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#1
hey guys. I'm looking at getting getting a new guitar. I came across Agile guitars and their custom shop. It's really cheap!!! I was looking at a budget of around £500 and they do custom shop guitars for that price? Am I missing something? Should I get one of these Agile guitars custom shop or just go with a production guitar made by Ibanez or something? I'm looking at 7 String guitars by the way.
#2
Agile is a lot cheaper for people in the states, not to deter you from getting one though. They are great instruments and I cannot speak to their custom shop, but there AL series 3100 or higher is pretty spectacular. I can only imagine that their custom shop falls in the same vein. That being said I have heard that people not in the US have a pretty hefty shipping fee. Also remember that the money for the custom is money down and then there is a remaining balance to be paid once the instrument is complete. All in all a semi-custom instrument for a pretty affordable price. Ultimately it is up to you.
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#3
I checked the shipping, it's expensive but even with that it still stays within budget quite comfortably! May be worth it to get something exactly wow I want it!
#5
I have an AL-3000. Love this guitar. Well built and feels great. A friend of mine who plays Gibson says it feels as good as his. He loves to play it live. You can find a picture of it in my profile in the my pictures section.
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Last edited by sdavis1465 at Jun 3, 2014,
#6
You're in the UK? Find one locally that's in great playable condition or pass entirely. The chances of ordering a new, defective Agile are very high and you won't be able to exchange it.
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#7
Quote by lemurflames
You're in the UK? Find one locally that's in great playable condition or pass entirely. The chances of ordering a new, defective Agile are very high and you won't be able to exchange it.


Yeah, sadly we have to skip Agile here in the UK due to this. There are plenty of cheap enough guitars on our used market, look around on gumtree, ebay, facebook etc. and you may find a nice used guitar.
#8
I have an agile baritone 3010 , it's a less Paul style with a 27" neck. Came perfect out of the box. Slight intonation check and tuning and I was good to go. Loved it so much I'm looking at getting an 8 string from them, es contemplating custom with a 30" neck. Going for all tuning possibilities, such as real low. I became a believer after getting mine. Well made beautiful, solid guitar. Good luck on your decision making!!!
#9
Quote by lemurflames
You're in the UK? Find one locally that's in great playable condition or pass entirely. The chances of ordering a new, defective Agile are very high and you won't be able to exchange it.


Actually, the chances of getting a new defective Agile are very low. Agile (and RondoMusic) developed an excellent reputation precisely because what comes out of the box usually inspires, "Whoa, WHAT did I pay for this?" And Kurt's customer service has been excellent.

But there are certainly challenges for UK customers. The shipping distance and expense, any taxes and import duties you might have to pay and the remote chance of getting a guitar with a problem will sometimes conspire to stop UK and EU patrons from ordering up.

Be sure to read the custom order information carefully. It's varied from time to time, and the last time I looked, the price you saw in the cart was the *deposit* for the guitar, with an additional amount due before delivery. The one time I've ordered a custom guitar, it was $1160, with case, delivered to my door in California. I think I checked every box on the menus. And while that seemed a bit excessive at the time for a guitar that was selling, in production trim, for around $400 plus case/delivery, the resulting guitar was/is simply amazing. It arrived the same day as a Gibson Axcess Custom ( I have photos of the two side-by-side) that was well over $4K. The Agile was supposed to be the backup to that guitar for a particular project, but has simply taken over as the #1. It's just exceptional.
#10
I haven't tried them but I doubt they're worth it in the UK, what with all the extra costs (postage, VAT, customs) and risks (if something goes wrong you're ****ed).

They might say they're "custom-shop guitars" but I doubt they're custom shop in the way that high-end USA/European builders are. They're still (presumably) made in Korea down to a price, rather than up to a spec or quality level.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

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#11
Interesting thoughts guys. I think I'm going to give them a pass unfortunately just because I cant afford it to be a piece oh s**t.

Thanks for all your help
#13
Are you sure it's only $500? I thought this too when I was considering getting a Pendulum. When you check out you are only paying for half the guitar. The other half is due when they ship it. It may be $1000.
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#15
^ he's using 500GBP not $500, that is about $900

Yeah if you were in the USA then I'd say go for one, but being in the UK pass. Now if you have the money, www.carvinguitars.com also does a semi custom line and they are fairly cheap for a USA made guitar.

