Agile 3100 Comparison Gibson And Carvin

Discussion in 'Reviews' started by Gibocaster, Feb 20, 2017.

  1. Gibocaster

    Gibocaster New Member

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    I ordered a tigers eye flame 3100 the weekend before last. It arrived last Friday. I decided to compare it to some other guitars I have that I thought would be a lot like it. I planed on using a 2013 Gibson 60s tribute Les Paul Studio, a 2007 Gibson Les Paul SL and a 2008 Carvin California Carved Top. How ever as I was setting up the Agile to my liking I soon realized that the neck was much thicker than either Gibson I planed to use. Both have a 60s slim taper profile. Which I love. I chose instead of the Les Paul SL to use a 2003 Gibson ES 135. It has the 50s neck profile which is much more inline with that of the Agile.

    I have to say that first impressions of the Agile were very positive. It looks great and is finished very well. I looked it over very closely and found nothing except for great craftsmanship. Unlike the 60s tribute Les Paul. I could write a lengthy list of things lacking in it's craftsmanship. I spent the entire weekend off and on going from one guitar to the other. I played all through the same amp. A Mojo Diamond through a custom 2 ten cab. The reason I chose that amp over others is because it is the one I tend to use most often. It sounds great and I don't have to wake the neighbors to get a good tone out of it. Seriously I do like that amp. I did put the Agile through a Marshall DSL for a while and Remembered why I don't use that amp very often. I tend to turn it up way past the point I should and I get dirty looks from the neighbors for a few days after.

    Over all my impression of the Agile is very positive. It has a great sound both clean and dirty. It has stunning looks and plays just the way I would like a neck of this profile to play. It really is very much like the ES 135. The pickups seemed a little hotter in the Agile. The ES 135 has 57 classics in both positions. The guitar it had the most in common with tonally is the Carvin. I forget what pickups are in it. They are Carvins though.

    My final thoughts about the Agile 3100 is that it is a great guitar. Lets forget that it cost several times less than anything I used to compare it to. Forget that it isn't American made. What it comes down to is the Agile is just a great instrument. Looks, fit and finish are on par with the others. Well the Gibson's are both finished with nitrocellulose. So at some point my hand does get a little stuck to the back of the neck. That didn't happen with the Agile. I guess if I wanted that experience with the Agile I could play it after eating ice cream with my fingers. At one point I thought the Agile was a little noisy during pauses. It had quite a bit of hum. That was short lived as I plugged the Carvin in and listened to the hum it produced. Oddly though the simi hollow Gibson is dead quiet. Go figure.

    The Agile is not my favorite guitar of the bunch. I have a soft spot in my heart for the Gibson SL Les Paul. If the Agile had a slimmer neck profile I may like it as much. I like the sound of the stock pickups once they are at the proper height. I really like the coil split feature. The only other guitar in this line up that has that is the Carvin. Another thing that surprised me is that the Agile is about the lightest guitar of the group. Even the SL seems to not weigh less.

    I would like to ad pictures of the guitars but can not for the life of me find my camera. I could take pics with my phone but they always come out blurry and dim. Just imagine some lint balls and that is about what it would look like. If you don't own an Agile I recommend getting several. That is what I plan on doing in the future. I am sure I left out more than I actually included in this review but I hope you get the idea.
     
  2. toomanycats

    toomanycats Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to the forum and thanks for the detailed field report.

    The Agile is probably light because the current AL-3XXX is made with a thinner body than previouly. In the past you'd hear reports of 1 15/16ths " thick, 12 pound + boat anchors. I own Agiles from both eras and they're all quality guitars, just different dimensions (amongst other small differences).

    I'm not going to give you a hard time about it it, but you know the guys are gonna rib you about the pics. It's kind of our thing here. I do believe that we'd rather see a fuzzy pic of an Agile that looks like a dust bunny with a headstock than no pics at all. Sort of like how when I was a kid I'd settle for staring at the woman's lingerie section of the Sears catalog when I couldn't procur a Playboy magazine . . . but I digress.

    Again, welcome to the group.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2017
  3. STACKS

    STACKS Well-Known Member

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    Welcome, and nice review.
    Sounds like you would like a slim neck AL
     

  4. kungphugrip

    kungphugrip Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Did he just say the Agile AL was the lightest of the
    bunch? lol that has to be a first lol!
    welcome to the forum!
     
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  5. MichaelR

    MichaelR Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Welcome to the forum.
     
