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Are Agile guitars good guitars, or good cheap guitars?

catpeople

Senior Member
Messages
3,178
I did search the forum and didn't find anything recent about this.

I'm a bit surprised folks here seem to be crazy about Agiles, which are incredibly cheap, while also being famous (notorious?) for cork-sniffing and dropping $5K on a Lester like it ain't no thang. So I have to wonder: are Agiles good guitars, or just good given their very low price? Ignore the issue of pickups--those are easy to change, and even $5K guitars can come with pickups you don't like. How's the construction, finish, resonance, etc?

I'm really curious, mostly because they make some guitar styles I don't have and wouldn't mind owning without dropping a ton of dough on them. But in the past all the cheap guitars I've had, even the good ones like my all-solid-mahogany Epiphone Masterbilt or US-made, $1,200-list Peavey Odyssey invariably turned into disappointments.

For reference, my favorite guitars are US-made Schecters, a 1995 Taylor, and a US-made Hamer Californian.

I've had, and sold without much regret, two US-made Peaveys, the Epiphone Masterbilt, an Ibanez or two, and a Samick from back when they were trying very hard to make good guitars. I've also played and strongly disliked a bunch of lower-priced Fenders, including the new entry-level Classic Vibe Teles that are getting rave reviews, but I like Fenders. Maybe I'm a snob. :huh

Thanks :)
 

daveg62

Member
Messages
32
I have an Agile E1 that I really like the way it plays. I have to admit it doesn't really feel like a more expensive guitar, but I would say yes it is a good guitar. It has a remarkably nice neck with great action. I replaced the pickups, only to put the stock pickups back in again after not liking the change. So the pickups aren't that bad at all IMO. Great value, nice playing instrument, decent construction.
 

patentcad

Member
Messages
9,417
Very good guitars. Pickups and wiring not so much, but many buyers like the pickups. I swapped the humbuckers out, kept the P90's.
 

dk123123dk

Member
Messages
3,890
Agiles, esp the high end ones are great guitars. I don't think they are quite up to the level of USA Schecter, Taylor, Hamer high end. I do think they are better than the Classic Vibe as far as quality ($350vs$500+ though).

There was a recent thread that compared the standard LP copy vs the neck through LP. There was some small finish issues with the neck through, and some small imperfections. Probably still a great guitar, but not a perfectionist's guitar. If that makes sense.

Edit: found it
https://www.thegearpage.net/board/index.php?threads/1003612

The highest end LP's have great pickups and wiring. They really don't need much mods to hang with standard USA gibsons IN MY OPINION. They do not reach the level of Historic Gibsons though. But for $500 vs $3000 I think thats understandable. Plus I don't think Agile is really trying to compete with Historics. They are a great way for a player to get a LP sound at a great price. But for the BEST les paul out there kinda guy, an Agile probably isn't going to cut it.

Just my thoughts. I hope this helps.


dk
 

Peeb

Member
Messages
4,832
The LP knockoff may be the best sub $500 guitar out there today.
...in that price range.
Saying sub-500 AND "in that price range" is redundant.
Saying sub-500 AND "in that price range" is redundant.
Saying sub-500 AND "in that price range" is redundant.
Saying sub-500 AND "in that price range" is redundant.
Saying sub-500 AND "in that price range" is redundant.
Saying sub-500 AND "in that price range" is redundant.
Saying sub-500 AND "in that price range" is redundant.
Saying sub-500 AND "in that price range" is redundant.
Saying sub-500 AND "in that price range" is redundant.
etc.
and so forth
and so on.
:D
 

catpeople

Senior Member
Messages
3,178
Thanks, that's helpful. But what I'm trying to get at is this very issue: "the best sub-$500 guitar" out there. What does that mean? Is it like a Honda Civic (v. a Cadillac), or more like a rusty Yugo? I'd never play a rusty Yugo, even if it was free. I have no problems with a Honda Civic.

Let me put it another way. Say you're blind, and you're trying a Gibson Les Paul Studio and then an Agile LP copy. Would the Agile ever win? Would it win if it was the same price as the Gibson?

