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Epiphone Les Paul VS. Agile Les Paul

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(@gnease)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 5058
 

FWIW: Just did some digging and found GP May 2007 issue reviewed 35 guitars under $500. This included 1 Agile (Septor 7-string, $399, overall rating = 3/5), 1 Epi (Faded G400, $299, rating = 4.5/5)

GP raved about these (all ratings of 4.5 to 5/5): Daisy Rock Rock Candy ($399), Godin Redline ($449), Hamer XTSATQ ($479), Ibanez ARX320 ($399), PRS SE Soapbar II ($499) and Reverend Volcano (V-clone, $499), Samick Torino ($499) and Schecter Lady Luck ($449).

Okay, so the sampling of models within each line was light. But OTOH, I was not surprised by which brands made the best ranked guitars. Neither Agile nor Epi made it into that group.

-=tension & release=-


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(@rparker)
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Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5492
 

gnease, you just reminded me of something. That PRS Single Cut for under $600 hardly ever gets thrown into LP conversations. I played one last year while amp shopping and was pretty impressed.

Roy
"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin


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(@gnease)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 5058
 

+1 Roy. The PRS SE line is an unbelievable bargain. Reviews are always very good or great on tone, playability, quality ... everything! Probably $100 t0 $200 more than Agile and Epi guitars worth owning (avoid cheapest Epis), but so worth it if the buyer can come up with the extra scratch. Every once in a while, I think about picking up a faded LP Junior or Melody Maker. Screw that ... I should get a an SE Soapbar I or II and get a better axe for less $$! But I keep forgetting ....

-=tension & release=-


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(@hiram)
Trusted Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 54
 

Shipments at Rondo are usually spring (May), Fall (Sept) and Nov-Dec, he really can't order enough to keep them in supply constantly. The shipment usually sells out within a week or two if it's a newly introduced model, the ALS last a little longer, stay with 3100's as opposed to the 2000, much better quality components.


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(@rparker)
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Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5492
 

Three's just too much out there sometimes. The variety seems endless. Sometimes I gt the feeling that it would be tough to find a bad guitar if we, as a collective group of consumers, force the issue of stores doing a cursory set-up on anything they display. No more rip-open, tag and hang all in one motion.

Enosmac, I understand what your going through with trying out the Epis and the ones that don't cut it. You hate to spend $550 on something that needs work then and there and hoping that a set-up will make it how you like. I had to go to 3 stores when I bought mine. Many were as you described. Baffles me to no end.

Roy
"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin


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(@mac-manc-mcmanx)
Estimable Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 142
 

Does Kurt at Rondo know whens he gets more stock in? Anyone ever send him an email regarding that? If the Agile is indeed as good as the Epi, I'm down for saving about $200 minus shipping.
Kurt responds to emails, mail him. He also posts on here occasionally:

http://www.agileguitarforum.com/index.php

When you wanna rock hard children, lean on F sharp


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(@hiram)
Trusted Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 54
 

I have to agree eith rparker, sometimes it seems there's too much out there. But i believe the vast selection is what brought the 300-400.00 impressive guitars we have today to the masses. A guitar with the present quality and in this price range was unheard of a few years ago no matter what brand. They talk of the golden age of guitars, well as far as I'm concerned this is the golden age for me. Some 400-500 guitars with 200.00 mods can hold their own with guitars costing 4x as much. it will end as all good things must as prices escalate, but right now I'm loving every minute of it.


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(@trguitar)
Famed Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 3711
 

I'm sorry but I meant to post on this a while ago. I have an Agile AL2000, the lower end of the spectrum. It is a goldtop with P90's. It is a well made instrument, plays and sounds well. The body is mahogony and the neck is maple. I just last week bought a Epiphone Les Paul. It is the Standard in black with cream trim, mahogony body and neck. The Agile was a sale and I paid $159 but they go for like $219 now. The Epiphone was $429 so maybe not a fair comparison since you can get a high end Agile Les Paul for that kind of money. I bought the Epiphone with a trade in that would not have been possible with Rondo. If not for this fact I would have been tempted and probably bought one of the higher end Agiles. That said I love the Epiphone, it feels more like a Les Paul to me, don't ask me why because the differences are minor. Please note I own two Gibson Les Pauls, a Studio and a Special so I have something to base my opinion on. The AL2000 has a little rattle if you hit the strings hard but not a problem. Note I use a very low action. The Epiphone came with the nut not cut nearly deep enough. The first fret intonation was sharp so I had to cut the nut deeper. You can read about that in the repair and maintenance thread. The Epiphone plays flawlessly, not a buzz or rattle all the way up the fretboard. Another no compare is the sound. The Agile has P90's, the Epiphone alnico humbuckers. Apples and oranges. In conclusion, I don't think you would go wrong either way. I got exellent customer service from Rondo. I had a question if the AL2000 had Grover tuners and Kurt wrote back to me promptly assuring me they did. I hope this helps some. Let us know how you make out.

