#1
I've been thinking of getting a Gibson Studio for the past couple of months but i'd be selling off a lot my other guitar stuff just to finance it. Anyways, i've looking around online for the best Les Paul copy but most of the reviews i've read dont compare the guitars against each other.

This is where you guys can help me out, the music stores in my area only carry the big brand copies like Epiphone and LTD. My main concern is the sound, feel, price, setup quality, equipment and sustain, I want to be able to hear it even the guitar is not plugged in j/k.

These are the brands i'm considering, i'd really appreciate some feedback because I dont know much about the technical side of guitars. Also please bring up some other brands that I havent listed.

Agile Al-2000
http://www.rondomusic.net/al2000blkgd.html
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Stellar Mercury 002
http://stellarguitars.com/mercury002_white.htm
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Epiphone Custom
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Tokai Love Rock ALS65
http://www.tokai-guitars.co.uk/
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Ibanez Lawsuit , but I'd prefer to buy a newer guitar.
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Last edited by Six-Strung at Jun 9, 2006,
#2
Just look into a Gibson Les Paul...

I have one, I got it for 500$...

But, I got it from a friend...look around for people selling them...

Dont be afraid to buy second hand...

Hope this helps...

Good Luck!
#3
The Tokai is the best out of those with its all mahogany body and build quality. Im getting an Agile AL2000 tiger eye for the price factor. The Epi has a mahogany/alder laminate body which isnt as good as all mahogany
#4
If you want a Gibson and don't have three grand, buy an Agile! Just last month I bought an Agile AL3500 Prestige. It pretty much IS a Gibson! It's got all the sustain you want due to it's SOLID 3/4" flamed maple top.
I also have an Epiphone Standard and as far as LP copies go, I would rate it in the middle of the pack. It's OK, but the flame maple is just a 1/16" veneer with an alder top underneath. It can't dig into those deep LP tones like the Agile can. The Agile also has nickel hardware which I personally like but it may not matter to you.
My Agile is in Black Cherry and the grain on the maple top is gorgeous (every bit what you would expect on a $2500 Gibson) but, I don't know how representative that is because I've only seen two Agiles in person.
You mentioned the AL2000 which is not built like the 3500 at all. If you buy an AL2000, 2500 or 3000, you'll end up with a guitar that's pretty much an Epiphone but, in my opinion, that's still OK cuz' it's half the price of the Epi'.
All I can say is, I love my Agile as does every seasoned guitar player who has seen it. After playing mine for about an hour, one guy I know went straight to my computer and ordered one. The only thing some people don't care for are the pickups. They're not very hot. I like the nice, warm tone they have but some of my friends don't. That's just personal preference and you'd have to judge for yourself.
One more thing: the Agile AL3500 Prestige is $529 until Rondo runs out of them and then the price is going up to $1099!! Kurt at Rondo said he's not going to carry them anymore once the price doubles so if you want one you'd better hurry- HE'S GOT ONLY ONE LEFT!!!

Regards,
SW

PS. Don't just take my word for it: check out other reviews on Harmony Central.
#5
If u want Les Paul tone, don't cheap out on an Epi or a Studio. Save up the extra cash and get a real one. It's just not the same, no matter what people say.

And like that other dude said, don't be afraid to get a secondhand one. Vintage would probly sound better anyway.
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#6
Check out Epiphone Elitist Les Pauls. They're built of the same materials, with Gibson wiring. They're assembled in Japan, then sent to USA Gibson factories for wiring and hardware installation.

They're a Gibson without an extra $1200 tacked on for the name on the headstock.
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#7
If you want an Agile, hit for the 2500 or 2800 for better quality. Or 3000 if you're up to it

Tokai guitars are veeery nice quality, and if price wasn't a factor (or at least not a huge one), i'd go with them.

