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Rondo Deals?


brianh

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I'm sort of in the market for a Tele at the moment, and that Sunburst one makes me think that if I go for anything other than sunburst I will regret it. That's just my favourite finish for any Fender, especially with a Tortoise Shell guard.

 

I was looking at this one, I like the idea of a mini humbucker in the neck, and the maple neck is a plus. I love my new maple necked Strat!

http://www.trademe.co.nz/Browse/Listing.aspx?id=242925896

But it's not sunburst. I just know I won't forgive myself if I don't go for a Sunburst Tele and put a Tortoise Shell guard on it.

 

My experiences with SX and Squier have been good. My old SX Strat was very well made, and with a few upgrades, either brand would turn into great guitars. Not that they aren't good already. Though, for that money, you can probably pick up a mint, used Mexican Tele, which is a great guitar. I loved the Mexican Tele I played in the store recently, such a nice tone and a beautiful satin maple neck, which I like better than the heavily finished ones on a Squier or SX. And I just don't like the headstock on those SX Teles. I can't stand anything with an incorrect headstock. Same goes for that Agile, I hate aesymmetrical 3 a side headstocks. And the cutaway just isn't as nice. It's probably a good enough guitar, but those things would just irk me.

 

Of course if it were me I'd just buy an SX here. The conversion and shipping equates to about the same price. And at least then it would have the correct headstock and none of the risk of sending one overseas.

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Swoop, stateside, MIM teles go for $250 to $300 used. I know, I bought one earlier this year and it's nice but needs a pickup upgrade. Considering the reviews on these SX guitars, $109 seems like a pretty low risk. Perhaps someone in NZ should contact Rondo about setting up a Kiwi distributorship...

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I have 4 Agiles and they are very nice guitars. I have 2 AL-2000s ($200), an AL-3100 ($400) and an AL-3000M ($500). I was very impressed with the 2000s. I have several Epiphones and one of the first things I did to them was replace the muddy pickups. The pickups in the 2000s that I have are better sounding pickups than what came in my Epis. I did replace them, but only for aesthetics. The stock pups sound very good. Actually, I would put these guitars up against Epis selling for $500, really. The pictures that Kurt puts up don't do his guitars justice.

 

AL-2000 CSBF with mods:

 

AL-2000CSB9.jpg

 

AL-2000 TE with mods:

 

AL-2000TE1.jpg

 

I didn't replace the pickups in my 3000M or 3100, they sound great. These are extremely nice guitars. Ebony fretbaords, either real MOP or Abalone inlays. They use much better parts than what come in Epis, I'm not bashing Epi. I love my Epis, I'm just being honest. They use a higher grade Alpha pot, like what stewmac sells with the brass bushings. The results is that they turn very smoothly. When I opened my 3000M up I was very impressed. They used vintage cloth wire and braided shielded cable. They are worth $400, easy. Both have graph tech nuts. My 3000M was $100 more. It has a TonePros bridges and tailpiece and a two piece plaintop 3/4" maple cap, absolutely beautiful.

 

AL-3100 Tribal Blue with mods:

 

AL-3100RollerBridgebody1.jpg

 

AL-3000M HSB Plaintop, stock:

 

PointerKnobs007.jpg

 

I had a couple of the SX guitars. They are okay, but they will need some work. The pickups are fair, the STL50 (Tele) that I had needed some fret work. I had to file the fret ends, they were pretty sharp. Other guys that I know that have purchased SXs didn't have sharp fret ends, so that is a hit or miss. I sold both of the SXs that I had. I got my STL50 sounding and playing really nice, but in the end I am not a Tele guy. For $109 they are a descent modding platform. Personally I would go with a Squire Strat. Why? I have played Strats forever and the neck on the SX strat copy that I had just diidn't feel right to me. It felt more like the neck on the Epi LPs.

 

I doubt that I will ever buy another Epiphone since buying my Agiles. Definitely a lot more guitar for a whole lot less money. I would say go for it. If you don't like it for some reaon, Kurt is really good about returns, but I think you are gonna be impressed.