The quality is on par with most high-end guitar makers
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#16
Hehe. Don't listen to the naysayers. Take the plunge!
It's a bit like that saying about marriage - go ahead because you'll either end up perfectly happy or you'll become a philosopher.
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#17
Problem with buying from the US is that by the time you've factored in shipping, VAT (20%) and customs you've pretty much wiped out any of the economic reasons for importing. It was great about 9 years ago when it was 2 for 1 exchange rate and VAT was lower, I bought a Jackson Dinky for £250.

If you can up your budget a little the Fret King Black Label series would be worth looking at, the Eclat is their LP shape. If you want to spend a bit less then Vintage make some great value LP copies.
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#18
Quote by JustGuitar98
I checked the shipping, it's expensive but even with that it still stays within budget quite comfortably! May be worth it to get something exactly wow I want it!

Don't forget that you'll probably have to pay Customs taxes once the guitar arrives in your country, and those can get quite expensive.

I almost got "burned" a few months ago when a pedal I sent to the USA for repairs got stuck in Customs re-entering the country.
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#19
Quote by Dave_Mc

They might say they're "custom-shop guitars" but I doubt they're custom shop in the way that high-end USA/European builders are. They're still (presumably) made in Korea down to a price, rather than up to a spec or quality level.


Welllll sorta. I've got a Nik Huber, a bunch of Carvins, some Moonstones and a Trussart on the way. All custom, hand-built, spec type guitars.

The customs are made in Korea at the same factory that churns out the other Agiles (and some other brands as well). I think Agile is simply keeping the prototyping shop busy with the custom order business. It also tells Kurt what his customers are interested in.

I ticked off some check boxes on my custom order that don't exist on current order sheets, and it caused some headscratching in Korea, I think. I absent-mindedly checked off both "neck-through" construction and "one-piece back," for example. As most of you are aware, most neck-through guitars are built of a full-length neck with a pair of body "wings" glued on. The prototyping boys took a one-piece mahogany body and carved a channel down the center and laid the neck into that. I felt a little stupid, since I'd also ordered it with a Floyd, and the rout for that pretty much cuts through the neck in that area anyway. So let's call it a "really long tenon" guitar. The neck heel has a smooth transition into the body, and I'd ordered a combination of both their wide (1 3/4" nut) and thin (17mm at the first fret, 20.5mm at the 12th) neck profiles, and I'd asked for a 16" radius fretboard. The result was an amazing neck profile (they don't do that any more, darn it!). I'd also asked for a 3/4" maple cap with "tight flame." The result is bang on.

The Nik Huber guitar is a NAMM snag, and was expensive. Two of my Moonstones were purchased in the '70's, with one of them going for $1850 at a time when an LP Standard was $500. A more current Vulcan was six grand. A Trussart Steelphonic is over five grand. This Agile was $1160 shipped, with case. That's a lot for a guitar whose production versions run $400-500 (the latter with case, shipped). But Gibson wanted $5760 for almost the same guitar (almost, because Gibson wouldn't have done a neck-through, wouldn't have changed the neck profile, wouldn't have done a 16" radius, etc.). The Carvin equivalent would have been a bit over $2000, without the carved neck heel, not a neck-through, wasn't up for doing a wider neck profile, and had a choice of 14" or 20" fretboard.

So how does it compare? The workmanship is clean and crisp. No blobs and globs, as you see with $2K - 3K Gibsons these days. In fact, no noticeable finish glitches at all. It has abalone inlays (it's far too easy to crack abalone when installing them) that are excessively blingy (I'm not complaining, here), the ebony fretboard is easily as good as anything else that I have and the frets were glassy smooth. The guitar, nonetheless, had its frets superglued (custom builders will titebond them in occasionally, but production guitars usually don't bother) and PLEK'd by Gary Brawer almost immediately. It arrived with action that was a bit TOO low, and even though I like snaky low action, this was barely off the frets. I think the Koreans were showing off. The PLEK showed a neck that had exactly one fret slightly high. At this point, five years later, that neck has been rock stable.

My worry would not be that the Koreans can't produce an amazing custom-built guitar, but that the glut of custom orders may make them hurried or sloppy. There *have* been the orders where some idiot has a brilliant idea (particularly in the color category) that proves to be less than brilliant in the light of day. These aren't the Koreans' fault, nor are they Kurt's responsibility. I'm not sure what the arrangement is that Kurt makes in those instances where the guy can't pay the balance or where he simply begs to return the guitar, but those guitars occasionally make it onto the website at a reduced price, where they last somewhere between 15 minutes and a day.

