REVIEW - Gibson Les Paul vs Agile AL-3000


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Crunchmeister
03-14-2006, 08:56 AM
OK. We always hear people comparing one to the other. But to date, I haven't read one true side-by-side review of the guitars where the reviewer actually OWNS one of each and has spent considerable time playing both. Well, that's about to change.

Three weeks ago, I got my hands on a nice (used) 2005 Gibson Les Paul studio. Of all the Gibsons I've played in the past years, this is without a doubt one of the best sounding Les Pauls I can remember. It has that Les Paul tone that all try to replicate, but few (even Gibson) ever manage to nail with any consistency. I usually wouldn't buy a Gibson because of all their consistency problems, but this one sounded so good and was selling for so cheap that I just had to buy it. So here goes the comparison that many have been waiting for. I've broken it up into different categories to break everything down.

Cosmetic appearance / attention to detail

The Agile has it all - beautiful three-ply binding on the body and headstock, a single-ply binding on a gorgeous ebony fretboard, with abalone inlay work. It's quite a stunning guitar. It's got a solid, hi-gloss finish that easily rivals any other guitar. The only flaws (and I use that term loosely) is that a couple of the inlays have a bit of visible filler on the edges. Otherwise, attention to detail is remarkable. All frets were evenly crowned and smooth to perfection. The stock bone nut wasn't the best cut nut in the world, but the included graphite nut is perfect if you prefer graphite, which I do.

Score Agile: 4 / 5

Bottom line: the inlay filler and nut is what loses it the point. And when you consider the guitar cost $360 US new, it's not an issue at all.

Cosmetically, Gibson guitar is quite good. Being an LP Studio, it's a lot plainer than other LP models, Gibson or otherwise. So I can't really bring up things like binding, etc, since this guitar has none. It's a beautiful guitar and very well built for the most part. However it's not perfect, or even close - very disappointing for a guitar of this price range. The finish on the edge of the headstock and upper side of the body seem to have some orange peel in the color coat that wasn't completely removed in wet-sanding. The orange peel effect isn't apparent unless you inspect it closely, but it's visible unaided. Under magnification (regular magnifying glass), it's very visible, and you can actually tell on the headstock where they almost sanded the color coat thru to the wood trying to remove the orange peel. The clear coat is smooth, but you can see the imperfections thru the clear and can see the black paint is very thin and almost translucent at that spot, showing a bit of the wood grain.

The fret work was nothing short of sloppy. It had fret issues that should never be found even on a cheap guitar. This certainly shows how ****ty Gibson's quality assurance is these days. The 18th fret was too high. A ruler on the fretboard would rock back and forth over the 18th fret. With the action correctly set, ALL notes from the 13th to 17th frets were dead and would play the 18th fret note. This was fairly easy to fix, but on a guitar of that price, it should never happen. Also, the 3rd fret also had a very sharp edge. Again, easy to repair, but should never be an issue on a guitar of this caliber. Otherwise, the guitar is in excellent (used) condition, and I saw no other signs of factory defects, unlike many Gibsons I've played recently.

Score Gibson: 2.5 / 5

Bottom line:Fret problems and paint issues are inexcusable in a guitar of this caliber and price. Whoever was working final QA at Gibson that day needs to lay off the weed during work hours.

Feel / action / playability

The Gibson is a nice guitar. It feels really nice and fairly light for a Les Paul, at 7.5 - 8 lbs. The body and neck are well balanced. Once properly set up, the action is nice and low. It has a '59 rounded style neck - fat, but not enough to make it uncomfortable to play. Its profile is a little rounder than I normally like, but still comfy. After extended playing, I tend to feel more left hand fatigue than with my other guitars, but again, not drastically. The feel is unmistakably that of a Les Paul.

The only beef I have with this guitar and all Les Pauls in general is the bulky neck joint and restrictive upper fret access. And this is basically a design flaw in Les Pauls in general. Most people that really like Les Pauls easily overlook this anyway.

Score: Score Gibson 4.5 / 5

Bottom line: Nothing wrong, really. While I wouldn't describe the feel of the guitar as 'perfection', it's just a matter of personal preference. It's a Les Paul. That's all there is to it. I just think that Gibson necks in general are not the most comfortable compared to other modern guitars, even Gibson copies.

The Agile also is a nice guitar, weighing in at only about 1/2 lb more than the Gibson (weighed it a while back and it was 8.4 lbs). The shape of the body is slightly different from the Gibson, but not drastically. The body is about 1 inch shorter, and the rear bulge is about 1 inch fatter. There's the same amount of wood there, only it's distributed a little differently. And this makes the guitar sit at a different position on your body than the Gibson. I usually like my guitars lower on the strap, and I find the Agile sits in a more comfortable natural position when low on the strap. Again, it's not a drastic change, but you do feel it. And it's a matter of personal preference.

Also, the cutaway and lower horn are slightly shorter, and this actually allows better upper fret access. It's not significant, but noticable.

