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Old 05-09-2013, 11:15 PM   #61
Offworld92
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Originally Posted by WilhelmTGFRyan
It's not as good as any Gibson I've played over the thousand dollar price range, but it beats a few of the fadeds I've played, and I'm willing to say it's better than the LPjs that Gibson is making now.


That's really the reason for all the heated debate. "Gibson" is such a broad term. You have Specials and Fadeds, all the way up to Standards and Customs. Obviously no sane person thinks or expects an Agile to be as good as a Standard or anything more expensive, but there is some undeniable room for competition in the low end. Then you use the word "Gibson", and you get people who only think of the low end and people who only think of the high end being stupid and arguing it out.

And then you get the fanboys on either side who turn a thread to shit.



In any case, I'm glad you like it. I haven't posted, but I have been reading. HNGD!
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Old 05-09-2013, 11:59 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by Offworld92
That's really the reason for all the heated debate. "Gibson" is such a broad term. You have Specials and Fadeds, all the way up to Standards and Customs. Obviously no sane person thinks or expects an Agile to be as good as a Standard or anything more expensive, but there is some undeniable room for competition in the low end. Then you use the word "Gibson", and you get people who only think of the low end and people who only think of the high end being stupid and arguing it out.

And then you get the fanboys on either side who turn a thread to shit.



In any case, I'm glad you like it. I haven't posted, but I have been reading. HNGD!



+1 +1 +1

I was literally laughing at this thread. 1. The Agile fanboys comparing their guitars to ALL Gibsons, and 2. Gibson fanboys who are in denial that a $500 guitar overlaps in quality with several lower end Gibsons.

I'm glad someone finally threw it out there that Gibson has some real stinkers... like the melody maker, several studio models and so on.

Don't get me wrong, I love some Gibsons, (own an Explorer and Black Beauty), but I've played some Agiles; and if blindfolded, I'm sure most of you wouldn't be able to tell which one is my black beauty or an Agile 3100.
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Old 05-10-2013, 12:40 AM   #63
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Originally Posted by MESAexplorer
1. The Agile fanboys comparing their guitars to ALL Gibsons.


Hmmm, I went back through the thread and didn't see any fanboys making that claim. What I did see time and time again was Agile fans saying they thought the Agiles were better than Epiphones and some of the lower-priced Gibsons.

Anyway, not a big deal. Everyone's entitled to their opinions. Even though I'm quite happy with my Agile, I'll buy a Gibson if I find one under $1k that i feel outperforms my Agile. If not, I might try a Burny, Edwards or one of the other MIJ brands.

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Old 05-12-2013, 01:42 AM   #64
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Originally Posted by peskypesky
Hmmm, I went back through the thread and didn't see any fanboys making that claim. What I did see time and time again was Agile fans saying they thought the Agiles were better than Epiphones and some of the lower-priced Gibsons.

Anyway, not a big deal. Everyone's entitled to their opinions. Even though I'm quite happy with my Agile, I'll buy a Gibson if I find one under $1k that i feel outperforms my Agile. If not, I might try a Burny, Edwards or one of the other MIJ brands.


There were a few people saying Agiles don't compare to (all) Gibsons. Just by stating the brand and not pointing out specific models implies all. It's like saying Toyota's are bland, yes, most are, but then you have the Supra, older Corolla, the Lexus LFA, and so on.

As you said, not a big deal and everyone is entitled to their opinions.



BTW: I'm really surprised to hear that Gibson's are still hit and miss with quality. I haven't been nearly as active in the guitar community in a number of years and in 2008 it was looking like Gibson was making a huge improvement in the quality of ALL of their instruments.
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Old 05-12-2013, 09:07 AM   #65
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If you're buying an AL-3200, you're already paying about what you'd pay for a Gibson SG Faded or LP Studio. Perhaps someone at UG should post a direct comparison. I'm not saying one is better than the other, I'm saying the price range is about the same and therefore the comparison is totally fair.

