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First off, I know that this is labeled a "beginner" guitar - but if you don't know how to play, isn't EVERY guitar a beginner model?? Anyways... I spotted this at a pawn shop for $30. Bought it, with intentions of flipping it to make a quick thirty bucks. Took it home and cleaned it up big time. After a full set up (fret polishing, restringing, intonation, nut filing and lubrication, machine head check-up, etc.), I plugged it in and was pleasantly surprised.
The humbucker is vintage voiced and quite nice sounding. There are some AL4042's out there that have a volume and tone control, but mine only has a single volume knob. I think this may add to the clarity in the humbucker, as I would imagine that they are using bare bones junky tone pots. But who knows?
Overall this guitar sounds and plays great. It is very lightweight, and feels good to hold. It really reminds me of an old Mosrite I had many years ago. The frets needed a little love, but it wasn't too extreme. I've played $200 Squiers with FAR worse frets. The only thing this guitar desperately needs, is a new set of tuners. That being said, the ones that are on it are functional. Just be prepared to tune up after every song, if you are heavy handed like myself.
Still, after only spending $30 on this guitar, a new set of tuners doesn't seem so bad.
I would highly recommend the First Act AL4042 to anyone who likes comfort and simplicity. Just be prepared to put in a couple hours of work, to get it on a functioning level :)