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#1
Well isn't this interesting...

Kurt was threatening to consider trying some headless guitars as of a few months ago, and now we've got a couple showing up in the "new stuff" email this morning.

There's a black flame version http://www.rondomusic.com/Agile_Hawker_Headless_BlackFlame.html
and a brown burl-top version as well, both "very limited quantities."

At a glance, my initial reaction would be "good effort, but needs refinement." You know two things: Kurt is serious about this and he'll keep tweaking.
I think the body is too long. It's near full length, and the problem with that is that the neck becomes too short. It's a 22 fret guitar with a couple of those frets buried in the body. The Strandberg and Kiesel headless have a much shorter body and can produce 24-fret guitars with all 24 available. The length of the guitar remains pretty much the same when you do this; the scale determines that more than anything. These guitars are around 31" long with a 25.5" scale length, and so are the Kiesels.

But just as we've watched Rondo take fan fret multi-scale and multi-string (7-8-9-10) guitars out of the realm of custom builds, we're now going to watch headless guitars become not only mainstream, but seriously inexpensive as well?
#3
As anything that's Agile, really cheap price.

I don't like the body design though. The way the body is cut away to accept the tuners makes the headless concept look like an afterthought. It makes it look like the body was merely adapted to accept tuners at the bridge rather than the body being designed around it.
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#4
Agreed, it's seriously ugly but I'm eager to see headless designs get more popular. 
#5
Can't wait for the "It's just as good as Strandberg!" threads. I also like the Godin signature placement ripoff.
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#6
Hell at that price, I'd be down.
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#7
Quote by JustRooster
Can't wait for the "It's just as good as Strandberg!" threads. I also like the Godin signature placement ripoff.

To be fair, Kiesel does that too.
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#9
Quote by Roc8995
Agreed, it's seriously ugly but I'm eager to see headless designs get more popular. 


FWIW, Jon Kammerer makes a headless acoustic electric bass that fits in an acoustic dreadnought case. I've been thinking about having him do me a baritone guitar based on that design.


http://www.jonkammerercustoms.com/2-14-17update_013.htm
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!
#10
T00DEEPBLUE Agreed. I like the fact that they are trying new things but something just seemed off about it. I'm sure that over time and through customer feedback it will eventually evolve into something a little more "complete?".
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#11
I'm really a fan of guillotined guitars
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#12
I like it, mostly, except that dip in the end of the body behind the bridge. It kind of evokes a droopy ballsack to me, if not as badly as the Kiesels where it goes right up to the bridge.
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#13
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
To be fair, Kiesel does that too.

The placement has been around for years. And before it was Kiesel, it was Carvin. Done on the Allan Holdsworth headless guitars forever. Dunno who ripped off whom. 
#15
Oh, I know. But like I said, I'm going to have him do a headless acoustic electric baritone based on that design.
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
Quote by dannyalcatraz
a headless acoustic electric baritone
That's a lot of adjectives you've got there.
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#17
Quote by dspellman
The placement has been around for years. And before it was Kiesel, it was Carvin. Done on the Allan Holdsworth headless guitars forever. Dunno who ripped off whom. 


It wasn't a serious point. Just throwing out conjecture. Agile is a brand that's been propped up on ownership bias for quite a while, IMO. It's nice to have a company that provides the specs people want. The business model is designed to be a price-point brand. They achieve that goal.

I've seen it in UG less, but my experience doing pro setups on many Agiles is that they're decent, but the ownership can't wait to espouse their glory to you at length. It has always struck me as a bunch of V6 Mustang owners convincing each other that they don't need the V8.
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#18
JustRooster 

I think of Agile Pro models as upper mid-range guitars for the price of low-mid range guitars. So it makes sense that owners would be pretty thrilled about that. What is it that Agiles lack or what makes them deficient in your view?
#19
Quote by dthmtl3
JustRooster 

I think of Agile Pro models as upper mid-range guitars for the price of low-mid range guitars. So it makes sense that owners would be pretty thrilled about that. What is it that Agiles lack or what makes them deficient in your view?


