Agile 8 String Guitars
click on ‘Electric guitars’ then ’8 string guitars’
Personal Note: I just recently bought my first Agile 8 String guitar (The Intrepid Pro Dual with a maple neck) and I started this website to share the research I did that led up to my purchase along with a review of my experience with it. First, let’s discuss the important matter of scale length, then we’ll look at the 3 primary models of 8 strings that Agile offers and lastly we’ll compare the Agile models to other 8 string guitars of other brands and see how they stack up.
The Longer Scale Length
Agile Guitars, (8 string versions) have different models with scale lengths ranging among 25’5”, 27”, 28.625” and 30”. The model number tells you the scale length. i.e. 828 = 28.625″. Which length you should get depends on what you are going to tune to. If you are going to tune standard(F# B E A D G B E) I’d opt for the 28.625″ scale. If you are going to tune down, then it’s safer to go with the 30″ but a 28.625″ will handle the low F# better than 27″ or lower.
In the end it really is subjective to each player. 30″ is great for low tunings as it’s articulate and offers nice tight string tension, BUT it really makes the first 6 strings stiff. If you bend notes a lot when you solo you might want more slack on the treble strings. In that case it’s better to go for the 28 to offer less stiffness. Shorter scale guitars also make the higher strings have more “punch” and warmth. For heavy playing it makes the higher notes a little more on par with the low strings.
With such long scales the low strings sound great, but higher strings sound less powerful. Also, having longer scale means more stretching, less upper fret access; many people think about buying long scale necks for tuning or tone, but they don`t keep the fret spacing in mind. So they end up either having to sell the guitar or not be able to play them.
Which Agile Model?
Agile 8 string guitars are some of the best production guitars I’ve ever seen, both in concept and execution. Agile Interceptor and Septor are the same guitar, except the Interceptor are equipped with Floyd Rose style bridge, and Septor comes with fixed bridges. You have the choice between various pickups among all models. The stock Agile pickups actually sound surprisingly good, but they also have models that come with EMG 808′s and they are also offering one with SD Blackouts.
Now although it is a great deal, be wary of the options that are available on the guitars. Although the Intrepids are beautiful and unique guitars, you might be more interested in the Interceptor Pro due to the larger frets. Their materials are high quality, they don’t cut corners on production, they set it to a beautifully low action with great feel to it straight out of the factory.Another great feature in dealing with Rondo is the fact that you can actually correspond with Kurt directly. If you email him and he always gets back. That’s the way to do business!
The Look: Aesthetics of Agiles
The finish is fantastic. The satin feels amazing and is not oily in the least bit. This guitar barely goes out of tune due to the graphite nut. The grover tuners also add to the great tuning stability of this instrument; they are good, reliable machines. It’s easy to see why they chose them, they’re light, and a guitar with a long scale like this, you want to keep the headstock weight down to avoid the inevitable neck-dive. The wood is very dense and if you get a model without a painted finish it will show wear not nearly as easily. These guitars are built like a tank, heavy, robust. As you look at other companies who offer 8 string guitars, Agile is definitely one of the best values. They offer the most options for 8 strings without going custom, hands down. It is honestly one of the best deals for 8 strings around.
Agile Intrepid (828 et al)
In the Intrepid line you will find the most radical designs of the Agile inventory. Also, the most economic models are in this series, beginning at the price of just $499. Lots of options here, which can take you up to $899 for the more advanced models. Also in this line you can find multi-scale guitars. Among the features you will find:
- Ash or Mahogany body
- Neck-thru body design
- Ebony fretboard
- Variety of pickups, among others: Dual Active EMG 808, Cepheus passive 8 pickup
Some of the top of the line Agile guitars in this series. A combination of a somewhat modern shape with cherry-picked components. The pups are in the right spots, real flat with the strings and no dead spots in the strings and basically, it is the most solid guitar ever. Perfect score for its finish. Prices will set you up from $699 up to $1195.
- Body options: Double cutaway light mahogany, arch or flat
- 5 piece maple neck-thru body, or bolt on for the cheaper models
- Scale starts at 25,5” and goes up to 28,625” depending on model
- Ebony, Rosewood or Maple fretboards
- Variety of Kahler tremolos
- Variety of pups: EMG 808, EMG 89, Duncan’s Blackout or Cepheus Passive
Agile Septor (828 et al)
The Septor series provides another batch to choose from. With a strat-like body and a price only cutting the middle man allows, and no other brand can beat, in this line you will find:
- An arch top body, double cutaway light weight mahogany
- Scale from 25,5” up to bloody 30”
- USA made Duncan blackout pickups
- Cepheus or HipShot bridges
Agile Vs Ibanez RGA8 & RG2228
The arch top on the Agile body is way deeper and more detailed. The arch actually follows the entire body including the cutaways leaving some sexy lines and a really nice thin body. The Ibanez’s arch top is much less dramatic and the body is a bit thicker on the sides as a result.
The neck on the Agile is thicker than the Ibanez, but you probably won’t have any problem with fast stuff on the Agile, the extra thickness actually gives better control of the left hand for fast runs and technical stuff like that. Now, the only thing you might not like about the Agile neck is it may be a little harder to bend and play big chord voicings, compare to Ibanez bolt-on necks.
The color selection of the Agiles smashes that offered by Ibanez (unless you love black) plus the Agiles look way cooler in design in my opinion. I should mention that on the rondomusic site the pictures they have are extremely truthful. What you see is exactly what you get. However, the Ibanez will make their fretboards look darker or make a finish look a bit different in their pictures.
As for the RGA2228, I’m sure it is a fine instrument, but I don’t think you can really justify the extra money.
Agile Vs Schecter
I would go for Agile over Schecter because of the longer scale agile offers along with the fanned frets option. With Schecter’s the only scale length you have to choose from is 26.5″. I’d also avoid the Schecter 8 strings because they have necks like actual baseball bats.