I have my suspicions that MIA Gibsons would slightly outperform the Agiles.
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Old 05-12-2013, 09:22 AM   #66
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Originally Posted by samuraigoomba
If you're buying an AL-3200, you're already paying about what you'd pay for a Gibson SG Faded or LP Studio. Perhaps someone at UG should post a direct comparison. I'm not saying one is better than the other, I'm saying the price range is about the same and therefore the comparison is totally fair.

I have my suspicions that MIA Gibsons would slightly outperform the Agiles.

I have never really looked at this until now, very good point. When I think agile, I think $300 guitars not $600+
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Old 05-12-2013, 09:28 AM   #67
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samarai-that would be true and interesting to see. However, many people would look at that at two very different guitars. The Agile is mahogany with a maple cap and higher output pickups. If you are comparing guitars I like t compare them with similar components, because then you are truly gauging the quality of the guitars and there components.
Same debate reigns true with someone asking whether to buy X guitar with active EMG's or X guitar with passives.
This entire thread and debate is in the eye of the beholder. I stated earlier, I have owned many Agile's and many Gibson's. Agile's, great guitar, but they have not felt as good as the Gibson's I've owned. This thread is subjective and in many cases, arguing for the sake of justification.
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Old 05-12-2013, 10:16 AM   #68
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I'll be controversial, I have a 2012 gibson les paul standard as well as an al-2800 from ~2007. I will admit I changed the pickups in the agile a couple years ago to a seymore duncan distortion in the bridge and jazz in the neck. Maybe I just have poor taste, but I'm not sure the Gibson plays that much better. Certainly not 5 times better ha ha. I am a great tweaker and do a borderline full set up every time I change the strings. It's possible that my agile plays so well because it is really well set up. I have played some cheap guitars, like squires and MIM fenders that I thought played like balls, but they were also really poorly set up. I also don't like my brother's MIA strat, but again, it's poorly set up. Even cheap guitars with a little love and attention can play great.

I will say this though, the build quality of the Gibson is significantly better and when I took it out of the case there was not a single problem. Also I love the locking tuners, bridge and tail piece as well as the coil taps/phase switch, but that is unique of some of the newer gibson models. My agile had quite a few cosmetic imperfections and the stock bridge is not great quality, but that could be upgraded for cheap. I have also had to put in a new switch and jack into the agile, but then again I've had it for 5-6 years.

I have the agile hanging on the wall next to my les paul, and when I decide which I want to play, its purely based on if I want to play high gain or low gain and thats mostly based on the sd distortion vs burstbucker pro.
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Old 05-12-2013, 10:39 AM   #69
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Originally Posted by bi$anz
I'll be controversial, I have a 2012 gibson les paul standard as well as an al-2800 from ~2007. I will admit I changed the pickups in the agile a couple years ago to a seymore duncan distortion in the bridge and jazz in the neck. Maybe I just have poor taste, but I'm not sure the Gibson plays that much better. Certainly not 5 times better ha ha. I am a great tweaker and do a borderline full set up every time I change the strings. It's possible that my agile plays so well because it is really well set up. I have played some cheap guitars, like squires and MIM fenders that I thought played like balls, but they were also really poorly set up. I also don't like my brother's MIA strat, but again, it's poorly set up. Even cheap guitars with a little love and attention can play great.

I will say this though, the build quality of the Gibson is significantly better and when I took it out of the case there was not a single problem. Also I love the locking tuners, bridge and tail piece as well as the coil taps/phase switch, but that is unique of some of the newer gibson models. My agile had quite a few cosmetic imperfections and the stock bridge is not great quality, but that could be upgraded for cheap. I have also had to put in a new switch and jack into the agile, but then again I've had it for 5-6 years.

I have the agile hanging on the wall next to my les paul, and when I decide which I want to play, its purely based on if I want to play high gain or low gain and thats mostly based on the sd distortion vs burstbucker pro.