The neck radius, however, is much nicer than the Gibson's, at least for me. The Agile has a thinner neck that's more comparable to the neck on my ESP Explorer and LTD EX-351. The neck has a much faster, 'shredder' type feel compared to the Gibson's loggier neck. I find the Agile tends to leave me with little to no hand fatigue after extended playing. I also prefer the feel of an ebony fretboard over rosewood. Again, this last point is personal preference.

Score Agile: 5 / 5

Bottom line:The Agile wins this one, although not by a huge margin. And really, it's a matter of personal preference. If you ask me which guitar feels best in my hands, then the Agile wins. Ask someone else, and they might say it's the Gibson.


Since I'm only allowed 10 000 characters per post, the review is continued in the next post...

Crunchmeister
03-14-2006, 08:57 AM
Continued

Tone / sustain

Here's where I need to elaborate a bit. My Gibson is stock except for cosmetic mods. The Agile has received some modifications, with the biggest tone-affecting change being the EMG 81/85 pickups that I installed. When I first got the Agile, I had a chance to compare it stock to both an Epiphone Elitists LP Standard, and a Gibson Les Paul Standard loaded with Duncan 59s. IMO, I think the stock Wilkinson pickups in the Agile sounded far better better than the Epi, and sounded surprisingly like the Duncans in the Gibson. The two guitars sounded so close that I would have been hard-pressed to tell which was which in a blind test. But as it stands right now, it's hard to make an apples to apples comparison of the two guitars due to pickups.

Both guitars have a very bright, almost unnaturally loud sound when played acoustically. They're very bright articulate and punchy in the low end. The Gibson is a bit brighter sounding, and that's most likely due to the maple cap that's lacking in the Agile (I have the black Agile which was all mahogany. Other Agile models normally have a maple cap).

In terms of sustain, the Agile is one of my better guitars. It can hold notes for seemingly unending periods of time. You can feel the guitar resonating along its entire length. With both guitars on their hangers, I can strum them open, and the Agile seems to sustain longer than the Gibson. The sustain, however, deteriorates above the 17th fret or so. The guitar just doesn't sustain as well. That being said, I'd say it sustains high notes better than my EX-351, and even my ESP Explorer. However, when I plug in the Gibson, I can pluck the High E on the 22nd fret, and have it sustain for significantly longer.

This final comparison isn't a very fair one because of the pickup types on the two guitars. However, the comparison has to be made anyway. Both guitars have a very similar voicing. Due to the pickups, the Agile obviously has a much hotter output, better suited for metal and the more abrasive types of music. Although, I can pull off some pretty sweet clean and lower gain tones.

The Gibson has a bit more kick and fatter tone. Even with the lower output pickups, it can still deliver a powerful metal tone when required, and it cleans up nicely to handle any style of music I can throw at it. Again, it sounds very similar to the Agile, but the overall tone is brighter. As a matter of fact, it's got this sharp attack that I haven't really heard on any guitar other than my custom Lado Earth (which I rate as the best sounding guitar I've ever played). This bite is something that my other guitars (except the Lado) lack completely, even the custom ESP. The higher grade woods in the Gibson (namely the maple top) are responsible for this. And it shows.

Scores:

Agile 4/5

Gibson 5/5

Bottom line: This is truly the only place where I can say the Gibson was noticeably better than the Agile. The tone is fatter and the attack and sustain are better. This is exactly that a guitar should sound like. This is where the true 'quality' of the Gibson shines thru. However, we need to beware here, because most Gibson Les Pauls DON'T sound like they're SUPPOSED to. I'm just lucky I have one of the 'good ones'.

Final note

So which is a better guitar? Well, according to these score, it would appear that the Agile is the 'better' guitar. But we must keep in mind that most of the items reviewed are subjective to my personal taste. In terms of quality and attention to detail, the Agile was hands down the winner. I received a guitar that was flawless in every way. The Gibson, even though it was built with higher grade woods, had defects that I consider quite serious and unacceptable in any guitar at any price.

And then there's the obvious item - price. The Agile sold for $359 US. After exchange and shipping, the guitar cost me just under $500 Cdn. With all the modifications, the final price was about $800 Cdn. A Gibson LP Studio sells for $1600 Cdn at our local Gibson dealer. It is NOT $800 better than my Agile. And even totally stock, the Agile hold its own quite nicely against the mighty Gibson.

Gabel
03-14-2006, 09:01 AM
Well pre 99's are alot better. But still teh review seems to be very true.

Danno13
03-14-2006, 09:08 AM
Well written, Crunchy. Very informative. :cheers:

mr.rs
03-14-2006, 09:12 AM
Great review.

Thanks for posting.

Crunchmeister
03-14-2006, 09:16 AM
Thanks guys. I figured since people are saying this **** al lthe time, I might as well step up and give my impressions of the 2 guitars. Again, most of my reviews are personal opinion and must be taken in the context of the price of these 2 guitars.

