ME501 review by First Act

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 10
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 10 Gem
  • Users' score: 4.4 (107 votes)
First Act: ME501
0

Price paid: $ 159.99

Purchased from: wal mart

Sound — 10
I play a lot of different styles. From country to rock to classic rock, heavy metal, death metal, a little funk, punk, ska, reggae and everything in between. And this guitar keeps up! I actually use it thru a First Act 15 watt amp. The amp sounded really bad until I replaced the generic speaker with an alpine. Now it screams! I also use it thru a DigiTech RP100 pedal. The guitar has a sustain of about 5.5 seconds, not bad. It is very crisp all the way up the fretboard. No buzzing of any kind. The guitar can produce a varied sounds, depending on the pick up selection.

Overall Impression — 10
I play all sorts of different music and this guitar is awesome. I've been playing for about 10 years. I have owned a high end Fender and Washburn, an Epiphone G, a Holiday, a Vintage Teisco, a Synsonic and a Squire (Fender knock-offs). I sold them (all except the Teisco) for some quick cash and stopped playing for about 2 and a half years. I bought this, after testing a couple other cheap guitars (including a Washburn, an ESP, and a few others) just to get my chops back to speed before I spent any real money. I was not expecting too much from this guitar, but I am very impressed with it. I would say it sounds better then the high end Wasburn and the Epiphone that I used to own. I currently own the ME501, a First Act accoustic (says Mark II on it for some reason, though), that I am also very impressed with, and the Teisco. Also have a DigiTech RP100 effect pedal, and the vamped up First Act amp If this guitar was stolen I would not be too upset just because of the price because. I am about to buy another high end guitar and I will go to First Act. I have played a couple and they sound really good. There I s actually a lot going on with First Act. I have read about quite a few pro studio guitarist starting to use them. Unlike other cheaper first acts, this guitar is well worth the money!

Reliability & Durability — 10
I use this guitar constantly! practice, gigs, wherever. It has held up very good so far. I have broken 1 high e string, because I bent the shit out of it. I have to tune it after about 20 hours of playing, I replace the strings about every 100-120 hours of playing. The finish has normal dings in it, but I am kind of hard on it. No real flaws as of yet. But give me time!

Action, Fit & Finish — 10
I have been friends with a guitar tech for while. I take all my guitars to him. He did not even have to touch this guitar. the action is fast, the pickups were in the right spot. The neck is straight. No flaws, even after 2 years of abuse! All the hardware is tight.

Features — 10
I got a 2004 model. Bolt-on, 3 peice neck. 3 & 3 headstock. It has 22 frets, rosewood fingerboard, maple neck. Dot inlays, with markers on the top side of the neck. it's a solid body guitar. Not sure of the wood though. It has a red fade finish with a cream colored binding on the body and on the fingerboard. Has a cream colored pickguard, same colored pickup seats. The shape is like a modified Telecaster, but still looks really original. Chrome hardware. String-thru body bridge with adjustable heighth/length saddles. Has bridge and neck Humbuckers. Two volume knobs. One tone knob. 3-way selector switch. Excelent covered tuner keys. It did not come with anything except an extra B and high E string, an allen wrench to adjust the truss rod and a beginners book.