I think Nik Huber's job is safe; he builds amazing guitars. But the Agile Custom is my #1 for the project for which it was purchased (over a $4K+ Axcess Custom). It also gave me the confidence to buy two more production Agiles, and I'm giving the Custom Shop at Agile another go the latter half of this year.
Last edited by dspellman at Jun 4, 2014,
#20
I have an Agile Dauntless (at the time I bought it I just couldn't justify spending the extra cash on the 3x00) and it's an absolute steal for the money. It's a beautiful guitar and plays like a guitar worth twice its price. Biggest issue is that it's heavier than holy hell and has a fat neck... but that's not entirely uncommon for LP style guitars anyway.
#21
Quote by steven seagull
Problem with buying from the US is that by the time you've factored in shipping, VAT (20%) and customs you've pretty much wiped out any of the economic reasons for importing. It was great about 9 years ago when it was 2 for 1 exchange rate and VAT was lower, I bought a Jackson Dinky for £250.

If you can up your budget a little the Fret King Black Label series would be worth looking at, the Eclat is their LP shape. If you want to spend a bit less then Vintage make some great value LP copies.


you can actually get some deals on the blue label fret kings which might be worth considering. though the LP-types are normally a bit dearer, unfortunately.

Quote by dspellman
Welllll sorta. I've got a Nik Huber, a bunch of Carvins, some Moonstones and a Trussart on the way. All custom, hand-built, spec type guitars.

The customs are made in Korea at the same factory that churns out the other Agiles (and some other brands as well). I think Agile is simply keeping the prototyping shop busy with the custom order business. It also tells Kurt what his customers are interested in.

I ticked off some check boxes on my custom order that don't exist on current order sheets, and it caused some headscratching in Korea, I think. I absent-mindedly checked off both "neck-through" construction and "one-piece back," for example. As most of you are aware, most neck-through guitars are built of a full-length neck with a pair of body "wings" glued on. The prototyping boys took a one-piece mahogany body and carved a channel down the center and laid the neck into that. I felt a little stupid, since I'd also ordered it with a Floyd, and the rout for that pretty much cuts through the neck in that area anyway. So let's call it a "really long tenon" guitar. The neck heel has a smooth transition into the body, and I'd ordered a combination of both their wide (1 3/4" nut) and thin (17mm at the first fret, 20.5mm at the 12th) neck profiles, and I'd asked for a 16" radius fretboard. The result was an amazing neck profile (they don't do that any more, darn it!). I'd also asked for a 3/4" maple cap with "tight flame." The result is bang on.

The Nik Huber guitar is a NAMM snag, and was expensive. Two of my Moonstones were purchased in the '70's, with one of them going for $1850 at a time when an LP Standard was $500. A more current Vulcan was six grand. A Trussart Steelphonic is over five grand. This Agile was $1160 shipped, with case. That's a lot for a guitar whose production versions run $400-500 (the latter with case, shipped). But Gibson wanted $5760 for almost the same guitar (almost, because Gibson wouldn't have done a neck-through, wouldn't have changed the neck profile, wouldn't have done a 16" radius, etc.). The Carvin equivalent would have been a bit over $2000, without the carved neck heel, not a neck-through, wasn't up for doing a wider neck profile, and had a choice of 14" or 20" fretboard.

So how does it compare? The workmanship is clean and crisp. No blobs and globs, as you see with $2K - 3K Gibsons these days. In fact, no noticeable finish glitches at all. It has abalone inlays (it's far too easy to crack abalone when installing them) that are excessively blingy (I'm not complaining, here), the ebony fretboard is easily as good as anything else that I have and the frets were glassy smooth. The guitar, nonetheless, had its frets superglued (custom builders will titebond them in occasionally, but production guitars usually don't bother) and PLEK'd by Gary Brawer almost immediately. It arrived with action that was a bit TOO low, and even though I like snaky low action, this was barely off the frets. I think the Koreans were showing off. The PLEK showed a neck that had exactly one fret slightly high. At this point, five years later, that neck has been rock stable.

