Price paid: $ 910
Purchased from: Rondo Music
Features: I've had this guitar since early June of 2011. Here's a quick run down of the specs:
- White w/ black hardware
- Ebony fret board w/ no markers
- 27" scale, 8 Strings
- Reverse Inline headstock
- 5 piece neck-thru light mahogany
- 24 Jumbo Frets
- Seymour Duncan Blackout pickups
- Grover 18-1 Tuners (stays in tune like a dream)
- Hipshot Bridge
- Original String Gauges (Labella) .009, .012, .015, .022, .030, .040, .054, .074
(For Reference) My set up is: Agile Septor 827 > Blackstar HT-5 > loop (GE-7 > RV-3 > ISP Decimator) // 10
When I bought this guitar I was alittle worried about the sound of the Blackouts. I have always used passives and have never liked any EMG or EMG knockoff active pickups. When I received the guitar I was pleasantly surprised. The clarity was amazing, especially the cleans. I play progressive metal with a lot of jazzy influence so this was important to me. This was not the overly compressed sound I was use to with actives. The distortion sounded monstrous. Although I do admit, I did have an issue trying to EQ out this annoying mid-high fizzy frequency. I think this had something to do with the strings and the Blackouts. After a few days of tweaking my amp and my Boss GE-7 EQ, I was all set. I haven't really changed any of the settings, which is weird for a tone freak like me. If I decide I want to go crazy and spend alot of money, I'll invest in some Bareknuckle Pickups. It sounds silly but I actually like the sleek look of the actives, and I think pickup rings would look horrid on this guitar. So from a purely aesthetic standpoint, I would never do this.
The strings that came with this guitar really took away from its sound. I was disappointed in the Labella's that came with it. The gauges were way too light for a 27" Scale 8 String, mostly on the B and F# string, which sounded like mud. The site said they were suppose to be a .054 and a .074 but they felt more like a .050
And a .068, but I could be mistaken. Other than the gauge, the overall sound of the strings was very lifeless. Since I tend to play in Drop E (ala AAL) and F standard, I quickly switched to heavier D'Addario's. The gauges I have now are .09, .013, .017, .026w, .036, .046, .062, .080. The guitar feels like an 8 string now. It now has that booming low end that I love. The strings no longer flop around and buzz, the tension is beautiful.
5 piece neckthru maple All can say is SUSTAIN out the wazzoo! // 9
Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar was beautifully sculpted. I was worried, since its white guitar, that it would get some nicks during shipping and they would be extra noticeable. The moment I got the guitar I inspected it for about 45 minutes to an hour. Give me a break! My other guitars all cost me $300 bucks at most... To my surprise there was only one tiny imperfection on the back of the guitar, where the surface looks alittle pressed in, and the headstock has a tiny black streak that's hardly noticeable. Other than that, the guitar was in mint condition. My favorite part of the guitar is definitely the spear-like inline headstock (its bigger then my head!). No worries about neck dive though, the guitar is perfectly balanced.
The only real complaint I have is about the ebony fretboard, which has what looks like spots near the upper end of the neck. These are minor and its only a slight change in shade but I do find them quite annoying considering the quality of the rest of the guitar.
The fret board radius is super flat, which is great for moving fast around the neck, large chordal progression, and tapping. The skinny D shape of the neck feels wonderful on my hands. I think getting use to the jumbo frets and the no inlay was actually a harder of a change than the transfer from a 6 string to an 8. // 8
Reliability & Durability: The guitar itself is rock solid and is a great weight. The only thing that worries me is the all white finish. I chose this, so it really can't be counted against the guitar but it scares me sometimes. I know any ding or scratch will become super noticeable. I clean the thing every time I play it because the dust that collects is super noticeable. The neck has two truss rods, so I have no worries about the neck bowing. Right now the neck is straight as an arrow, which I love. The other thing that worries me is because the neck is longer than I'm use to and like I said earlier in the review, the headstock is a giant spear, I terrified of hitting it on something. I just need to avoid tight spaces, which I'm sure I can manage. // 9
Overall Impression: I'm pretty picky when it comes to guitars. I've been playing guitar for 9 years now, and all my other guitars are super customized to my preferences. This is the first guitar that I've played that I really wouldn't change much on. For the price, it's a steal. I've play guitars nearly double its price tag that don't compete. I never thought I would get an 8 string. I've always been interested in 7's but the idea of an 8 string was just preposterous to me... Until I played a Schecter Blackjack 8 in a guitar store one day. I had to choose between this guitar and the Blackjack and I'm very pleased with my purchase.
This is the best gamble I've ever made, I've never played this guitar or an Agile before purchasing it, but after reading amazing reviews on Agiles from the people of ss.org I couldn't resist. If your thinking about expanding your range to an 8 string (please don't just do it for chugging the low F# that's why we have Baritone 7's... I know its fun but come on guys) then Agile is definitely a great option, unless you can afford Custom luther brands, in which case look into Siggery, Ran, Strandberg, Mayones, Blackmachine (Although I don't think they're making anymore), a Bernie Rico Jr or any of those guitars that my budget wont let me own... but I want. Thanks for reading my review I know it was quite long but hopefully you got something out of it.
Check out my flickr if you want see some photos of the guitar. // 10