#1
So recently I embarked upon a journey of buying my first seven string, which led to a lot of research into various guitars and brands. Something I came across on the way were a couple of lesser-known brands such as Agile.

This in turn peaked my interest into some of the Tier 2 or Tier 3 brands out there that make quality instruments at very reasonable prices, but don't enjoy the same exposure as the big boys (with the big prices). For my first seven string I went for a Schecter Blackjack SLS C-7 as it ticked a lot of boxes for me, however I almost went for an Agile (until I did more digging and read some horror stories - being in Australia it wasn't worth the risk). I dig a lot of music genres - from progressive house to metalcore and beyond - and down the track would like to extend my collection.

I'm very interested to hear about other players' experiences and recommendations for the little guys out there, whether they be making solidbody or hollow/semi-hollowbody. I'm not talking about your local luthier who made your guitar upon request. I'm generally talking about brands that export to the world.
Schecter Blackjack SLS C-7
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#2
I get what you're saying, but honestly, but for a few brands like Fender, Gibson, Yamaha, Ibanez and a few others, most guitar makers don't truly sell their goods worldwide. Brands I see all the time in the USA are rare or sometimes completely absent in most of Europe and don't hit Asia at all it seems. And forget the Southern Hemisphere.

So I try to think regionally: have you looked at the brands- big & small- are available in your country? Then look at the regional brands from Japan, Korea and Indonesia that are starting to grow, but haven't really gotten broader exposure. (Of course, with a local economy of 3 billion...)
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#3
Well, I'm not sure how well known they are exactly, Hell Guitars makes some real nice instruments. I've only played on the ZeroDot, but their other models look pretty solid.

Actually, I first heard of them in a thread on this site talking about nearly the same thing, checked 'em out, and decided to get me one. Might be worth your time.

http://www.hellguitars.com
#4
Quote by dannyalcatraz
I get what you're saying, but honestly, but for a few brands like Fender, Gibson, Yamaha, Ibanez and a few others, most guitar makers don't truly sell their goods worldwide. Brands I see all the time in the USA are rare or sometimes completely absent in most of Europe and don't hit Asia at all it seems. And forget the Southern Hemisphere.

So I try to think regionally: have you looked at the brands- big & small- are available in your country? Then look at the regional brands from Japan, Korea and Indonesia that are starting to grow, but haven't really gotten broader exposure. (Of course, with a local economy of 3 billion...)


Yeah you have a point here, for instance here in the UK there is no way of getting agiles, new or on the used market.
#5
I'm very interested to hear about other players' experiences and recommendations for the little guys out there, whether they be making solidbody or hollow/semi-hollowbody.


All that I said aside, probably everybody on UG knows about the quality of semihollow and hollowbody Ibanezes, Epis and Gretsches in the $600-1500 range.

Some know about Hagstroms.

However, I think that anyone looking at such guitars needs to look at the Godins and Reverends.

Likewise, the are a lot of nifty "Strats" out there from G&L, Fret-King, Fernandes, Dean Zelinsky Private Label, Carvin, US Masters, Blade and Ruokangas, to name but a few.

"Teles" have a similarly broad range of makers- again, G&L and Fret-King show up, but brands like Tradition, MJ Guitar, etc. pop up as well.

I could rattle off the names of companies making their own versions of Vs, "LPs", "Mosrites", and so forth.

How easy are they to get compared to Aussie or Tasmanian guitars, though... Hell, some of those almost anyone would have to order directly from the makers.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
Last edited by dannyalcatraz at May 21, 2013,
#7
Yeah I've played a Cort before, very nice. Don't they also make Squier Strats for Fender?

I heard Cort's factory in South Korea is essentially a sweatshop, anyone know if this is true?
Schecter Blackjack SLS C-7
Les Paul Studio with Nailbomb / Black Dog BK pups
Razorback Blades V
Axe-FX Ultra
Mesa Boogie Express 5:50
Ableton Live 8 with Nexus, Komplete 6, Predator, Sylenth
Numark NS7FX
#8
What horror stories did you hear about Agile? My Agile was fine coming over to Australia.
#9
Cort make guitars for many other companies ibanez included. They did have a reputation for having bad factories but have made a concerted effort to change that in the last couple of years.
#10
Raven West Guitars are decent for the price
Hamer XT guitars
G&L Tribute
Xaviere Guitars
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
#11
PureSalem, they haven't even released yet, the first few weeks in June they release but all the demos talk of them pretty highly, make a lotta the weird and different style guitars
#12
I checked out the Hell Guitars site, and I like the models they have, the specs and the price. Unfortunately, there probably is almost no used market, so the price is the price, I guess. That's too bad, because a used Bender would be an awesome value.