I don't think 1 person has said that Agile are bad at all. Just that Gibson is made with better/higher quality components and materials.

Like you said the build/finish of the Gibson is superior in your discovery.

I have a late 1970's LP clone that was my first guitar back in the early 90's. That guitar looks beautiful, plays and sounds great (better than many Gibsons I have played throughout the years). But it is made inferior to a Gibson IMO. The top is a laminate the body is made of god knows what, and yet I still play it all the time live.

It is all personal choices/wants/needs and willingness to spend $xxxxxxx on what guitar. I own a PRS and there are lots of guitarist way better than me that just refuse to spend $1500+ on a guitar, when they can get a guitar with similar features for <$600.
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Old 05-12-2013, 06:15 PM   #70
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Originally Posted by samuraigoomba
If you're buying an AL-3200, you're already paying about what you'd pay for a Gibson SG Faded or LP Studio. Perhaps someone at UG should post a direct comparison. I'm not saying one is better than the other, I'm saying the price range is about the same and therefore the comparison is totally fair.

I have my suspicions that MIA Gibsons would slightly outperform the Agiles.


the AL-3200 has a contoured neck joint. its also neck-through construction and a tummy cut. So the true comparison is with the Gibson Custom Les Paul Axcess Standard Electric Guitar with Stopbar Tailpiece, which costs $3600.


And a guy who owns both posted his review, which was quite favorable to the Agile. Can't remember which forum it was on, but I'll search for it.

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Old 05-12-2013, 06:43 PM   #71
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Originally Posted by peskypesky
the AL-3200 has a contoured neck joint. its also neck-through construction and a tummy cut. So the true comparison is with the Gibson Custom Les Paul Axcess Standard Electric Guitar with Stopbar Tailpiece, which costs $3600.


And a guy who owns both posted his review, which was quite favorable to the Agile. Can't remember which forum it was on, but I'll search for it.

And we all know which guitar is the superior one, but the question is that superiority worth the extra price for you? To many yes it is, to some no it is not

There is a reason Rondo is in business, like you pointed out they can offer a guitar with certain spec's at a much cheaper price. At the end of the day it is a personal decision I have no problems rocking a $200 Squire/Epiphone on stage or a $2000 PRS, I own guitars that play and sound good regardless of brand/country of origin.
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Old 05-12-2013, 07:07 PM   #72
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I found the thread, but its on another forum. Am I allowed to put the link?

In any case, the guys screen-name is dspellman. This was the conclusion of his comparison:

"The Axcess is much lighter, sounds great, plays great and was originally designated the #1 for this project with the Agile as backup.

The Agile is heavier, sounds great, plays even better and IS the #1 with the Axcess as backup. Part of the reason is that the wider neck, flatter radius and jumbo frets are better for me. I have huge hands, so baseball bat necks (the Axcess neck is NOT one of those, BTW) just aren't important to me. But that little thalidamide-baby stub of a cutaway horn on the Agile means that I don't have to rotate my hand to get to the upper frets the way I have to do with a standard Gibson cutaway."
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Old 05-12-2013, 07:11 PM   #73
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What yr was the guitar? Since Gibson have started using the Pleck system their fret jobs are really good
Yes you will occasionally get a Gibson with something wrong, but most of the time it is the horrible set-ups that turn people off to Gibsons.

I remember seeing an old video of Gibson actually destroying any guitars that did not pass QC.


We do that now. I just started at Gibson a little over a month ago. We scrap out anywhere from 45 - 75 guitars a week, that made it to final. Often for the smallest blemish in the wood or paint. Not counting all the scrap we do before it even gets a neck. I chunked 4 339's just friday, cutting neck slots.

But reputation is something earned over time, and lost over night. The stricter QC we do (which has gotten even stricter since I've started, trying to stop nearly invisible marks on the wood from making it to bodies, much less final) won't see an improvement in Gibson's reputation for years.

