devovinium, on february 11, 2011 10 of 12 people found this review helpful
Price paid: $ 225
Purchased from: Rhondomusic.com
Features: This guitar (Agile AL-2000 Wide with a Rootbeer finish) as many people probably can guess is a Les Paul copy. I'll give you a moment to let that sink in and those of you who are now biased can go read another review. The guitar is made with quality materials, and craftsman ship. Though its a Les Paul Copy it can beat any Epiphone like it were a red-headed step child. I'd say Gibson is the only one who could make a Les Paul of this quality. Here are the actual specs.
# Real Flame Maple top and single cutaway solid Mahogany arch top body
# High quality wax potted ceramic humbucker pickups
# Full body and neck binding
# Set-in Maple neck with Rosewood fretboard and trapezodial inlays
# 22 Jumbo 2.7mm frets and a 13.7" (350mm) radius neck for fast play
# Grover Die Cast tuners
# Two volume & two tone controls and a 3-way pickup selector Switch help you find your sound
# Stop-Bar tailpiece transfers string vibration to the body of the guitar and produces superior sustain
# Amber Flame Finish
# Made in Korea
# Width of the neck at the nut: 1 5/8"; at the 22st fret: 2 3/16"
# Neck Taper is 21.5 mm at the 1st fret and 23.5 mm at the 12th fret
# Thickness of neck at the first fret approx 11/16"
# Overall length, including the strap button: 40"; Scale length: 24.7"
# Bridge pole spacing is 3", and the Tail piece pole spacing is 3 1/4"
# Width at the widest point: 13"
# Body thickness 2" at edge
# Actual Weight is only 10 lbs
What makes the quality of this instrument so high is the fact that it is made in Korea (I hope south Korea). Does that mean its a bad guitar? Hardly. Epiphone Les Pauls are made in either Korea or China and yet nobody seems to realize that. // 9
Sound: I play a fairly wide range of rock music. I play 3DG, Metallica, SOAD, Papa Roach, Seether, Manson, and Disturbed. It handles them all very well. I'm sure it could handle anything within reason. Classic rock should be no problem on this thing and neither should blues. This is the link to a very bluesy sounding player. (This is not me) // 10
Action, Fit & Finish: When I got this guitar it was set up pretty well for a mailed item. It was actually in tune and the action was set low which I like. There was a small amount of fret buzz toward the lower notes, which would the the higher frets (1st and 2nd or so) to any new players. Otherwise the thing shined and played great right out of the box. // 8
Reliability & Durability: I cannot express how much I love this thing. It is pretty solid and heavy which suggest that it could withstand some abuse. I do my best to keep any kind of harm coming to it, as I do with all my guitars. With that said some mishaps have happened, the strap fell off (I'm getting some strap locks soon) which caused it to fall a short distance to the floor (which was hardwood). After some polish and buffing though you can't see a scratch on it. Its got Grover tuners which I've stated above, which means the thing stays in tune! Though I'm sure they're the cheaper versions that grover has to offer they are none the less great in quality. Everything on it seems solid and great. I haven't had any problems with it and unlike some of the more expensive Epi lp's this copy doesn't have any pickup switching issues or anything. // 10
Overall Impression: I've been playing guitar to long to suck as much as I do lol, but long enough to know quality when I see it. Just around 5 years. My previous guitars include an ESP LTD EC-200Qm, an ESP LTD EX-50, a Epiphone Les Paul 100, and a Squire Bullet. Hands down its better than all of them. The EC-200Qm had non active EMG's in it and I think this thing does a better job replicating some Metallica riffs. I did look up alot of reviews and video prior to purchasing this guitar so I was well informed and felt very confident in my choice. For a relatively unkown brand you'll find alot of information about them. I got mine in a rootbeer finish and a wide neck and everytime I pick it up I take a minute just to admire how pretty the thing is. With those Les Paul curves I'm wondering why I keep my wife around... lol. For I think like $75 more you can get a tremelo bar with a floyd rose, but for me I like it the way it is. // 10
unregistered, on august 06, 2010 2 of 3 people found this review helpful
Price paid: $ 199
Purchased from: Rondo Music
Features: My previous review of this model was a little biased. It has almost been a year since I reveiewed it. The body and finish are still impeccable. You can go to rondomusic.com and view all the features. My volume and tone knobs were not put on correctly and they wobble a little. I have had it set up twice in the last year. The second time needed very little adjustment, but the first time it was way out of whack. // 7
Sound: I will say the sound through my Peavey Vypyr 30 is really nice. I have run it through all the high gain and clean amp models and it sounds very nice. I have played clean nlues and dirty drop tunes and it handles them well. I think it would sound better with Duncans though and I am still contemplating doing the pup Switch. // 8