83 comments sorted by best / new / date

    doive
    Don't claim posts!! I'm suprised this guitar is actually any good considering you got it for about 80 from wal mart. oh well beggars can;t be choosy
    Buckethead4Prez
    I have a firstact. Don't bash it because of its name, it is a functional guitar. Mine isn't the greatest, but what do you expect for $85 guitar.
    RadioMuse
    Right... Well maybe I'm missing something, I've only played one of their cheaper models at GC because it was on the used wall. They're definently solid guitars, but they are what they are. First Acts sound and feel cheap, no matter how much you try to convince yourself otherwise. Well, I guess it's a personal choice, just don't count out more expensives brands just because they cost more, there's a reason for the extra $$$.
    Captain Insano
    Look at the brightside. If you bought one You can still smash it at the end of your show. I might buy one for that.
    herrotim
    i have one of these it was my first gitar and i liked it its not extremely good but its slightly better than a squier good enough for 50 bucks
    falco.1993
    used to play a First Act strat copy....damned thing didn't stay in tune more than a day. And the pickup was faulty, couldn't get any sound out of the 5th and 6th strings. Bad thing is, I'm probably gonna have to settle for another one if I want to play an electric again....
    seanie!
    "I would say it sounds better then the high end Wasburn and the Epiphone that I used to own"... I wouldn't go that far. these things are at the most Ok. People who have no idea about guitars think they're real nice, but there's really no comparison.
    Ibanezbass4life
    SilverRock113 wrote: doesn't deserve 10s
    as much as i hate you bandwagon 10 haters, this i can actually agree on, it doesn't look 10-worthy, but it COULD be if you threw on a nice set of pickups though! i'd throw down some cool riffs with this guitar!
    VWROCKER503
    You can all hate on first act but my garage master kicks some major ass the alinco pickups and boost switch was genius, the thing about forums and reviews is opinions are like *****s... however i have been in several bands and happen to really like first act... from jazz to blues to metal I have done it. I have toured and always hear people sayin no way bro is that a first act... it does depend on whos playing to acheive best sound if you suck youre gonna suck just as much on a 100 dollar guitar as you would a 2000 dollar guitar. First act in my opinion has done great I have this guitar a 505(159.99) a lola(us800.00) a garagemaster VW(My favorite) and a me626(50.00) used you can set up any guitar and i would say the bridges on the less expensive first acts are shotty at best but for the most part they are great. the me626 is a poplar body maple neck for 100 bucks come on.... I would choose first act over any ****in gay ass squier or starcaster bullshit any day... yes star caster as in squiers bargain line as in starcaster by squier by fender...OH BTW NOTIBLE bands or artists ENDORSED BY FIRST ACT Aerosmith-brad whitford System of a Down- Serj, Cheap Trick-Rick Neilsen Mastadon- Brent Hinds CONVERGE, The Almost, Taking BAck Sunday, Hiugh on Fire, Everytime I die, Thursday, New Guns n roses- Bumblefoot, Alexisonfire,Los LOneley Boys, Los Lobos, H2o, MONSTER MAGNET, MINISTRY, HANZEL UN GRETYL, Mindles Self INdulgence, Larry Mccray
    hemi-san
    i have never had good experiences with first acts. if you are a beginner go for an ibanez pack, those are really good. besides nobody is gonna take you seriously with an axe called "first act". hells gonna freeze over before this thing earns a perfect 10. i mock your ratings hahahahaha.
    j eastman
    Having just bought this model, it's just as good as the reviewer states. I've played Fender Telecasters, Stratocasters, Gibson SG's and Les Pauls, and this little $50 guitar can stand up with the best of them. I received mine last night via UPS...I was on my way to rehearsal, and didn't have time to even change the strings, but I was so excited, I didn't care. I showed up and played for three hours with the stock strings through my Tech 21 Trademark 60 amp, and was pleasantly surprised. Although I checked the tuning after every song, the guitar stayed balls on through the whole rehearsal, and being the lead guitarist, I bend those strings quite a bit. Yeah, the rest of the band laughed at first, but afterwards they all wanted to know where they could get one... I used to be hung up on the name brand guitars, but no more - I'll be bringing this ax on stage with me next week...My American made Telecaster will take the back seat for a while...
    rocker12344
    j eastman wrote: Having just bought this model, it's just as good as the reviewer states. I've played Fender Telecasters, Stratocasters, Gibson SG's and Les Pauls, and this little $50 guitar can stand up with the best of them. I received mine last night via UPS...I was on my way to rehearsal, and didn't have time to even change the strings, but I was so excited, I didn't care. I showed up and played for three hours with the stock strings through my Tech 21 Trademark 60 amp, and was pleasantly surprised. Although I checked the tuning after every song, the guitar stayed balls on through the whole rehearsal, and being the lead guitarist, I bend those strings quite a bit. Yeah, the rest of the band laughed at first, but afterwards they all wanted to know where they could get one... I used to be hung up on the name brand guitars, but no more - I'll be bringing this ax on stage with me next week...My American made Telecaster will take the back seat for a while...
