The History Of The Agile Al: The First Four Years

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by toomanycats, Jun 4, 2015.

  1. toomanycats

    toomanycats Well-Known Member

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    This is a continuation of the investigation begun here:
    http://www.aguitarforum.com/threads/i-think-i-found-the-very-first-agiles.84809/

    I'm authoring this post with the intention of providing some illumination into that four year period spanning the initial appearance of the Agile LP2000 in September of 2001 until the summer of 2005.

    Lot's of developments occurred quite rapidly during this time. We see the evolution of what was initially a short pointy horned LP2000 into the first true 3XXX, a guitar we all recognize today. There were many attractive upgrades introduced during this early period as well, such as a full flamed maple cap, exotic wood tops, Bigsby and Floyd Rose tremelos, chambering, a fretless option, a 12 string model, and premium aftermarket pickups.

    I've got to say, Kurt came out of the gate pretty damn hard with the Agile LP(AL), I would even say explosively, offering upgraded models and interesting features in a hard and fast fashion during those initial few years. He was definitely in it to win it.

    So, now let's take a little tour of the early history of the Agile LP(AL), shall we . . . .

    From late 2001 through the mid part of 2002 Rondo basically offers the Agile LP2000 almost just as it was introduced the previous September. The most conspicuous change is that the short pointy horn of very first Agiles is gone, being replaced by a horn that looks very similar to a Gibson. It may just be the angle, though it looks as though there may be a difference between the horns on the white model and the other two picture below. This discrepancy may suggest the use of various manufacturers.

    Three examples of the early 2002 Agile LP2000 in black, white, and sunburst.
    al 2001.JPG

    There appears to be a pair of new guitars offered during this period.

    The Agile LP4000 Sparkle Top ($259.95) and the Agile LP4000 Fretless Guitar ($269.95).
    spark.jpg

    By November of 2002 “Rondo Music has moved!” appears on the top of the homepage. I'm assuming that this is referring to the well known move from New Jersey to New Hampshire.

    As for new guitars, we see the Agile LP2000 Quilt Set Neck offered for $249.95, a beautiful guitar which somewhat resembles the Gibson Slash Appetite LP.

    Additionally, we see the first Agile 2500 Flame Top, shown offered in both Cherry Sunburst and Blue (and Lefties too). Notice the unique headstock and stubby horn combination, indicating that the latter was changed first. It's full headstock binding along with its numbering suggests that it's a step up model from the LP2000, though it actually appears to sell for less (only $199.99). I suspect that there is some incongruity between images, webpages, and dates going on here, as this just doesn't seem logical.

    The Agile LP2000 Quilt Set Neck and the Agile 2500 Flame Top 2git.jpg


    By February of 2003 the original Gibson style horn appears to have changed to the more stubby design we are all familiar with now. On the website Kurt gives us a tantalizing view of Rondo's new digs in New Hampshire.

    warehouse1a.jpg




    In August of 2003 I was surprised to see that Rondo has Jay Turser LPs for sale alongside its Agiles.

    By December 9th of 2003 the Agile LP is now officially called the Agile AL (though still no hyphen yet between the AL and the numbers, that comes a little later).

    As as typical in retail, there is a recurring motif of new models being introduced right before the Holidays.

    That December saw the Agile 2800 DLX Set Neck, available in both Cherry Flame and Natural Quilt and priced at $309.95. It is designed as a step up model from the 2500 and features alnico pickups, a bone nut, a rosewood board, and individually hand filed frets (vs machine filed frets on the 2500). There is also a version called the Agile 2800 DLX Ash.

    Agile 2800 DLX Set Neck Natural Quilt and Agile 2800 DLX Ash.
    ash 1.jpg


    Okay, this is a big one folks. The Agile AL3000 Prestige is first seen pre-holiday of 2003, no doubt being debuted for the big retail season. It is the granddaddy of all the 3XXXs which follow, and it sells for $359.95. It is billed as an upgrade from the 2800, with nickel plated hardware, an ebony board, alnico V pickups, and a triple bound headstock and body. It had most of the features we have all come to recognize and love in an Agile AL-3XXX.

    The Agile AL3000 Prestige shown here in Cherry Sunburst Flame. Note the original headstock and short horn (I just may have t-shirts made: "The Horn was changed first." Anyone get that? C'mon Bubba, I know you're into Star Wars too).
    al3000csb1m.jpg

    There is also an AL3000 Prestige P-90 version available with Wilkinson alnico V pickups, as well as Lefty and Slim Profile Neck versions. We also see the The Agile AL3000M, which has all the features of the AL3000 Prestige plus a full 3/4” maple cap. It sells for $399.99.

    The Summer of 2004 brought the Agile AL2800 Hollow Body, selling for $319.95. This guitar is pictured still having the original Agile headstock. The AL-2500 12 String has also been introduced.

    The Agile AL2800 Hollow Body.
    al2800csbhol1.jpg





    By December of 2004 Rondo's website has taken on a look which is very similar to how it still looks today.

    Business must have been pretty good, because it's the first time I notice this message posted on the Rondo website:

    holiday notice.jpg

    Guitars introduced include the AL-2900 Chambered.

    We see the Al-3500 Prestige, which features a 3/4” solid flamed cap (the flame is not a veneer but actually runs all the way through the cap). It sells for $499.99.