Action, Fit & Finish: This guitar sucked out of the factory. The truss rod was way out of whack and the pickups needed adjustment, BUT after the initial set up this thing is a dream to play. The maple top and the finish are flawless, I will give it that. No fret buzz now after the last adjustment. I am happy with the set up and the finish. // 8
Reliability & Durability: I a not a gigging musician, but I would play it live if I were jamming with a band. The hardware is durable, it has grover tuners and very nice hardware to boot. My strap buttons are nice and sturdy so no worries there. I would probably upgrade pups before I would play live. Stock pickups are slightly weak and muddy. But I paid 200 bucks, what do you expect? // 7
Overall Impression: I enjoy playing metal and hard rock. Honestly I can get some really nice metal tones and rock tones with this guitar. I will buy another Agile again, maybe the Dauntless or the 3000. I bought this because I am a beginner, I have only been playing just over a year. This is a solid guitar no matter what level( my guitar teacher loves it). I compared this to an Epi and Mexi Strat and I decided on this for price, quality and sound. Check them out at rondomusic.com. If you expect what you pay for you should be very happy with this purchase. // 8
kjd3116, on february 21, 2012 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Price paid: $ 225
Purchased from: Rondo Music
Features: I got this guitar new from rondo around four months ago, because I own a Gibson SG, and wanted to see how good this low priced guitar was. It it hand made in south Korea, has 22 frets, a set neck, mahogany body I believe, and a real flamed top. My model was in "cherry sunburst flame", and it looked spectacular! The body is very thick, like a real Les Paul because this is a Les Paul copy. It has two passive ceramic humbuckers, two volume and tone knobs, and the usual three way pickup selector, as well as a tune-o-matic bridge and a stop tailpiece. I'm not sure if the tuners are locking or not, but they are grover tuners, so the guitar stays in tune pretty good, but gets out of tune sometimes like many guitars. I ordered a case with this guitar, and the case was great for protecting it. For the low, price, these features are fantastic! // 10
Sound: Well, I play mostly hard rock/metal music from Guns N Roses, Black Stone Cherry, AC/DC, Airbourne, Tesla, etc. And this with the right effects, this guitar is perfect for these bands! However, if playing the guitar without any effects to add tone to it, like a type of pedal for instance, the guitar sounds a little too fat for me. The treble pickup especially, but it still sounds great for 225 bucks! The neck pickup really shines though. It sounds really great for blues songs, and is also pretty smooth for soloing! But if you are looking for an absolutely outstanding sounding guitar that can do anything, think of the kinds of amps and effects pedals you have first, because they can really improve the sound of this guitar. // 7
Action, Fit & Finish: The finish like I said earlier is really fantastic, this is a beautiful guitar, and the pictures on rondo music don't do it any justice. The neck is a 60's style neck, so its pretty thin. I actually prefer the 50's style neck on my Gibson SG, but this is still fine. When I first got this guitar, the action... Well, it was almost painful! Playing chords was very hard because it was way to high, and it was also really hard to do solos on it. After a little bridge adjustment, it was a little better, but I recently had the action lowered to my preference. So overall, the action was a little too high for my preference, but it was still pretty good with some minor bridge adjustment, that took about a minute, it still plays pretty good, so having the whole guitar set up isn't totally necessary. // 8
Reliability & Durability: If I ever had the chance to go play live, I would definitely use this on stage. The finish holds up nicely, although part of the back of the guitar already chipped off a little, but that was my fault. The strap buttons, hardware, etc is all very good. Rondo Music is a very dependable company, and I will probably upgrade to the AL-3000 in the future. // 9
Overall Impression: Overall this guitar is a very good guitar, especially for the price. The features and durability or top notch, and the finish is stunning! If something were to happen to this, I would probably buy a replacement. The bad things about this guitar is that the action was too high for my liking, and the sound could be a lot better. Compared to my Gibson, this thing is no match. But it is still very high quality, and a great Les Paul Copy for a low price. // 8
ALTribe, on april 26, 2012 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Price paid: $ 239
Purchased from: Rondo Music
Features: I'm new at playing. This is my second guitar. The other is a Epiphone Special II. The features that I liked in this guitar were made only compared to the Epiphone.