(substitute Fender for Gibson as you wish).

Also, are they all made in Korea, or are some models made elsewhere?
 

dk123123dk

Member
Messages
3,890
Thanks, that's helpful. But what I'm trying to get at is this very issue: "the best sub-$500 guitar" out there. What does that mean? Is it like a Honda Civic (v. a Cadillac), or more like a rusty Yugo? I'd never play a rusty Yugo, even if it was free. I have no problems with a Honda Civic.

Let me put it another way. Say you're blind, and you're trying a Gibson Les Paul Studio and then an Agile LP copy. Would the Agile ever win? Would it win if it was the same price as the Gibson?

(substitute Fender for Gibson as you wish).
I think the Agile 3000 series compare with NON HISTORIC Gibsons.

The one complaint is weight. I played a friend's 3000 and its a great les paul guitar at any price. Is it the best les paul guitar? A big fat NO. But it would be a guitar I would be happy to own if I needed another humbucker guitar. I'd look at the chambered model though, if I planned on gigging standing up.


dk
 

patentcad

Member
Messages
9,417
Thanks, that's helpful. But what I'm trying to get at is this very issue: "the best sub-$500 guitar" out there. What does that mean? Is it like a Honda Civic (v. a Cadillac), or more like a rusty Yugo? I'd never play a rusty Yugo, even if it was free. I have no problems with a Honda Civic.

Let me put it another way. Say you're blind, and you're trying a Gibson Les Paul Studio and then an Agile LP copy. Would the Agile ever win? Would it win if it was the same price as the Gibson?

(substitute Fender for Gibson as you wish).

Also, are they all made in Korea, or are some models made elsewhere?
Let's put it this way: EVERY guitar is a crapshoot until you own it and play it for a couple of months. If you buy a $425 Agile and you want to offload it, you'll still get $250 for the guitar. How much did you lose? $175? In other words in the world of pricey guitars it's a low risk purchase.
 

catpeople

Senior Member
Messages
3,178
Let's put it this way: EVERY guitar is a crapshoot until you own it and play it for a couple of months. If you buy a $425 Agile and you want to offload it, you'll still get $250 for the guitar. How much did you lose? $175? In other words in the world of pricey guitars it's a low risk purchase.
It's certainly less risky than a Hamer or Schecter USA, whose resale value is generally pretty low. I know--I got mine used for ridiculous prices.
 
Messages
2,312
With all the great imports, it's hard to pick one maker as "best" at whatever price.

I have respect for Agile's, but I like the PRS imports better. I have a SE Tremonti, a SE Custom semi-hollow P90, a SE Singlecut P90 and SE Singlecut Trem. They are each fun to play, sound great, have very good build quality, and are "gig ready".

M
 

supa-fuzz

Member
Messages
1,340
Saying sub-500 AND "in that price range" is redundant.
Saying sub-500 AND "in that price range" is redundant.
Saying sub-500 AND "in that price range" is redundant.
Saying sub-500 AND "in that price range" is redundant.
Saying sub-500 AND "in that price range" is redundant.
Saying sub-500 AND "in that price range" is redundant.
Saying sub-500 AND "in that price range" is redundant.
Saying sub-500 AND "in that price range" is redundant.
Saying sub-500 AND "in that price range" is redundant.
etc.
and so forth
and so on.
:D
So redundant that you have the dubious honor of the most annoying post of the year so far.
 

patentcad

Member
Messages
9,417
They're good guitars.
Correct.

Look boys, I've owned so many friggin $2K-$8K guitars I've lost count, and the Agiles I have really do stack up rather nicely with them, even though they cost under $500 with case. You can buy one and swap pickups and pots and have a friggin tone monster that looks nice and plays great for well under $1000. I do love the feel and look of the ebony board and neck on my Agile 3000 guitars. Nice instruments.
 

vbf

Member
Messages
4,931
I had one and really liked it. IMHO it blows away an Epi LP Standard. The higher end LP-style guitars are very good for the money. I really liked the neck pickup but the bridge was way too bright. But the wiring and guts were very good and the fit and finish was excellent.
 




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