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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. Griffinbacker

    Griffinbacker TDPRI Member

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    Thank you very much! I must say, the accessibility to information within the First Act community is astonishing for such a small group of dedicated players.
     
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  2. Griffinbacker

    Griffinbacker TDPRI Member

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    Could someone explain the backstory behind the "Borg" line of first act guitars? From what I've seen they were made before the AL run of guitars. One just popped up on Reverb, and they seem relatively obscure for FAs.
     
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  3. Lockheed_Tvr

    Lockheed_Tvr Tele-Meister

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    I only just learned of them recently. I'm in the dark, as well. Hopefully someone will fill us in.
     
  4. bondoman

    bondoman Tele-Holic

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    There's always been some speculation on that one. Some say it was suppose to be a house brand for a chain store, Sam's Club if not mistaken or they were made for an educational organization. I guess we could reach out to Kelly Butler who goes by Mr. Butler here. He was the chief luthier at the Custom Shop and while I've spoken to him a few times he stated he didn't pay much attention to what corporate or Asian production was doing. In any case the ME535 Borg by my estimation is out of the SFA stable judging by its build quality. I have around 20 FA's and most are of the rare bird category. Funny thing about First Acts is you can find them dirt cheap on sites like Offer Up or CL rare or not simply because the seller doesn't know what they have. By the time they reach Reverb the seller has usually done some research and looks to get top dollar. Speaking of rare birds for any of you guys in the Los Angeles area I seen a VE591 on Offer UP for like $40 bucks. Bit of a drive for me and I already have two. That Borg on Reverb at the moment is a bit pricey in my opinion but for a collector who wants one they may pop for it. Sweet guitar I just don't play mine as much as it deserves.
     
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  5. Lockheed_Tvr

    Lockheed_Tvr Tele-Meister

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    Argh. I used to live in San Diego and I totally would have driven up for that. Oh well.

    Thanks for the info. I'll keep my eye out for Borgs. What an odd name... $319 isn't thaaat bad, but I prefer my FAs on the cheap side.
     
  6. Copperwirecowboy

    Copperwirecowboy NEW MEMBER!

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    Looking to mod the pick ups out of a a First Act ME 515. Looking to take the stock pickup out. Does anyone know if the white stock first act pickups are f-spaced or standard or know where I can find the the pickups dimensions. Lastly would GFS Alnico Fat Pat Humbuckers would fit in the first act. Any help is appreciated.
     
  7. pickaguitar

    pickaguitar Tele-Meister

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    This group is really a thing?! Kinda cool imo
     
  8. Lockheed_Tvr

    Lockheed_Tvr Tele-Meister

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    They are 52mm usually so, yes. F-spaced. That said, regular spacing isn't that different. I've used both and I can't tell a difference.

    I have Fat Pat's in my ME317 (It's on here a couple pages back). I routed it for triple pickups. They sound great and work just fine. That said, they don't sound that much different from the stock FA pickups. They are hotter, but they are both relatively bright with a similar tonal character, at least to my ears. The stock pickup is usually around 8.5K for resistance.

    These days, I only swap out FA humbuckers if I'm looking for something completely different. That said, the Fat Pats are pretty cheap and do sound great.

    The FA mounting ring won't work with them if they are covered, though. You would have to use the rings that come with the GFS or do some filing. Either that squish them in and let the rings bend a little. The rings are rounded on the sides and it interferes.
     
  9. marklk

    marklk TDPRI Member

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    The worst thing about FA pickups on their low end guitars is they are too good. Sometimes I have to get two of the same guitar just so I can switch one out. 20200221_225314.jpg 20200221_225500.jpg
     
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  10. Lockheed_Tvr

    Lockheed_Tvr Tele-Meister

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    That's funny, I do the same thing!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  11. marklk

    marklk TDPRI Member

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    Love it. I used to have a ME317 that I wanted to make like yours but I never had a router or the guts to try. Ended up giving it to my friends nephew for his first electric. Now he is already a way better guitar player than I will ever be.

