Hello UG. I'm gonna cut straight to the point. In a local pawn shop yesterday, I saw a First Act guitar. I don't know what model, but it looked good. Everything on it was crap, down to the tuners. The guy said that Walmart sells them for $50 brand new, so I think he'd give me $25 for it. I only remember it by the headstock, I never saw the body.

(Possibly one of these two: Black Arrow or Black/Grey Flames)

Anyway, he said it was crap. Bottom of the line, not worth anything.

I want to get it this weekend, and buy all new everything. I want to get Grover Tuners, Seymour Duncan Hot Rails and some other choice parts to fix it up with.

My question is: How would you guys define the value of the guitar? By the fact that it's a First Act, or that it's got Grovers, Hot Rails, and such?


The state of finding it hard to get out of bed in the morning.

Want that on a shirt? Check out my DistrictLines online store, Asixex

For that exact shirt, click here


Parts + quality of construction.

The name is just often (but not always) a good indicator of the above
ProTone Pedals: Attack Overdrive
Fractal Audio: AxeFX 2
Engl: Fireball 60
Zilla: Fatboy 2x12
Carvin: DC700
Carvin: Vader 7
Schecter: KM-7 MKii
Schecter: Banshee 8 Passive
Jackson: DK2M
First Act guitars are absolutely horrible. I don't think any amount of upgrades could make one better. Ever heard the saying, you can't make a silk purse from a sow's ear?

It's true.

Edit: Want to know how bad they are? My daughter plays guitar in her school band. At the beginning of the year, the band teacher sends out a paper that specifies which instrument brands will not be played in the school band - First Act is on that list.
Last edited by KG6_Steven at Oct 23, 2011,
First Act budget guitars are about 10 steps below a squier bullet strat. I would bet it is a plywood body which are generaly frowned upon for obvios reasons.
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
The build quality will be very very poor, it will sound like crap unplugged and I'm assuming it's not going to have a very comfortable neck. It's not worth spending money on.
I would never have considered a First Act--ever. Only because I asked for a really cheap electric guitar from Sears one year for Christmas. I found out that the body was made of plywood. I don't even know what the neck was made of.

I have a Fender Squier Dissent and a Ibanez ART100. I've put some money in the Fender and it sounds good, but I would not "spruce" anything cheaper than either one of those. I also consider the old plywood Fender Squiers junk.
Quote by Duv
Oh, and for resonance just play unplugged and see if it's loud. And smack an open A chord and hold the body and see if it vibrates like a middle-aged woman's best friend.
Guys: First act makes some really great guitars... in their custom shop.

Here's one:

But build quality is equally (if not more) important than hardware.
If you can get a guitar with the same build quality and add better pickups and whatnot to it for $1000 less, its a far better guitar.

Brand name carries a reputation which usually determines build quality, though.
Where's Waldo?
I have a First act that only needs a tuner and nut upgrade. Plus some new electronics. The pickups are otherwise fine, the neck feels good, the body is great.
Then there's this band called Slice The Cake...

Bunch of faggots putting random riffs together and calling it "progressive" deathcore.
Stupid name.
Probably picked "for teh lulz"

Mod in UG's Official Gain Whores
Quote by SkittlesR
My question is: How would you guys define the value of the guitar? By the fact that it's a First Act, or that it's got Grovers, Hot Rails, and such?
You cannot increase the value of a shit guitar by upgrading the components, if you put it straight onto ebay you wouldnt even get the price back you paid for the upgrades.

Quote by dogismycopilot
Absent Mind, words cant express how much i love you. Id bone you, oh yea.

Quote by lumberjack
Absent Mind is, as usual, completely correct.

Quote by littlemurph7976
Id like to make my love for Neil public knowledge as he is a beautiful man
I'll go ahead and echo what others have said...

