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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. TreblaNitram

    TreblaNitram TDPRI Member

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    I'd rather make a new body than waste my time sanding another of these poly shelled softwoods, personally.

    Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk
     
    Don Mac likes this.
  2. trueholygoat

    trueholygoat TDPRI Member

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    Happy NGD to me! I got this beauty off CG about two hours ago for $80, Gator case included. The case is $100 new, so I basically got the guitar for free. Been wanting a Garagemaster for a while, but people are asking insane amounts for them now that they've kind of got a rep as solid, versatile, and rare guitars. This was originally listed two weeks ago for $120 with a regular gig bag, which was more than I wanted to spend, as I had just picked up a Jay Turser 12-string. A week later it was down to $100, and just yesterday he dropped it to $80, and included the Gator Case. That was too good to pass up.

    The guy was really cool, and a player himself. He upgraded the tuners with some Guyker "professional" locking tuners, which seem to be decent. I haven't really had a chance to put it through its paces yet, but it feels good, and sounds great. These pups are really good, and the preamp adds some real depth and bite to the clean sound. The distortion is decent, but it won't be replacing the gain knob on an amp anytime. The only thing I'll do to this is drop the string height a bit and play the s**t out of it. This was a steal for $80. I love it!

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  3. bondoman

    bondoman Tele-Holic

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    Score fer sure. I have 2 and both were basically unplayed. Which is going to be the case with most of them I think. People went out and bought a VW, got a guitar and.. Gee don't play guitar or have any desire to. Decided to do something a bit different with my last one though.

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  4. trueholygoat

    trueholygoat TDPRI Member

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    That looks great.
     
  5. bondoman

    bondoman Tele-Holic

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    Oh that's just scratching the surface. I have at least 20. Ranging from CS to a couple modded by Mr. Butler himself.
     
  6. LongDistanceSoup

    LongDistanceSoup TDPRI Member

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    I hope the picture isn't too big, because I'm posting from my phone. I finally got around to updating my 501. I worked on a friend's a couple of years ago, which really started my appreciation for First Act. When I finally tracked my own down, it just didn't sound quite as compelling. So, I swapped out the stock pickups for some zebra open coils that I had laying around, and put on a new set of tuners. It has a great blues-rock sound now.
     

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  7. Lockheed_Tvr

    Lockheed_Tvr Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    139
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    Jun 7, 2012
    Location:
    Ohio
    New First Act Day!

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    This is my New ME448. It's the last of the 4 colors in the ME44X series, I've been trying to collect them all. The slightly metallic green is very vibrant!
    It came as a basket case all disassembled and missing a few parts. I put a brass nut on it and got replacement pickups. Someone had already upgraded it to Schaller tuners, Switchcraft jack and switch, and full size CTS pots, but they lost interest in the project. I paid less than the Schallers cost!

    Like with most of these, the pearloid was peeling off of the pick guard. I talked to Mr. Kelly Butler and he hooked me up with a new pick guard and two working FA pickups He did a fantastic job on the pick guard (copied from an old one I sent him) and I had him make 5 to replace all them on the 5 I have that use those.

    I think that this is my favorite First act model of the budget versions. I like Kei body shape and I love the feel of the shape used on the non-SG-looking Adam Levine 222 model, but these Double Cuts just look great to me.
     
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  8. Lockheed_Tvr

    Lockheed_Tvr Tele-Meister

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    Ohio
    Group shot!

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    This is my complete (plus 1) collection of the ME44X series. ME445(Black), ME446(Red), ME447(Blue), and ME 448(Green)

    All 5 have new pickguards sourced from Kelly Butler. The first Black one has the pickups from a Garage Master in it. The Blue one has GFX Gold Foil single coils and a series/parallel switch on the tone pot. The second black one has a white FA pickup in the neck to replace the broken black one that was in there when I got it.

    Of all the less expensive Chinese models, these have been the best put-together. None of them needed any fret end filing at all and the action can get super low. All of them have extremely tight neck pockets, The green and blue ones were so tight that I had a hard time getting the neck off after unbolting it. I highly recommend them if you run across one. Not as plentiful as the more common models, though.

    I'm slowly trying to collect all the models from the 2006 catalog. Still 8 or so left to go but this completes this series.
     
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  9. Lockheed_Tvr

    Lockheed_Tvr Tele-Meister

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    I've been busy. Another new purchase. My second AL4042 222 model. I decided to do some surgery with this one and add a neck pickup and switch. I threw an Ibanez Artcore pickup in there for now, and it's okay, but I might put a white FA pickup in there for a more cohesive look.