I saw Stellar before buying my Agile, and somehow I feel much better I did. They seem like a cheap knock-off, and don't have enough reviews to convince me to buy one. Still, you never know...
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#8
Quote by dorklord
If you want a Gibson and don't have three grand, buy an Agile! Just last month I bought an Agile AL3500 Prestige. It pretty much IS a Gibson! It's got all the sustain you want due to it's SOLID 3/4" flamed maple top.
I also have an Epiphone Standard and as far as LP copies go, I would rate it in the middle of the pack. It's OK, but the flame maple is just a 1/16" veneer with an alder top underneath. It can't dig into those deep LP tones like the Agile can. The Agile also has nickel hardware which I personally like but it may not matter to you.
My Agile is in Black Cherry and the grain on the maple top is gorgeous (every bit what you would expect on a $2500 Gibson) but, I don't know how representative that is because I've only seen two Agiles in person.
You mentioned the AL2000 which is not built like the 3500 at all. If you buy an AL2000, 2500 or 3000, you'll end up with a guitar that's pretty much an Epiphone but, in my opinion, that's still OK cuz' it's half the price of the Epi'.
All I can say is, I love my Agile as does every seasoned guitar player who has seen it. After playing mine for about an hour, one guy I know went straight to my computer and ordered one. The only thing some people don't care for are the pickups. They're not very hot. I like the nice, warm tone they have but some of my friends don't. That's just personal preference and you'd have to judge for yourself.
One more thing: the Agile AL3500 Prestige is $529 until Rondo runs out of them and then the price is going up to $1099!! Kurt at Rondo said he's not going to carry them anymore once the price doubles so if you want one you'd better hurry- HE'S GOT ONLY ONE LEFT!!!

Regards,
SW

PS. Don't just take my word for it: check out other reviews on Harmony Central.

post pics of the flame top the rondo site doesnt make it look $529 impressive but the materials seem to be good.
#9
i would go with a upped Agile, i own a 2800...and love it, the 2000s are good and actually use the same exact materials as a MUCH more expensive Tokai, so if u r willin to shell out the cash on the others use it toward an agile...amazing quality...LP tone, a p'up change might be necessary but thats it, but on what stock guitar is a p'up change not helpful...honestly id look into the 2800 & up, they seriously scream. i prefer mine over any epi ive ever played
#10
I purchased a Stellar Black beauty several months ago and I LOVE it. The pickups are the hottest I've ever played. I've played Les Pauls and can really tell no difference in playability. Construction wise, the neck is 2 piece, SO DON'T DROP IT! You'll have to replace the strings, they're crappy and set it up to your liking. WELL worth $200. Even if you do get a Gibson later, this will make an excellent "knock around".
#13
To be honest I don't really want to get shot of it. But I brought a Jackson Randy Rhodes for the Floyd Rose and the Seymour Duncan pick ups. Oh and the V shape to look more metal.

I saw somewhere that they do a floyd rose conversion for the les paul. Although I and this website I saw it on had never seen one fitted.

Sometimes the Epi feels better to play than the Jackson. The Epi is set with a really low action and there's no fret buzz. Also it sounds good whatever you play. From blues to thrash metal.
#15
Search for edwards guitars on ebay there made in japan by esp and are pretty cheap! You will probably have to do some importing tho !
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#16
Epiphone sucks balls compared to gibson studio and above. Elitist series excluded of course. Elitists are about the same quality of the gibsons, or at least pretty close. Steer clear of the Agiles, especially any lower end model than the AL3000. Personally, i think agiles hold a lower standard than that of the epiphones, but a lot of fanboys around here will tell you otherwise.

I have no experience with either the tokai or the stellar guitar, although i've heard good things about tokai. The stellar, however, is hugely overpriced based on the specs. I mean, for 800 dollars you should be getting a maple top. Even the 400 dollar epiphones give you that, albeit a thin veneer version which doesn't do much for your tone.

If I were in your position, i'd forage around some music shops a little until i found a really good gibson studio model which you clicked with instantly. You can't get a better guitar for the money if you find the right one.

Good luck
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#17
Check out Burnys on ebay. They are extremely nice copies, and they come at a fair price. For my money, epiphone isnt worth it.
#18
Check the Micheal Kelly Patriot Custom at musicians friend. I've had mine about a month now and I love it. Better materials and pickups than the EPI.
#19
guys this thread died in June.. i highly doubt he's still checking it, or even looking for a guitar...
Proud owner of a Gibby LP Custom and an all-original Vintage '62 Fender Jag

Quote by richwatkinson
Give 10 UGers a rope and ask them to pull. 4 will push, 1 will ask for buttsecks, 2 will tell you get an Ibanez and the last 3 will start complaining about Line6 Spiders.
#20
Quote by xbcrguy182x
hmm...why are these Agile guitars so cheap?

They're made in China or Korea... Slave labor and all that!

SW