 

Here was my STL50 after being modded. The only thing I didn't change were the tuners and the nut:

 

STL50body2.jpg

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A good used MIM Tele goes for about $600NZ here which, if you ask me, is pretty good value for money. They sound and feel great, and are well made and well finished. Remember, the Mexicans have been making Fenders for over 20 years, they know what they're doing. Upgrading an SX Tele to the same sort of spec will run into the same sort of figures. There are a number of stores here that stock SX's. The Teles go for between $399NZ and $449NZ.

 

That said, one from Rondo, even with conversion and shipping comes in at about $285NZ, which is quite a bit cheaper than I thought. Might have to take the risk and have one sent when I have some cash. Though I'm not sure if I should go for one of those or a speaker cabinet from Thomann.

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Thanks JC, those are some really nice looking guitars, even the plain top. If I don't like the SX, maybe I'll return it and get an AL-3100 CSB Wide. Book-matched Canadian maple is hard to beat, and it looks like it won't need any mods. The other LP copy that gets my attention is the AL-3000M Thru CSBF Wide. Neck thru is impossible to find in that price category.

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how on earth are these getting out for less than an Epi' date=' and better quality?

 

WoW[/quote']

 

A brand name is worth something. Parts and quality could be exactly the same, but if epiphone can still sell guitars at $500, they will. Rondo/Agile will for the foreseeable future make way less money per guitar because NOT that many people know about them/ are willing to "risk" it. I'm not trying to sound cynical or anything, but Epiphone can put out a decent guitar for $500 and still sell it, while Agile/Rondo must provide both a BETTER product for a BETTER price. Same reason why any product with a well-established brand name can sell for more than it's lesser known, even if they are exactly the same. Same concept as why a can of Coca-Cola can sell for $1.00 but Off-Brand-Mart's can must sell for $.75. Is Off-Brand-Mart's drink better?; probably. Will most people ever find that out?; probably not.

 

BTW, thank you jcwillow for the pics and review. My next guitar might be an Agile.

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hey jc-willow777 is there much difference between the 3 models of Agile LP's that you have? I mean I bet you would say that you can't go wrong any direction, but is the price increase between models due more to finish and aesthetics or due to the guts of the guitar being better, or a combination. Some of these models look freaking sweet. This Kurt guy should consider a discount/voucher for a referral program. Like when i buy one, I put in jc willow sent me here and then I get 5% off right then and you get $20 towards your next purchase. Would help get word out about these if they are really as good as you say.

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Here is a comparison chart for the AL series:

 

http://www.rondomusic.com/alspec.html

 

Basic differences are:

 

2000s - 3 piece mahongony body, 3x00s - 1 piece mahogony body

2000s - 2 piece maple neck and rosewood fretboard, 3x00s - 1 piece mahogoney neck and ebony fretboard

2000s - MOT inlays, 3x00s - real MOP of Abalone inlays

2000s - plastic nut, 3x00s - graph tech nut, some have bone

2000s - single binding, 3x00s - triple binding

2000s - Ceramic pickups, 3x00s Alnico V pickups

3x00s have hand filed frets, the 2000s don't, but mine had no problems or sharp ends at all. They feel great.

3x00s have upgraded electonics and wiring.

2000s and 3x00s have the same hardware, with the exception of the 3000M which has a Tonepros bridge and tailpiece.

 

I bought my 3100 first, then the 3000M, then the 2000s. I would have no problems buying another 2000 or two, but there is a Tribal Green 3100 that thas my name on it. I just gotta get it past my wife. The 3100 and 3000M that I have just feel like quality guitars when I am playing them. Not that the 2000s don't, but there is something about the feel of an ebony fretboard that I love, really smooth. I don't know how Kurt can sell such a quality instrument at such a low price, but I'm not complaining. I'll be back!

 

No doubt Agiles are less known than Epiphones. The only place you can get them is through Rondo music and Kurt no longer has a store front, only an online business. He used to have one though. He has simply taken out the middle man which is to the comsumer's advantage. I don't think Kurt is too concerned about getting huge like Epiphone, he is keeping plenty busy as is. When he gets some particular models in stock, they often sell out in a matter of days.

 

Some are a little leary buying something that you can't look at and touch first, I was. In fact I thought about getting an Agile for a well over a year before I took the plunge. Then when Epi raised their prices I went for my 3100 and I have never looked back. My only regret is that I didn't buy some sooner.

