Magazine article Guitar Player

Volkswagen GTI and First Act GarageMaster

Magazine article Guitar Player

Volkswagen GTI and First Act GarageMaster

Article excerpt

BLASTING THROUGH A TRIPLE-STACK OF Volkswagen GTIs? John Mayer getting all kinds of bluesy with convertible Beetle? A shredding Nigel Tufnel--in kilts--slipping off his wah pedal and tumbling down the backside of a Jetta? Ya gotta give First Act and Volkswagen credit for forging a stunning advertising campaign--especially as it's more than wonderful to see guitar heroes, rock licks, and cool 6-strings employed as international marketing icons.

But the Volkswagen/First Act collaboration is more than Madison Avenue fairy dust, as First Act's GarageMaster guitar is no mere toy, and, thanks to its onboard V-Stack amp-modeling preamp, it can be played directly through a VW's sound system. In fact, although the GarageMaster is provided with new Jettas, GLIs, GTIs, Rabbits, New Beetles, and New Beetle Convertibles, the guitar works with any car-stereo system equipped with a miniplug jack and an Aux feature (basically, your standard automotive iPod interface). However, as the GTI provided by Volkswagen as our "test amp" boasted ten speakers, a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine, a navigation system, and a six-disc CD changer, it seemed impolite not to plug in and rock. After running the supplied 1/4" to-miniplug cable from the GarageMaster to the aux jack installed inside the glove box, it was apparent the setup is designed more for parked, rather than mobile concerts. As GP Associate Editor Jude Gold and I traded licks in the back seat--taking care not to pummel designated driver and GP Senior Editor Art Thompson with the GarageMaster's headstock--the glove-box door bounced merrily across Bass Player Art Director Patrick Wong's knees. Ouch. That was a shame, because with the car's interior acting as an acoustic chamber, you're enveloped in the GarageMaster's clean and distorted V-Stack sounds--much like the surround sound effect of some Disney-esque thrill ride. …

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