Danno13
03-14-2006, 09:17 AM
^Only thing lacking is pics.

Take shots of the inlays, fret ends, and any imperfections on each, that would be great.

Gabel
03-14-2006, 09:22 AM
as i said great review. But i have to agree on the finish on teh Studio- terrible, it scrapes of easy. Tone is great though. But i have a 98, said to be the best ones since the 50's.

Crunchmeister
03-14-2006, 09:22 AM
The fret issues have been fixed, and the I can't take a pic of the paint. Really, the paint problem on the Gibosn is that subtle. You have to look closely to see it. But regardless, orange peel effec tin the paint is a sign of sloppiness. I've now got a new digital camera that takes closeups a lot better than my old one. I'll try to take some shots of the inlay work on the Agile. But seriously, it's not really all that visible unless you look for it.

Pics

Agile:

http://home.cogeco.ca/~sadtbuttrue-band2/Agile_With_EMGs/Agile_with_diamond_plate.jpg

Gibson:

http://home.cogeco.ca/~sadtbuttrue-band2/Gibson_LP_Studio/LP_Body.jpg

Armored Artist
03-14-2006, 10:57 PM
Man, that is an awesome looking Studio! And great review!

Where did you get those chrome pickup rings? I'm looking for a set of those for my AL3000.

Is there a good place online that sells LP modifications like that?

mexican_shred
03-14-2006, 11:03 PM
Its usally the epiphone phreaks who buy into the gibson name that give agile a bad name. They are great guitars, i wanna get one like your and put in some EMGs.

tremonti_07
03-14-2006, 11:48 PM
Well done, very informative. Thank you.

WishIHadAGibson
03-15-2006, 12:25 AM
I like the review but it would have the most credit if you had two stock, new guitars.

otherwise, thank you.

more pics pleeeease? :)

MetalUpTheAss
03-15-2006, 02:28 AM
Great review man...

And that's actually a pretty cool looking studio. Love the agile though.

Hey, Crunch, I was wondering if you have an EMG 85/60 setup on any of your gutiars?

Frostithe
03-15-2006, 02:40 AM
The Agiles seem too fat at the bottom end and the second horn just doesn't look right.... Would this be a fair assessment?

mr_hankey
03-15-2006, 05:57 AM
Thanks; good work. :golfclap:

PurpleMonkeyDW
03-15-2006, 08:33 AM
Yeah really good review! It's great to have someone express an opinion other than some know-it all who hasn't played either.

Crunchmeister
03-15-2006, 09:24 AM
Thanks everyone. I'm glad you found my review / comparison helpful.

Man, that is an awesome looking Studio! And great review!
Where did you get those chrome pickup rings? I'm looking for a set of those for my AL3000.

Is there a good place online that sells LP modifications like that?
I bought all the cosmetic mods on ebay. The fake diamond plate setup comes as a kit, including the pick guard, truss rod cover, rear cavity covers, toggle switch plate, and 2 thin pieces to add to the top of the pickups rings. Note that the rear cavity covers are sized to a Gibson only. The other parts fit perfectly on the Agile. The chrome rings also came from ebay.

I like the review but it would have the most credit if you had two stock, new guitars.

otherwise, thank you.
Indeed. I wish the Agile would have been stock to give a true comparison. The Agile has new pickups and an Earvana compensated nut, which both affect tone. However, I think I was fair in reviewing the sound category taking the after-market parts on the Agile. Other than cosmetic mods, the Gibson is stock.

The Agiles seem too fat at the bottom end and the second horn just doesn't look right.... Would this be a fair assessment?

Yes. Body shapes are slightly different, and I mentioned that in my review. It gives the whole guitar a different feel, at least when he guitar is on a strap. The difference is subtle, but it's there and noticeable. You really notice it when both guitars are side-by-side. Regardless though, I wouldn't say it's too wide or the horn is too short. It's just different, and that gives the Agile its own look, even though it is a Les Paul copy in every other way.

Yeah really good review! It's great to have someone express an opinion other than some know-it all who hasn't played either.

And that was the idea. I wanted a fair, unbiased opinion by comparing the two guitars side by side.

timi_hendrix
03-15-2006, 10:11 AM
Very well written, great job :golfclap:

Armored Artist
03-15-2006, 09:23 PM
For those who think that the Agile body shape is drastically different from a Gibson LP, consider this: The Agile fits quite well into an LP case. It's a snug fit around the bottom bout and that only makes it more secure.

Crunchmeister
03-15-2006, 09:37 PM
I have a standard les Paul case for my Agile and it fits fine. A little tight on the bottom end, that's all.

Waterboy799
03-15-2006, 09:43 PM
sounds great, more pics would be great though

PurpleMonkeyDW
03-16-2006, 07:22 AM
I'm thinking of putting some Duncans (or possibly some PRS pups if they would sound right) in mine but now I wonder is the difference going to be that significant for the money I'll spend.