    This one needed a little fret end filing and a lot of polishing. It had been sitting in a wet basement for a couple years. No electrical problems, though, and no issues with neck straightness. $25 well spent!

    Here's a pic:
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    Here it is in progress:
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    I did shim the neck a bit to get the saddles a little higher and make those saddle adjustment screws not stick out and tear up my right hand. I might refinish it at some point, not sure.
     
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  10. mkgearhead

    mkgearhead TDPRI Member

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    First Act guitars are great! I've been through a few of them. I still have the Garagemaster and the Jake E. Lee body is a FA. The Starry Night guitar was a $10 rescue from a pawn shop. 2 of the tuners were broken and all the saddles were missing. I covered the body and headstock with a poster then cleared over it. I gave that one to an after school progran for at-risk kids. The sunburst Strat was a Goodwill find for $15. The flame on the back of the neck was amazing. I just won an Overtone body on eBay that I'm going to combine with a reverse head Strat neck and a Floyd Rose.

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  11. vwgm

    vwgm NEW MEMBER!

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    My 1stFA, I'm a believer. Number is in the mail.
     

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  12. vwgm

    vwgm NEW MEMBER!

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    Mine doesn't have a neck scarf joint.


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  13. Vfc13

    Vfc13 Tele-Meister

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    Damn I love that raw ripped sound!!
     
  14. Vfc13

    Vfc13 Tele-Meister

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    I actually really love the body style of most of them
     
  15. LongDistanceSoup

    LongDistanceSoup TDPRI Member

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    Well, I picked up an ME5008 that is in terrible condition (the headstock was probably chewed up by a dog). I think I have finally found my test bed for adding some p90s that I have had in the parts bin for a while. Does anyone have experience routing a body for that pickup shape? And also, any tips on filling the old humbucker slot at the bridge so that it can host the narrower, longer p90 shape?
     
  16. mcknigs

    mcknigs Tele-Meister

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    I put a P-90 into a HB rout in my First Act. IIRC, I just Dremeled the hole in a couple spots to get it to fit. The good news is that it was a dog-eared P-90, and the pickup cover hides any extra HB hole. Bad news is that you can't lower a dog ear P-90, and it was too high to fit under the strings, so I had to raise the neck a little with a spacer in the neck pocket.
     
  17. bondoman

    bondoman Tele-Holic

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    Here's a few of mine. Pretty old photo and need to update it though. 20190615_093001.jpg
     
  18. JRicoC

    JRicoC Tele-Meister

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    Columbus, OH
    That’s impressive. You need to find a few more Delias ...
     
  19. Twangrrrr

    Twangrrrr TDPRI Member

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    Oregon
    I think this was a First Act and now its a frankenstrat I really like. Kinda my kick around guitar. Body, most of neck and hardware are original as is the bridge pickup. Middle PU is a Fender american standard (a very early one, stays in that position 90% of time) and the neck PU is some Ibanez I had sitting around. I need to put better tuners on it as one has lost its knob.

    What kind of wood is it? There is a lot of grain and looks cool. I dunno, nato, or some crazy cheap eucalyptus? it sounds good so that is what matters). I wish I remember what the made in stickers said?

    Tone is warm for a strat and the body is 1 solid piece (shocking) and light-ish but not that light. I believe this was purchased new in 1994? I really like 3 tone sunbursts with red. I bought it new from some mail order catalog for like 25 bucks... pick guard and knobs are aftermarkets. Its kinda my couch guitar and yes I did the headstock... I cant abide what it used to loook like but now its fun.

    Ive had many cheap strat knockoffs (including my first electric guitar) but this one is the best and fun to play. Id need a new set of tuners on it and probably a graphite nut to actually gig with it. What I like about it is I really have to wring the sustain out of it... it has some but only when pushed/played hard.
     

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    Last edited: Feb 5, 2020
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  20. Twangrrrr

    Twangrrrr TDPRI Member

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    It cant be Korina, I paid $25 for the guitar new from some catalog with great prices... so I thought ok it might be good for my first partscaster (and last). That said it looks similar to this https://www.vintageguitar.com/18144/fender-korinacaster/ and fits the sound and weight profile. Overall it sounds very much like a strat but with a kind of warmth and I like playing it, its pretty resonant. Probably something cheaper like Sapele: https://www.wood-database.com/sapele or other lighter shade but similar to mahogany substitute.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2020
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