    My plan for the one with the filtertron style pickup is to add a bigsby style vibrato. I'm just working up the courage to change the bridge so I can do so.
     
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  12. Lockheed_Tvr

    Lockheed_Tvr Tele-Meister

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    I bought a Bigsby knockoff that I want to put on one of mine but I can't find a suitable bridge. There are Tele style bridges but I was hoping to find something more similar to the original. I did find one that has the intonation screws offset from the string holes. I bought it, but I haven't figured out the best way to take a grinder to it without ruining it. I've asked a couple people but no one seems to know of a bridge that suits the purpose.

    What were you planning?
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2020
  13. bondoman

    bondoman Tele-Holic

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    Huh? The one on my Reverb feed is $220 but I didn't figure in shipping. I always try and get them to remove the neck for cheaper shipping myself. Think I paid $75 for mine several years ago. Paid like $50 for my ME501 which is close to the Borg just trans red. Crazy what they're asking for these guitars on Reverb these days.
     
  14. marklk

    marklk TDPRI Member

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    Going through the same thing as you. Ideally I'd like to make it work with a similar bridge but will probably end up switching to a Tom type bridge. That will mean filling screw holes and probably a neck shim or recessing the bridge somehow.
     
  15. Lockheed_Tvr

    Lockheed_Tvr Tele-Meister

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    I'm thinking about doing this. I have a couple of TOMs laying around. Maybe do it like the Earl Slick guitars
    [​IMG]

    I have a feeling that lining everything up correctly might test my skills a little more than I'd like. Also have to re-route the ground wire.
     
  16. marklk

    marklk TDPRI Member

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    Yep. That's more than I can do. I haven't even ordered my tremolo yet so you are ahead of me. If I end up attempting before you the results will be one this thread.
     
  17. ArcticWhite

    ArcticWhite Tele-Afflicted

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    I had one of those VW guitars for a week or so. The neck was warped so far backward it was unplayable past the 5th fret.

    Even with the truss rod completely loose, the string tension couldn't pull it flat.

    My GF had an acoustic with similar issues. I tried to set it up but it was just impossible.

    Didn't know good ones existed..
     
  18. bondoman

    bondoman Tele-Holic

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    Yea that's what happens with any guitar that gets thrown in a closet or under a bed with good intentions of learning to play guitar is they go south of playable after time. Some to the point of no return. Not just a First Act thing. I've salvaged and modified many over the years and to be honest the build quality of the body and neck is quite good if not better compared to other budget entry level guitars. The cool factor of the FA's is they don't look like every one else's Strat, Tele or LP. Although they did make a few copies early on. But for he most part most are original designs.
     
  19. ArcticWhite

    ArcticWhite Tele-Afflicted

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    Nah, the one I had was in perfect condition and practically new. I bought it around 2010 is so.
    The grain in the neck was really bad as I recall. Not parallel to the neck with bad wobble.
     
  20. bondoman

    bondoman Tele-Holic

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    Well let me start with FA acoustics. Joke at best and I'll leave it there as its my opinion. As to the VW Garage Master that was the most produced guitar in FA's history. Given away with the purchase of certain VW's between 04 I think correct me if I'm wrong and 07. That's a lot of cars and a lot of damn guitars so of course we we're going to see some duds. Think Gibson didn't have a few? I tore one down in playable condition awhile back to do a Slash VW commercial copy and was surprised how rough cut and shoddy it was made compared to lesser ME models. These guitars were made quick, in high numbers and apparently without much QC. Hey they were free if you bought a car and chances are the buyer didn't play guitar anyway. Safe bet on FA's part if you ask me. However they did have the cool hardware on them being that FA low profile string thru stop piece and anchor. Hell if I could find them cheap enough I'd buy them just for that and pitch the rest if it was a turd. But you need to remember this is coming from an old guy that owns a few US made custom shop FA models and can decipher between a POS and POW no matter its headstock logo.
     
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