The only thing I prefer asthetically about the Gibson is the mother of pearl inlays. It's personal taste but the Alabone is just a little loud for my liking.

Dave_Mc
03-16-2006, 01:20 PM
great review, crunch- I stand vindicated for keeping you on the "Who to listen to" list, lol.

:cheers:

Crunchmeister
03-17-2006, 11:33 AM
Got some fresh pictured snapped of both guitars. Didn't have time to post then last night, and unfortunately, I can't get into my home computer from work to snatch the pics to post...

I'll post them later.

The Iron Man
03-17-2006, 12:42 PM
So If I was considering an agile al 3000. should I get the Agile AL-3000 Prestige with P90 Pickups or Agile AL-3000 Prestige. They are the same price.

Dave_Mc
03-17-2006, 12:50 PM
^iron man: what tones are you after? P90's are like fat-sounding single coils, the other one has humbuckers. Neither is better (unless agile p90's suck, or something, lol), just different.

The Iron Man
03-17-2006, 12:52 PM
^iron man: what tones are you after? P90's are like fat-sounding single coils, the other one has humbuckers. Neither is better (unless agile p90's suck, or something, lol), just different.
I just want a nice rich sound for all music styles.

Danno13
03-17-2006, 12:53 PM
^Humbuckers then. P90s are less versatile.

Dave_Mc
03-17-2006, 01:43 PM
^probably.

I haven't actually tried p90's (they're meant to have fantastic tone), but they aren't noiseless, so for any high gain applications, might be a pain.

Crunchmeister
03-17-2006, 07:14 PM
Here's a pic of the filler I was talkign about on the Agile. I put red circles around the filler. Now, all the inlays have the 2 small holes at the edges filled. This particular inlay is the only one that has extra filler along the entire upper edge. Seriously, it's hard to see.

http://home.cogeco.ca/~sadtbuttrue-band2/Agile_With_EMGs/InlayFiller.jpg

This is the 2 guitars side-by-side...


Front view:
http://home.cogeco.ca/~sadtbuttrue-band2/2_LPs.jpg

Back view:
http://home.cogeco.ca/~sadtbuttrue-band2/2_LPs_back.jpg

Headstocks:
http://home.cogeco.ca/~sadtbuttrue-band2/headstocks.jpg

All my guitars (except my Lado)
http://home.cogeco.ca/~sadtbuttrue-band2/theStable.jpg

mexican_shred
03-17-2006, 07:16 PM
Crunch i love that custom ESP. Is that one of the lawsuit or pre law suit ones.

Ignite
03-17-2006, 07:39 PM
I used to hate agiles. I really did. I didn't like the shape... Then I started seeing how they are better quality than an Epi.. and possibly some Gibsons. Now I just want an Agile really bad, haha. And they're cheap, just as good as a Les Paul Studio (been wanting one for a LONG time).

They have AL-3000 in ebony? Could you show me the link? I really want an ebony Agile... and I couldn't find one of Rondomusic.

Crunchmeister
03-17-2006, 07:45 PM
Black AL-3000s are out of stock. But they do make them since I have one. ;) Although the nicest ones IMO are the Root Beer ones. They didn't have that finish at the time I bought my black one.

And BTW, I rank this Les Paul Studio are sounding better than most Standards I've played as of late regardless of it being a Lesser Paul. Otherwise, I wouldn't have bought it. I won't touch Gibson unless they're above average. :)

Embryodead
03-17-2006, 07:53 PM
I used to hate agiles. I really did. I didn't like the shape... Then I started seeing how they are better quality than an Epi.. and possibly some Gibsons. Now I just want an Agile really bad, haha. And they're cheap, just as good as a Les Paul Studio (been wanting one for a LONG time).

They have AL-3000 in ebony? Could you show me the link? I really want an ebony Agile... and I couldn't find one of Rondomusic.

www.rondomusic.com

i've been on this site awhile and i personally think CM should be the next person up for mod on this forum. I've learned when he talks that you're probably going to learn something. His avid love for the agiles for a long time made me buy a 2500 and i have been extremely satisfied. My lead guitarist was like well it's a rip-off until he finally played it.

Ignite
03-17-2006, 07:59 PM
Black AL-3000s are out of stock. But they do make them since I have one. ;) Although the nicest ones IMO are the Root Beer ones. They didn't have that finish at the time I bought my black one.

Meh, that sucks. I really had my mind set on a black AL with chrome or gold hardware. Is it possible to call them up and special order one?

strangedogs
03-17-2006, 08:37 PM
I really wanted the 2500 or 3000 Black Beauty but settled on the AL-2000 with gold hardware - I'm VERY pleased with it - it's a sweetie and plays and sustains like a true Paul.

E Daws
03-17-2006, 08:53 PM
If neither is stock and one is used, how would comparing them in any way reflect a legitamate comparison that and Agile would be better/worse than Gibson?

