have" accessory, although it wouldnt match the VIN on the guitar.
     
    tubegeek likes this.
  13. John.DOTA

    John.DOTA TDPRI Member

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    Aug 24, 2012
    Location:
    San Antonio, TX
    image-355643101.jpg

    This is my me501.

    It was my first electric guitar when I was 14. I didn't know much about it. Got it for 45 bucks

    Stupidly I traded it for an ibanezgrx20 when I was 15. I was kind of a metal head.
    I've regretted it ever since

    About a year ago I found one at a pawnshop with missing control knobs and a broken but for 70 bucks. I had to get it. Haggled them down to 50 and replaced the broken stuff. This one doesn't play as well as my first one but after a good setup it's pretty good. More of a sentimental thing.

    The me501 is pretty awesome. You can find them used for around 50 bucks. Alico pickups, cream binding, and unique styling. You'd be hard pressed to find a better guitar at this price.
    Problem areas seem to be cheap tuners and the strap buttons get loose easily.
    The one I'm the pic is my second one:)

    Also have an me505 that I'm painting. It's gonna be an evh style guitar minus the stripes and Floyd rose. I'll post pics of it in a few weeks when it's done;)
     
  14. dqami

    dqami Tele-Holic

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    I own several FA guitar as I like that they're inexpensive and have great sounding pickups. Everyone of them have cheap tuners. Even the "higher end" models (PW, VW, Delia bolt neck) with the sealed tuners aren't the greatest, but for the most part, they do hold their tune. Intonation however is hit or miss.
     
  15. Pawnshopper

    Pawnshopper Tele-Meister

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    What other First Act guitars and basses are of good quality, and which models should be avoided?
     
  16. waparker4

    waparker4 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Awesome... :cool:
     
  17. dqami

    dqami Tele-Holic

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    Usually the ones you find for under $100 aren't that good unless you use them for a project (I'm currently building an offset with one that I'll post later). The Westerberg, VW, Delia, Sheena, VE591 are ones I own(ed) and though some may need a set up, they are decent and fun guitars. My VE591 is currently on Ebay and I have my Westerberg for sale on CL as I have to sell off due to a future move and can't take them all.
     
  18. Pawnshopper

    Pawnshopper Tele-Meister

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    Location:
    MO
    My lunchtime research shows the following:

    Expensive:
    • Delia Limited Edition
    • Sheena Limited Edition
    Moderate:
    • PW580 - Paul Westerberg model, based on the ME501
    • VW Garage Master - onboard pre-amp
    Inexpensive
    • VE591 - onboard pre-amp

    How about the rest of the ME300-, 400-, and 500-series guitars? The only First Act to make it home with me is the ME302 (Telecaster-like) that I am currently modding. The body is solid wood, and the pickups are OK. The ME302 seems to be on a par with cheap 80s and 90s guitars, possibly better.
     
  19. Pawnshopper

    Pawnshopper Tele-Meister

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    Sep 26, 2012
    Location:
    MO
    My First Act vs. Harmony mash-up is complete. The only relicing that I performed is the accidental string-through relicing; the guitar had some existing relicing when I bought it.

    • First Act ME302 body and electronics
    • Harmony D823 neck
    • After-market control knobs, bridge, ferrules, and fabric
    Lessons learned:

    1. Use a neck that fits in the neck pocket. I didn't, so I shimmed the sides of the neck, drilled holes (in the body :mad:), and glued the neck in place.
    2. Do not use a high-speed drill on a guitar with a brittle finish. The finish chips spread to cover the entire string-through area.
    3. Be careful when using spray adhesive. It oversprays like paint does. And working with adhesive is sticky business. Do not inhale the spray adhesive fumes, because they are not as pleasant as paint fumes. Bad, deep headache.
    The action is high; I may reset the neck or make this my slide guitar. But the guitar is lightweight and sounds like a Telecaster.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  20. tootall1121a

    tootall1121a TDPRI Member

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    Dec 25, 2012
    Location:
    Gordo, Alabama
    I currently own four First Act guitars, but one is destined for a new home in Texas soon. I forget the model number, but it's their version of a sunburst Les Paul. Great guitar, once set up properly. I just got a ME 1959, and an ME 537 from the same person. Both are in need of some fixing and TLC. I also have the VW Garage Special, it's fixed up and ready to rock. I had the Tele model, and a couple of others in the past. My favorite, I literally saved from the trash pile at a yard sale. They were happy to get five bucks for it. Some strings, some setup, it played fine. I wound up putting gold tone pickup covers, a gold tone bridge and saddle set, and gold tone knobs and tuners on it. I liked it the best of all I've owned, bar none but a 1959 Silverton by Danelectro. That thing was sweet, but I made three hundred bucks on it, too sweet to pass up, but I wish I did. I eventually sold the five dollar first act, though by then I had like fifty bucks and a lot of work into it. Oh well, it went to a good home where it's played by somebody that can really play, and does so daily. I've had lower end Gibsons, Epiphones, and Fenders, dollar for dollar, my First Acts are way better ... though not necessarily so out of the box or scrap pile I find them in. Sure, the same amount of work on a Fender or Epi will yield similar results, but for the price difference, should they require it? I've had Harmony's, Kay's, Kents, well you name it, but when it comes to electrics, I'll take the First Act. Do they make something akin to a 335? That's what I've always wanted.
     
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