First:Grover tuners 18:1 Ratio Epiphone Stock 14:1
Second: Body style of the AgileEpiphone is a flat top
Third: Controls for Agile 4 Epiphone 2
Fourth: Finish Agile hands down. // 8
Sound: I'm new at playing, so I just kind of wing it. I have been taking a few lessons and am starting to learn some songs.
It suits my style very well, just as the Epi does. I am running it through a DigiTech RP-55 pedal to a Raven RG-60, mostly on the clean channel. I can get a lot of different sounds. The Epi to me always sounded real tinny (for lack of a better word). This one sounds a bit richer and fuller. You can get that brighter sound too. I haven't put new strings on it yet, but I prefer the Ernie Ball Hybrids. I tried some Gibson Nickel for hummbuckers and was not impressed at all. I don't get a lot of noise really. Again, I am fairly new and perhaps I do, but I don't notice it. // 9
Action, Fit & Finish: The action came set low, which I seem to prefer. No fret buzz at all. I only had to make minor adjustments to intonation. After tuning and playing it for a day or so I reset everything. Again, only minor changes. The guitar is beautiful. The finish is excellent. The frets seem smooth and the Grover tuners are 100% better than the Epi. // 9
Reliability & Durability: This guitar is 9lbs. The Epi is 8. It is a little heavier, but is seems solid. The tailpiece and bridge are stock. The bridge is a Tune-O-Matic type, and while a better design than the Epi. Maybe a little lighter in weight. This guitar seems to built like a tank. I don't play gigs, so I'm not sure about that. I don't think it would be a problem though. // 9
Overall Impression: Overall: for 333.00 for the guitar and top of line case that Rondo offers including shipping, it's a no brainer. If you are looking to buy your first guitar, or maybe upgrade from something like I have (Epi), you won't be sorry. It looks great, sounds good, and it built solid. It does make my Epi lonesome. I don't like the Epi, at all really.
The only problem I have had is the guitar I received had different pickup rings and pick guard and control knobs. I emailed Kurt, and he is sending me out the parts in Black. Mine came with cream. If this guitar got stolen, I would buy again, only perhaps step up to the AL-3000 series. No doubt I will buy from Rondo and Kurt again.
This overall rating is only compared to the Epiphone. It blows the Epiphone away. // 10
unregistered, on may 31, 2012 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Price paid: $ 200
Purchased from: rondomusic.com
Features: This guitar has a bunch of top-end features that I was surprised to find in a Korean-made guitar. It has 21 frets on a baked rosewood fingerboard with trapeziodal inlays. The body is constructed of solid mahogany, with a variety of finishes (I got the CSBF Flame). The body is like a Les Paul, but the horn is slightly shorter. The tune-o-matic bridge gives excellent sustain, but I'm not a huge fan of the nut (I recommend replacing it with a bone nut). The pickups are of good quality, comparing easily to an Epiphone or even a lower-end Gibson. They are ceramic humbuckers, but you can upgrade them very easily to something like Alnico V's. The tuners are excellent because they are Grovers. With all these good features, you can't really go wrong. // 9
Sound: I play a lot of classic rock, hard rock, and blues. This axe holds up to all of these genres, transitioning very easily. I like to plug this guitar up to a Peavey Valveking or Windsor Studio, but it can also play well with just about any amp, tube or solid state. The humbuckers do what they're supposed to do, canceling all hum. The sound is bright if you adjust the pickup height. It can sound very relative to a Burstbucker pickup. The variety of sounds it can make are very broad. I recommend replacing the pickups if you want a genuine Gibson tone, maybe to '57 Burstbuckers. Other than that, you're all set to play a gig. // 9
Action, Fit & Finish: The designers of this guitar knew what they were doing. The finish is marvelous, and you can define the wood patterns very easily. All of the frets are filed down so they're not sharp. The action is decent, but then again all guitars probably need a little adjustment in the neck. The strings it comes with are excellent. All of the extras are properly set and constructed. Nothing is out of place. I can't say anything better about this thing. // 10
