#1
Pictures! http://imgur.com/a/LeTkS
this is kind of long, there are sound clips near the bottom

It's not exactly a NGD since I've had it for a week or two now. I ordered an OS 7 in red with the birdseye maple neck. First thing you notice is that the guitar is obscenely light. Whether you're standing up or sitting down, you won't have any issues playing this for a long time. I'm very satisfied with the craftsmanship of the OS 7. Even though it's korean made, a ton of detail and attention went into the guitar. The ends of the stainless steel frets are sanded; you can run your fingers down the edge of the fretboard and not feel any burrs or sharp edges. The edges of the fretboard are rolled so it feels well broken in. The factory set up was super low action, so there's no complaint there. The left screw next to the pickup selector looks a tiny bit wonky but that's the only visual flaw for me.

The endurneck design took a few days to get used to, but once I did, I have a hard time going back to my other guitars. The concept is that a thick neck is more comfortable to play, and a flat surface is most comfortable for you to rest your thumb on, so the back of the neck is trapezoidal. The flat section of the back of the neck is slanted, so near the head, the flat part has your thumb close to the top of the neck, and as you move up the neck towards the body, the flat surface starts going towards the bottom of the neck. This is really meant for players who don't hook their thumb over the top, so you may not want to get a strandberg if that's your preferred playing style.

The endurneck also has convinced me that the real reason ibanez wizard necks are popular are not because they're thin, but because they're very flat on the back of the neck. I'm definitely very aware of how strange it feels to play my agile because the neck profile is more of a rounded D shape and there's no flatness at all. I'd guesstimate that the endurneck is 1.5x as thick as my ibanez's neck, but it's definitely more comfortable because it's completely flat on the back.

The mutiscale and fanned frets are pretty subtle. The multiscale takes no time at all to get used to. The low B feels snappier with a 26.25" scale, and the high E/B are very comfortable to bend at 25.5". I've strung it with 10-46 elixirs and a 59 daddario. I had some issues with my high E break on my 27" agile and it wasn't comfortable to bend anyway; that one is strung with 9s on top, so it's pretty nice to have abalanced feel across the entire neck on the strandberg.

Restringing is very easy: detune the tuner at the bridge, remove it, loosen the screw at the nut, pull out the string, insert string, screw in nut, replace tuner, tune up to pitch. No fuss with winding strings around the post, yay.

Complaints I do have about the guitar: the bridge saddle has an ingenious design where the saddle is a screw with a groove on top, so you can adjust action with your thumbnail. It also makes it very easy to accidentally change your action during string changing if you're not paying attention when you thread the string through the saddle/tuner assembly. The placement of the input jack on the back is not at all friendly for right angle jacks (it will hit you in the balls if you play classical style), so it's kind of a hassle for me to play my other guitars that are suited to using right angle jacks. I don't like the design of the vol/tone knobs. They're entirely smooth, so while they aren't actually difficult to grip, I would prefer something textured. The tuners on the bridge are also difficult to turn and they don't provide a hex key that fits them with the guitar, so I've resorted to using a phillips head screwdriver to make my life easier.

The last design complaint I have is that the upper bout feels strange for my picking style. I have my entire forearm lying along the body of my guitar when I play my ibanez, and the strandberg is narrower so there's less guitar for my arm to rest on.

I haven't touched on the sound of the guitar at all yet, but I thought it'd be easiest to just show you guys with sound clips. It's kind of a comparison between my 3 guitars. They always go same order: strandberg, ibanez rg1527, agile 727. The recording chain is just guitar -> axefx2 -> reaper via usb. I used the exact same patch for each with no tweaking at all, post eq etc.

Herbie clip: strandberg neck 707x, ibanez neck liquifire7, agile neck 707
Jcm800 clip: strandberg bridge 707x, ibanez bridge crunchlab7, agile bridge 707
mark2c+ clip: same as above
twin reverb clip: strandberg neck 707x, ibanez bridge crunchlab7 coil split, agile bridge/neck together
https://soundcloud.com/raukolith-guitar/sets/strandberg-review/s-oA5Lb

The funny thing is when I was actually playing each guitar in turn, it FELT completely different. But when I played these clips back, there was so little difference between any of them. In the mark2c+ clip you can hear that the strandberg has the least thumpy bass, the liquifire7 the most, but it's pretty subtle and I think would get lost in a real mix very fast.