  6. Mossman

    Mossman Well-Known Member

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    Welcome!

    You kind of lost me with the neck profile thing. I have a 3100MCC and an Epiphone LP Custom with the slim taper '60s D neck, (my comparison review: http://www.aguitarforum.com/threads/agile-3100mcc-vs-epiphone-lp-custom-pro.94460/#post-1521390) and while the '60s D is flatter, I think both necks are about the same thickness. But that's just my opinion.

    Anyway, as mentioned above, Rondo does offer a 'slim' neck option, but IMO that neck is crazy thin.

    And yeah, make with the pics, or it didn't happen!
     
  7. toomanycats

    toomanycats Well-Known Member

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    Yes, pay heed to be this^

    Put is this way, the Agile "slim" profile is closer to an Ibanez Wizard than a Gibson 60 neck. Felt weird to me on a LP and definitely not for everyone.
     
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  8. dspellman

    dspellman Well-Known Member

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    I have a slim/wide neck profile on a 2009 custom order. Kurt has told me that it likely wouldn't be available again, which is sad because it's maybe the fastest neck I've played on an LP (and the radius is 16"). The OP may be put off by the jumbo frets on the Agile; most Gibsons come with medium frets, most Carvins with medium-jumbos. I would definitely NOT put my Agile guitars' neck profiles at "thicker" than a Gibson and likely not thicker than a Carvin, either.

    I think current Carved Tops (Carvin) have a smoother neck heel than the 2008 did. I had a choice of ordering the Carvin CT6 or the Agile Custom in 2009, and the neck-through construction and smooth neck heel (this actually predated the 3200 series) on the Agile is part of what made me head that direction. It was closer to the Axcess Custom I was working with as a primary.
     
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  9. Gibocaster

    Gibocaster New Member

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    Thank you, You bring up two very good points. I personally looked at National Geographic but a Sears catalog would do in a pinch. LOL
     
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  10. Gibocaster

    Gibocaster New Member

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    I think I may try a slim at some point. I am coming around to this neck. It really is a lot like both of the ES 135s I tried it against. Thanks
     
  11. Gibocaster

    Gibocaster New Member

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    The Agile has kind of a cross between a U and a C shape. The 60s slim taper on the Gibsons is the same with across the fret board. They just aren't as thick from top to bottom in the middle of the neck if that makes sense. I have never tried an Epiphone 60s neck. Thank you.
     
  12. Gibocaster

    Gibocaster New Member

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    I have an Ibanez and a Jackson. The Jackson is wider and has a compound radius. I still like the Ibanez best. It seems to me to be a faster neck. If there is one thing I love it is blazing right into a mishap on the neck. The faster I can get there the better. LOL Thanks for the insight.
     
  13. Gibocaster

    Gibocaster New Member

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    I wish I would have known about Agile back in 2008 or 09. It would have saved me plenty over that Carvin. The thing is that I still love that Carvin I seem to like to gripe about it more than play it. LOL
     
  14. Gibocaster

    Gibocaster New Member

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    Thank you.
     
  15. dspellman

    dspellman Well-Known Member

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    The Axcess Custom in black was around $4K, but it would have been $5760 if I'd ordered it with a burst and a fancy top (and it would have taken several more months).
    The equivalent Carvin (to the fancy top version of the Axcess) would have been around $2K.
    The Agile Custom equivalent to the fancy top version of the Axcess was $1160 with case, shipped.
     
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  16. despiadado

    despiadado Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to the club man! Glad you enjoy your AL3100 :)
     
  17. PsychoCid

    PsychoCid Well-Known Member

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    It's also said that modern Gibson necks are all thicker than the originals per their model years.

    IE, an Reissue 1960 is closer to a real 1959
    An R9 closer to a real 58
    R8 closer to 57, etc.

    But no equivalent so thin as a real 1960. You'd have to shave down an R0 to get it from 59 spec to 60.
     
  18. Hoser

    Hoser Well-Known Member

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    As I send in your other post. The slime necks are AWESOME, I much prefer the slim neck agile to the two other standard necks. The slim neck matches my 76 les paul custom exactly, if I was to buy another agile it would def have to have the slim neck
     
  19. Razzle

    Razzle Well-Known Member

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    I have a 3200 that I ordered with a slim neck, I don't think it's that thin, seems pretty normal to other AL's I've played. Maybe it IS what Rondo calls thin, I've played some others that were fairly chunky.
     

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