AL-3100 MOP Review

manufacturer: Agile date: 01/25/2011 category: Electric Guitars
Agile: AL-3100 MOP
Solid mahogany (not a multi-ply) arch top body, high quality Book-Matched Flame Canadian Maple Top (100% real wood top-not a photo top), triple bound body, and headstock.
 Sound: 9.7
 Overall Impression: 9.3
 Reliability & Durability: 9.7
 Action, Fit & Finish: 9.3
 Features: 9.7
 Overall rating:
 9 
 Reviewer rating:
 9.5 
 Users rating:
 8.5 
 Votes:
 37 
reviews (3) 22 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9
AL-3100 MOP Reviewed by: unregistered, on november 23, 2006
6 of 7 people found this review helpful

Features: I was very anxious to receive this guitar, so my initial perceptions are definitely slanted towards excitement. But I will try to be as objective as possible about my initial reaction to this guitar. The guitar was ordered via Rondo's website late on Nov 1, and it shipped out the following day. It arrived here in South Florida today, Nov 7, in a large brown heavy cardboard box. The edges were double, and triple-taped with clear cellophane tape. After opening the tape and sliding the plastic-wrapped guitar case out of the end of the box, it was apparent that it is a very nice case, with extra trim around the outside, with a nice stitching around the lid. A well-padded interior with a beautiful purple lining and a silky cover inside (just like the old 1960s era Gibson cases) makes for a safe home for the guitar. So, finally, I opened up the case to see the guitar, and saw a large conglomeration of Styrofoam wrapping. Keep going. So I unwrapped that, and there sat the most gorgeous cherry sunburst solidbody guitar I have ever owned. The solid mahogany (not a multi-ply) arch top body is solid and heavy. I have always played a very heavy guitar, but this Agile 3100MOP outweighs that guitar by at least a pound. The Rondo website says the guitar is 10 lbs. but I suspect it is closer to 12. The book-matched flame Canadian maple top is gorgeous. The flames match up very nicely, with enough staggering to accentuate the patterns but also very closely matched, to the point that it really appears symmetrical. The triple-binding around the guitar body is even and consistent all the way round, and I found no evidence of over-sprayed red paint on any of the binding. The single binding up the neck is somewhat sharp on the edge, I will ask my tech about a way to slightly smooth it, or maybe it is something I should just get used to. The triple binding around the headstock is as perfect as the binding that surrounds the body. The nickel-plated hardware is very good-looking, and does not look cheaply made at all. In fact every component of this guitar top-shelf, including the nickel die-cast Grover model 102-18n tuners (18:1 turning ratio). // 9

Sound: The two type V Alnico humbucker pickups are much better than any other guitar I have ever owned. They are strong and bright but with some soul. I don't really know how to describe the sounds of these pickups. I am playing through a Line 6 POD Pro, through several 100w power amps, and then to some Mackie house PA speakers. The POD is set to emulate Marshall JCM800 100w head through a 4X10 closed-back cabinet with gain anywhere from clean to full-blast. The tone of the guitar is warm and gutsy, very much like the music I listen to: classic rock of the '60s & '70s like The Allman Brothers Band (before Duane died), the Grateful Dead, Led Zeppelin, Phish, Cream, Blind Faith, Gov't Mule, etc. This beefy guitar, with these pickups, through this amp setup sounds the way I want it to. The spec sheet says the AL-3100 comes with improved wiring: single conductor braided 18 gauge American wires for pickups, improved pots with new higher voltage with brass shafts for reduced noise and an improved pickup selector Switch. The Switch is the only of these items that I can actually say I have laid hands on, and it feels very solid and strong, like the Switchmaster switches in guitars by Gibson. Rumor on the forums has it that these guitars are most likely made in the same factory as the Epiphone Les Pauls, but these have a nicer feature set than those guitars, at a better price. This guitar cost me $369. There are two volume and two tone controls, plus a three way pickup selector switch. The knobs feature a very graduated attack, so as you slowly turn the volume up, you get a very subtle swell of sound. Some cheap potentiometers are almost like an on-off Switch, but these really do their job correctly. One thing I noticed is that one of the knobs appears to be mounted at an angle, so as you rotate the knob it wobbles very slightly. I will have Mitch, my guitar tech, tell me whether this is something that can be easily corrected, but if it is not, I am not worried about it because it is a very slight flaw that only I would probably notice. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: The one-piece mahogany set neck features a 13.7" (350mm) radius neck. It is rounder than I am used to, but I am sure I will be very comfortable on this neck very soon. The string action is higher off of the fretboard than my old guitars, but that will change once Mitch gets his hands on this guitar. Although any Tom, Dick or Harry can adjust the bridge height, it takes a pro to get the relationship of the bridge and the tailpiece correct to obtain the desired breakover angle, which is where you get your string tension setting for a given tuning. Mitch knows how to get it all down just right, and he also will then pin the tailpiece to the stud so that it does not fall off the guitar every time I change strings, and will prevent movement of the tailpiece height during string changes. I have never had a guitar with an ebony fretboard before. So far I do not notice a difference in feel compared to my rosewood fingerboards, but it sure looks nice with the real mother-of-pearl trapezodial inlays. I am already used to playing on jumbo frets, so this is no change for me. The AL-3100 MOP was advertised to feature GHS strings, which is what I normally use, however the guitar shipped with a Di'Addario tag attached to the strings, so I figure those higher-priced strings are supposed to be better or something. I will be giving Mitch a set of GHS Boomer 10-gauge strings to set the guitar up with, since those are what I play. I can get them for $3 a set, and they last me a good three or four months with no corrosion at all. I don't think my hands know how to sweat. // 9

