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John Pearse 300M 80/20 Bronze Acoustic Strings
Overall Rating
Submitted: October 14th, 2005
by EmScott
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Sound Quality
I like to play a hybrid of blues and semi-literate jazz. I play through 5 amps I've made myself (Fender BF Deluxe Reverb clone, Fender blackface Super Reverb "head" clone, Marshall 18 watt head clone, Marshall 2 x 6v6 clone, and a 2 x KT66 Marshall/5F6A mish-mosh clone...) The guitar is not noisy (though some of the ones I tried in the store had "banging" pickup selector switches). The amp suits my style(s) just fine, and has a complex, rich sound, with a lot of modulation of the sound of a note depending on how hard one picks. Despite being a two-humbucker guitar, it's really a bright instrument, with enough highs to want to roll down the tone controls a little...I happen to like bright complex sounding instruments, but some might find this a little TOO bright, I suspect...I suspect that this brightness is the result of the THICK maple top on top of the mahogany...I did A/B the thinner-topped Agile Les Pauls with the thicker-topped (3/4 inch on the 3000M--the "M" stands for "Maple"), and I thought that the 3000M was clearly more a more interesting-sounding instrument. There's no lack of midrange either, it's just the case that there's a lot of top end as well... One of the purported differences between Epiphone Les Pauls and Gibson Les Pauls (or so I remember I've read on the Net) is that Epiphones have thinner maple tops...if that's so, then this thicker top is the bees' knees... Let's just say that this is clearly the Telecaster-player's Les Paul, eh ??
Reliability/Durability
There's no reason to question this guitar's durability, including the finish, the tuning pegs, or the pots. I did change the strap buttons to Strap-Locks: it's too heavy and too pretty to look at (thus too important not to bang up) not to. The jack does not feel flimsy like non-Switchcraft imported jacks can feel, and usually do... I would not find a reason to question this instrument's playability at a gig, or its reliability...anything can fail at any time, but this is nobody's idea of the "weak link in the chain"...
Price/Value
General Comments
I've been playing since the spring of 1969...this instrument is clearly better than Epiphone Les Pauls I've tried in stores, for approximately $200 less...unlike many Epiphone Les Paul purchasers, I have NO desire to change the pickups on my Agile, and I like them enough that I might put newly purchased ones in a stock Gibson SG Faded I also own...it's nobody's idea of a lightweight instrument, however, and you have to know this... If I could order my personal ideal instrument at the same price, I would ask for an EVER-SO-SLIGHTLY rounder fretboard radius, and an EVER-SO-SLIGHTLY fatter neck, for improved playing comfort...I would replace it if it were to be snatched up by a flying saucer, fer sure... It's also true that the surface of the instrument has a slightly slippery feel, like the final polish put on the instrument at the Korean factory had silicone in it...I wish they had used something else, and have found it to partially improve with the use of a standard guitar polish... I also own three somewhat owner-customized Teles, a 1982-purchased Fullerton-made Fender 1962 Stratocaster reissue, a 2003-bought Chinese Affinity Strat with a StewMac aftermarket neck (great radius !! great frets !!), and a Hamer Echotone clone of a Gibson ES-335 (another cost-effective upgrade with Seymour Duncan pickups, BTW)... Maybe I'll get a P90-equipped Agile someday...This present Agile 3000M was a very good value indeed...in comparison, I saw an $800 Gibson raw mahogany Les Paul Studio-type instrument in a Guitar Center in July (2005) whose sanding scratches looked like my seventh grade shop teacher would have given it a "C" for workmanship...what were they thinking ??? my email is msb54doc AT comcast DOT net.
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