Reliability & Durability: This guitar is definitely made to gig and record. It has good quality hardware, making this just as dependable as any other name brand instrument. This axe could last just about forever if treated the right way. If you can't afford a Gibson, or even an Epiphone, this is definitely the most reliable instrument in your market. You could play this thing without a backup, but its tone variety might be a bit selective, so it might depend on your music. // 9
Overall Impression: This axe is perfect for just about any genre, excluding maybe metal, in which case you can just upgrade up a level by adding EMG's. It's probably the best investment I've made. If it were stolen, I would murder the thief. If I couldn't find the thief, I would most definitely buy it again. I love that this thing can stay in perfect tune in any weather. The only thing I wish it had was either a Bigsby or VOS Maestro Vibrato. Otherwise its the best guitar in the market today, with the exception of maybe SX. // 9
unregistered, on september 21, 2009 0 of 6 people found this review helpful
Price paid: $ 210
Purchased from: rondomusic.com
Features: I got this beast Brand New today. The finish is a Honey Sunburst (HSB). It has two volume and two tone knobs. The finish is awesome. What amazes me is what you get for 210.00. It comes with Grover tuners, mahogany body, set neck, and a maple top. This has to be the best Les Paul Copy ever made for this price range. I am going to Guitar Center to compare it to a Epiphone Les Paul Standard. I bought mine with a gig bag and an Agile Guitars T-shirt. The back of the headstock says Hand Crafted in South Korea. // 10
Sound: I bought this guitar and a Line 6 Spider IV 15w amp. This guitar sounds amazing. I love rock, metal, blues and this guitar does it all. I have heard some, not many bad things about the ceramic pickups, but they sound fine through my amp. This guitar can really play all styles. // 10
Action, Fit & Finish: I don't like the set up from the factory. The action is a little high and the cheap strings suck. But these will be an easy fix after I take it to a luthier ( you should do this with every guitar you buy). The pickups seem to be adjusted well considering the tone I got from them. The finish on this guitar is amazing, especially for what you pay. I have absolutely no flaws in my finish. // 10
Reliability & Durability: This guitar is a tank. It weighs in at ten pounds and all the hardware will last forever. The strap buttons are very solid, I had to put my strap on to hold it because I am not used to the weight. You could play this guitar with absolutely no back up and I doubt it would fail you. // 10
Overall Impression: I play mainly rock and metal, the Agile AL2000 will play anything you want. I also have an Ibanez GRX20 and a Roland Cube 15w. But I really like the Agile AL 2000 and the Line 6 better. I spent so much time researching this guitar on youtube and the rondomusic.com site I thought there is no way this guitar can be this awesome for the money I spent. But believe me it is worth twice as much. If the headstock said Epiphone you would pay well over 400 dollars. Buy this guitar! If it were lost or stolen I would buy this guitar in a heartbeat! I love this guitar. Also Kurt is very quick with responses to questions. He usually ships UPS but when I originally ordered my guitar I ordered an Amber finish, they were out of stock so he subbed the HSB for me and FedEx'd it and I got it in two days! // 10
YRIDEHD, on january 14, 2010 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Price paid: $ 209
Purchased from: Rondo Music
Features: Made in Korea with 22 fets, this Les Paul Copy is a great guitar to play. Grover tuners, two volume, two tone knobs. One set of knobs for each pickup. Again, your basic LP style. Rondo lists the top as Maple and the body as Mahogany with a Rosewood fretboard. I did a lot of research before buying this guitar and from what I can tell, it has very good hardware, but of course if you go to a more expensive guitar, there would be more expensive hardware. For me, all tuners, knobs, etc. Etc. Seem accurate and precise. // 8
Sound: Spent most of my early school and college in music (on another instrument). Decided to pick up guitar about four years ago and have spent that time on and acoustic. This is my first electrical guitar and I will review it as such. I won't compare it to a Gibson or other brands that are out there, only what I feel about it as a first electric.