Otherwise I like the reviews and those are two pretty nice looking guitars.

love_O_rock
03-17-2006, 10:37 PM
Don't they make a 3500(duhn duhn duhn)? I'd love to see that matchup.

tyrohne
03-17-2006, 11:41 PM
Meh, that sucks. I really had my mind set on a black AL with chrome or gold hardware. Is it possible to call them up and special order one?

Well, here's the rootbeer if you wanted to look at one. By the way it's a kick ass guitar, I'm beyond happy with the playability for the money.

On a side note, I actually made it to the store in Union. I wasn't all that impressed with the Agile Hollowbodies as much as Ibanez Artcores. FWIW.

http://www.mobilequotient.com/001.jpg
http://www.mobilequotient.com/002.jpg http://www.mobilequotient.com/003.jpg

PurpleMonkeyDW
03-18-2006, 09:53 AM
That is effin sweet!! Wish that colour was available when I bought mine...

xbouncer927
08-23-2006, 10:32 PM
excellent review!

Crunchmeister
07-08-2007, 04:21 PM
In the last week (since I've been back and posting again) I've received several PMs from people asking for a comparison between my Agile and my Gibson. I keep pointing them to this review. So I figured that I would bump this up and give the "one year (and a bit) later" impressions on these guitars.

I should not that since the original review, I've modded my Gibson with new pickups (Duncan JB / Jazz), an Earvana nut, and Gotoh locking tuners, as well as some cosmetic upgrades. Since then, I've used the Gibson a lot more, especially for recording projects. It gets me some pretty badass tones and feels good. Now that all its little bugs have been worked out and it's properly broken in by me, I like it a lot more, and even used it on stage one time. It didn't fare all that well compared to the several times my Agile survived abuse and came through intact, but that's another story (http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=514586).

These days, I've been playing bass more than guitar (new band, new instrument). But when I reach for a guitar to jam out on, more often than not, it's still the Agile. It just has that feel and voicing that's just what I look for in a guitar. I still stand by this review.

And here's what the "bastard twins" look like today...
http://photos-b.ak.facebook.com/photos-ak-sctm/v97/37/1/500800452/n500800452_537865_7639.jpg

Dave_Mc
07-08-2007, 05:21 PM
cool!

it's always nice when you're back.

:cheers:

Crunchmeister
07-08-2007, 09:04 PM
Thanks man. Good to be back. Was so busy lately and had no time to post anymore. Hope to remedy that situation now.

tubab0y
07-08-2007, 09:15 PM
Everyone's coming back! Yay!

And it kind of surprises me that you own an agile, do you not have enough nice (read expensive) guitars?

Crunchmeister
07-08-2007, 09:23 PM
Price means nothing, really. It's all about soud and feel. My Agile is my cheapest guitar, yet the one that feels best and one of only 3 that can nail exactly the sound I want. And for that metal tone, the Agile is the one that seems to deliver it best.

And I will continue buying from Rondo as long as they make good product. I just got a Brice Z5 neck thru 5-string bass from Rondo last week. It's easily one of the best I've played at even double the price.

tubab0y
07-08-2007, 09:26 PM
I'm eyeing that spalted agile- looks amazing.

Oh well, if you're happy with it. I personally hate LP style guitars- I'm skinny. Not weak, just not liking a 7 pound guitar for a two hour gig.

d_byrne23
07-08-2007, 10:33 PM
Yeah honestly, ive always avoided knock off brands and always saved money for name brand guitars (ive owned a slsmg soloist, standard strat, schecter extreme fr) and now i have 2 modded sx strats that far outplay the standard strat I just sold, and I bought a agile al2000 asuming it would be a beater guitar, and even for a low end agile im SEVERELY pleased with the quality, cant wait to buy a high end agile :cheers:

Crunchmeister
07-08-2007, 10:40 PM
I originally bought my Agile as the beater go-to guitar that I could drag to jams, parties, etc and not have to worry about getting it scratched up. I've played it for 2 1/2 years. I've used it on stage, and regularly lend it to a friend who uses it on stage for his downtuned guitar. And it's always come thru, and still has no real noticeable marks, despite having been knocked around and even dropped once. I love that guitar. Even though it's my cheapest, I would never get rid of it.

d_byrne23
07-08-2007, 10:42 PM
I hear ya crunch, for so long I wondered if price really reflected performance as much as it seemed to with guitars, but for around 425 including import fees to canada, I can get a wicked les paul from agile with an ebony fret board..honestly, I cant justify myself buying a gibson, they are great instruments, but if theres a close comparison for 600 less, im taking the agile every time

Crunchmeister
07-08-2007, 10:46 PM
Absolutely. Like I said in my original review, the Gibson is a better guitar. There's no doubt about that. People who say that Agiles are better than Gibsons are on glue. It may be true in some instances with really bad Gibsons (and they are out there, selling at full price), but for the most part, it's not the case.

