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Guitar with built-in amp lets you rock on

Guitar maker First Act is at CES demonstrating a guitar with a built-in pre-amp.

Now you can rock on without lugging a Peavey amp. Guitar maker First Act is at the Consumer Electronics Show demonstrating a guitar with a built-in pre-amp. All you need to do is plug it into some speakers.

Scotty Alexander
Michael Kanellos/CNET Networks

Guitarist Scotty Alexander is pictured here playing the familiar chords to "Smoke on the Water" with the Volkswagen Garagemaster from First Act. The guitar comes free when you buy particular models of cars from Volkswagen, as Crave noted back in November. First Act, however, also sells the guitar as the Vex for $600. (Alexander's day job, or rather night job, is playing guitar for Wayne Newton. But in the 15 minutes we spoke, he never riffed "Danke Schoen.")

The sound quality is equal to the company's standard guitars, says Alton Etheridge, director of sales for First Act. It just doesn't have the custom wood-grained styling. First Act has made guitars for Henry Garza of Los Lonely Boys and Richard Nielsen of Cheap Trick.

First Act is based in Boston, which has been the center of audio technology since the '50s. Fire in the Sky!