#1
So I've had my eye on this Halo Merus 7 for a while (http://www.haloguitars.com/store/MERUS-7-string-27-25.5-Multi-Scale-HSS-Transparent-Black.html). But a friend pointed out to me this Agile (http://www.rondomusic.com/pendulumpro72527ebemgblackflame.html) with nearly identical specs for $500 cheaper. What could be the reasoning behind that price difference? Is it just the brand, or is it wood quality or something? Basically I want to know which is truly the better guitar and worth its price. I'm a little uncertain about agiles since ive heard good and bad things and they do seem quite cheap. I'm also open to similar guitars from other brands as well. Any opinions are welcome, thank you
#2
The Halo is ash and with a 7-piece neck. Plus some assembly and setup in the US. That accounts for some of the price difference. Agiles are Korean made by WMI, Halos are made in China.

It's hard, if not impossible to determine which guitar is objectively better. WMI is an established company that makes guitars for lots of recognized brands. There aren't any major brands that I know who make mid-upper to upper range guitars in China. In my view, the Halo is overpriced and I would have more confidence in a WMI guitar, which in this case is also a terrific deal.
Last edited by dthmtl3 at Aug 18, 2015,
#3
From the Halo site:

”Every Halo instrument is set up and inspected by one of our pro guitar techs in Cupertino, California prior to shipping…”

My guess is that most of the cost is due to Halo being located, and doing qa, in one of the most expensive towns on Earth. IIRC Rondo just has an easy return policy instead of American QA, and is in New Hampshire, a state that’s largely rural and has a low cost of living.
#4
halo has a very, very, very bad reputation, as you can find pretty quickly on other music forums.
Quote by Kevätuhri
Hail isn't too edgy for posts, posts are not edgy enough for Hail.


Quote by UseYourThumb
You win. I'm done here.
#5
Quote by Hail
halo has a very, very, very bad reputation, as you can find pretty quickly on other music forums.


They've seemed to have upped their game as of recent, a new guy bought the company and revamped the name. They make pretty good guitars, but still too much on the price for a MIC guitar imo though.

Get the Agile instead.
Gibson RD Silverburst w/ Lace Dissonant Aggressors (SOLD)
Electra Omega Prime Ceruse
Fender Franken-Jag Bass

Amps and the like:
Laney VH100R
Seismic Luke 2x12
Dunlop 105Q Wah
Gojira FX 808
Line 6 M9
#6
a user on here had (and maybe still has?) a white 8 string halo with a hipshot style bridge with NO thru-holes in the guitar! he had to remove the bridge if he wanted to change strings. this was several years ago and indeed their quality has improved quite a bit here recently. this same user got a new and highly improved axe from halo I think for a highly reduced price, several years after his original purchase.

if you were looking for a pretty cheap customized guitar, you could try Halo. but, as it seems in this case, if you spotted something already in existence that you like, id say go with agile. +1 on the good return policy. had to return a badly damaged Douglass from rondo and it was painless. ive been super happy with the two Agiles that ive owned.


7 String+ ERG Legion!!

LTD Snakebyte
Agile AL-727
ESP Horizon
Warmoth Swirled 7
Schecter C-1 Classic
Frankentele
Laney Ironheart 60w + Avatar Cab

Last edited by SYLrules88 at Aug 18, 2015,
#7
Quote by TheStig1214
They've seemed to have upped their game as of recent, a new guy bought the company and revamped the name. They make pretty good guitars, but still too much on the price for a MIC guitar imo though.

Get the Agile instead.

They haven't improved quality at all. They're still awful.

Realistically, don't get EITHER of them. Agile is better but still pretty bad.
Current Gear:
LTD MH-400 with Gotoh GE1996T (EMG 85/60)
PRS SE Custom 24 (Suhr SSH+/SSV)
Ibanez RG3120 Prestige (Dimarzio Titans)
Squier Vintage Modified 70s Jazz V
Audient iD22 interface
Peavey Revalver 4, UAD Friedman BE100/DS40
Adam S3A monitors
Quote by Anonden
You CAN play anything with anything....but some guitars sound right for some things, and not for others. Single coils sound retarded for metal, though those who are apeshit about harpsichord probably beg to differ.
#8
Quote by oneblackened


Realistically, don't get EITHER of them. Agile is better but still pretty bad.


What makes Agiles pretty bad? And are you willing to say the about all the other brands that sell WMI guitars?
Last edited by dthmtl3 at Aug 19, 2015,
#9
Quote by oneblackened


Realistically, don't get EITHER of them. Agile is better but still pretty bad.


