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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. Pawnshopper

    Pawnshopper Tele-Meister

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    I think you did OK. An amp, a pedal, and a guitar for $80 sounds like a deal.

    The Backstage has two inputs, so you can daisy-chain another amp from it.

    The ME537 may be solid wood and not plywood. If it is normal wood, then you'll have an easier time modifying or refinishing it.

    I have no opinion on the Daddy-O.
     
  2. Quekay

    Quekay TDPRI Member

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    I have yet another First Act, and my first electric with a P90 style pup. I took a trek up to Boston last Saturday (about an hour drive), and picked up a CE220; a Sheena! I REALLY want a CE240, but I'm quite pleased with the $40 beauty! At first I wasn't crazy about the p90, it was terribly treble'y. But I rolled the tone completely off and got this really cool "stuck wah" tone. I wasn't crazy about the color at first either (burgundy), but in the right light, I can see a light metallic gold flake, reminding me of a Dano for some reason. I'm wondering what a "real" P90 sounds like. Can any of you fine folks give to me your experiences? Thanks in advance! Oh, and happy NGD to the owner of the "sticker guitar." The purchase of ANY guitar is a good deal. ; )



    image-1635385575.jpg
     
  3. el cheapo

    el cheapo Tele-Afflicted

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    First Act guitar responds well to attention...

    I had some time today to work on this guitar. I was able to make a new bone nut, and level, crown and polish the frets. I also cleaned, lemon oiled and rolled the edges of the fretboard, which appears to be actual rosewood. Oh, and I put some new strings on it.

    I'm amazed how good this cheap little guitar sounds! I played it through the Peavey Backstage 110 and used my Boss OD3 pedal. The cleans aren't as nice as a good single coil, but it sounds really good with a little dirt. The action is low, but could be lower with a little more tweaking. Anyway, I'm very pleased with how it turned out. It's a keeper! I'm still planning on installing a P90 and repainting it, but for now it's just fine. Who Knew?!?
     
  4. el cheapo

    el cheapo Tele-Afflicted

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    Got her stripped down the other day. Looks like a 3 piece body...

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    I have no idea what the wood is, but it's very soft. I can put a dent in it with a fingernail!
     
  5. FastMattTX

    FastMattTX Tele-Meister

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    To resolve the saddle-travel issue on ME-501, PW-580, and other First Act guitars using the same bridge, just replace the stock screws (I think they were #4 oval-head screws) with #6 x 3/4" flat-head Phillips screws - I bought stainless ones at a local hardware store that has a good fastener selection.

    Here's a post I made on another forum with photos:
    http://www.archive.agileguitarforum.com/viewthread.php?tid=23243

    I also installed GFS stainless saddles on my PW-580 to eliminate buzzing issues with 10-52 strings.
     
  6. el cheapo

    el cheapo Tele-Afflicted

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    Still working on it! Here it is with the new bridge, pickup, speed knobs and homemade pickguard.

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    The P90 sounds pretty good! I'm not sure if I'll go with 10's or 11's. It has 10's on it now and it feels really nice. I'm going to play it like this for a while and make sure everything is right before I paint it.
     
  7. Quekay

    Quekay TDPRI Member

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    Man, I love it! I'm not a big fan of natural finisher, but this blac on natural is really doin' it for me. At a quick glance, it looks LOKE a Lola. I could be dead wrong, I'm still trying my best to learn the most about these inexpensive "diamonds in the rough." I love the fact that most people dismiss anything with the FA name on it! The more for us ...and I'm just waiting for a CE240 Sheena. I have a CE120 with a p90 style pup in the bridge position, REALLY thin sounding! I would assume it would be better in the neck position. Anyway, sweet axe!
     
  8. tvvoodoo

    tvvoodoo Tele-Afflicted

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    I like the natural look here as well...at least you didn't get a ten piece body like I did
     
  9. mcknigs

    mcknigs Tele-Meister

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    I like the natural too. That does it, you're outvoted. You have to leave it unfinished. :)

    I wish it were a small task to put one of those bridges on mine.

    Is that like a Coke a Cola, only with Ls? ;)
     
  10. el cheapo

    el cheapo Tele-Afflicted

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    It was a pain, but it lifts the strings enough to give good clearance with the dogear P90. I also had to shim the neck a little to get the action right. I could have just used the original bridge and a soapbar P90, but I like the looks of the wraparound bridge and the dogear.
     
  11. Allthesound

    Allthesound Tele-Afflicted

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    Picked this ME952 up a while back used for $20 i think they were $79 at walmart new. cheapo... but!

    On this one I gave the frets a proper work over, tightened down the trem bridge all the way, wedged a piece of bone between the trem-block and body to help transfer energy and keep it still, slapped on a better set of tuners and swapped out the electronics with CTS pots a SD JB bridge pickup and a mini toggle for tapping the upper and lower coils.

    She plays and sounds as good as some mid range guitars. Ive even lent it out to a couple buddy's who have gigged it and had a blast with it.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  12. Quekay

    Quekay TDPRI Member

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    Sweet! I've seen this model on Ebay many times, but never played one. I have zero use for a tremolo, so I'd probably jam a bone in there too!