I wonder if their website will allow you to submit lower offers than the list price? Y'know, like if you were in a shop. I'm guessing no.
#13
Well there's Michael Kelly. They don't get the publicity they deserve. I picked one up recently for an extremely low price and it's a fantastic guitar!! It plays and sounds like a dream!

Look them up, I haven't managed to find anyone saying a single bad thing about them. And believe me I tried, as I had never heard of them before.

EDIT: Don't think they do 7 strings though
Last edited by NotTheMessiah30 at May 21, 2013,
#14
G&L, Reverend, and Godin are all my favorite brands that one wouldn't typically call one of the "big ones." However, they're all moderately well known. My favorite brand that no one knows is Danocaster. Absolutely fantastic gitfiddles.


Absolute sexiness:
OBEY THE MIGHTY SHITKICKER
Last edited by JustRooster at May 21, 2013,
#15
The vintage replica builders?
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#16
But did you look at the picture? DID YOU LOOK AT THAT GLORY?!
OBEY THE MIGHTY SHITKICKER
#17
Quote by Pyrocario
What horror stories did you hear about Agile? My Agile was fine coming over to Australia.

I read a few old posts from people reporting receiving their guitars in atrocious condition and with major factory flaws. No doubt these are a minority, still with no warranty offered outside the US it's a bit of a gamble.
Schecter Blackjack SLS C-7
Les Paul Studio with Nailbomb / Black Dog BK pups
Razorback Blades V
Axe-FX Ultra
Mesa Boogie Express 5:50
Ableton Live 8 with Nexus, Komplete 6, Predator, Sylenth
Numark NS7FX
#18
Another vote for Cort. Very nice guitars without breaking the bank. Good thing is they are available through Europe thanks to Thomann. Too bad they have discontinued some of the more interesting (to me) guitars (EVL-Z6 and VX-4V in example) though and latest stuff is not in stock.

ESP LTD F-50 + Tonezone
Cort EVL-Z4 + X2N
Cort EVL-K47B

Marshall Valvestate 8100
Randall RG1503
Bugera 333
Peavey Rockmaster preamp

Line6 Pod X3
Last edited by MaaZeus at May 22, 2013,
#19
I love my danelectro also I think Kay guitars are pretty neat. I don't know if those count since they've been around so long but I'm thinking any guitar that's not usually found in a guitar center should be counted among lesser known brands

edit. Love that danocaster though I'm about to look those things up
#20
Quote by Simple Jack
I read a few old posts from people reporting receiving their guitars in atrocious condition and with major factory flaws. No doubt these are a minority, still with no warranty offered outside the US it's a bit of a gamble.


There ARE a couple of Agiles over there -- I've sent a few over. All of mine have gone over with other items, riding in containers. I'm not sure I'd want to try international shipping in the original factory boxes.

As you say, however, the lack of a warranty leaves you hanging, and simply shipping it back for a new one is a lot more of an issue than it is here.

The good news is that Agile has apparently gone fully in when it comes to the extended range guitar market. Kurt (the owner) spends some time on sevenstring.org and takes their suggestions seriously. As a result, Agile now cranks out 7, 8, 9 and even 10-string guitars in 25.5", 27" and 30" scales. They're also producing perhaps the widest range of fan fret ("multiscale") guitars, and they're probably using more of the extended range bridges and trems out there (Kahler has not only done 7 and 8-string (perhaps beyond) trems, but also has them for the fan-fret guitars!).


#21
LAG makes some fantastic electric guitars (particularly the Arkane series) but for some reason they do not send them to the United States. All I have seen are LAG acoustic guitars. Perhaps they sell them where you live. If so, they are certainly worth investigating.

Godin electrics are not nearly as popular as they should be, though I don't know why.
"Maybe this world is another planet's hell?" - Aldous Huxley
#22
I'm not sure if they have a lot in Australia, but the vintage teiscos from the 60s are pretty nice and they go for less than 300 usually. You could get a Kramer.