"Work hard, rock hard, eat hard, sleep hard,
grow big, wear glasses if you need 'em."
-- The Webb Wilder Credo --


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(@enosmac1972)
Eminent Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 24
Topic starter  

Well, seeing I won't have the extra spending money for a month or so, coupled with the fact Rondo is out of Al-3000 or Al-3100 with the slim neck, I'm going to go on faith and get an Agile when they have more in stock. Hopefully it will be before Mid September, or I might have to settle for the Epi. Depends on if I can wait it out :)

Thanks to all that have responded... if anyone else has anything to add I'll appreciate it!

Agile AL-3100 Cherry Sunburst Slim Neck (2008)
Dean Vendetta XM (2008)
Line 6 Spider III 15W
Line 6 TonePort UX1
Marshall MS-2 5W


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(@lpplayer)
New Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 1
 

Hello, I am new to the forum today, and just saw this post so sorry I'm late...

I got this exact guitar back in December 07, it was the one with the standard size neck. I ended up returning it which I will explain later, but this guitar was excellent. Out of the box, the action was perfectly set up. The stock pickups sounded AMAZING to me. The covers had kind of a satin sheen to them, which made them look great against the spalted top, which was beautiful. The inlays also were striking. Excellent fretwork which I was a little worried about. Grovers and a bone nut.

One word of warning- order a hardshell case with it, and ask them to ship it in the case. Rondo has a very beautiful brown colored case on their website.

I ended up returning it for quality control type reasons. The neck pickup ring was mounted off a bit-like the pickup route was off,and the end of the neck was pushing into the pickup. This would probably not worry most people except me. Kurt at Rondo was very good about taking it back no questions asked. I would bet money that if I would have asked him to find one in absolutely perfect condition to satisfy my desires he would have done it. But this was the first sight-unseen internet guitar order I ever made and I got a bit gun-shy about it and did not get another one.

Actually I might!


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(@ricochet)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 7850
 

+1 on the case.

Also, I have an SX lap steel from Rondo, one of the first ones. It had the pickup slightly off-centered to one side so the pole pieces weren't quite under the strings. I fooled around with it and without doing any woodwork got it back to where the strings are about halfway from one edge to the center. As high as they are on a lap steel, that makes no difference. I could've sent it back, but didn't want to. Kurt gives customer service second to none, though.

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


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(@rparker)
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Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5492
 

I noticed on the web site that they are now in New Hampshire. Did he sell or something?

Roy
"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin


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(@ricochet)
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Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 7850
 

That's news to me, but wouldn't you move out of NJ if you could?

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


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(@rparker)
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Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5492
 

That's news to me, but wouldn't you move out of NJ if you could?

Maybe, but probably due south.

Roy
"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin


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(@enosmac1972)
Eminent Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 24
Topic starter  

Well, got an email from Kurt about new stock before it went on website, and took the jump! Ordered an AL-3100 Cherry Sunburst with the Slim Neck... should be here Sept 4th as long as Hurricane Gustav keeps heading towards Louisiana and not the Florida panhandle!

Plus, had to do it, my brother just picked up a Fender Highway 1, so I got GAS really bad. My poor Dean Vendetta XM will probably be seeing a lot of closet time soon :( I really liked that guitar, until I played others. Now I kinda feel like it is a "toy" guitar. It has some bad frets that cause a lot of buzzing unless the action is really high, and being a new player, the high action was making it very difficult for me to play well, and it was beginning to get me a little discouraged in my progress.

Agile AL-3100 Cherry Sunburst Slim Neck (2008)
Dean Vendetta XM (2008)
Line 6 Spider III 15W
Line 6 TonePort UX1
Marshall MS-2 5W


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