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Unread 10-04-2006, 04:42 PM   #1
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The Official Agile ERG Thread

So it never hurts to have options, right?

The interest in 8-strings has been heating up quite considerably, but for most of us, price is a big barrier to adopting an extended-range instrument. Most of us haven't played an 8, and dropping $1000+ on an instrument without knowing whether it's something we can get along with is a big investment in what is essentially an experiment.

Naturally, i thought of approaching Kurt and Rondo Music about the possibility of adapting an existing guitar or bass design to an 8-string guitar. After thumbing through just about every page of their online catalog, i came across the Brice Defiant 6-string bass... i thought it was pretty much the perfect platform to start modifying. The shape is superStrat-esque with some unique but still aesthetically pleasing twists, and i dig the overall look.

I've mocked it up with some proposed specs, for your perusal... it's shown white here just to get the shape across. It would likely use similar woods and finish as the Defiant 6-string bass.

I've opened a discussion with Kurt about it, and as we all know, Rondo is VERY receptive and responsive to customer requests. If you guys are interested in something like this, chime in and maybe Kurt can make it happen.

[EDIT: Since nobody wants to read through 200+ pages of posts to find the latest, i'm adding a FAQ here - darren. FAQ Updated 2009.01.10]
First, a disclaimer: I DO NOT WORK FOR RONDO MUSIC! I cannot answer any questions about production, sales, inventory, or anything other than the design and specifications. I'm a player and designer who just happened to work with Rondo to make this instrument a reality.

DO NOT SEND ME PRIVATE MESSAGES WITH THE QUESTIONS BELOW (OR QUESTIONS RELATED). DOING SO WILL RESULT IN YOU GETTING NEGATIVE REP. Sorry, folks, but that's the way it's gotta be. Please direct all questions to Kurt.

The FAQ below should answer any remaining questions...

Q: Are these still available?
A: The easiest way to find out is to go to Rondo's site and look for yourself. They're usually on the last page of the electric guitars section. If you don't see them there, then the answer is no, there are none currently available for ordering.

Q: When will the next run be?
A: If you want to be alerted as to when the next run is available for ordering, the best thing to do is to sign up for the Rondo mailing list. Advance notice goes out to all list subscribers before the ordering page hits the site for the general public.

Q: Will the Intrepid become a regular stock item at Rondo instead of being produced in small manufacturing runs?
A: The only person who can answer questions about future product plans is Kurt at Rondo Music. If you want an answer to this question, please email him at info@rondomusic.net instead of asking in this thread for the ELEVENTY-BILLIONTH TIME.

Q: How much?
A: Current pricing (as of Fall 2008) for the Intrepid Pro (maple/walnut 5-piece neck thru body with mahogany wings, maple fretboard, Hipshot bridge and EMG 808 pickup) is USD$675 plus shipping. Pricing on the second run of Intrepid Standard models is USD $535. The Intrepid Dual Standard 8 is $625. A 50% non-refundable deposit is required at ordering time, with the remainder due prior to shipping. Pricing and payment policy may change in the future, but i'm not going to keep updating this FAQ with the pricing for every run.

Q: How long are pre-orders being accepted?
A: Intrepids are being ordered from the factory in relatively small runs, and all instruments were pre-sold through the pre-order process. The first run was apparently 50 instruments, and those sold out within days. Orders are usually taken until a production target is met or an ordering cutoff date is reached. We do not know if Rondo Music plans to order additional units for inventory.

Q: When are these coming in?
A: Estimated ship date for the second run is March 3rd, 2009. You will be contacted directly by Rondo Music when these come in, as the balance of your payment will be due before your guitar ships out.

Q: Is there a hardshell case available?
A: Yes. Baritone Case

Q: Can you make me a mockup for a custom shop model i want to order?
A: No. I don't work for Rondo Music, and can't respond to every single request for a custom mockup. If you have questions about other products from Rondo, please contact Kurt directly.
[EDIT: Just so nobody's confused, i'm updating this post with all of the prototype concept mockups to date. - darren, 2008.04.05]

Just to recap the evolution:

October 4, 2006


October 5, 2006


December 19, 2006


May 4, 2008


May 4, 2008


Updated 2008.08.11
... with production pics!

Agile Intrepid Pro 8 at HomeOld

The first batch is expected around September 1. Here are some pics of a maple-fretboard model:



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Unread 10-04-2006, 04:50 PM   #2
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Dood, Hell Yeah, i would be all over that, nice design too

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Unread 10-04-2006, 04:55 PM   #3
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Hmmm... good idea and nice design. I'm not to big on anything more than 7 strings these days, but if this sees the light of day and is at a reasonable price, I just might pick one up for the hell of it.
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Unread 10-04-2006, 05:06 PM   #4
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I'd be interested if it had a maple fretboard, and the price was reasonable: $500/600? Is that even possible?
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Unread 10-04-2006, 05:10 PM   #5
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the defiant is a very cool shape. I would like one of these.

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Unread 10-04-2006, 05:16 PM   #6
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That almost looks good to go imo, although an option to add Lundgrens might be nice and I think the headstock would do well from having an inline setup, inline reversed???