    i totally agree but this is all opinionated. test one out and see what its like and if you dont like it thats fine. but i might just buy one [quote]
    j eastman
    Having just bought this model, it's just as good as the reviewer states. I've played Fender Telecasters, Stratocasters, Gibson SG's and Les Pauls, and this little $50 guitar can stand up with the best of them. I received mine last night via UPS...I was on my way to rehearsal, and didn't have time to even change the strings, but I was so excited, I didn't care. I showed up and played for three hours with the stock strings, and was pleasantly surprised. Although I checked the tuning after every song, the guitar stayed balls on through the whole rehearsal, and being the lead guitarist, I bends those strings quite a bit. Yeah, the rest of the band laughed at first, but afterwards they all wanted to know where they could get one... I used to be hung up on the name brand guitars, but no more - I'll be bringing this ax on stage with me next week...My American made Telecaster will take the back seat for a while...
    I am punk "BF"
    Buckethead4Prez wrote: I have a firstact. Don't bash it because of its name, it is a functional guitar. Mine isn't the greatest, but what do you expect for $85 guitar.
    Dude, i so agree, the reason people bash it is because the beginner first act guitars are called "First Act Discovery" the real ones are called just "First Act" They play great, and they make studio guitars. Also, more famous rock artists use First act guitars then Washburns, I checked. First acts are pretty sweet.
    underoath0902
    i had one of these...before i destroyed it i was ok but then i got a manly-man guitar so i took this one and beat it up and ripped the neck pickup out
    Happy Meal
    j eastman wrote: Having just bought this model, it's just as good as the reviewer states. I've played Fender Telecasters, Stratocasters, Gibson SG's and Les Pauls, and this little $50 guitar can stand up with the best of them.
    need i say anything more retard...
    mr. ...
    [quote]heffe wrote: I have one too, and am a BEGGAR too. I completely rebuilt the electronics (using the same pickups), but new knobs, wiring, star grounded, cavity sheilded... why would you put all that wwork into a crappy wal mart guitar? [quote]j eastman wrote: I've played Fender Telecasters, Stratocasters, Gibson SG's and Les Pauls, and this little $50 guitar can stand up with the best of them. this has to be a joke
    kjkamo
    This guitar sucks, the pickups sound ok for clean, but they're horrible for distortion, if u get this guitar and want to keep it i'd recomend buying better pickups
    j eastman
    I'm back, and I think it's humorous people's response to my review. The ME501 has replaced my Fender Telecaster as my main guitar for stage and recording - I love it. I love the sound, and the playability. It's still stock, though the finish has cracked on the body. If you're the type concerned with perception, then this isn't the guitar for you...keep playing your overpriced ESPs, Gibsons, and Fenders - for those of us you enjoy a good garage band and Pabst, do yourself a favor and pick up this gem in the rough. As evidence, here's some poorly shot video of my band in the studio - you can see me playing the First Act
    fret_it_fast
    The first electric I ever owned... I still play it almost every day. I like the Alnico pickups that came stock. I did have to remove a few screws to fix the bridge, seeing that it was at a HORRIBLE angle and the neck isn't set straight in the joint, but overall, I really dig it. I use it to play mostly metal but play AC/DC, Def Leppard, etc. as well. Great guitar.
    teknotard
    FIrst act can make very respectable guitars. This comming from someone who owns over 20 instruments (most of which are guitars). What it comes down to is affordabilty. This is an affordable (if you get it from first act it is 60 dollars). It isn't a 2000 dollar guitar, I realize. But what people fail to factor in, is that a guitar can only sound as good as the person playing it. I am very accomplished guitarist and I can make a 100 dollar guitar sing. When I play on stage no one ever questions the quality of my instrument because they don't need to. And lets be realalistic here, how many average people can tell the differnce between a cheap guitar and a good one? Most can't... So what's the big deal you are playing for people who can tell the difference between a flager and a phaser, or an overdirve vs a distortion. Don't get me wrong I love a good tone, but Tone Snobs are usually just that, tone snobs, because they have to make up for a lack of talent.
    warbeast19
    If you had $150 to throw around on junky guitars, why not take the time to go price yourself a nice name-brand guitar on ebay???
    JPA96
    That looks so good! Seriously contemplating buying it just as a guitar to sit on my wall. Either that or i'll sort out all the electrics and use it a my actual guitar, which is an Encore E99 at the mo.
    Ibanezbass4life
    Kynyster_K wrote: Yeah Diseased... yer ****ed in the head. First Act SUCKS... I don't care what ANY of u say!!!!!
    U mad bro? LOL!
    Kutanmoogle
    It's almost like he was hired to glorify First Act... To redeem the guitar though, I kinda like the pickguard shape.
    DeadRomance2010
    First Act Customs are the best! Can't compare them to the Wal Mart ones because those are just toys. First Act is great quality otherwise.
    rockgod761