This tells me several things: a) I'm really ****ing bad at making fractal patches. b) Higain guitars, when recorded, really don't sound that different from each other. c) Your brain will lie to you based on what you hold in your hands, or probably what you THINK you hold in your hands.

Nevertheless, I really enjoy playing this guitar and it feels great to play. I would say I've conquered GAS for at least a little while but I'm already looking at kiesel vader v7s :/

TLDR: 11/10 would ****ing buy again
Last edited by rky at May 30, 2015,
#3
excellent
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
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#4
Nice man, congrats

liked the sound comparisons between the 3 guitars, there is actually quite a noticeable difference between the 3 of them on each recording. The Agile falls behind quite considerably when compared to higher end guitars, which is no surprise. But i'd imagine that putting the Dimarzio JP set in it would change things rather dramatically.
Quote by yellowfrizbee
What does a girl have to do to get it in the butt thats all I ever wanted from you. Why, Ace? Why? I clean my asshole every night hoping and wishing and it never happens.
Bitches be Crazy.

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#5
Quote by Acϵ♠
Nice man, congrats

liked the sound comparisons between the 3 guitars, there is actually quite a noticeable difference between the 3 of them on each recording. The Agile falls behind quite considerably when compared to higher end guitars, which is no surprise. But i'd imagine that putting the Dimarzio JP set in it would change things rather dramatically.


i don't agree at all actually. i'd rather use the agile for recording rhythm parts on the b string because the 27" scale makes the B less floppy and respond better to picking. in a real studio they would probably make you quadtrack it, DI and blend with reamping with like 10 different amps and at that point it doesn't matter if you had bareknuckles or the stock humbuckers from a yamaha pacifica

i mean yes, it sounds a very little bit different. but better? let alone quantifiably better by X dollars? definitely not
Last edited by rky at May 30, 2015,
#6
yeah it's a bit different for you since you're the one playing them, i know what you mean by the recording thing and the scale being more suitable, but overall its tone falls behind the strand and the JP set (which im assuming is NOT a JP sig, im gonna guess it's an RG?) pretty easily to my ears. i've kind of trained my ear to be super perceptive to very small tonal differences, it's a glaring difference between the 3 guitars. obviously not in a recording studio context, but in the context of at-home or small gigging it's definitely noticeable.
Quote by yellowfrizbee
What does a girl have to do to get it in the butt thats all I ever wanted from you. Why, Ace? Why? I clean my asshole every night hoping and wishing and it never happens.
Bitches be Crazy.

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#7
can you describe what it is that makes the agile sound inferior?
#8
Ah mate I've been gassing for one of these for ages, and potentially for a new 7 and this is now up there with a Mayoness for my next one.

Looks sweeet HNGD
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#9
Quote by Acϵ♠
Nice man, congrats

liked the sound comparisons between the 3 guitars, there is actually quite a noticeable difference between the 3 of them on each recording. The Agile falls behind quite considerably when compared to higher end guitars, which is no surprise. But i'd imagine that putting the Dimarzio JP set in it would change things rather dramatically.


Don't listen to the pricetag.

Agiles don't "fall behind" on sound compared to more expensive guitars. I have four of them; two with stock pickups and two with aftermarket and hand-wound pickup sets. Each sounds different from the others, but there are no flies on any of them, and one has already supplanted a $4K Gibson as the #1 for a particular project.
#10
Nice guitar!

I've got some experience with the newer Carvin Headless (both the newest Vader and the slightly older Holdsworth Headless), and they weigh in at around 5.1 pounds (no trem) and 5.7 lbs) with trem.

I'd be interested in your feelings about playability in regard to placement of your hands, however. I've noticed that putting the bridge so close to the bottom of the guitar (right AT the strap button, essentially) moves my fretting hand quite a bit to the right (across my stomach) when playing the upper registers with the guitar hanging from a strap (on the Vader, at least -- the placement of the strap on the Holdsworth is different). This isn't a bad thing, but it IS something that I've noticed in comparison to where my hand goes for, say, the 12th fret on a strat or an LP. By the same token, an SG seems to move my fretting hand to the left compared to those guitars.