Your view of Agile is interesting. I have four Agiles, ranging from a $200 B stock to an $1160 semi-custom, and I have to confess I'm a bit of a fanboy. Agile established itself by offering way more guitar for the money than expected. The recurring comment was (upon opening the box), "Wait, I paid HOW much for this?"

My semi-custom has taken over from a $4K Gibson Axcess (both are LP styles with a Floyd and a shaved neck heel) as the #1 for a project, and the band leader for that project originally insisted that the guitar be a "GIBSON Les Paul -- none of that clone sh!t." The Axcess is now my backup.

Sevenstring.org is what motivated Kurt (Rondo's owner) to begin producing ERG and multi-scale guitars, and they've been a major hit. His return policy is very generous, should you have an issue, and guitars that are returned usually show up as B stocks, offered as a price-reduced guitar on the website. Interesting thing about B stocks is that they're rare, and snapped up (sometimes within minutes of being put up on the site) very quickly.

I would snag an Agile multi-scale LONG before trusting Halo. Beyond Agile, there just aren't a lot of options in their multi-scale league that come remotely close to the price.
#10
Quote by dthmtl3
What makes Agiles pretty bad? And are you willing to say the about all the other brands that sell WMI guitars?

The difference between them and every other company that has guitars made at WMI is that Agile doesn't actually do any of their own quality control - that's part of the low cost.


And honestly, every single Agile I've owned has felt like a toy, plus for their price now (especially for the ERGs) they're getting into the same price range as better specced, better QC'd guitars like LTD, Schecter, PRS SE, Jackson, and so on.
Current Gear:
LTD MH-400 with Gotoh GE1996T (EMG 85/60)
PRS SE Custom 24 (Suhr SSH+/SSV)
Ibanez RG3120 Prestige (Dimarzio Titans)
Squier Vintage Modified 70s Jazz V
Audient iD22 interface
Peavey Revalver 4, UAD Friedman BE100/DS40
Adam S3A monitors
Quote by Anonden
You CAN play anything with anything....but some guitars sound right for some things, and not for others. Single coils sound retarded for metal, though those who are apeshit about harpsichord probably beg to differ.
#11
Agile isn't alone in not doing their own QC. Absence of quality control doesn't make their guitars bad, it just means you may get one that's perfect or one that isn't. But that issue isn't exclusive to Agiles but happens with all brands including US build guitars.

What are we to make of your claim that it feels like a toy? What does that mean? Are their Grover tuners bad? Are their EMGs/Duncans no good? Their Floyds/TOMs defective? Do the pieces come unglued? Does the paint come off?

I can understand perhaps that they weren't for you for whatever unspecified reason but that doesn't make their guitars bad.
#12
Quote by oneblackened
The difference between them and every other company that has guitars made at WMI is that Agile doesn't actually do any of their own quality control - that's part of the low cost.


There is no "Agile" as a company. It's a brand name. Kurt's a (largely) one many show out of a tin building in New Hampshire. He essentially pulls the guitar boxes off the stacks in the container, slaps a shipping label on and puts them out for FedUPS or whomever.

That said, my first Agile guitar arrived more or less in tune and pretty well set up from the Korean factory 6500 miles away. It was no better and no worse than the Gibson custom shop, Axcess Custom that arrived on exactly the same day. Both went directly to Gary Brawer's shop for a PLEK job.

Contrary to your uninformed blanket statement, however, most importers do exactly the same, except that they ship on to something like a GC fulfillment center where they sit until they get shipped out to a requesting GC who will then store them or hang them on a wall.

An exception would be Schecter, who maintains a location in Burbank that's supposed to be pulling the guitars, inspecting them, setting them up and then repacking them to go to those GC fulfillment centers. A decidedly unofficial and probably anecdotal "survey" passed around at the NAMM show a year ago stated that by the time a buyer took home a Schecter, however, they were equally as likely to get a lemon as any other guitar in Guitar Denter's inventory. Much to the dismay of Schecter. It's pretty much the same situation with PRS' SE series guitars. These are checked over before they get shipped out to the fulfillment warehouses. But from there?

In any case, I don't expect "quality control" of exceptional merit from any manufacturers other than Taylor, Trussart, Suhr and Carvin. And that's largely because Carvin ships direct and because I can actually pick up the other two guitars either at or within a few miles of their factories. Well, Carvins as well, I guess.


Quote by oneblackened
And honestly, every single Agile I've owned has felt like a toy, plus for their price now (especially for the ERGs) they're getting into the same price range as better specced, better QC'd guitars like LTD, Schecter, PRS SE, Jackson, and so on.