 

One last thing, all of the Agiles I got were set up almost perfectly when I got them, right out of the box. In fact my 3100 was in tune. Intonation was dead on when I got them.

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Guest icantbuyafender

one pc. body and neck

abalone inlays, ebony fretboard

graph tech or bone nut

triple binding

alnico v pickups

hand filed frets

vintage push-back cloth wire

tonepros bridge/tailpiece.

 

Oh man.... I can definitely look past the name on the headstock.

 

Its like my dream custom LP with all these upgrade features BUT at a below standard price!

 

Those 3000's are like the cream of the crop... custom shop stuff!

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the postage ends up making it not worth it for the england. i think the cheaper ones have ceramic pups and lower quality bits and bobs. all still useable but the only one i had a feeling for was the agile ad2300. the rest are just copy guitars with nothing unique... maybe an ok build quility and value for money but i can get the same from other brands.

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I've gone with a Douglas bass from Rondo..

for my son. Thought it was worth a shot.. expected it to be toylike.

 

Well, I play it more than he does. I can't keep my hands off the thing.

 

Yes I did make a few changes:

replaced black tr cover with cream pearl.

added cream pearl pickguard.

replaced one ply cream pearl control plate with multi ply cream pearl to match the guard and tr cover.

addd Jazz bass type knobs, not pictured.

replaced .068uF tone cap with sprague .047.

added sprague treble bleed cap to neck pup only.

 

It's well made, intonates well, fast action, neck pickup is just excellent tone as far as I'm concerned.. bridge pickup is a tad weaker, but good. I use them both.

Tuners work fine. Pots were fine, left them in.

 

BEATLED.jpg

with control plate opened..

 

BEATLER.jpg

getting set up for new parts.

 

BEATLEFIN1.jpg

and all done except for the jazz bass knobs. which look much better on it.

 

I'm going to buy one for me.

 

TWANG

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Swoop' date=' stateside, MIM teles go for $250 to $300 used. I know, I bought one earlier this year and it's nice but needs a pickup upgrade. Considering the reviews on these SX guitars, $109 seems like a pretty low risk. Perhaps someone in NZ should contact Rondo about setting up a Kiwi distributorship...[/quote']

 

 

We have SX in Oz but not Agile as the local company distributing them here seem to have only taken on the SX brand. Prices are about the same as if you imported one yourself but without the risk of shipping damage. (something that is in the forefront of my mind as I nervously wait for delivery of my Agile AL2900 chambered LP copy from Rondo.....it's in Oz according to the tracking info.)

 

Dig

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hey jc-willow777 is there much difference between the 3 models of Agile LP's that you have? I mean I bet you would say that you can't go wrong any direction' date=' but is the price increase between models due more to finish and aesthetics or due to the guts of the guitar being better, or a combination. Some of these models look freaking sweet. [b']This Kurt guy should consider a discount/voucher for a referral program.[/b] Like when i buy one, I put in jc willow sent me here and then I get 5% off right then and you get $20 towards your next purchase. Would help get word out about these if they are really as good as you say.

 

 

Mate,

 

Rondo do have a referral reward system in place now which is for 10% I believe. You have to register yourself and the referral I believe.

 

I haven't used it myself but the link is on the site's front page through "Contact Us"...."Affiliates".

 

 

Dig

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Mate' date='

 

I haven't used it myself but the link is on the site's front page through "Contact Us"...."Affiliates".

 

 

Dig[/quote']

 

Well what do you know... sorry for making an uninformed post, yesterday was about my 2nd time to the RondoMusic site. It's kind of a one party reward system and I wouldn't have my own website to advertise, but it is still a good idea. I'm hearing a lot more GOOD than BAD about this company...

 

al20002tsflame5.jpg

 

This one is dead meat when I get the funds...

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I purchased a $99.00 SX Callisto for co-worker's daughter, beginning

to learn to play, had dog-meat git. When I held it for the first time, I was

impressed with the construction, weight, quality of construction, playability

after setting action and intonation. $99.00...it plays as well as a $300.00+

Epi (sorry, folks. I Own two Epis, love 'em) If they would only make the dang things

in some other color besides pink... Yeah, Agile makes a quality product.

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