The "fan fret" business is very modest on that guitar (just an inch difference between scales) whereas it's a bit more (at least .5") on most other multi-scale guitars. Does Strandberg have a trem version of that?

I'm not sure that I care much one way or the other regarding "flat" back of neck guitars, but I think guitars with pronounced "shoulders" can be a bit distracting. I probably wouldn't mind much with a six-string, but I'd much prefer a bit more C shaping on a guitar with more strings <G>.

Very nice guitar!
#11
Quote by Acϵ♠
i've kind of trained my ear to be super perceptive to very small tonal differences, it's a glaring difference between the 3 guitars. obviously not in a recording studio context, but in the context of at-home or small gigging it's definitely noticeable.


Since the sounds you heard were recorded and NOT at home or in a small-gigging environment, how can you comment?

I'm not comfortable with tone wizards who evaluate things via amps in their homes.

They're working with small rooms, hard walls, hollow floors, corners nearby and odd sound absorbing pieces (barfaloungers, Californa King mattresses).

As a result we've got environments with too short a distance to develop bass wavelengths, phasing issues with nearby walls and corners, mechanical and acoustical reinforcement issues, relatively low volumes (usually) and odd listening environments.

Fun to watch them playing out the first few times, particularly when they get miked up and run through a PA system. They end up screaming that the sound guys have messed up "their sound."
#12
Quote by dspellman
Nice guitar!

I've got some experience with the newer Carvin Headless (both the newest Vader and the slightly older Holdsworth Headless), and they weigh in at around 5.1 pounds (no trem) and 5.7 lbs) with trem.

I'd be interested in your feelings about playability in regard to placement of your hands, however. I've noticed that putting the bridge so close to the bottom of the guitar (right AT the strap button, essentially) moves my fretting hand quite a bit to the right (across my stomach) when playing the upper registers with the guitar hanging from a strap (on the Vader, at least -- the placement of the strap on the Holdsworth is different). This isn't a bad thing, but it IS something that I've noticed in comparison to where my hand goes for, say, the 12th fret on a strat or an LP. By the same token, an SG seems to move my fretting hand to the left compared to those guitars.

The "fan fret" business is very modest on that guitar (just an inch difference between scales) whereas it's a bit more (at least .5") on most other multi-scale guitars. Does Strandberg have a trem version of that?

I'm not sure that I care much one way or the other regarding "flat" back of neck guitars, but I think guitars with pronounced "shoulders" can be a bit distracting. I probably wouldn't mind much with a six-string, but I'd much prefer a bit more C shaping on a guitar with more strings <G>.

Very nice guitar!


i wear my guitars really high up but my fretting hand feels about the same position as my other ones. i think strandberg's trem guitar is not multiscale, only kahler afaik offers multiscale trems. for me i'm pretty sure i don't ever touch the shoulders of the neck unless i'm bending a note. do you play with the thumb over the top?
#13
Quote by rky
can you describe what it is that makes the agile sound inferior?


Attack is slightly less aggressive. The pickups are not as sensitive to touch and pick attack as the other two. The low end is not as tight as the JP set and not as clear and defined and "open" sounding as the Strand. The mids are very pronounced and clear and balanced in the Strand, the JP set mids are punchier and more aggressive than the Strand while the Agile pickups have a much more mid-scooped sound and im guessing feel. The upper frequencies sound ever-so-slightly tinny on the Agile, while they are very warm and laid back in the Strandberg. The JP set falls somewhere in between for treble, not overly present but not absent or struggling to be heard.

These are not things you are likely to notice, especially live, unless you are listening for them. Given that rky recorded them under what im assuming are identical conditions and gear, i was listening for those differences.
Quote by yellowfrizbee
What does a girl have to do to get it in the butt thats all I ever wanted from you. Why, Ace? Why? I clean my asshole every night hoping and wishing and it never happens.
Bitches be Crazy.

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#14
Quote by dspellman
Don't listen to the pricetag.

