Volkswagen GarageMaster review by First Act

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  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 9
  • Features: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 8.2 Superb
  • Users' score: 6.1 (40 votes)
First Act: Volkswagen GarageMaster

Price paid: $ 89.99

Purchased from: Ebay

Sound — 8
With my playing style of hard rock E.G. A7X, Linkin Park, Hollywood Undead the "boost mode" gives me more than enough to play that style. Although it can be played through *ANY* car with an AUX jack when boosted with a special 1/4 to aux cable (which wasn't sent to me SAD FACE), Through my Line 6 HD150 and 4 x 12 half stack this thing has a very nice heavy distortion and a very good clean sound, when played on an acoustic sound it is very weak.

Overall Impression — 8
Playing for 5 years and playing hard rock this is the perfect guitar for my music style. Other gear I use live is a Fender Stratocaster, SX SR1 STD BK, and Synyster Gates Standard. If I lost this guitar I would shoot myself for being that stupid and if someone stole it I would be very sad and contemplate buying a new one or saving money and getting a used Schecter. I like the pre amp booster switch and the Hum-Hum pickup configuration. I dislike the bolt on neck or the crappy tuners but it's a guitar worth learning to deal with.

Reliability & Durability — 9
I've personally played this guitar live having it tuned to Drop C tuning and during duels with my friend/ Lead guitarist the boost switch makes this guitar a great solo guitar, When the switch is turned off it plays just like I play it as a great rhythm guitar. The strap buttons need to be switched for better ones, or buy a guitar strap that is better than the straps I have on it right now. No I would not use this guitar with out back up on the reasoning that shit happens especially during live shows.

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The neck being bolt on is a real bummer for the quality of it I wish I had a set neck. Minus me having to put a different neck pickup in the pickups were set up right. The intonation was wrong but it could be the factories fault or the previous owner remember I bought used. The fretboard needed a good cleaning and oiling.

Features — 7
Got this guitar a few weeks ago used on eBay it came with Special edition carrying bag, First Act noiseless guitar cable (<----- fairly decent cables BTW), and new strings on it upon my request. It has 22 medium jumbo frets at a scale length of 24.75". It has a bolt on neck made from maple with a rosewood neck. The pearl pickguard looks good with the white body. The tuners suck it is very hard to do fine tuning on this guitar with it's tuners but I manage. The cool thing about this guitar are the Volume, Tone, and 12th fret are custom and have VW markings on them. Now for the important part of the review: The bridge is a First Act tune-o-matic style bridge providing great sustain. The neck pickup had a high pitched hum so I had switched it out for a First Act pickup from a different model guitar now I sounds good, the bridge pickup plays just as good as my Seymour Duncans. When the secret weapon of this guitar is turned on the pre amp switch it sends the pickups into a very nice shred mode that gives awesome artificial and natural harmonics boost. Given crappy tuners and a noisy neck pickup it deserves a rating of 7.

6 comments sorted by best / new / date

    People be dissin' first act. I dont own one, but ive played a few - i advise everyone to check out the Artists section on the First Act website. I was amazed when i saw that they do have some darn decent gear Also, that last review.. D:
    It took me a while to figure out why a lot of you Americans keep dissing First Act so hard, but when I found out they sell them at department stores, I understood. But, I have a Garagemaster as well, probably the only one in Holland, but I like it very much. I have not ever compared it with other First Acts, so no help from me there, but it's a nice and decent guitar, and the sound is not at all too bad. It's quite good actually. I've heard of the Volkswagen Rocks campaign back in 2006, but since I lived in Holland, it was almost impossible to get one here. I must honestly admit: I got it mainly beacause I am a huge Volkswagen enthousiast, and a rare and unique item as a Volkswagen guitar is for a guitarist like me offcourse something I need to have. But the sound, playability, quality and overall coolness pleasantly suprised me. I have gigged with it in my metalband [I always bring backup, anyone should!] and trough a raging tube head with a 4x12 it sounds pretty damn awesome.
    Cool looking guitar.... But I don't think I could ever suffer the embarassment of actually owning a "First Act". I mean, no matter what this guitar has, or what kind of improvements you can do to it. At the end of the day... It's still just a "First Act". It's kinda like bragging to your friends that you own a Squier! lol!
    I accidentally gave your comment a +1, but I didn't mean to. You should play a guitar before you judge it as good or bad. I wrote this review so that people would know my impression. If they care enough, they could get one or even just borrow one and then form a definite opinion for themselves. I suggest you play one for a couple of months and then write your own review.
    ive had one for years ex bought me one. Its a cool looking guitar...haven't played it much since i first bought it. all in all it is a DECENT guitar, and with the right equipment it really isn't that bad. Some neck adjustments and a swap of pickups bring this thing to life. its a novelty guitar...and im a vw guy, thats all i drive, so its kinda cool to have around. FYI i own a yamaha acoustic, fender ukulele, and an ovation celeb...and yes the first act sucks compared to them, but it plays pretty well for the price. im not rich so it fits me just right
    When you want to see if your child is really serious enough about learning guitar to play it for more than a week, and you don't want to spend any more than humanly possible for this test, you buy a First Act. They sell them in the toy section.