I am running mine through a Peavey Vypyr 15 watt right now. I am able to get all sounds in the spectrum from very nice cleans to some very heavy crunch. So far the sound has been great. This guitar is an all-arounder. The pickups seem to do everything great, but nothing exceptional. If I were trying to more specific with it, I might change the pick-ups, but the ones that are in there are "jacks of all trades, masters of none." // 8
Action, Fit & Finish: I recieved the guitar as a Christmas present. After playing it until New Year's, I took it to a luthier and he put some new strings on and gave it a little bit of adjustment. The guitar required very little tweaking for a slight buzz in the low E and that was only when I messed with some drop tunings. Other than that the guitar played nicely right out of the box. The new strings have made a big difference in feel and playability. The tone and volume knobs seem a little "all or nothing", but there is some variance and its not on or off like some other guitars I have played. The paint, wood, seams, frets, etc. Were awesome. Just a great looking guitar. It looks like a $1,000 guitar. // 9
Reliability & Durability: Like many LP's its fairly heavy. It's listed as 10lbs. One of my kids leaned it against a wall and it promptly fell to the floor, but it works just fine still. I suppose that is a good test for reliablility, but I won't be playing in a bar anytime soon. All signs tell me that this is a well built guitar. I pulled the pickguard on it, and have played it several hours. I do not notice any scratches in the finish where my playing might affect it. The clear feels hard and appears as though it will last. Again, hardware seems on par or better than other guitars in it's price range. I looked at some other more expensive guitars, and the hardware seems just as good on my Agile. I have been impressed with how long it will hold a tune, and how easy it is to tune. I can change tuning very easily because of the smooth tuners. // 9
Overall Impression: I am truly a mish-mash of music. I grew up working with my dad, listening to old country. As I became a teenager I was all about metal. As I entered highschool, I continued my hard rock/metal ways, but I had taken up a brass instrument. I played Jazz and became very passionate about Classical (I still am). So I am not afraid to jump into many different styles of music. I wanted a guitar that does the same and perhaps I should have looked at more of a Strat style with and HB and some single coils, but I have always loved the LP's. So far this Agile fits the bill. I am not a neck shredder, but I want the ability to play fast and this guitar does that. I compared this guitar to several others in the 200-300 dollar range. My only issue was most of the other brands I could actually put hands on. Unless you live in NJ, your not putting hands on a new Agile, but all of the information I collected told me it was an excellent guitar. I also knew Rondo had an excellent return policy so I thought if I didn't like it, I would send it back in lieu of another brand. With that in mind I can tell you I did not put my hands on another guitar that was this nice until I was in the $500 range. So I'm happy with my choice. For me, this guitar is a 10. But, there is a reason why there are so many different instruments on the market. There is one for everyone so I've tried to give this an honest review. If your a fairly new guitarist (like me) and want to get an electric, I say spend the extra money over one of the cheap guitars that are out there and purchase the AL-2000. It will last you for many years. If your a professional musician and want a great sounding guitar that does nearly everything your Gibson or Epiphone or (insert expensive guitar brand here) does, while not worrying about some drunk guy in a bar stealing or breaking it, then this is your guitar too. My final rating would actually be an 8.5. // 8
unregistered, on march 03, 2011 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Price paid: $ 225
Purchased from: rondomusic.com
Features: I ordered this guitar from rondomusic.com and it was at my house in 2 days. I chose UPS ground for shipping and they upgraded me for free to fedex overnight! It is a Korean made Les Paul type guitar. Remember, don't let where it's made fool you. This guitar is awesome. It has 22 jumbo frets and you can choose the size of the neck. It features a solid maple top and a mahogany body. I love the flame top and how the finish catches the light. I was extremely impressed at this $2000 Gibson finish on a $225 guitar. It has a Gibson style tune-o-matic Bridge which allows you to adjust it any way you want it. Standard Les Paul two volume, two tone electronics. 3-way selector that switches 2 ceramic magnet humbuckers. I was surprised that this guitar had Grover tuners because those are tuners you usually expect on high end axes. // 9
Sound: I mainly Led Zeppelin and Nirvana so this guitar was great. Actually it does any style of music as long as you adjust the controls right. I use a Fender Twin Reverb with it and it sounds amazing. I sometimes run it through amplitube for the computer, but I feel that it takes away the guitar's tone and makes it muddy. // 10
Action, Fit & Finish: The action came very low with absolutely no fret buzz, which I love. The treble pickup was perfect, but I had to raise the rythym a little bit, but nothing big. One thing I plan to do is file down the fret ends. This is something you have to do on every guitar excluding customs. It's nothing crucial, just makes it feel more "broken in". The finish is flawless and I cannot stop staring at it. // 9
Reliability & Durability: This guitar would definetely withstand live playing. I shred on this thing and it doesn't even go out of tune. My crap strap hasn't fallen of once which is good. I love it. // 10
Overall Impression: This guitar is amazing and I love it. PERIOD. // 10
unregistered, on february 23, 2012 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Price paid: C$ 425
Purchased from: rondomusic.com
Features: 2010 Korean made Agile AL-2000 Honey Sunburst Flame Maple Top. 22 fret 24.7 scale rosewood board with trapezoid inlays on a maple neck. More in depth specs on the neck are on RondoMusic. The neck is a thick c-shape with filed fret ends which make movements up/down the neck very smooth. The only flaw is that the neck finish is semi-transparent leaving the neck heel visible. The neck is all maple, but it appears the factory uses the same rough cut neckblank as bolt-on models, then glues another chunk of maple on to create a Les Paul heel shape. There is also a visible scarf joint. This is not a major issue as this is a lower end Agile, but it is something I noticed right away and thought wtf.