    There is also the Al-3500 Prestige Duncan. It features a 3/4” solid flamed cap along with a Seymour Ducan SH-1B (59) and SH-2N (Jazz) combination. This guitar sells for $599.99

    In July of 2005 we see the AL-2500 Bigsby (selling for $279.95), the Agile AL-2800 Hollow Body with Stop Tail (shown with old headstock), and the Agile AL-2800 3TS Ash Top ($309.99).

    The AL-2500 Bigsby and Agile AL-2800 3TS Ash Top. Note that both guitars have the new style headstock.
    2 gits.jpg


    The Agile AL-2800 Hollow Body with Bigsby.
    al2800hol5a.jpg



    And this is where I'm going to leave off our story for now.

    As an aside, I’d like to observe that besides offering great Agiles during this time period, Rondo also sold some very cool guitars in the style of the B.C. Rich Mockingbird, the Gibson Flying V, SG, and Explorer, PRS, Gretsch, and the Wolfgang. There’s also neat Teles and Strats.

    Also, please accept my apologies for any unintentional errors I may have made in researching and compiling this information. It really has been a labor of love for me. I know that if anyone on the planet is capable of appreciating my efforts, it's you guys here at the AGF.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2015
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  2. tobijohn

    tobijohn The Great Enabler Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Absolutely fantastic work and great thanks for investing the time and effort into this which has to be substantial. In your honor, I've decided to purchase this pre-2003 old headstock AD-2500 even though...well, I was going to say even though I don't really need it. But I could also say that same thing about the last fifty guitars:

    http://www.musicgoround.com/p/319362/used-agile-ad-2000-lefty
     
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  3. snarph

    snarph Well-Known Member

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    can you say obsession :D
     
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  4. uwmcscott

    uwmcscott AGF Survivor Champ

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    Saweet!! I know you've been actually looking for one of these for quite some time, glad you finally found one.
     
  5. Bubba Zanetti

    Bubba Zanetti Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    This is just absolutely awesome. I'm loving the history here, it makes me feel even more connected to my Agiles! and of course, I got the reference, awesome......

    Greedo.jpg
     
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  6. Bubba Zanetti

    Bubba Zanetti Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Also, out of all the older Agiles, this is one of my favorites, the AL-3100 Tribal Blue special edition with mini hums and a trapeze. I remember seeing it on the website for sale, but never bought it. My AL collection would feel a hell of a lot more complete with it. I actually posted a thread about wanting to buy one in the hopes that someone on AGF has one and would part with it. I know that someone here has one, as I included a pic below that someone took of one they modified with a Bigsby. If anyone has one of these and doesn't want/need it, let me know!

    http://www.rondomusic.com/al3100sptbl.html

    http://www.aguitarforum.com/threads/wtb-al-3100-tribal-blue-with-trapeze.81739/

    Agileal3100setribalblue1.jpg Agileal3100setribalblue5.jpg AgileAL-3100RollerBridgebody1.jpg
     
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  7. LessPawl

    LessPawl Well-Known Member Supporting Member+ Gold Supporting Member

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    Great job outta you TMC!!!! Thanks for taking the time man. Much appreciated
     
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  8. LessPawl

    LessPawl Well-Known Member Supporting Member+ Gold Supporting Member

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    That's a sexxy beast right there Bubba Z
     
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  9. tobijohn

    tobijohn The Great Enabler Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Thanks, actually I have one in a black flame that came with a set of 490/498s in it but the amber top on the one I linked is driving me a bit crazy...
     
  10. ArrowHead

    ArrowHead Well-Known Member

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    To our benefit, I add. Loving it.
     
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  11. nrussell23

    nrussell23 Mr. Crown Royal Staff Member

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    By request, here is Kurt's reply ...




     
  12. LessPawl

    LessPawl Well-Known Member Supporting Member+ Gold Supporting Member

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    Thanks Nick
     
  13. JeffBeck

    JeffBeck Baldy McBaldhead Staff Member

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    Oh. My. God. That Ash top in 2005 makes my wedding tackle feel all tingly.
     
  14. LessPawl

    LessPawl Well-Known Member Supporting Member+ Gold Supporting Member

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    As I said guys, Kurt said he would be willing to answer some more questions, if you ask them and they're the kind he can respond to. I'm just guessing here, but things like sales numbers et all, out of bounds.
     
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  15. toomanycats

    toomanycats Well-Known Member

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    This is incredible! I actually got all my questions answered by "The Man" himself. That made all this work so worth it!
     
  16. glasshand

    glasshand Well-Known Member

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    That is some great detective work, toomanycats. I am really impressed.

    Random thoughts:
    -I really like the "sparkle top" (more like "formica top", but whatever)
    -Any idea of the timeline of the Agile AD lineup?
    -What's up with the Bigsby B5 type on an LP? You can do that?!
     
  17. fullonshred

    fullonshred Well-Known Member

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    All of this hard work and the information gleaned from it is highly appreciated. Thank You!
     
  18. uwmcscott

    uwmcscott AGF Survivor Champ

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    So do we need to approve all of our questions to him through you then?
     
  19. tobijohn

    tobijohn The Great Enabler Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

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    With all due respect Scott, and I'll apologize in advance if that was not your intent, but that comment comes across as pretty f'n pissy...
     
  20. Chocol8

    Chocol8 Well-Known Member

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    This stuff belongs in a wiki that we/kurt can update and add to.

    Great work BTW.
     
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