AL-3010SE: review after 15 months

Discussion in 'Reviews' started by TastyLicks, Aug 19, 2014.

  1. TastyLicks

    TastyLicks New Member

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    Hey all; long-time reader, first time poster. I thought I'd offer the other side of all the NGD posts and review my Agile after over a year of using it as my main guitar. Might get a bit long-winded, but better too much info than not enough.
    First, my background: I've been playing guitar seriously for 19 years, took lessons for half that time, and work full-time in a large used guitar store. I play mostly classical and jazz.

    I bought my 3010 in May of 2013 as a B-stock for ~$270 shipped including a case. The setup was excellent out of the box: low action with only slight buzzing and a dead-straight neck. It was B-stock due to a scratch near the nut which I colored in with a Sharpie. There were only 2 issues stock. First, even though I got the wide-neck version the nut was still standard 1-11/16" spacing, making the extra width pointless. I got a new GraphTech nut with the correct spacing for $8 thru ebay and installed it myself. The other issue, sort of, was that the bridge was placed too far back. The guitar still intonated perfectly, but it looked a little off. Though it wasn't a problem, I changed the bridge out for a Wilkenson roller model that could be shifted forward on the studs to look less wonky.
    The stock electronics were very good: slightly hotter than PAF pickups and Alpha pots. I used the stock PUPs happily for several months, but when recording I noticed they were a little lifeless clean. I ultimately replaced the neck with a SD Jazz that sounds absolutely fantastic in this guitar. The stock bridge PUP is still OK after carefully setting the height, but I might replace it down the line. I haven't had a single problem with the rest of the wiring, and even the tone controls work very well. Tone-wise, it seems happiest to do the thin, biting 1970s Jimmy Page tone thru an overdriven Marshall or Orange. Not suited for modern metal, but that's to be expected.
    The guitar has been very stable. It stays in tune and the neck doesn't react to changes in temperature or humidity. I left it in my car overnight this past winter when we had -20F temps, the coldest in 20 years. When I took it inside the next day the setup was still spot-on and it even settled back into tune.
    So that's it. The only thing left to say is that I personally like this guitar a lot. The neck is very comfortable, it stays in tune, has all the sustain I could ever want, and sounds gorgeous with its new neck pickup. I'd say it's better quality than the standard Epiphone LP, and about the same level as their Pro and Tribute models. Not really the same as a Gibson, though. It isn't as resonant and the feel is quite different. Hard to describe, but a higher quality Gibson just feels a bit livelier. Not $2000 livelier, though. And it's much better than the new Gibson LPJ. The LPJ is terrible.
    As she is now:
    30b2113529678ba8efb81fa50a8db3b4.jpg
     
  2. funk-n-stein

    funk-n-stein Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Welcome! Great review.
     
  3. sabasgr68

    sabasgr68 Well-Known Member

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    Hi! Welcome, and thanks for such a detailed review! I enjoyed the reading.

    The wide neck with a 1 11/16 nut called to my attention. Would all wide necks have the same nut?

    Sabas.
     

  4. Gergo

    Gergo Well-Known Member

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    Welcome. Thanks for the great review
     
  5. Chocol8

    Chocol8 Well-Known Member

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    So, would you say the neck is stable?
     
  6. zisme

    zisme Well-Known Member

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    Cool! Nice Razer decal too
    Welcome
     
  7. fullonshred

    fullonshred Well-Known Member

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    Welcome, and thanks for the review. Pretty guitar, Moar pics please.
     
  8. MichaelR

    MichaelR Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Welcome, nice review. I also have 3010se and love it although there were a few finish issues I'm still a happy camper playing it. I went for a jimmy page wiring so all four pots are push/pulls and Buddha handwound pups. I love to play it and I know many do no but I love abalone inlays to.
     
  9. peskypesky

    peskypesky Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Thank you for the review. Good to know that if I ever order a wide neck, I'll probably have to get a nut with wider string spacing.
     
  10. Luke137

    Luke137 Well-Known Member

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    :lol:
     
  11. midnightblu

    midnightblu Well-Known Member

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    FWIW, I have wide neck AL's from 2007 and from 2011, both with correct width and string spacing. And I don't remember hearing of any recent issues with nuts on the wide neck AL's. Maybe it was just a temporary thing...?

    I'm might be interested in getting a third AL, thus my interest.
     
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  12. davewrites

    davewrites Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Thank you. Assuredly, your 15-month review is much more useful and credible than my 15-minute reviews.

    P.S. More pics, please!
     
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  13. notme

    notme Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the review, great deal for $270 delivered!
     
  14. MadJack

    MadJack Well-Known Member Supporting Member+ Supporting Member

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    Welcome to the AGF! Good first post.

    A review of a guitar after 15 months, with an experienced guitar player and one who even works in a used guitar shop, should help with a bit with the credibility of other peoples reviews. While not up to the quality craftsmanship of the 40%ers, you get a great guitar for the price. Top it it off, you got one with case far $270 shipped, you got a great deal!
     
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  15. dmitri

    dmitri Well-Known Member

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    I do appreciate a good long term review. Very nice. I agree with the Gibson being better but not 2k better... not nearly enough difference for me to spring that kinda money. Ditto for the LPJ statement. Just not impressed. The 3k line of Agiles is stellar. At some point that will be another of my purchases.
     
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  16. TastyLicks

    TastyLicks New Member

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    Thanks for the kind greetings, all.
    It occurred to me that the nut may have actually been replaced by Rondo, given that it was a b-stock. So YMMV.

    I was playing a bunch of our store-stock LPs yesterday. Oddly enough, I think the closest in feel and sound was a historic LP Custom (minor finish blemishes, a steal at $2399.99). Probably due to the all-solid body and ebony fretboard. I'd be curious to see if one of the chambered Agiles has the liveliness of the current Gibson standards.
     
  17. warped

    warped Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the review. I have a AL 3010 that i replaced the pickups with Dimarzio and it has become one of my favs.
     
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  18. Fernand

    Fernand Well-Known Member

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    @tastylicks, welcome and thanks. Funny you mention temp/humidity. I have a 3010, non-SE. I keep the action sub-millimeter at the 12th fret, no way you can slip a dime between the strings and the 12th fret. The neck is excellent, no fret issues, and rather wide/thin.

    You mention neck stability. I don't consider it a flaw that I sometimes have to touch up the truss rod with big changes in humidity, to prevent the e and b strings contacting around the 2nd and 3rd fret. To me it just says the neck is thin, the wood plays a role, the strings/neck/rod bow dynamically balanced, and, well, that the action is very very low. An alternative design is like my old Martin, with a steel beam down the neck, hasn't budged in 50 years. Or I could just raise the action a hair. On other guitars i notice changes in the action, but the action being higher, no adjustment is needed. Anybody have any thoughts?
     
  19. rmfroyd

    rmfroyd Well-Known Member

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    I think you worry way way way to much about where your action is at.
     
  20. dmitri

    dmitri Well-Known Member

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    The neck being stable was a joke about Rondo b stocks always having that in the ad line.

    Finish cracks around neck heel. Neck is stable.
     

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