Price paid: $ 400
Purchased from: Rondo Music
Sound — 10
I play mostly metal and post-hardcore, but every now and then I mix it up with some clean blues riffs, and whether I'm putting my friends to sleep or disintegrating their eardrums, the AL-3000's done everything I've wanted it to. I run it straight without effects through a Spider III, but I've hooked it up to quite a few Peavey's and a Marshall JCM800. The neck pickup gets a LOT of punch out of it; I've mimicked a bunch of bass riffs with the neck pickup with the tone pot on full. This is the first guitar I've ever played for under $700 that's ever had a neck pickup I enjoyed playing on. For starters, both pickups are surprisingly bright and adaptive. They can play extremely distorted stuff right back down to clean-chorus. Even with both pickups selected, I can still get a pinch harmonic to ring through, something no guitar I've ever played (even my RR3 Jackson with seymour duncans) could do. This guitar is very user-friendly, meaning you don't need to be an expert on guitars to love and play it; It doesn't fight what you play through it like some more expensive axes have a habit of doing. The distortion is very full, not muddy at all, very bright, and the cleans are slightly darker but still bright and ring out very well. Sustain is pretty nice, having a set-neck and tune-o-matic helps. All in all, sounds too damn good to be a $400 guitar.
Overall Impression — 9
The AL-3000 does everything I need it to. Enough said. Would replace it without a second thought, not only is it a real eye-catcher, it sounds perfect for what I need it for. All I need now is a decent amp. Very satisfied. Couldn't have asked for a better guitar given the price range. I'd take another Agile over a Gibson any day.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I have not been able to test this Live, hardware seems nice and it seems to be a very sturdy guitar. Well balanced, good weight about it, but have not been able to but the strap buttons to the test. I wouldn't go throwing it around and swinging it through the air just yet, but I'd definitely play this Live without a backup. If I had the money for it, I'd have another AL-3000 as a backup. Feels like this guitar could withstand the full force of a semi falling on it without a scratch. It's survived its' share of drops in these few short weeks and handled it beautifully.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
A few days after receiving this guitar I changed strings. Did not like the D'addarios that came with it, very stiff tight strings. I've never been a fan of Ernie Balls but they were discounted, and I was near broke. This guitar handles loose bendy strings wonderfully. Very clear. Action was nice, but there was a little bit of fret buzz. I lowered it a little bit but have been too lazy to adjust the truss rod and get rid of that buzz. Getting to the point to where I need to, it may need a set up after shipping from Rondo. Pickup height was perfect, everything else has been very solid. Clean, tight, well put together. Minor buzz but that was it, that's my only complaint. That alone should say enough.
Features — 9
I'll keep this short and sweet. Unsure of year, brand spankin new though so I'd guess '09. Handmade in South Korea, LP body style, 22 Jumbo Frets, Ebony fingerboard bound white, Set-neck, Mahogany body with a very nice blue quilted maple top, Tune-o-matic bridgepiece, Covered Type-V Alnico H-H pickups, 3 way selector, 2 volume 2 tone pots, and Grover 18:1 tuners. No accessories, no bells and whistles, nothing else needed. Laid this next to an 05 Epi LP Custom, measurements are approximately the same. One of the most accurate LP clones I've ever held.