    First act guitars are so cheap due to lack of quality control. One first act guitar can play amazing, and the next can play like, well, a cheap walmart guitar. The pups and hardware are always junk. However, I put F tuners and a loaded strat pickguard on one, and set it up nice. It plays pretty well, better than my first Squier Strat. Nicer paint job too. It's definitely made of cheap-o wood, I think low-grade maple. The routing is sub-par as well. The nicest thing about it is there is no paint in the neck pocket or routing space, which with a good piece of wood would allow it to resonate better. This was probably done to save materials, but i actually wish more companies would do this.
    ministerpumbaa
    Yeah, I still dont work for first act and I still play this guitar everyday. People please see through all the tone snobs crap. this guitar rocks balls.and by cheap guitars, I meant guitars in the same price range. but since most of you only play $3,000 guitars why the hell are you even looking at reviews for this, except to be pricks. and all you dumb sh*ts that are breakin guitars y not give it to a kid that could use it? for being tone snobs you sure dont appreciate the power of music. this used guitar of mine still deserves 10's. so **** off!
    adamjimenstein
    sure its $150 and maybe its good for what you pay but its not worth perfect 10s....this guy was hired by first act
    Jonesie110
    first act is the guitar you get for a snot nosed little brat that wants to learn guitar and the parents dont think hell stay wit it... but if u want a guitar that will last for moderate players, you gotta spend more than 100 dollers on the shit- dam a lot of people are retarded!!
    skooponsomebody
    Please don't bash, First Act is beginning to become a real guitar company. With models reaching into the $2,000 range, they are being picked up and reckognized by many famous artists. I have the newest version of this guitar, and coming from a Fender Standard Strat, I must say this is a well built guitar, and has great tone. I wouldnt, however, take this to a gig, I might be a little embarrassed. Not because of the quality, but because of the name. It will take many years for First Act to be respected.
    warbeast19
    Buckethead4Prez wrote: I have a firstact. Don't bash it because of its name, it is a functional guitar. Mine isn't the greatest, but what do you expect for $85 guitar.
    correction - $150 guitar
    COBHC_inurface
    i used to have one of these and loved it. i paid 50 dollars for this and was the best fifty dollars i ever spent. this guitar handled everything i threw at it. at the time i bought it i also owned a fender strat sss and a gold top les paul. this thing blew them both away as soon as i tuned it up. the sustain and tone is excellent! i dont care what any of you stuck up pricks say about first act but listen to this, my friend has a b.c. rich zombie and a schecter discontinued model like the one the guy from haste the day has and my first act sounded better and played better than both his guitars on the same rig. this guitar powns. it handles overdrive ditortion grunge and clean way better than my sg and my tele. i regret selling it.
    A.J.4991
    ok seriously ESP dominates first act. I don't care if your useing an h-50, an ec-50, or any of the other ESP "50s" ESP just butt rapes first act. no one takes first act guitars seriously. And to the person who said Mastodon uses first act, Bill Kelliher used a first act for one song and one song only, other than that Mastodon uses Gibson.
    mattcoggins515
    I got the car 5 years ago, and it's still around, but no thanks to the first act company. The wiring had been messed up since i got it, and the sound was always terrible anyway. I ended up covering it in white ducttape (so that it would look nice), giving it a seymour duncan bridge pickup, and getting the wiring fixed, and now i play a semi-nice quality guitar through my crate amp. the stupid thing is, all of the upgrades cost more than the guitar itself. probably twice as much. with that price i could have gotten a jay turser jt50, which have the same sound as my current guitar and look much better. but yeah, beggars cant be choosers.
    oBAYESo
    not gunna lie i had a first act guitar i thought it was amazing until i played a good guitar ha then i actually threw mine off of my house on my friends cell phone video ha
    I am punk "BF"
    First act is actually a real good company. Some sell for over 2,000 dollars. People always say that first act is a beginners company. The first act beginner guitars are called first act "Discovery." First act is a real company. Some first act guitars are more expensive than an epiphone.
    Diseased
    *ahem* I happen to to have this EXCACT model just diffrent colors and the reviewer knows what the **** hes talking about its a damn good guitar and i got mine for 200$ at guitar center. a bit more expensive then the one he got but still. it has a great sound and its easy to play just like skullkid said. so there
    Smitty101
    ok... a first act guitar.... from walmart, getting Perfect 10's.... WTF?! Man this guitar is shit... my little sister has one and you cant even tune it, you pluck the string and it goes out of tune, they're pieces of shits, stop publictising here, its for reviews, not to sell your products.
    loeuf
    What's with that review? A first act getting 10 on 10!?! My brother has a first act and it's simply the worst guitar I've ever played on! It can't even stay in tune! Even my old Stage is better than that and how could you possibly get a good quality guitar from Wal-mart? Me too I really think he's working for first act and only wants to do good publicity.