Reliability & Durability: The guitar came with a professionally cut bone nut, and a pre-cut graphite nut was also included in the bag. I prefer the bone nut, so no change there for me. In the past I have used nuts and saddles made by Tusq, which is a synthetically made artificial bone material, and if I ever change out the nut on this guitar, it is getting Tusq. The frets are all fine, and they should be: the spec sheet says each fret is individually hand-filed. I'm not sure about that, but they are all level and there are no dead frets. The A string buzzes slightly when played open at the nut. More fixins for Mitch next week. // 9

Overall Impression: It's only the first day, but I am very very pleased with this guitar. The fit and finish appears better than some $1000+ Gibson Les Pauls I have played, and the feature set is hard to beat. If you are looking for a sub-$500 guitar that can stand with the best of them, I highly recommend an Agile from Rondo Music. // 9

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overall: 9.8
AL-3100 MOP Reviewed by: ¤TabMaster¤, on january 12, 2009
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 267

Purchased from: Rondo Music

Features: This is an amazing guitar from Rondo Music. I got it as a B-Stock for a "1/8 inch chip in the binding" and a crack in the case that came with it. (I have pictures of the guitar in my profile). The guitar is solid mahogany with a maple cap. It also has a mahogany neck, with a ebony fingerboard and Grover tuners. Everything about this guitar is just amazing, and Rondo music is great with their customer support as well. So for $267 I got a practically new Agile AL-3100 from Rondo music, and I could not recommend this company and this guitar any more than I do now, they are amazing! // 10

Sound: This guitar sounds awesome running through my Zoom GFX-5 into my Kustom Double Barrel 2X12 combo. I play everything from Classic Rock to New Metal and this guitar handles everything I throw at it. The pickups could be a little bit hotter for some higher gain stuff, but you don't need to change them if you don't want to. Before, when I played the same setup I have now with my Strat, it was wicked noisy, and now.. there isn't as much as a hum, the guitar is dead silent. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: I got this guitar, and all I had to do was tune it up, the intonation was perfect and just ready to play. The bridge pickup was a bit high, but it was an easy fix bring it down a little bit. The rest of the guitar was flawless. Even if I had bought the guitar at full price I wouldn't have returned it. The B-Stock "Problems" we're not even noticeable, I had to actually look for the mark on the binding Kurt (Owner of Rondo Music) was talking about. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I'm not a gigging musician (yet) but when/if I ever do, I will not have any fear of putting this guitar as my lead guitar. It is absolutely amazing, the quality you get from Agile guitars, for such a low price. So I definitely think this guitar will withstand living playing for whatever type of music you play and however you play it. This guitar weighs about 11 pounds, that is a heavy, good quality guitar. I just love it. // 10

Overall Impression: Like I previously stated, I play anything from Classic Rock to Newer Metal, and this guitar plays everything perfect, even with stock pickups! I've been playing about a year and a half and just love playing. Like I said before I play this guitar through a Zoom GFX-5 multi effect guitar processor into my Kustom Double Barrel 2X12 amp, and it sounds very good (Although I would like a new pedal). If this guitar was stolen or lost I would buy a new one without even looking at other guitars, it's that amazing. If you are thinking about buying this guitar, just go for it, if you don't you'll be kicking yourself later. I've read a lot of reviews about this guitar before I bought it and most all of them said that it kicks Epiphones butts and is competing with a Gibson Les Paul. There is nothing (In my opinion) that could make this guitar any better (as long as you don't need wicked high output pickups, and even then, the stock pickups are pretty darn good). // 10

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overall: 9.8
AL-3100 MOP Reviewed by: unregistered, on january 25, 2011
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Features: HAND CRAFTED in South Korea 2010 Les Paul style body 22 hand filed frets on an extremely smooth ebony fretboard. REAL Mother of Pearl block inlays. Headstock inlays (including "Agile") are also mother of pearl. One piece Mahogany body and neck Color: Silverburst (Absolutely beautiful)Triple bound body and headstock with single binding on neck Alnico V Humbuckers Grover tuners TUSQ nut 500k pots bi-directional truss rod adjustment Bought the LP HSC with it. // 10

Sound: I play all styles. Blues, Country, Pop/Rock to Heavy Metal. I play through a Peavey Classic 50 tube amp. I have never played a guitar that has such a full rich tone whether it be on the bridge pickup or the neck pickup. Every Les Paul I have played has sound quite muddy on the neck pup but this tone is amazing! // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: When I received the guitar the action was a little low resulting in a slight buzz on the low E when played open. Intonation was a little out which was easily adjusted. I am quite particular about my guitars (condition etc.). This guitar looks better than the pic on the website. I haven't found anything wrong with it at all. // 10

Reliability & Durability: Like any professional gigging musician, you never play a show without a backup guitar. I would feel very confident in playing this guitar in a show without a backup. Everything piece on the guitar says quality. Stays in tune without issue. Both volume and tone controls are extremely smooth. No crackling or static. // 10

Overall Impression: I have played guitar for 22 years and on stage for the past 11 years. I can't remember how many guitars I have owned in the past. My current list of guitars consist of ESP, Fender USA, Dean, Ibanez, and even a couple cheap guitars. 9 total. The one downside to buying the guitar was I was unable to play it before purchasing. I have never bought a guitar without at least trying it out. This one was strictly bought on consumer reviews. I could not be any happier with my purchase. It was either the HSBF 3100 or the Silverburst. Well the Silverburst won. You can guarantee that I will purchase the HSBF. My new Agile 3100 silverburst was put to the test against my friends Gibson Les Paul. I don't say this lightly, but it was easily comparable to the Les Paul. In fact the tone was slightly better on the Agile as to the Les Paul. For the money YOU CANNOT GO WRONG. I would purchase 5 of these for the same price of a mid line Gibson Les Paul. // 9

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