The Al spec sheet on the rondo site lists the 2000 model line a 1/16 B maple top, though the guitar in hand actually has 1/4 maple top. I noticed on the cutaway below the body binding there was still maple showing (just like I've seen on Gibsons with thick maple tops). I removed both pickups and found it to be 1/4inch at the thickest section. The top is not carved as deep as a Les Paul, but enough to really see the flaming change with the hills. The back of the body is 3 piece mahogany, very heavy compared to an Epiphone Les Paul Black Beauty I have in hand (made in China).
Finish is typical thick clearcoat on all Korean factory guitars. It's durable and impact resistant, but doesn't always perform as smooth as high-end finishes. For the price range it is probably the best finish you will get. The staining is very nice. The mahogany body and maple neck have been stained to match each other in transparent orange, which is bright but fits the bright honey yellow top.
The body style is very similar to a Les Paul, though the cutaway point has lost its sharpness. It does look strange at first in pics, but in person the guitar is better without that one sharp edge in its design. Tune-o-matic with stopbar tailpiece style bridge. This will be replaced once I am frustrated enough with it. G and B string saddles rock back and forth with every bend, sometimes they buzz.
Passive pickups... Most would describe them as garbage, which they really are compared to Duncans, EMG, etc. My other guitar all have been rewired with all those nice brands for all types of metal. I wanted something with a weaker signal and Vintage design since I was buying the AL-2000 to play non-metal. The pickups do deliver usable sound and a variety of tones with the separate tone pots and 3 way switch. The pots all need to be replaced eventually. Volumes are either full on or full off. Tuners are generic chrome non-locking. They have been reliable and not worth upgrading.
The order included a hardcase as I live in Canada and it is a mandatory part of international shipping with rondo music. It was a smart thing to do as the owner must have dealt with many damaged arrivals in the past. My guitar arrived intact but the case was messed up. One latch was broken off and the brown tolex and woodframing was cracked in spots where it looks like fedex threw it into a steel post a few times. 100% worth it to buy that case and not deal with a damaged guitar and the frustration of return/refund to another country. // 5
Sound: This guitar does not suit my music style yet as I've spent many years on flat necks and never touching traditional chords. The thick c shape really changes the grip to accommodate chords with little tension in the hand. I bought this guitar to learn more classic guitar techniques and learn some rock songs. I want to be able to play less intense music as I'm getting older and I don't have the energy to pick up the guitar and shred through some Kreator or Bodom every guitar session.
I've played this guitar through a Fender Frontman 15, a Blackheart BH5 112, and a Rivera Knucklehead Tre with reverb using a Traynor 4x12 Cab with CelestionVintage 30s. For pedals I use the Ibanez SM7 Smashbox for a modern tight metal sound, and a Rivera Metal Shaman for everything else beyond the SM7. I can get a pleasant sound with this guitar out of all three amps, from deep heavy bass warm sounds, to single coil brightness. Even though it is a humbucker in the bridge position it is painfully bright compared to my other bridge position humbuckers under identical amp settings. Regardless of the problem, this whole guitar will be gutted eventually, solving that noise issue.
I mostly play using the neck pickup and both, rarely use the bridge pickup as it is always too bright and punchy. I can't roll back on the volume as I said earlier It only offers fully on or off. The guitar handles clean very well aside. Sweeps and chords sound very full and sustain well. As mentioned earlier the bridge has 2 wobbly saddles, therefore bends do not always sound as great as they could and alters tuning slightly.
Some people put weight on how the guitar sounds not plugged in. This guitar is loud unplugged compared to a lot of unplugged electrics. It has great natural sustain for the pricerange. Even tapping the body produces heavy string vibration which lasts. When I tap the Epiphone it makes a very dead abrupt vibration sound. Like comparing a tuning fork to a piece of balsa.
The guitar doesn't handle distortion well. What would be very tight and room shaking palm mutes through Duncans or EMGs is very loose and muddy. Sound is like a 0.46 string tuned to B. Everything comes out sloppy. It will never meet expectations of being metal enough with the current pickups/pots. Turning down the distortion to a more Vintage tone the sound becomes stable and the notes become more clear, yet still very dirty. Great for classic rock. // 5
Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar arrived playable, everything was roughly in a "stock" position. After a month of playing I finally removed the factory strings and put on some Gibson Vintage reissue strings 10-46. I then had to adjust the truss, action, pickup height, then intonation since the Gibson strings were higher tension than the factory strings.
