Top positive review
17 people found this helpful
PW signature and a decent guitar for $159?
on October 25, 2006
I'll admit it: I'm a Paul Westerberg fan. No shame in that. When I decided to buy this guitar, I did it with my heart rather than my head. I figured if it sucked, I could return it. I didn't know what to expect, other than Paul picked a different FirstAct model up at a discount store and played it on tour. Now I can understand why. My other electric is a Squier Strat (Japanese!) which has the 80's metal setup -- floating tremelo, high-output humbuckers, etc.
It was nice to jump to a hardtail guitar with a bit less output -- something that doesn't scream, "I've got a wang bar, and I'm going to use it!" The first thing I noticed was the sustain. I think that's mostly the lack of a tremolo and fewer magnets under the strings. The pickups have a vintage sound which works well with a slightly-crunchy amp setup.
The finish is nearly-flawless. The neck has a satin finsh, and fairly high action out of the box. It plays well, however. It will be interesting to see how it ages and how the finish wears.
My three biggest complaints aren't that serious. The machine heads are midrange. They're not as bad as I've seen on inexpensive guitars (I feared they'd be worse). They're not as good as the ones that came stock on my Strat. They don't have that super-positive, fine feel that I'd like. I've got a similar set on my acoustic guitar and they broke down a bit after 10 years, but still work passibly (the knobs wiggle).
Second in the complaint department are the frets. I don't know if it is the metal or the finish, but they don't feel super-smooth. There's a bit of a grind as you bend the strings. Some playing time and/or emery paper will probably take care of that, but we'll see.
Finally in the world of complaints are the strings. They made my fingers black. I cleaned them with a bit of alcohol, but I'll probably replace them.
I'm not a guitar connisseur. I think I had a good Japanese Strat even if it was the "Strat in Metal Clothing." The PW580 is top-to-bottom a solid guitar. For $159, I'm impressed. FirstAct is trying to build their image with the artist line and the custom-built guitars. If they keep building value guitars like this, their image will continue to grow.