Higher price often does mean better quality. But that being said, I honestly can't see how anyone could say that a LP Standard is $1600 better than an Agile...

d_byrne23
07-08-2007, 10:49 PM
Higher price often does mean better quality. But that being said, I honestly can't see how anyone could say that a LP Standard is $1600 better than an Agile...

exactly man :cheers:

MESAexplorer
07-08-2007, 11:06 PM
Great review man!

The only thing I have against it is that you are comparing 1 Gibson with 1 Agile. To truly prove a point there needs to be more than one of each guitar, but, I woudln't expect anyone to own 5 of each. But in the end, the quality of the Gibson is completely unacceptable for a guitar that costs $1,200, especially in comparison to one that costs about 1/3 that.

Crunchmeister
07-08-2007, 11:09 PM
Yeah, the comparison is not 100% fair for several reasons, including the one you mentioned. But in the end, you're absolutely right. A guitar that sells for $1200 US shouldn't have flaws that a guitar that sells for $360 doesn't have. And even when the flws on the Gibson were repaired, I still don't think it's $800+ better than the Agile. What really saves this particular Gibson for me is its sound. It sounds exactly the way a Les Paul should, and very few Les Pauls (even Gibsons at any price) sound that way these days.

xBluefirex
07-09-2007, 02:31 AM
Great review :)
I gunna get an AL-3000 soon(hopefully) and you have helped a lot.
Thanks man
:cheers:

Crunchmeister
07-09-2007, 09:11 AM
Glad my review could be of use to people. Like I said, in the past week I've been PMed about this subject so many times that I figured I would just bump the thread back up, since people seem to actually be able to use the info.

Still love my Gibson and use it more often now, but that Agile is just one badass piece of lumber. I love everything about the guitar.

piefaceFX
07-09-2007, 10:44 AM
Great review and I agree with you. I don't think i'll ever buy a Gibson LP now that I have my Agile 3100, I plan on buying more Agiles in the future. There's not better bang for buck out there

piefaceFX
07-09-2007, 10:48 AM
Yeah honestly, ive always avoided knock off brands and always saved money for name brand guitars (ive owned a slsmg soloist, standard strat, schecter extreme fr) and now i have 2 modded sx strats that far outplay the standard strat I just sold, and I bought a agile al2000 asuming it would be a beater guitar, and even for a low end agile im SEVERELY pleased with the quality, cant wait to buy a high end agile :cheers:
Remember, every brand has to start off as a no name brand... Just because one brand happens to become popular by word of mouth doesn't make it the best out there. Every company has to start somewhere, and there's always a chance the new guy coming along does it better than the popular guy. But of course if you've never heard anything about a company then you'll be taking a risk. But in Agiles case it's starting to build a very good reputation, and for good reason

d_byrne23
07-09-2007, 11:09 AM
Remember, every brand has to start off as a no name brand... Just because one brand happens to become popular by word of mouth doesn't make it the best out there. Every company has to start somewhere, and there's always a chance the new guy coming along does it better than the popular guy. But of course if you've never heard anything about a company then you'll be taking a risk. But in Agiles case it's starting to build a very good reputation, and for good reason

im well aware of that, im just making it clear that agile has changed my mind on "copies" or knock off guitars, they are great guitars, and in my opinion offer great value at every level and definately make high end instruments as well

sdmfmofo
07-09-2007, 05:29 PM
just wondering how have agile avoided lawsuits from gibson, cause if you took a picture of the agiles body alot of people wouldn't be able to detect that it wasn't a gibson. if they really are as good as people on here say then i may just have to investigate further :)
Is Agile an American company because ive never seen them over here in the UK and the first time i heard of them was on here?

Crunchmeister
07-09-2007, 06:01 PM
Agile is the "store brand" for Rondo Music in Union, New Jersey. The reason they're cheaper than most comparable Les Paul copies is that there's no middlemen in the equation. Rondo have the guitars manufactured to their specs in Korean factories (more than likely Samick, which produce about 75% of the world's "brand name" import guitars). They import them directly and sell them off retail at what is essentially wholesale prices.

Compared that to, say, Epiphone, who more than likely have guitars made in the samefactories. First, Epiphone (owned by Gibson, but a separate corporate entity) tag on their profit margin (including advertising costs in magazines, etc). Then there's a nice premium paid to Gibson for that little Gibson name engraved on the truss rod cover. Then there's the extra costs tacked on by regional distributors of Epiphone guitars, which also included the shipping charges to get the guitars from one place to another. Then finally, there's the retail outlets where you buy the guitars that add on their profir margin.

With Agile, you avoid all the middlemen. It goes from the factory, to Rondo Music's warehouse in New Hampshire, and then it gets delivered directly to the customer. No middlemen and no extra 'gouging'.

sdmfmofo
07-09-2007, 07:08 PM
tbh they do sound like awesome guitars, and after your great review and from what everyone else has said about agile guitars i think im gunna get one, the one i really have my eye on it the AL-2500 tribal green with EMG. flamed maple top, maple neck, rosewood fingerboard, active EMGs. so i check it all out seems like the guitar ive wanted since i started. i read up on Rondo/Agile and they say their guitars are for beginners and novice players which i definatley wouldnt count my self as. so just to make this clear are you saying that Agiles are awesome guitars for price range or that they are awesome compared to any high standard of guitar manufacture regardless of price??