Just look at the Detroit 3. Building better cars than most of the Japanese imports, but people poo poo them over Pintos and Vegas and Volares from the 1970's. Never mind that a Nissan transmission is only going to last under 20,000 miles, and Nissan has no warranty as was proven by my mom's last Nissan. 17k, transmission slipping, under a year and a half, and Nissan told her it wasn't under warranty. Meanwhile, her SW2 has in excess of 300,000 miles, and the trans still shifts smoothly. It serves as backup, despite being beaten to hell and wore out. She now drives a Dodge, with no issues.

I'll refrain from commenting on Agile vs Gibson, since my answer would obviously be biased. Amusingly enough, I just traded my Les Paul because it was too heavy to play comfortably with my back, and now no longer have anything Gibson in my setup. A Flying V is in my future though, I fell in love with one when I did my interview, and only haven't bought one because I had to build a new computer.
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Old 05-12-2013, 07:14 PM   #74
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found another thread on another forum in which dspellman compares his Agile AL-3200 with his Gibson Axcess. This is part of what he wrote:

"It was no problem getting the two of them to sound virtually identical, and both play very well. Each was PLEK'd (the Gibson needed it even though it was, theoretically, PLEK'd by Gibson at the factory as well). The Agile is actually, for me, the better player, and is my go-to guitar for now. There are differences. The Agile was ordered with a slightly wider and thinner neck profile and has a 16" radius fretboard (the Gibson has a 12" radius f/b). The frets on the Agile were superglued (the tang cavities under the frets were filled with superglue). The Agile is a SOLID bodied guitar, and full thickness, and heavy. It's got a full 3/4" solid figured maple cap. The Gibson is a chambered guitar (normal Axcesses are "cheesed") and has a thinner-than-normal body, and is all mahogany, with no maple cap, and is (as you'd expect) lighter. Upper fret access is better on the Agile because of the stubby horn, but is good on both guitars. Worth noting that I could not get Gibson's custom shop to give me the neck profile, the fretboard radius, nor would they build a neck-through guitar. You can't get those things from Gibson. You can from Agile."
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Old 05-12-2013, 07:16 PM   #75
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Amusingly enough, I just traded my Les Paul because it was too heavy to play comfortably with my back, and now no longer have anything Gibson in my setup. A Flying V is in my future though, I fell in love with one when I did my interview, and only haven't bought one because I had to build a new computer.


Why not an SG? Those can be pretty darn light-weight.
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Old 05-12-2013, 07:35 PM   #76
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Why not an SG? Those can be pretty darn light-weight.


I actually had never tried a SG until today, when I was testing an amp out I ended up buying. My guitar choices have been largely based on my biggest influences, which almost all ended up having played Stratocasters. So my guitar of choice is the Strat. The Les Paul was actually an impulse buy based on me listening to a lot of Slash/Gn'R, and Zeppelin at the time. That, and it was a very fine guitar. Just too heavy for my back. I got a better deal out of it in the end though, as well as my old amp.

Nothing against the sound though. The SG I tried today (on the pickup that wasn't crap, it was a used one so I won't hold it against them) was a bit outside my usual blues/rock and straight blues, though it'd be good for a couple of heavier songs I've wrote. I may pick one up later, if I find one in better shape. It wasn't bad, kept slipping but I didn't have a strap handy, and I couldn't get comfortable on the crappy stool GC had. But it was light, and the good pickup sounded good if outside my usual range.

Flying V first though. Albert King used one, and that makes it good enough for me. And maybe a G&L Legacy in blue burst, if I find one used. I like the Legacy up at GC, but I want a Blue burst guitar. Call me vain, it is what it is.