The top is properly bookmatched to as high a degree possible. The book match does look like it came from the same piece of split wood. Most of the larger details in the flamed top are matched while some of the smaller details are a little off. Nothing terrible, the top is still beautiful for the price.
Nut is great for stock, black plastic with the strings slots cut for the angle of Les Paul headstocks. All the frets were filed nicely, no finish flaws. The quality of wood is great, nice weight and consist grain patterns. Only issue is the visible joints of laminated pieces in the neck and body. This isn't an expensive guitar so one-piece neck and body woods shouldn't be expected. Tuning pegs are great, the pickups do the job but could be replaced. The pots/caps could be replaced for a more variable sound. Pickup selector is noiseless and so far durable. The bridge saddles for G and B are loose and move for bends. Easily fixed, but I'm going to replace with something more solid. // 5
Reliability & Durability: I suppose it would withstand live playing. I've never owned a guitar that couldn't. Hardware will last, though it is cheap mass manufactured parts with lower quality control leaving you with some looseness. Strap buttons are solid, not a single strap has come loose, although it is a Les Paul style so the strap button near the neck does not hold as well as it should. Straplocks may be needed if you are more active. I can depend on it, not much can go wrong aside from being out of tune, which for a Les Paul is no problem (compared to a floyd which went out of tune). I would always have a backup regardless of the guitar since a broken string can happen on any guitar.
The finish is tough. If hit or dropped hard enough it would break clean off the wood. The bodywood is usually undamaged since this finish absorbs and shatters under stress. I've had this finish on LTD, B.C. Rich, Shecter, etc. It is very popular in Korean manufacturing and durable. The only flaw to this type of finish is that the hand does not glide as well as thinner more expensive finishes. // 5
Overall Impression: I wanted a Les Paul clone with a decent flame top in a colour/stain I would enjoy for years. The price for a Korean made Les Paul under namebrands is more than double what rondo is advertising. I had already planned to gut it to customize it to what I wanted, therefore it was an unnecessary cost to buy the LTD or Prestige which came stock with Duncans or another namebrand pickup I'd be replacing anyways. This guitar fits my current desire to learn something other than speed/thrash/death metal. It is making me work to adjust my style to fit it as I'm used to thin esp, Jackson and Ibanez necks.
I wish I had asked which factory these guitar are manufactured because I found a Canadian version of rondo selling near identical guitars from the same factory for less, with the addition of no international shipping charges and shipment arrival in a couple days. I assumed Fishbone was Chinese since they were selling for less than Chinese Epiphone, turns out they're the same factory as Agile but for less in my situation. If lost or stolen I would probably save up for the AL-3000 with the 3/4 inch maple top or a Gibson simply because it would retain more resale value due to their outrageous popularity that never dies.
I've done a couple reviews here and I always compare guitars against guitars regardless of price. Listed in order of quality and playability are the guitar I've compared this AL-2000 to.
ESP RV350ALSCYTHE - custom shop ESP from 2006
Jackson KE2 - First production run of the USA KE2 in 1998
Ibanez RG560 - 1990 Fujigen RG560, only issue is the neck is tooo thin
LTD Hex 7 - 7 string V, Korean made
Agile AL-2000, Korean made
Epiphone Les Paul Custom, Chinese balsa wood
Stupidly obvious why the ESP, Jackson and Ibanez are better in every conceivable way. The Korean made LTD is slightly better than the Agile in quality as it rightfully SHOULD be. Low end Agile is almost as great as an LTD signature guitar. The body woods are both mahogany and very similar is density and sound, though the larger 7 string maple neck makes a huge difference in sound and sustains unplugged longer than the agile. The electronics are also better from LTD.
Even though they are both Les Paul clones, the Epiphone Les Paul Custom doesn't even come close, even though a brand new Epiphone made in China has a higher price in Canada than the final total cost of importing a Korean made agile. The wood qualities have no comparison beyond both being labeled mahogany. I bought the Epiphone for dirtcheap with a severed head. The mahogany neckwood crumbled like balsa wood. It was an incredibly difficult headstock repair as the wood was so weak and cheap. I also mentioned earlier that tapping the neck or body resulted in an abrupt thudlike sound. The electronic quality in the Epiphone was far below the Agile's. All 4 pots are scratchy, the pickups are weak and very muddy. The tuners cannot stay in tune, you know the ones that say grover on them? Why does grover allow their name to go on such useless products.
It's not a metal machine or a tone monster without a complete gutting, but it is an amazing intermediate guitar to customize and try different pickups and wiring configurations in. At the very least it is an excellent beginner guitar which can last through their growth.