Dave_Mc
07-10-2007, 08:49 AM
Thanks man. Good to be back. Was so busy lately and had no time to post anymore. Hope to remedy that situation now.

cool!

how's that el diablo treating you? Over at HC at the moment, it seems to be becoming the whipping boy, almost like krank! I liked it (el diablo, not krank!) when i tried it, though. I thought it was a very nice amp.

Dave_Mc
07-10-2007, 08:55 AM
just wondering how have agile avoided lawsuits from gibson, cause if you took a picture of the agiles body alot of people wouldn't be able to detect that it wasn't a gibson. if they really are as good as people on here say then i may just have to investigate further :)
Is Agile an American company because ive never seen them over here in the UK and the first time i heard of them was on here?

i think rondo will ship to the UK, but customs and shipping will eat into that good value a lot. I haven't tried agile, they may still be worth it, but that's a major thing which put me off.

If you are willing to ship from abroad, edwards in japan might be worth a look too. Again, I haven't tried these, but am seriously looking into these (if ishibashi would answer my darn emails!)- they're japanese-made, their parent company is ESP. They're basically almost exact fender and gibson copies minus the name on the headstock (with some more pointy guitars too), and you can import the fender and gibson copies for about 500. By all accounts, they're comparable to Gibson LP standard quality (this is from people on other forums who own both), with better Quality Control.

http://www.espguitars.co.jp/edwards/index.html

probably a bit dearer than agile, and i'm not trying to take the heat away from agile- if you're in the USA, they are great value.

FRDesign
07-10-2007, 02:56 PM
It seemed like a fine review , but you were off in cosmetics. Agiles are UGLY.

Crunchmeister
07-10-2007, 03:13 PM
...i read up on Rondo/Agile and they say their guitars are for beginners and novice players which i definatley wouldnt count my self as. so just to make this clear are you saying that Agiles are awesome guitars for price range or that they are awesome compared to any high standard of guitar manufacture regardless of price??

Depends on which models you get. The 2000 models are considered the novice guitars. The 2500 and 2800 models are a small step up from that. Either way, they're excellent guitars for the money, that's for sure. But you hit the real quality with Agile guitars when you hit the 3000+ models. Those are the ones I recommend over others.


cool!

how's that el diablo treating you? Over at HC at the moment, it seems to be becoming the whipping boy, almost like krank! I liked it (el diablo, not krank!) when i tried it, though. I thought it was a very nice amp.
El Diablo's been kicking all kinds of ass for me. Had no problems whatsoever and it still sounds incredibly badass, no matter what I play. I've reverted (again) to 6L6 tubes because they just seem to suit the music I play better than EL34s and E34Ls. And people can bash them all they want. I know quality and great tone when I hear it, and the El Diablo delivers on both in droves...

It seemed like a fine review , but you were off in cosmetics. Agiles are UGLY.
Eye of the beholder man. Some people don't like the fatter 'ass' and shorter horn. I think that shorter body makes it sit in a more comfortable position on a strap, and the deeper cutaway gives slightly better upper fret access. As for looks, that variation on the Gibson look doesn't bother me at all. Other than rear binding, the AL-3000+ models are appointed more along the lines of the LP Custom, which makes it one sexy guitar IMO. But in the end it's just preference. I think Paris Hilton is ugly and unattractive, yet I'm sure that millions of guys out there are polishing the one-eyed gopher while watching "One Night in Paris". Same deal.

Dave_Mc
07-10-2007, 03:39 PM
El Diablo's been kicking all kinds of ass for me. Had no problems whatsoever and it still sounds incredibly badass, no matter what I play. I've reverted (again) to 6L6 tubes because they just seem to suit the music I play better than EL34s and E34Ls. And people can bash them all they want. I know quality and great tone when I hear it, and the El Diablo delivers on both in droves...


that's what i thought too, and i agree. I haven't tried changing the tubes of course, as I only tried it in the shop.

:cheers:

WarOnTerrorHoax
09-07-2010, 08:38 AM
The only thing this supports is the idea that Gib$on have dropped their game and are making POS guitars these days. A lot of people are saying this and have been for years, at least since the 2000's.

Agile is cheap POS and if it scores this "high" against a Gib$on then either a) Gib$on really is making sh*t these days or b) you are totally delusional and you somehow WANTED the Agile to come out on top.

The fact that your Agile has mods doesnt really present a true picture.

al112987
09-07-2010, 09:20 AM
sweet necrobump guys. did you hear that obama was recently elected president?