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Old 05-12-2013, 10:37 PM   #77
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samarai-that would be true and interesting to see. However, many people would look at that at two very different guitars. The Agile is mahogany with a maple cap and higher output pickups. If you are comparing guitars I like t compare them with similar components, because then you are truly gauging the quality of the guitars and there components.
Same debate reigns true with someone asking whether to buy X guitar with active EMG's or X guitar with passives.
This entire thread and debate is in the eye of the beholder. I stated earlier, I have owned many Agile's and many Gibson's. Agile's, great guitar, but they have not felt as good as the Gibson's I've owned. This thread is subjective and in many cases, arguing for the sake of justification.


I've got right around 50 guitars. I've got a bunch of Gibsons and love them, including a '49 ES-175, three mid-50's LP Customs, a pair of 335s from '67 (one is a 12-string), mid-70's L6S, L5S, yada yada. For no particular reason, most of them are pre-1980. The most recent one is an Axcess Custom (in black with ebony f/b, MOP blocks, white binding on body and headstock, split diamond, etc.) that ran about $4K. It arrived on the same day as a custom-built Agile that cost me $1160, with hard case, shipped. I've also got guitars that were considerably more expensive than any of the Gibsons. And, at the moment, I've got two additional Agiles that were considerably less and a fourth on the way.

It's difficult to compare current model Gibson LPs to Agile's LP-alikes.

Here are some things that you can get on Agile LPs that you can't get on Gibson LPs:

A poly finish. I've heard all the silly mythology about nitrocellulose, but the fact is that it's a paint whose use was discontinued by car makers over 60 years ago because it looked terrible after a couple of years, caused a huge number of customer complaints and didn't protect very well. That's still true, but it's also extremely toxic to the workers who use it, carcinogenic to those who breathe the solvents and releases VOC's into the atmosphere.

Neck-through construction.
Stainless frets.
Jumbo frets
Wide, standard and thin neck profiles on a single model.
14" radius fretboard.

If you want an ebony fretboard with MOP or abalone block inlays, triple binding on body and headstock, single binding on the fretboard, you buy a Gibson Custom. That's usually around $4K and another $400 in sales tax if you buy it in Los Angeles. If you want that on an Agile, you pay $399 plus case plus shipping ($59 and $25 to most places).

If you want an LP with a 25.5" or a 27" 24-fret ebony fretboard on top of neck-through construction with your choice of blocks or traps or no inlays at all, plus triple binding on headstock and body plus a real Floyd Rose trem in your choice of a bunch of different finishes on a 3/4" solid figured maple cap on a solid mahogany body plus stainless jumbo frets, it'll run you about $1000 (with case and shipping) in an Agile. You can beg the Gibson Custom Shop and wave all kinds of money at them and you'll never see that guitar. Case in point -- I waved $10K at the Custom shop for a Neal Schon Sig guitar (the street price was $6500) and the Custom Shop said "No, we won't do that for you for any amount of money."

I looked at a Studio Shred recently. Pretty simple. Black guitar with a Floyd:



The Studio Shred runs $1300-1600 depending on where you buy it. It has a Studio 50's neck, a plastic (Richlite) fretboard, plastic inlays, medium frets, 12" radius, no binding and a Korean Floyd Rose. It's chambered or cheesed (forget which). Comes with a case. If I buy it in LA, I pay an extra $130 or so in sales tax. Alnico II and Alnico V pickups.

I bought an Agile AL-3100 used recently. Pretty simple. Black guitar with a Floyd:



I paid $200, but this guitar runs $399 (plus case and shipping) from Rondo. It has the standard Agile neck, an ebony fretboard, MOP trap inlays, jumbo frets, 16" radius, triple binding on body and headstock, single binding on the fretboard and a Korean Floyd Rose from the same production line as the Gibson version. Alnico V pickups. It's a solid body guitar.

Between the two of these guitars, price completely aside, the Agile is (IMHO, of course) far and away the better guitar. It's better built, better finished, better spec'd and better thought out for "Shred" than the Gibson. Sound? That's pretty objective, but honestly, I liked both in different ways.