You make little sense. You're comparing guitars from the same plant but telling us that only the Agiles felt like a toy to you. I'm calling BS.

Agiles have led the way in Extended Range Guitars for some time now, thanks to Kurt's participation in (among others) seven string.org. I think his first foray was with a 7-string tele called the Texan. These days the Agile brand is on 7, 8, 9 and 10-string guitars in 25.5", 26.58", 27", 28", and 30" scales as well as on a wide range of Pendulum-series multi-scale (fan fret) instruments.

I think the brands you've mentioned are certainly good quality imports, and their mother companies have made efforts (I'm not so sure I'd agree on Jackson) to maintain high quality, and I'd recommend most of them to buyers. But neither LTD nor PRS has even remotely the range of guitars that Agile does, and Schecter has 8-string guitars in a very limited number of finishes (generally black), but that's pretty much it. I'm not sure that you can make a case for the specs being better (or as good) compared to the Agiles for the same price. After all, those companies add an extra layer of profit-taking to offer them at prices that will keep brick and mortars buying them. Rondo doesn't need to.

None of those companies maintains that occasional semi-custom store that allows you to select from an extremely wide range of options and finishes. I'm putting an order in for a neck-through shaved neck heel, tummy cut LP with a Floyd (from Floyd Rose, not a clone), a 25.5" scale neck with 24 frets, my choice of binding types, my choice of finishes, my choice of inlay types, my choice of hardware finishes, my choice of a chambered or solid upper bout, etc., delivered to my home. I've already done one semi-custom and the results were amazing. Which of those other companies allows that?

I was spoiled with Carvin (I have seven), I guess, but it's nice to have choices.

I'm sure you'll do well with whatever standard and ordinary production items those other companies offer you.
Last edited by dspellman at Aug 19, 2015,
#15
I've bought 2 Korean Schecters, 1 cost $800 and had a kink in the low E string about 2 inches from the bridge. The other $900 was perfect. Point, it's hit and miss. I would order an agile in a heartbeat. Strictly on word of mouth. Halo has a cool gimmick with their customizer but I've yet to hear a good word.
#16
Quote by dspellman
Your view of Agile is interesting. I have four Agiles, ranging from a $200 B stock to an $1160 semi-custom, and I have to confess I'm a bit of a fanboy. Agile established itself by offering way more guitar for the money than expected. The recurring comment was (upon opening the box), "Wait, I paid HOW much for this?"

My semi-custom has taken over from a $4K Gibson Axcess (both are LP styles with a Floyd and a shaved neck heel) as the #1 for a project, and the band leader for that project originally insisted that the guitar be a "GIBSON Les Paul -- none of that clone sh!t." The Axcess is now my backup.

Sevenstring.org is what motivated Kurt (Rondo's owner) to begin producing ERG and multi-scale guitars, and they've been a major hit. His return policy is very generous, should you have an issue, and guitars that are returned usually show up as B stocks, offered as a price-reduced guitar on the website. Interesting thing about B stocks is that they're rare, and snapped up (sometimes within minutes of being put up on the site) very quickly.

I would snag an Agile multi-scale LONG before trusting Halo. Beyond Agile, there just aren't a lot of options in their multi-scale league that come remotely close to the price.



I agree, I have an Agile AL3000 and love it. Great guitar for the 379 I paid for it. Kurt is easy to deal with.
Guitars:
Agile AL 3000
Alvarez AD60SC
Ibanez GRX20
Squire Standard Strat

Amp:
Peavey Valveking 2x12

Effects:
Digitech Grunge
Behringer Tube Overdrive TO800
Digitech GNX3


i thought losing my virginity would be better than that
#17
Quote by oneblackened


Realistically, don't get EITHER of them. Agile is better but still pretty bad.


for the record i fully agree but there's no point arguing with fanboys over it
Quote by Kevätuhri
Hail isn't too edgy for posts, posts are not edgy enough for Hail.


Quote by UseYourThumb
You win. I'm done here.
#18
I have had a lot of different electrics, still have about 7 around. But these days I pretty much always pick up my Agile AL3100m. Made in Korea, but I thought I read they get a final inspection or fret dressing in the US by the guy who owns Rondo Music before he ships them out. Mine was set up really well right out of the box. Great bang for the buck. I paid around $350, but it's way better than the Epiphones in that price level both in terms of specs and build quality (I've had a couple of those, unfortunately). I would not hesitate to buy another Agile.

Ken
Bernie Sanders for President!
Last edited by krm27 at Aug 21, 2015,