Blompcube
09-07-2010, 09:36 AM
sweet necrobump guys. did you hear that obama was recently elected president?
I think its more along the lines of "hey did you hear they executed saddam hussein?" in this thread :p:

JustRooster
09-07-2010, 10:01 AM
I think it's worth mentioning that the Les Paul Studio is to the Les Paul Standard as the MIM Strat Standard is to the MIA 50's RI Players Strat.


You're talking about a guitar that's made to be an affordable version of a guitar that starts base price at $2,500 USD. They dropped the price down, somehow, $1,700 dollars. They might as well not even have Gibson on the headstock, because it's just the body shape and a name. The best wood that Gibson recieves is put to use on their upper models, which is what really makes the brand. The wood used on these models, while I'm not saying it's trash, is nowhere NEAR the quality used on the upper models.

I would go as far to say that I'd give much more credit to this review if you compared a great Agile to a REAL Gibson guitar, and not the budget friendly money maker model.

Paith
09-07-2010, 11:14 AM
I think it's worth mentioning that the Les Paul Studio is to the Les Paul Standard as the MIM Strat Standard is to the MIA 50's RI Players Strat.


You're talking about a guitar that's made to be an affordable version of a guitar that starts base price at $2,500 USD. They dropped the price down, somehow, $1,700 dollars. They might as well not even have Gibson on the headstock, because it's just the body shape and a name. The best wood that Gibson recieves is put to use on their upper models, which is what really makes the brand. The wood used on these models, while I'm not saying it's trash, is nowhere NEAR the quality used on the upper models.

I would go as far to say that I'd give much more credit to this review if you compared a great Agile to a REAL Gibson guitar, and not the budget friendly money maker model.

I have owned a 2007 Studio, and traded it in to get the standard I have now....although my standard is a 1998, I can honestly 100% say that YOU are correct. I used to think that the studio was just a 'les' pretty version of the standard, but after some real experience with the two, I can honestly say that the standard is just flat out built nicer than the studio.

KenG
09-07-2010, 11:16 AM
^^ +1 Not to mention comparing a used model to a new one for things like frets which can wear over time but quoting the used guitars new price as a comparison. Pretty skewed review in my opinion.

To WarOnTerrorHoax I wouldn't worry too much, the people who actually try and buy Gibsons these days know that they're putting out some of their best & most consistent product in years.

Half the people that play Agiles also use low end amps and wouldn't hear the difference in tone to begin with.

al112987
09-07-2010, 11:32 AM
I think it's worth mentioning that the Les Paul Studio is to the Les Paul Standard as the MIM Strat Standard is to the MIA 50's RI Players Strat.


You're talking about a guitar that's made to be an affordable version of a guitar that starts base price at $2,500 USD. They dropped the price down, somehow, $1,700 dollars. They might as well not even have Gibson on the headstock, because it's just the body shape and a name. The best wood that Gibson recieves is put to use on their upper models, which is what really makes the brand. The wood used on these models, while I'm not saying it's trash, is nowhere NEAR the quality used on the upper models.

I would go as far to say that I'd give much more credit to this review if you compared a great Agile to a REAL Gibson guitar, and not the budget friendly money maker model.the best wood is used for R9s, R0s, and to a lesser degree, R8s, R7s, etc. so really you might as well be saying that any Gibson USA guitar might as well not even have Gibson on the headstock (ie. studios, specials, standards, classics, etc. etc.)

Gibson made their name on their old les pauls of the '50s. The only guitars in their lineup that are remotely similar in quality are their reissues, so really, you're saying that one cannot buy a Gibson for less than about $3500.

MrFlibble
09-07-2010, 04:02 PM
Half the people that play Agiles also use low end amps and wouldn't hear the difference in tone to begin with.Let's just be blunt about this: most of the people who play Agiles just don't know what the **** a top-end guitar is actually like and have never been in the same room as a Gibson Les Paul, let alone played one for any considerable length of time.

When someone owns eight Agiles and plays through a Peavey Vyper 30, don't bother paying any attention when they say that Agile are on-par with guitars that cost eight times as much. When someone turns up wearing a jacket with "Fender" on the back in big bold text, don't waste your time listening to them when they try to tell you that you need to buy a Telecaster and a Deluxe Reverb.


Also, don't bump threads from over four years ago, God damn.

johnro6659
09-07-2010, 05:04 PM
Well written and I totally agree. People are brain washed into thinking just because a guitar is made in the US, cost 1000s of dollars and is a big brand name it a quality piece. Couldn't be further from the truth!!!! I have a lot of inexpensive guitars I would easily choose and I have chose them over the more expensive counterparts! Agile makes a great guitar for the money that easily can compete and surpass a lot of high end guitars.

I love Gibsons and collected them for years but later I learned they are not the end all guitar especially today IMHO their quality control sucks. Too many issues in over 50% of the guitars I try Epis QC is much better 90% of those I try are pretty much perfect. I could get into other guitar brands but I know the most about Gibsons.


John