My worry would not be that the Koreans can't produce an amazing custom-built guitar, but that the glut of custom orders may make them hurried or sloppy. There *have* been the orders where some idiot has a brilliant idea (particularly in the color category) that proves to be less than brilliant in the light of day. These aren't the Koreans' fault, nor are they Kurt's responsibility. I'm not sure what the arrangement is that Kurt makes in those instances where the guy can't pay the balance or where he simply begs to return the guitar, but those guitars occasionally make it onto the website at a reduced price, where they last somewhere between 15 minutes and a day.

I think Nik Huber's job is safe; he builds amazing guitars. But the Agile Custom is my #1 for the project for which it was purchased (over a $4K+ Axcess Custom). It also gave me the confidence to buy two more production Agiles, and I'm giving the Custom Shop at Agile another go the latter half of this year.


Yeah.

I'm still not sure it's worth it if you're in the UK, with the associated extra costs and risk (difficulty/expense in returning, basically).

If I were in the USA they're cheap enough that I'd have probably got an Agile by now
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#22
I have relatives in the US. If I could ship it to them and then have them bring it over would that be a good idea?
#23
Quote by JustGuitar98
I have relatives in the US. If I could ship it to them and then have them bring it over would that be a good idea?

It's a good idea since they can inspect the guitar to see if it's in proper shape before bringing it to you. If there's something wrong with it, it'll be easier for them to send it back for you.
Furthermore, the shipping costs will probably be MUCH lower.

There's still the possibility of Customs taxes being applied when the guitar enters the country, but it might be worth paying them anyway if you're having your relatives bring it over.
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#26
sorry to hear that. for that kind of money i'd get a used tokai.

edwards cost about $600-800 here, but then again i only buy used so maybe i'm not going to be much help to you.

i will say this about agile. while the guitars i've played were nice, all of them were heavy as ****. maybe they're capable of a 9 pound les paul type guitar, but haven't run into one.

good luck.
#27
Quote by gregs1020
$900 for an agile?

if so i'd get an edwards.


My custom, as mentioned, was $1160,shipped, with case.

But what Edwards for that same money has the following:

3/4" tight flame (I was able to specify) maple cap.
Single piece mahogany body.
Neck-through (mahogany neck) construction.
Axcess-similar smooth neck heel.
Multilayer binding on headstock and body
Single-layer binding on the fretboard.
Real ebony fretboard.
Real MOP/abalone block inlays.
Wide nut (1 3/4")
OFR (Korean) Floyd with locking nut
Jumbo frets, hand-filed.
16" radius fretboard.
Specified wide/thin neck profile.


As mentioned, I couldn't get all of that from Gibson, and they were requesting $5760 for an Axcess Custom with a tight flame top.
#28
Quote by gregs1020

i will say this about agile. while the guitars i've played were nice, all of them were heavy as ****. maybe they're capable of a 9 pound les paul type guitar, but haven't run into one.


Mine are all in the 9 lb range (plus or minus an ounce or three), but I hear you. These are *solid* body guitars, full thickness. If you're used to chambered/cheesed LPs or cheaper strats, these are definitely going to seem heavy. If you grew up on Ibanez AR300s and Yamaha SG2000s and Moonstone Vulcans made from a single piece of maple burl, etc., they're going to seem normal to light.

They do have a chambered version (the AL 3125) and it is lighter. You can also get the upper body wing of a neck-through custom guitar chambered (the lower bout of an LP already has a control cavity and a cutaway, so you're not going to save all that much there). But by and large you're never going to get close to 8 lbs, and the average production Agile AL-XXXX is Norlinesque weight-wise.

Honestly, I love that. I've been trying out an LP Supreme (gorgeous guitar, AAAA top AND back, and it's seriously lightweight. The Axcess Custom is chambered and thinner than a standard and it's seriously lightweight. Not only is it not the same feel, but it's not the same sound. It's a matter of taste which you prefer, but I'm fine with the boat anchors.
#29
Quote by dspellman
It's a matter of taste which you prefer, but I'm fine with the boat anchors.


I tend to agree with that, if my guitar is a pound too heavy, I'll lose a pound off my fat ass and call it even...
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#30
My first 'real' guitar was a Les Paul Custom. Not chambered so weighs a tonne! I'm fine with a weighty guitar. Almost prefer it!
#31
Quote by JustGuitar98
Edwards by ESP? IF so then I can't afford that, they're all £1000+


you should be able to get them for less than that. you might have to import from japan, though.

But i'd agree, based on the, er, 2 i've tried, £1000+ for an edwards is too much, as well.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#32
Quote by dspellman
My custom, as mentioned, was $1160,shipped, with case.