Their owners.
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#20
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#21
Ha ha!!!
I've sent him a few emails about building a Telecaster to the same quality as the 3200 series, I'm not thrilled about the "build your own", would rather have one ready to go.
I almost bought this one: "Hawker Headless" I agree with the need for refinement, still not bad for 399.
#22
Ah, I wouldn't be too quick to knock the guitars because of their owners. After all, you're just as likely to hear guys wax lyrical about expensive guitars and without playing one for yourself, you'd never know how good it was. Heck, even production guitars from the same company and line-up can differ vastly due to how the guitar was put together. 

As far as the guitar in the OP though, I'm a bit non-plussed. It does look like the headless concept was an afterthought. I don't like the fact that there's all that wood hacked out from beneath the bridge that goes all the way out to a strap pin. What I do like is the pickups, I've heard good things about the Cepheus stuff from a friend who has a nine-string Agile. 

It would be nice to try one, but I think for that price, I'd rather look at one of their conventional Interceptors, which look pretty damn good for less than $400. 
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#23
Quote by dspellman
But just as we've watched Rondo take fan fret multi-scale and multi-string (7-8-9-10) guitars out of the realm of custom builds, we're now going to watch headless guitars become not only mainstream, but seriously inexpensive as well?

I remember the Steinbergers, there for a minute then gone (though they still exist), I don't think headless is really going to be anything more than a curiosity.
#24
Quote by JustRooster
Their owners.

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!
#25
Quote by 33db
I remember the Steinbergers, there for a minute then gone (though they still exist), I don't think headless is really going to be anything more than a curiosity.

Not at all.

There is a very strong niche community for headless guitars and several custom builders make them.

Kiesel
Bond
Aristides
Mayones
Skervesen
Reiver
Egan

Just to name a few.

If it was just a gimmick, then there wouldn't be the same number of builders who'd do them.
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#26
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Not at all.

There is a very strong niche community for headless guitars and several custom builders make them.

Kiesel
Bond
Aristides
Mayones
Skervesen
Reiver
Egan

Just to name a few.

If it was just a gimmick, then there wouldn't be the same number of builders who'd do them.

So niche and curiosity are not synonymous?

I wouldn't mind owning one, you I just don't see headless out in the wild very often.
#27
Quote by 33db
So niche and curiosity are not synonymous?

The dictionary doesn't think so.
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#28
Niche and Curiosity can be the same thing when applied to NSFW website search categories.
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#29
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Not at all.

There is a very strong niche community for headless guitars and several custom builders make them.

Kiesel
Bond
Aristides
Mayones
Skervesen
Reiver
Egan

Just to name a few.

If it was just a gimmick, then there wouldn't be the same number of builders who'd do them.

What, Aristides makes headless guitars now? 
#30
Quote by JustRooster
It wasn't a serious point.  Just throwing out conjecture.  Agile is a brand that's been propped up on ownership bias for quite a while, IMO.  It's nice to have a company that provides the specs people want.  The business model is designed to be a price-point brand.  They achieve that goal.

I've seen it in UG less, but my experience doing pro setups on many Agiles is that they're decent, but the ownership can't wait to espouse their glory to you at length.  It has always struck me as a bunch of V6 Mustang owners convincing each other that they don't need the V8.


Ownership bias is usually based on something, of course. Early Agile reactions were of the sort, "Wait, I paid HOW much for this?", and quality for the money was unquestionably the point. The business model, as you note, is aimed at price-point; As the direct importer AND retailer, Rondo doesn't spend much in advertising or on brick-and-mortar costs. The costs of similar imports is usually quite a bit higher due to the additional layers of profit taken at the retail level and to the costs of advertising and promotion of the brand. The ramshackle website Rondo puts out there is pretty inexpensive...

I really like the new V8 series put out by Ford (including the flat-cranks and supercharged versions), but when Ford themselves build their halo car with a V6 and their top-selling truck as well, it becomes pretty obvious where things are headed. As the owner of a whole lot of guitars beyond Agile (and there are currently seven of those as well), I think the Agiles are pretty solid. 
#31
Quote by JustRooster
It wasn't a serious point. Just throwing out conjecture. Agile is a brand that's been propped up on ownership bias for quite a while, IMO.

Not arguing that point, but I would say this occurs regardless of product or brand.
No one wants to admit they bought crap, not that Agile is crap, I own one and I'm happy with it.
#32
Quote by 33db
So niche and curiosity are not synonymous?