    Recently, my "studio" was changed into a bedroom (growing family," so I do my jamming in my living room when no one's around. I've found it quite amusing that of all the guitars out of the vault, and in my living room, I reach for my $40 Sheena CE220 over an American made Tele' for instance! I love playing this guitar, and the maple on maple neck is a dream! My only issue with her is that her single P90-ish in the bridge position is so high frequency, that I have to roll off the tone knob all the way back, and get that stuck whah quack. Not as much as a Tele', but similar. This is my first guitar with a P90 style pup, so I don't know what to expect, but it seems it would be better in the neck position. Anyone here know what I'm talking about? Today I broke out my Garage Master, which I also love (and a real bang for buck at $100 brand new with all the case candy), but after a few tunes, out came Sheena again! I so want a CE240, or a Delia, but I'm quite happy with my three FA "cheapo" guitars!

    Happy NGD!
     
  13. dragonfly66

    dragonfly66 Friend of Leo's

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    Joined The Club

    [​IMG]

    I found and bought a used ME501 while on vacation. (Funny, I found a cheap guitar and a very expensive amp - Soultone 45PS). The ME501 has some scratches on bottom back and small scratches on the top. It also has chips in the nut though they didn't appear to cause any issue with the seating of the strings. The sound goes in and out on the bridge pick-up (I didn't play it before buying it :( I tried different cables so I am sure it is the wiring). I paid $60 for it, but probably should have paid less seeing what others paid.

    I have been looking for this guitar and glad I found it. I like the shape, I like the color, I like the neck, I like the scale, which I know is shorter than 25.5, but can't find the actual scale in any specs. I have plans to update the electronics and saddles in the ME501 with some things I already have on hand.

    • Set of SD 59s that have been sitting around for years. SD Tonewizard recommended these for Basswood and Blues.
    • GFS stainless steel saddles that bought even longer ago than the pickups.
    • CTS 500K pots, in my pile of pots and switches.
    • Switchcraft input, in my pile of pots and switches.
    • LP 3-way, in my pile of pots and switches.

    The only thing I had to buy was a new nut. I bought the Graph Tech 1/4" Slotted Epiphone nut. The E-E spacing is 1 3/8" so I hope it fits.

    I will also take heed of the list of things that FastMattTX compiled. I need to add oiling the fretboard to the list, mine looks a bit dry.

     
  14. Lockheed_Tvr

    Lockheed_Tvr Tele-Meister

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    I'm excited to have just discovered this thread! I have quite a few FAs and I've been looking for group of people who would understand:p

    I may have a bit of a collecting problem as I just won an ebay auction for my 19th FA. I've modded a fair few of them but some I like just stock. I just got one that I hadn't run into before. ME601.

    [​IMG]

    $63! I just got it in and haven't even plugged it in yet. It needs strings and a setup but it's never been played. Still has the hang tag on it.

    When I get time I'll post the one burned the finish off and left it "roasted".
     
  15. Lockheed_Tvr

    Lockheed_Tvr Tele-Meister

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    Nice 501! This was my first First Act and it hooked me.

    Mine is 25.5 inch scale but for some reason it, and all my FAs play looser; more like 24.75" I don't know why but they all feel like that. Very comfortable to play. The only FA I have with a different scale length is the VW Garagemaster. I don't know if they all are but mine is 25" even. Sort of a PRS scale, I think.
     
  16. dragonfly66

    dragonfly66 Friend of Leo's

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    I didn't actually measure, but if it is 25.5 then I am extremely impressed because it plays "looser" like you said. The replacement nut arrived so I'll be getting it ready this week-end.


    Lockheed_Tvr - I like that ME601, shape of the body is very cool. Good deal too!
     
  17. Allthesound

    Allthesound Tele-Afflicted

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    Sweet! love that offset body shape! is that a flamed maple top? Looks like it has a pretty beefy bridge nice!
     
  18. Lockheed_Tvr

    Lockheed_Tvr Tele-Meister

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    They called it flame maple but if it is it is a *very* thin veneer. I took a pickup out and couldn't really discern a maple layer. There is a chance it is a "photo-flame" - like a decal under the finish - but the old web page for it said "flame maple" so I'll take them at their word.

    The bridge is the same as the 501 and the Paul Westerberg model. And yes, it has the oval head screws that I'll have to replace. Other than the screws, I really like that bridge design. The side "rails" keep the saddles in place and it has a fair amount of mass to it. It is pretty easy on the hand for palm muting, as well. I saw the same bridge in use on a Luna guitar but I've never seen it for sale on its own.



     
  19. Lockheed_Tvr

    Lockheed_Tvr Tele-Meister

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    Very cool. I love the amp you scored. Nice.

    The only problem with the shape is that it is hard to lean against a wall or in certain stands due to the bottom being angled. The ME310 Strat-ish copy has the same problem but looks fast.



     
  20. Lockheed_Tvr

    Lockheed_Tvr Tele-Meister

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    Since I already have a pic of in on imgur, here is my ME315 that routed out for a triple humbucker setup. New tuners, new GFS Fat Pat pickups, new pots with a push/pull for the middle pickup. Originally had a single white FA pickup - the usual kind with the FA specific look.

    It's very light and has a little bit of a dark tone. SG-ish. Plays amazingly well.

    [​IMG]
     
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