EDIT - Actually, if the body were to be more like an RG but keep the horns the same as in the above design I'd be pretty happy.
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Unread 10-04-2006, 05:17 PM   #7
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Thats gorgeous!
I want one...
That looks awesome in white with ebony board, even if it is just to get the shape across haha.
If these get made and are at a decent price id HAVE to get one!
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Unread 10-04-2006, 05:20 PM   #8
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Wait does it say 38.625" scale length on it? Cuz if itt does tuning it for a high A instead of a low F# will be almost impossible

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Unread 10-04-2006, 05:28 PM   #9
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I don't think an inline headstock is practical. A 4+4 headstock keeps it from being too neck-heavy, and keeps the overall length a bit more reasonable. As it is, with the 28 5/8" scale, you're probably going to have to carry it around in a bass case, unless the neck and bridge are set further back in the body.

BTW, i chose that scale length so that the overall fret spacing is familiar above the 2nd fret... 28 5/8" is a fairly standard baritone scale, equivalent to a 25.5" scale guitar with two frets added at the nut end of the neck. Tuning up to A would be pretty tricky on this instrument, but i figure MOST people are going to want to tune down, so it's designed to make that the optimal configuration.

All of Rondo's instruments are priced extremely competitively, and just about every review i've read of instruments from their various brands indicates that the quality is top-notch. The idea here is to put together a well-designed and well-built 8-string at a reasonable price. By building as much as possible off an existing design, the development costs can be minimized and the price kept down, so those of us who are interested can give it a try, then possibly commission a custom 8 with more exotic and unique options (like fanned frets) down the road from any of the growing number of small custom shops that are tooling up for 8-strings. (Oni and KxK come to mind.)
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Unread 10-04-2006, 05:34 PM   #10
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I can vouch for Rondo's quality and service. Excellent company.
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Unread 10-04-2006, 05:38 PM   #11
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I never owned an Agile since I am to drawn to Ibanez, but I was thinking about getting a Brice 5-String bass since I heard so much about it...

I think this 8 idea can draw me away from Ibanez as far as 8s go.

I wanted an 8 for the longest time...

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Unread 10-04-2006, 05:39 PM   #12
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I forgot to ask, how is an 8 string graphtech nut going to be made possible.?
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Unread 10-04-2006, 06:53 PM   #13
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Hell yeah

I've been vouching for a Rondo 8-string for quite some time, but I figured I was one of a few people interested.

If Rondo makes an 8-string for a reasonable price (maybe a bit more than the 7 sceptors) I'd be all over it.

Any chance of having a 27" scale, though? That way, us lesser-mortal with medium-small hands can play it, and also people like Yngwie can use Garry's strings to tune with a high A.

In any case, good job on the design, it looks awesome

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Unread 10-04-2006, 08:15 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nik
Any chance of having a 27" scale, though? That way, us lesser-mortal with medium-small hands can play it, and also people like Yngwie can use Garry's strings to tune with a high A.
Garry has strings which will tune to high A at 30" so that's not an issue - but yeah everyone's going to have personal preferences for scale length; personally I like Darren's choice.
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Unread 10-04-2006, 08:21 PM   #15
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Keep it to 27" or lower and I think we have a winner.
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Unread 10-04-2006, 08:31 PM   #16
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an 8 string? for a reasonable price? if it were around $500-600, count me in!

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Unread 10-04-2006, 08:34 PM   #17
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Woah, David where the hell you been?
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Unread 10-04-2006, 08:44 PM   #18
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Unread 10-04-2006, 08:44 PM   #19
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work, school, girlfriend... not much time for replies! I guess I don't post much do I? hahah, I've looked on here everyday tho, so I haven't missed any of you.

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Unread 10-04-2006, 08:48 PM   #20
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work, school, girlfriend... not much time for replies! I guess I don't post much do I? hahah, I've looked on here everyday tho, so I haven't missed any of you.


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Unread 10-04-2006, 11:17 PM   #21
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Quote:
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Keep it to 27" or lower and I think we have a winner.
+1000

If you want it to sell, then you should make it a reasonable scale length. I mean, not everyone has huge hands, and not everyone likes the feel of bass guitars. An extremely long scale length may put off potential buyers. Keep in mind this is a guitar, not a bass.

Personally, I'd prefer an 8-string with a high-A (so I can expand my solos and have almost the same range as a piano...).

Of course, fanned frets are always an option. Was the license fee for fanned frets $40? Cause that's pretty reasonable...

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Unread 10-04-2006, 11:40 PM   #22
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27-28.65" scale is fine by me.
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Unread 10-04-2006, 11:41 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nik
Of course, fanned frets are always an option. Was the license fee for fanned frets $40? Cause that's pretty reasonable...
75$.

I'd personally LOVE a guitar with fanned frets, but i dont think thats the majority concensus here.
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Unread 10-05-2006, 12:10 AM   #24
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I'd love a guitar with fanned frets as well, but it's not just the $75 license fee you have to consider. If the factory isn't set up to install and dress fanned frets, you're looking at significant development time for programming the machines and training the workers how to properly finish the frets. All that adds $$$ to the final price.

If you don't like 28 5/8", put a capo at the first fret and it's about 27", and at the second fret, it's 25.5".

It's meant to be a good eight string guitar, and shorter scale lengths are considered to be inadequate by those who have experience with them. If you've got small hands, i would imagine the width of the neck will be more of an issue than the spacing of the bottom two frets.
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Unread 10-05-2006, 12:35 AM   #25
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if that gets made, i want one for sure. The design looks great.
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