Agiles don't "fall behind" on sound compared to more expensive guitars. I have four of them; two with stock pickups and two with aftermarket and hand-wound pickup sets. Each sounds different from the others, but there are no flies on any of them, and one has already supplanted a $4K Gibson as the #1 for a particular project.


I don't even know what any of the 3 guitars cost. I like Agile, i like what they do and i think they offer a terrific value and are workhorse instruments. But unless there is a specifically chosen pickup change, they can and will fall behind more premium instruments like a Strandberg or RG Prestige or EBMM JP. It's not a knock on Agile, nor am I slamming them. A spade is a spade.
Quote by yellowfrizbee
What does a girl have to do to get it in the butt thats all I ever wanted from you. Why, Ace? Why? I clean my asshole every night hoping and wishing and it never happens.
Bitches be Crazy.

▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ஜ۩۩ஜ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬
Last edited by Acϵ♠ at May 31, 2015,
#15
Quote by rky
i wear my guitars really high up but my fretting hand feels about the same position as my other ones. i think strandberg's trem guitar is not multiscale, only kahler afaik offers multiscale trems. for me i'm pretty sure i don't ever touch the shoulders of the neck unless i'm bending a note. do you play with the thumb over the top?


Nah, I'm mostly a thumb in the middle of the back of the neck player. Pretty much like playing a classical guitar. I rarely touch shoulders, and it's not a big deal; just sort of prefer a less squared off back of neck. I have to confess that I wear my guitars fairly high as well. Far less cool, I'm told.

Kahler's the only multiscale trem that I'm aware of, though I haven't really delved into it all that much. But more to the point, the headless guitars all pretty much use the same manufacturers' "headstock" and bridge plus tuners, I think.
#16
Quote by Acϵ♠
Attack is slightly less aggressive. The pickups are not as sensitive to touch and pick attack as the other two. The low end is not as tight as the JP set and not as clear and defined and "open" sounding as the Strand. The mids are very pronounced and clear and balanced in the Strand, the JP set mids are punchier and more aggressive than the Strand while the Agile pickups have a much more mid-scooped sound and im guessing feel. The upper frequencies sound ever-so-slightly tinny on the Agile, while they are very warm and laid back in the Strandberg. The JP set falls somewhere in between for treble, not overly present but not absent or struggling to be heard.


the less sensitive thing is a common criticism i've heard of EMGs in general, ie that they're really compressed. the 707xs on the strandberg are supposed to be more like a passive. i agree that the JP set sounds slightly punchier, but i thought the bass was boomier and less tight/defined than the agile EMGs

this only goes for the rhythm clips i recorded on the bridge pickups. on that herbie clip, on the neck pickups, i absolutely cannot tell any difference between the 707x neck, 707 neck, and liquifire 7.

Quote by dspellman
Nah, I'm mostly a thumb in the middle of the back of the neck player. Pretty much like playing a classical guitar. I rarely touch shoulders, and it's not a big deal; just sort of prefer a less squared off back of neck. I have to confess that I wear my guitars fairly high as well. Far less cool, I'm told.

Kahler's the only multiscale trem that I'm aware of, though I haven't really delved into it all that much. But more to the point, the headless guitars all pretty much use the same manufacturers' "headstock" and bridge plus tuners, I think.


i'm vaguely considering sanding off the back of my agile's neck. it's pretty baseball-ish, like some schecters i've played, so i think there's enough material to let me sand a flat stripe like the endurneck. i dont know the first thing about woodworking though, so i'd have to find someone who's willing to do it o_o

strandberg has proprietary hardware, kiesel/carvin uses hipshot bridge and a proprietary locking nut, and i think steinberger is all proprietary hardware too, which are not compatible with the new gibsonbergers. that actually concerns me a little; i think if i ever heard that strandberg may be going out of business i'd probably order 2 bergs and several bridge/nuts just to have spare parts in case of some disaster
Last edited by rky at May 31, 2015,
#17
Quote by dspellman

I'm not comfortable with tone wizards who evaluate things via amps in their homes.


It's better then some of the people here judging guitars based on there cell phone speaker.

But anyways good review, I was really curious about the neck a little while ago and decided against it because I play with my thumb over the top fairly often.