If it were lost or stolen I'm not sure I would get another AL-2000, as I originally preferred the AL-3000 (but that particular model/finish wasn't in stock). I would also take a closer look at Fishbone as they have a nice Gibson Alex Lifeson Axcess clone to customize. Only wishes for the guitar would push its cost way up. Mixture of Alex Lifeson's wiring and Jimmy Page's. Some coiltaps and piezo for acoustic sound.
Overall, could be better, but there is definitely much worse. One of the best values in the pricerange. If you could walk down the street and grab one of these for $225 there would be no competition for such low cost, too bad shipping always kills a great deal. // 5
unregistered, on april 25, 2013 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Price paid: $ 269.95
Purchased from: Rondo Music
Features: - Made in Korea, 2012
- Les Paul body
- Solid Mahogany body with arch top
- Set Maple neck with Rosewood fretboard
- Tune-o-matic bridge
- Flat Black finish
- 27 inch scale length
- 22 jumbo frets
- Wax potted passive ceramic Cepheus pickups
- Two volume and tone controls with a 3-way selector
- Die cast grover tuners
- I also bought the hard case with this guitar.
The guitar has the basic features you expect to see on a Les Paul, nothing more and nothing less. The finish is beautiful if you enjoy flat black. The rosewood fretboard and jumbo frets play nicely. The bridge is fine, and the grover tuners perform well. // 7
Sound: I bought this instrument because I love the Les Paul body style but needed a guitar that could handle low tunings without issues. My band plays in GDGCEAD and this guitar holds tuning very well. Out of the box this guitar sounds like shit. Do no expect to plug it in and have an acceptable tone. In addition to that awful flab, the pickups are pretty low output. Leads, harmonics, and pinch harmonics take a lot of work to get out. The fact that it is A) solid mahogany B) most likely de-tuned (why else would you buy a 27 inch scale!) and C) likely has larger gauge stings on it all add up to a very dark and flabby tone. I ran a frequency Spectrum analyzer on the raw DI signal of this guitar and everything from 500hz and below looks like it is boosted about 5-10db. If you have an EQ pedal you can run in front of your amp to attenuate those nasty low frequencies you will be able to get a decent sound out of it. I run this guitar into an ISP Decimator -> OD808 -> 6505+ -> Marshall 1960 lead cab. It took some time, but with tweaking I got it sound good and chunky while retaining clarity. If you really want this guitar to sound good though, I would strongly recommend a new set of pickups. After talking to the guys at Bareknuckle pickups I'll be ordering a set of the Painkillers to throw in it. Duncan Distortions would probably work well also, and possibly blackouts if you wanted.
This instrument is muddy as hell. Prepare to tweak, buy an EQ pedal, or upgrade the pickups to get a good tone out of it. // 5
Action, Fit & Finish: While this guitar would have been playable out of the box, I still took the time to get it set up by a professional. The action was definitely high, and the intonation wasn't perfect. The pickups were also set up a little bit low for my taste. As far as flaws go, there was one cosmetic issue, but it did not affect the playability of the instrument. // 7
Reliability & Durability: This guitar is a beast. It weighs in around 10lbs and if I needed to fend off a hoard of zombies I would grab it and start swinging. I've dropped it once with no issue. The hardshell case I bought for it is prety good quality. The pots are fine and there are no issues with the electronics. The bridge is solid and the grover tuners are excellent. Until I can afford one, I fully plan on gigging without a backup. The finish seems good enough to last a while, but I'm sure my incredibly sweaty nature will end up ruining it after enough playing. // 9
Overall Impression: Overall I give this guitar a 7. It has all the features I would expect to see in a Les Paul style guitar, plus the extended scale length I need to effectively de-tune for my progressive metal outfit. My main 6 string is an Epi Les Paul that I completely replaced the electronics and hardware on. I kind of see this guitar in the same light. For me it is a nice solid piece of wood I can use as a template to build from. It has the sustain and dark sound of a mahogany body, the feel of a Les Paul neck, and it looks really metal.
It sounds like a-s, but that is primarily due to the incredibly bad stock pickups. The wood is fine and is supposed to be a little dark. But these pickups make me cringe. As previously stated, I'll be replacing them with something with higher output and brightness ASAP! If this thing was lost/stolen I would definitely replace it. For $270 you get a great piece of wood and solid hardware. The pickups are a project, but hey, when you pay less than $300, you can afford the upgrade! Happy Shredding! // 7