This month, Web Content Editor Editor Rebecca Dirks shows you how to make a
custom First Act guitar, and where to go online if it gets stolen.
First Act’s Guitar Builder
Stolen Music Instrument Recovery Project
For a few months now, we’ve been spending our lunch hours salivating
over our dream guitars on custom building applications from Peavey,
Martin and Xotic. Now, First Act has gotten in the game with the First
Act Guitar Builder at firstact.com. Before you write them off because
they sell guitars in Wal-Mart, our end creations on the site clocked in
at around three grand – nothing to scoff at, but not a complete bank-buster either.
The guitar building application itself lacks the seemingly endless array
of options that Martin has, or the custom artwork choices of Peavey’s
app, but is fun to fiddle with nonetheless. There are four body styles to
choose from – Delia, Sheena, Lola and Delgada – and each are available with six wood choices, six finishes and three bindings. A variety
of finishes are available, including Vintage Tobacco Burst, Transparent
Red Burst, Transparent Amber, Black, Transparent Black and Cola,
and should be able to satiate most customer desires. From there, you
can choose your neck wood, profile, and fingerboard material; tuning
machines, bridge/tailpiece and hardware color; and your preferred
pickup and control configuration.
As you complete each step, the item you’ve chosen is added to a
somewhat cartoony guitar mockup. At the end, you’re given a recap of
your options – which you can then go back and tweak – along with a
price estimate. The final mockup is a bit more convincing than the in-progress pictures, and will certainly suffice to keep you waiting for the
real thing if you do decide to order one.
Even if you’re not in the market for a custom guitar, First Act’s custom
guitar builder is a fun way to kill a few open minutes during the day,
particularly if you’re getting tired of making the same guitars over and
over on other builder sites. For those not familiar with the company, it
will be a fun introduction to something we’ve known for a while: First
Act makes some sweet guitars.
With a recent rash of high-profile gear thefts – from Orange’s
£ 60,000 (approx. $88K) worth of new amps to Iron Maiden and
Iggy Pop’s recent losses – we were glad to stumble upon a site for
musicians who’ve experienced the pain of gear theft.
The Stolen Music Instrument Recovery Project, housed at scream-
ingstone.com, charts stolen instruments across the country with
an interactive map and listings with photographs. The site’s goal
is to unite the guitar community to help the listed gear get back
to its rightful owners. The service is new and hopes to provide an
alternative to police reports, which rarely result in recovered gear.
Founder Chris Stone, who launched the program after having a
guitar stolen from his car, says that more than one million instruments are stolen each year, and less than 3 percent are recovered
by the police.
The site features a search function where people can sift through
both eBay and Craigslist for listings that might match their stolen instruments. In addition to the website, the Stolen Music
Instrument Recovery Project uses their MySpace page to connect
musicians and issue alerts about stolen gear. They have also developed a widget for both MySpace and Facebook that automatically
updates with stolen gear descriptions when a new listing is posted.
The program is in its early stages, and Stone is counting on musicians checking the listings before a purchase to help recover instruments. In the “About Us” section of the website, he explains that
the more people who are involved with the project, the stronger
it will be. After browsing through post after post – including many
stories of inherited guitars and one-of-a-kind gifts – we were more
than happy to join the army and add the widget to our MySpace
( myspace.com/premierguitar). Hopefully it will help reunite a player
somewhere with that special instrument.
Build your dream at
screamingstone.com or myspace.com/screamingstone