Agile AL-2500 12 String
If you desire to have the sweet and jangly sounds of a 12 string electric and can’t afford a pricey Rickenbacker or a even a Japanese Fender Strat XII. the folks at Rondo Music have several to choose from sporting an LP-styled body and a choice of finishes and pickups.
Unlike Rickenbacker which have the octave strings mounted underneath the fundamental string, the Agiles are more like Gibson, Fender and Vox 12’s with the octave string on top. Two wax potted humbuckers are included in the “base” model which comes in White, Heritage Sunburst, Tobabcco Sunburst, Cherry Sunburst and gorgeous Blueburst. There is an option available on the AL-2500 with Agile’s proprietary “toaster” (similar to Gretsch Filtertrons in appearance) pickup for those who desire a brighter single coil sound. This version only comes in Tobaccoburst and sports no pickguard. But the humbucker models are plenty bright with the bridge pickup engaged.
The neck pickup gives off beautiful warm tones that are clear not muddy and can cut through a wall of other guitars wailing away behind it. The neck is slightly wider than other LP-styled guitars and features nice big 27mm jumbo frets which on the review model are dressed and edged perfectly. All models except the white one sport beautifully selected flame maple tops and a mahogany body and maple neck with a rosewood fingerboard.
What keeps the lawyers away from all the Agile LP-styled guitars is the cutaway bout is a little different in appearance that its Gibson counterpart and the headstock is of Agile’s own design (see sidebar). The action, fit and finish are top quality of this Korean (not Chinese) guitar. I set mine up with a slightly lighter gauge string set and off I went. Even with the lighter strings it stays in tune as well as balances well for ease of playing.
It weighs in at around 10lbs., so it’s no lightweight. If you have a bad back and want to rock this one for many hours on end in your local rock dive, get yourself a thick and soft strap. Check with Rondo Music for color availability and see also their slightly pricier HARM series of electric 12’s for a more Rickenbacker vibe.