What makes a Fender a Fender isn't the little metal and magnetic bits on it... It's the quality of the wood, the way the wood's cured and for how long. the way it's crafted, quality standards and specifications... otherwise it's just a piece of wood with pickups on it... which is pretty much what a First Act guitar is. You get what you pay for...

Now that being said...
if you like the way it looks and the way it plays and sounds, go for it... My favorite guitar is still my first.. A 1982 fender bullet telecaster. Rosewood fretboard and a steele pickgaurd that doubled as the bridge tailpiece and string stop... It didn't sound like a tele at all except for pickup placement, but it was my first. the cost was $175.00 brand new... took me a month to work it off at the music store after school...

Ahh.. the memories... LOL
I Play Guitar
Some Like it
Some don't
I don't care
Beats Workin'
Thanks for all the input, guys. I think I'll end up sprucing up my ESP/LTD H-51 instead. But I always wanted a spare guitar to **** around with and try to upgrade. I started with a Squier Bullet, upgraded to a Dean ML X, then to a Jackson WRXT, then an LTD EC 200 QM, and now to an LTD H-51. Every trade has been even. (Except going from the Jackson to the LTD. They gave me like $80 cash)

I suppose what the better question would be: What guitar would you recommend to get to be a fixer-upper type guitar? The First Act is in my price range, and I'd still be able to get the bare necessities for upgrading.

PS: I don't plan on selling the guitar. This is one I plan on keeping.

The state of finding it hard to get out of bed in the morning.

Want that on a shirt? Check out my DistrictLines online store, Asixex

For that exact shirt, click here


Personally, I don't get the point of this. At some point it's still a budget guitar. Even if you replace all the hardware you still have a cheap first act body neck and fretboard. So in this case, the value to me would be "it's still a cheap first act" and the nice hardware doesn't mean much IMO.
Quote by KG6_Steven
First Act guitars are absolutely horrible.

This isnt 100% true, maybe 90% but not 100%
I have a First Act that I play just as much if not more than my RG470 the fretwork is good, the only thing that is truely wrong is the nut is sitting just a little too low on the low E side but that is an easy fix. Not to mention after blocking the trem it ended up with a good amount of sustain which I could not say anything about the trems quality cause the second I get a guitar with a trem I have all ready plugged in my dremel and started cutting blocks for them.

Some times you can find a good first act, its not likely but its true. I say that if you like it then buy it and throw on some good hardware and pickups.
Quote by Papabear505
steele pickgaurd that doubled as the bridge tailpiece and string stop

that sounds awesome!

OT: I think build quality and playability are the most important things to consider when buying a guitar; tone can always be improved but there's little that you can do to improve playability short of replacing the neck or similar steps.
I think he gets the idea now?
Quote by FEngHLyan

She will join the prom.

She insists to wear this lights.

I don't think so.

How can I persuade her?
you'll have to put a new neck and body on it too
1978 Peavey T-40 -> Ampeg Micro-VR - > Ampeg SVT210AV + Ampeg SVT-15E
I say, try it out. Play it unplugged. If it sounds good and feels good, then it is a good candidate. Also another cheap yet good guitar besides squier is a yamaha eg-112 (and the various versions of it) I've got one and it has decent quality but most importantly, plays very nicely.
The guitar's value isn't based in hardware alone. Wood quality, QC, overall design (Bolt-on vs. neck-thru, chambered vs. unchambered, etc.) and a million other factors go into it.

Just because a $500 guitar has the same specs of a $1k guitar doesn't mean they are of equal quality, and though brand name has some play in it, it's not the only variable (unless you're Gibson).
modes are a social construct
I'd say go for it. $25 is like nothing, and if you can't do anything with it, make the body into a clock or something :P

You could also look at the Squiers on used.guitarcenter, some of those deals are super boss.
Ibanez AM78T with Lace Sensors
Squier Affinity with American Standard Electronics
Line 6 duoVerb
Behringer Vintage Tube Overdrive, Heavy Distortion, and Vintage Tube Monster
Digitech RP500

Yeah, I have a colored sig.