I spent anther $200 to have the frets superglued and get a PLEK setup for low action. I'd do the same with the Gibson; their PLEK fret milling system isn't all that great and besides, Gibson's standard setup is usually fairly high for me. In the end, the Agile is the guitar that actually lives up to the whole "Shred" business.

It's worth noting that some AL-3100 Floyds have 24 frets, with the bridge and bridge pickup moved toward the neck pickup and the neck extending about 3/4" so that the 24th fret can be about where the 22nd fret is on a normal Agile or Gibson. Scale is, of course, the same on both:

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Old 05-12-2013, 10:53 PM   #78
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Originally Posted by peskypesky
found another thread on another forum in which dspellman compares his Agile AL-3200 with his Gibson Axcess. This is part of what he wrote:

" Worth noting that I could not get Gibson's custom shop to give me the neck profile, the fretboard radius, nor would they build a neck-through guitar. You can't get those things from Gibson. You can from Agile."






This isn't actually an Agile AL-3200. It predates the 3200. In this case, I absently checked the "single piece back" box as well as neck-through construction. Usually with a neck-through, you have a pair of body sides that are glued to the central spine of the neck. But that's not a "single piece back." So they cut a channel into the single piece back and laid the neck into the channel, and it goes past the bridge and nearly to the bottom strap button. We know because we had to carve a rout in the back of the guitar to install a Sustainer board and there it was. Sort of useless, really, since the Floyd routs essentially stop it. We can call it a *really* long tenon guitar if you'd prefer. I doubt they'll ever do another one like that.

I'm responsible for the 3200, honestly -- I like the neck heel on the above guitar, but I sent this photo to Kurt with a deeper neck heel carve and a tummy cut. He liked the back, sent the photo on to the Korean factory and they were *very* literal in producing a guitar that matched it, right down to the color:




Another AL-3200:



These guitars run about $599 and currently come with locking tuners*, a Graph tech nut, a Graph tech NVS2 bridge with String Saver Saddles, Alnico V pickups, nickel plated hardware, Grover tuners, Ebony fretboard, MOP or Abalone inlays, jumbo individually hand-filed frets, bound body, headstock and fretboard and a hard shell case.

*newer ones. Older stock will still come with Grover 102-18N tuners.

These are hellaciously good guitars, and have a solid body (you an actually order one up with chambering in the top bout, though). Again, you can't order a guitar from Gibson like this for any amount of money. And that's too bad, because I have a feeling there are a LOT of folks who would want one if it had a Gibson logo on the headstock. The closest that Gibson has ever come are the very few Neal Schon Sig guitars that have a full thickness body and a neck heel similar to the one in the top photo, and with no tummy cut. But even these are set neck guitars, not neck-through.

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Old 05-12-2013, 11:01 PM   #79
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Good info. I like the look of the black Agile. Like I said not knocking the guitar. They are great in general and for the price.

Honestly though, I have had the Agile guitars and the higher priced one's at that, and to be honest I prefer the Gibson's that I've owned. That is just me, and to each his own. I am not trying to make an argument out of it, because most of this is subjective.
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Old 05-12-2013, 11:41 PM   #80
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Originally Posted by bobafettacheese
Honestly though, I have had the Agile guitars and the higher priced one's at that, and to be honest I prefer the Gibson's that I've owned. That is just me, and to each his own. I am not trying to make an argument out of it, because most of this is subjective.


Yeah, as much as I dig Agiles and plan to buy more, the single greatest electric guitar I've yet played is a Gibson. My friend owns a 1964 Gibson ES-330 that is just freaking unbelievable in every way. It blows away not only all my guitars, but anything I've ever laid hands on in a guitar store.

I asked her if I was crazy for thinking the guitar was that good and she laughed and said "no, i have a friend who's a jazz guitarist, and he went completely bonkers when he played this guitar." It's like a magic guitar.
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