Price paid: C$ 250
Purchased from: Online
Features: This 2001 Agile Ghost was made in a factory in China. It features 22 jumbo frets made of rosewood or similar material. I believe the top is solid but it may be laminated. The body and the neck I believe are rosewood but the body may be mahogany as with the newer models and the finish on this guitar is just a solid color (Eggshell white or some other off-white). The Ghost has an Explorer style body that resembles that of a slightly modern Gibson Explorer featuring the rounded ends and the pre-lawsuit neck that completely resembles the Gibson model and features a set-thru tune-o-matic bridge and it features passive electronics. It has 3 control knobs which control neck pickup volume, bridge pickup volume and tone. The original pickups are ALNICO passive pickups but I have since replaced them with 490r/498t Gibson humbuckers. They also come with standard non-locking Grover tuning pegs right out of the factory which is a nice surprise for a cheaper guitar. It came with no accessories other than a box and some wrap inside that box. // 8
Sound: I play mostly metal including; thrash metal, death metal, metal-core and some rock. This guitar suits my style very well being played through my Peavey Vypyr 30 watt. At first I wasn't sure whether this guitar would have the deep, bass-filled sound I needed and In a way it didn't. The stock pickups were good but they had a sort of hollow, grainy sound to them that didn't seem right. But once I added the 490r/498t humbuckers it sounds amazing. It chugs when I need to drop the mids and hums when I need some early 80's style sound, not to mention the clean on the Ghost is just awesome. I don't use any effects other than what is on my Vypyr but I guess the Tube-scream stomp-box is what I tend to use when I need lots of gain. The guitar itself is a bit noisy when you are close to the amp, close to a computer and/or a wireless signal. It may be because of the custom pickups I have but it is hardly noticeable either way. The guitar definitely has a full solid sound to it and you can hear it resonate through the power-chords like it should. So far the guitar has matched every sound I need. If it need a deep sound I just switch to the 6505 setting on my Peavey and flip to the middle pickup. If I need a rock sound, I switch to bridge pickup and it suits it just as well. It can suit just about any sounds you need provided you have the right amp. // 9
Action, Fit & Finish: Because I bought it online, I am not completely sure how it was set up from the factory. Because of how good everything looks and feels, I would assume it is top notch like the rest of the guitar. The stock pickups were a little noisy and tinny but that's what you come to expect from stock pickups now-a-days. They were also 10 years old so they may have degraded a bit. The fit, finish and positioning of the guitar and the neck are perfect and there is not a single thing wrong. The guitar was virtually flawless when I got it so I would also assume that it was like that from the factory. There are a couple frets that ring on the high E string around the 17th, 18th and 19th frets but that may also be due to the age. They aren't dead, just very noisy. // 9
Reliability & Durability: This guitar will definitely withstand live playing and gigging, not to mention all the practices you need it to. It feels very durable and looks the part as well. I have never dropped it or dinged it all that much as it's so damn beautiful I would cry but it seems like it would withstand a fair bit. The strap buttons are solid and I feel like it would be a solid gig guitar that wouldn't need a backup. The finish is clearly a very good one as the body binding is still on even after 10+ years and the paint still looks good as new. After polishing the guitar it looks like a Gibson... Er, a million bucks. // 9
Overall Impression: This strikes me as a metal-guitar and more like a James Hetfield explorer. Its looks aren't let down by it's sound and it will keep you happy until it breaks, if it ever does. I have been playing guitar for about 3 years and own a few other guitars (Schecter C-1, Squier Stratocaster, Epiphone Les Paul Studio and an Ibanez RG470) and I have to say I like this guitar more than all of the others. Maybe it's because I got what feels like a 1000$ guitar for 250$ or because the sound perfectly suits my style, but I love it.
If it were lost or stolen I would most definitely try to get a new one. Unfortunately these pre-lawsuit Ghosts are rare and I'd be hard pressed to get another great deal like I did so I guess I'd buy a newer one. My favourite feature would have to be the whole style of the guitar. It has an expensive look and feel to it and most of my friends have mistaken it for an expensive, custom guitar. I compared it to most of the other explorers and it blows all of them away. The Epiphone Explorer doesn't have as good of a sound as the Agile Ghost and is easily 2x as expensive. The Gibson Explorer probably just beats out the ghost in overall sound quality, but that's a 1400$ guitar vs a 250$ guitar and value-wise there is just no comparison. I wish it had a whammy bar because it squeals extremely well and getting some dive-bombs on this would be awesome, considering how well it stays in tune as well. // 9