I wouldn't mind owning one, you I just don't see headless out in the wild very often.

The same was said of ERGs (7, 8, 9, 10-string guitars), of long-scale guitars, of multi-scale guitars. Not something you found on a GC wall. Far more likely that you'd find them coming from custom shops, and only a few of those. Kurt spent some time hanging out at sevenstring.org and next thing you know there's a cheap (er...inexpensive) tele, which was a wish-list item on that forum. From there it was an easy jump to longer scales, and from there to multi-scale guitars. 

You're right that headless guitars didn't show up very often, but when they did, they were expensive. All of these choices were expensive, so mainstream (and particularly entry-level) guitarists really didn't get a chance to try them. The Agiles made it easy to try these out for easy money and then sell them on if it wasn't your cup of tea. It wasn't a big gamble. Strandberg and eventually Kiesel hopped on the headless bandwagon (though the Holdsworth Headless was already out there), but these still aren't Guitar Denter options. Agile provides a relatively inexpensive way to see if you're going to get laughed off a stage for having a truncated instrument. 

The advantages are obvious; it's less likely to have a headstock break if there isn't one. They're shorter (10" and more), lighter with the same scales we're used to, and they're lots easier to travel with. 
#33

I really like the new V8 series put out by Ford (including the flat-cranks and supercharged versions), but when Ford themselves build their halo car with a V6 and their top-selling truck as well, it becomes pretty obvious where things are headed.


Continuing this tangent a tad, I just noted that one of Porsche's hotter sellers that has housed a flat 6 for...well...forever is now being sold with a turbocharged 4.
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!
#34
Quote by I K0nijn I
What, Aristides makes headless guitars now? 

I thought they did?

I could be wrong.
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#35
Quote by dspellman
The same was said of ERGs (7, 8, 9, 10-string guitars), of long-scale guitars, of multi-scale guitars. Not something you found on a GC wall. Far more likely that you'd find them coming from custom shops, and only a few of those. Kurt spent some time hanging out at sevenstring.org and next thing you know there's a cheap (er...inexpensive) tele, which was a wish-list item on that forum. From there it was an easy jump to longer scales, and from there to multi-scale guitars. 

You're right that headless guitars didn't show up very often, but when they did, they were expensive. All of these choices were expensive, so mainstream (and particularly entry-level) guitarists really didn't get a chance to try them. The Agiles made it easy to try these out for easy money and then sell them on if it wasn't your cup of tea. It wasn't a big gamble. Strandberg and eventually Kiesel hopped on the headless bandwagon (though the Holdsworth Headless was already out there), but these still aren't Guitar Denter options. Agile provides a relatively inexpensive way to see if you're going to get laughed off a stage for having a truncated instrument. 

The advantages are obvious; it's less likely to have a headstock break if there isn't one. They're shorter (10" and more), lighter with the same scales we're used to, and they're lots easier to travel with. 


With the Steinberger I mentioned one thing that's crucial, I think, is that the tuning knobs/mechanism be of high quality, I found fiddling with them a bit tedious, if they are of low quality there isn't much in the way of replacement.

That's the only headless I've played, one good thing about it was after the strings settled in you could go nuts on the tremolo and it would stay in tune.
#36
Quote by dannyalcatraz
Continuing this tangent a tad, I just noted that one of Porsche's hotter sellers that has housed a flat 6 for...well...forever is now being sold with a turbocharged 4.

That's to adjust for the generational decline in penis size.
#37
33db

Part of it- supposedly- was to save weight-, so it's more likely to accommodate us fat Americans.
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!
#38
Quote by dannyalcatraz
33db

Part of it- supposedly- was to save weight-, so it's more likely to accommodate us fat Americans.

Everyone should watch the movie "Captain Fantastic" it really gives an amusing perspective on the US.
It's a good movie too, of course I'm a Viggo Mortensen fan, I think he's highly underrated.
#39
Quote by dannyalcatraz
Continuing this tangent a tad, I just noted that one of Porsche's hotter sellers that has housed a flat 6 for...well...forever is now being sold with a turbocharged 4.
The Boxster? It was always the poor man's 911 and it's only been around for about 20 years so it's not exactly sacred ground in the way the 911 is.
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