But what Edwards for that same money has the following...

As mentioned, I couldn't get all of that from Gibson, and they were requesting $5760 for an Axcess Custom with a tight flame top.

right but if someone wants a lp, those specs may not matter to them. i'm not saying it's not a nice guitar or that those specs would or wouldn't work for them.

when i heard what an edwards costs there i probably wouldn't recommend that either.

and lets not get into what part of henry's ass he pulls gibson pricing from.

Quote by dspellman
Mine are all in the 9 lb range (plus or minus an ounce or three), but I hear you. These are *solid* body guitars, full thickness. If you're used to chambered/cheesed LPs or cheaper strats, these are definitely going to seem heavy. If you grew up on Ibanez AR300s and Yamaha SG2000s and Moonstone Vulcans made from a single piece of maple burl, etc., they're going to seem normal to light.

They do have a chambered version (the AL 3125) and it is lighter. You can also get the upper body wing of a neck-through custom guitar chambered (the lower bout of an LP already has a control cavity and a cutaway, so you're not going to save all that much there). But by and large you're never going to get close to 8 lbs, and the average production Agile AL-XXXX is Norlinesque weight-wise.

Honestly, I love that. I've been trying out an LP Supreme (gorgeous guitar, AAAA top AND back, and it's seriously lightweight. The Axcess Custom is chambered and thinner than a standard and it's seriously lightweight. Not only is it not the same feel, but it's not the same sound. It's a matter of taste which you prefer, but I'm fine with the boat anchors.

my 78 sg2000 was 9 pounds even. that's the lightest one i had heard of until someone at mlp posted a under the bed clownburst that was 8 pounds something oz. i'm ok with 9 pounds, one of my LP's is 9.4 and i'm fine with it.

get over 10 pounds and it's no fun i'll just grab a 7 pound tele or 5 pound flying V.

on average, in my experience, the agile LPs have been heavy. i'm sure they kick out a light one here or there etc.

on average, in my experience, edwards lp's have been lighter. most between 8 and 9 pounds.

both great builders etc but i wouldn't pay, nor recommend anyone else pay $900 or $1100 for either.

that's bacchus or tokai mij money.
#33
I'm confused. At no point during my original post did I say anything about wanting an LP type, yet several people have mentioned my wanting an LP. Have I missed something?
#34
Quote by JustGuitar98
I'm confused. At no point during my original post did I say anything about wanting an LP type, yet several people have mentioned my wanting an LP. Have I missed something?

Don't mind them, sometimes it is a pissing match here
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#35


In my defence, I didn't start the LP/weight thing. I just bulled on in and probably should've refreshed my memory as to what the thread was actually about.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#36
Quote by JustGuitar98
I'm confused. At no point during my original post did I say anything about wanting an LP type, yet several people have mentioned my wanting an LP. Have I missed something?


You simply asked about whether Agiles are any good or not.

Most initial Agile sales were LP type guitars, and build quality was one of the main reasons Agile took off as a brand, and that's why you'll hear about them.They also have the most longevity (if something's going to go wrong down the line, etc.), so their long term quality is easier to quantify.

While that was going well, Kurt (Zentmaier) was spending some time on extended range guitar forums like sevenstring.org. Apparently he saw a need for good quality ERGs with price tags that were a lot lower than what the large manufacturers were providing. Relatively speaking, this is a more recent development than the LP market for Rondo. It, too, took off like crazy, and now Rondo is making Agile guitars available as 7,8,9 and 10-strings, and even has a wide variety of fan-fret (multiscale) guitars. I've seen fewer of these in person, but those I *have* seen are excellent.

What ARE you considering?
#37
There's no point in going agile for strat or tele guitars. Just don't bother. You can get higher-quality strats and teles cheaper from the used market.
#39
You're better off with an Epiphone or Mexican Fender. Those will at least come with a professional company's guarantee behind them. I bought a crappy Agile from Rondo and had a terrible customer service experience with them.

Got my Gibson now and I will never deal with their crappy guitars again.
#40
Quote by dspellman
You simply asked about whether Agiles are any good or not.

What ARE you considering?


I was considering the 'intrepid' sort of a super strat but with a few changes. What I really liked about Agile was that I could get a neck through 7 string with an ebony fretboard for my price range. I haven't been able to find that anywhere else.
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