Pros: None that I can think of.
Cons: It was not possible to correctly tune it.
FIRST ACT DISCOVERY ACOUSTIC GUITAR FG130
There is no shortage of entry level guitars for a consumer to choose from. This is both a good thing and a bad thing. It is of course a good thing because it is always good to have a wide variety of choices to choose from whenever one has to make a purchasing decision. On the other hand, having a wide variety of choices can make a purchasing decision more difficult because the field is so broad to choose from. Things can even get more difficult if the buyer does not know very much about playing the guitar. I shall try in this review to help in this regard, as I present my review of the First Act Discovery Acoustic Guitar FG130. Although this guitar has a list price of $34.99, the First Act Discovery Acoustic Guitar FG130 can be found in many department stores and Internet dealers for a bit less money, and it can be had for as little as $29.99. That sounds like a bargain at this price doesnt it. Read on and see if you feel that it actually is a bargain at this price.
The people at First Act make many entry level musical instruments, and many of their entry level student instruments are quite inexpensive. That is a good thing of course, because it makes the world of musical performance accessible to many people. However, there are some drawbacks to this as well, and I shall discuss these in a moment.
The First Act Discovery Acoustic Guitar FG130 is a student or entry level guitar designed for young beginners, or at least that is how it was labeled in the store. This is faulty and misleading advertising. In reality, it is actually more of a toy than a guitar for a beginner to learn to play music on. It is relatively small in size, and it is designed with a childs small frame and body in mind. The thin body makes it easier for a child to reach their arm over when they have to strum or pick notes, and it is also very light in weight, which also makes it easy for a child to manipulate. These are very important features for a beginner or student guitar to have, especially when the beginner is a young child. Another good point is that the First Act Discovery Acoustic Guitar has a steel reinforced neck. This is also a good thing, as many entry level guitars are prone to neck warpage, even when they are subjected to proper care. A guitar with a warped neck makes proper tuning impossible. As such, the First Act Discovery Acoustic Guitar FG130 does have a number of good points to consider. However, there are some bad points as well.
I have only played one First Act Discovery Acoustic Guitar FG130, and that was at a local department store. I found that the steel strings were hard to press down upon, and making bar chords at different positions on the neck was not easy. There were two frets which overhand the edge of the neck, and which had sharp edges. Of course, these frets could easily be filed, and the sharp edges taken off, but I would have expected that this is something that should have been noticed at the factory before it was shipped out to the public for sale. Another problem was that I could not get this guitar to hold its tuning correctly. If I tuned the guitar to play close to accurately in the first position, then it was out of tune in the fifth position and beyond. This is a problem. Further, the tone was terrible.
O.K., maybe you are thinking that I should not be so critical, and that one should not expect a high quality musical instrument for about $30 dollars or so. Well, I wasnt looking for it to play like a Martin, but I was hoping that it could be tuned correctly. A beginner or student is certain to get frustrated trying to learn and to practice their music lessons when they can not get their guitar to be in tune or to sound correctly.
In my opinion, the First Act Discovery Acoustic Guitar FG130 is clearly a toy and not an entry level or beginners guitar. It should never be labeled as anything else. I actually told this to a sales person in the store that I was in, as I felt that this was misleading to customers. Of course, my suggestion was not well received, and I was told that I could let the manager know how I felt, that is when he returned from vacation. The First Act Discovery Acoustic Guitar FG130 would be suitable for a very young child to knock around with as a toy, and play with. I do not feel that it is reasonable to consider it to be a guitar to seriously learn to play on, because of the faults that I found. I put myself through school in part as a private music teacher, and I can assure you that a student would be certain to be frustrated learning to play the guitar on an instrument of this quality.
I would like to at this point give some advice to consumers who are considering making a purchase of a beginner or entry level student guitar. Very often when choosing to buy a beginner or student guitar, a parent goes to their local department store to make a purchase. This can be a disaster, as I have found that most department store personnel are not musicians themselves, and they know little or nothing about the entry level or student guitars that their store is selling. I would recommend going to a real music store that specializes in selling musical instruments. The sales personnel there are all likely to be musicians themselves, and they can both answer your questions as well as guide you to make an appropriate purchasing decision.
My old grandmother had a saying, Cheap is dear. When I was a little boy I could not fully understand the wisdom in that saying. Now that I am older, I recognize that if one purchases an inexpensive or bargain item, it may not be a bargain at all, as it may have to be quickly replaced because of its poor quality. That can wind up being more expensive in the long run, as it means the money spent on the cheap item is actually wasted, and could have been used to buy a better item that would last and be used for a long time. Thus, Cheap is dear.
If you are going to buy a beginner or entry level guitar for your child, buy one that will not be hard to play, hard to tune, and which has the durability and quality to last them, and be useful till they are ready for an intermediate musical instrument.
The bottom line for me is this. The First Act Discovery Acoustic Guitar FG130 should be considered to be a toy, and not a real musical instrument suitable for a serious beginner or student musician. Spend a bit more, and get a guitar that is a real musical instrument. In the long run, that is the least expensive way to go, and your young musician will thank you and appreciate it. And I suspect that his future guitar teacher will appreciate it also.
Well I would like to thank you for taking the time to read my review, but now if you will excuse me, I must get back to my practicing.