Dorkness's Agile Interceptor Review.

Discussion in 'Guitar Reviews' started by Cancer, Apr 17, 2006.

  1. Cancer

    Cancer Cancer:The Crucifuct

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    Thoughts on the Agile (Day 1)

    The box it came in was perfect no issues there. I really liked the finish, and the flame, photo or not, does undulate quite nicely, I think it looks cool on me and it doesn't appear longer, but its definitely longer than my 307.

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    The neck pocket joint is perfect, although it looks like the the high E could be too close to the edge of the fretboard, the low “B” definitely is not centered with the pole pieces on the neck pickup. If I keep this I may try to shift the neck over some to see if that corrects it although I want to make that decision first before I modify.. My biggest issue so far, the low “B” is too far away from (like a 32nd inch) from the first fret, and I can see already that this may be an issue. I play with 2 keyboardists who like to write in C,so this is going to be a pain, I can still play it, but it really makes the guitar feel cheaper than what I feel it should be, and while I can get it adjusted, at this point, I still haven't decided if I'm even going to keep it.


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    I had this same problem with my Schecter A-7, and just on that alone I sent it back

    Soundwise, this reminds of the Fernandez, it's bright and lively and that good, as that's what I was looking for in a seven, still don't like the Blazes, I mean they're ok, but the emg's (707 and 81-7) in my 307 crush it pretty badly.

    Just for comparision I pick up the 307, i recently adjusted and the action is much better, I still hate the small frets, but at this point I still like it better.

    The Agile sure is pretty though, I hated the logo in the pictures, but the faux pearl that they use is a nice touch.

    I pick her up again, yeah, the bass side at the nut is definitely too high, treble side rocks and rules, bass side feels like ass.

    I like the height of the frets, but I do wish they were wider, I really hoping for standard 6100's here, oh well.

    After thinking about, the neck is definitely fatter, but I think my issue is with the shape, the back of the neck needs to be flatter, not thinner so much, just flatter, so my thumb has that reference, that and I believe the lack of flatness actually makes the neck feel thicker, so you may be able to resolve both issues, simply by having a flatter profile.

    This neck reminds of the neck on the George Lynch sig models, and those necks are HUGE, and its a six.


    Stuff they got right:

    The body arch is perfect, that was my number concerns after seeing the first photos, but I love the way this guitar is shaped, WHY CAN'T CARVIN DO THIS???? It feels like a flat top, but curled away just enough so it comfortable to your arm, that and it looks cool too.

    The bridge is the perfect height for my hands, just like the 307, in this regard, they are identical.

    Stuff they got wrong:

    There needs to be 6100 in here, not those frets that are as tall too not as fat.



    (Thoughts on the Agile after Donnie's arrives...(about 2 weeks later) )
    The "Metal" shot part 1
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    The "Metal" shot part 2 (insert favortie ghey joke here...)
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    Here are the Twins (Dorki and Donni)
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    Donni is the "black stripe" of the family...LOL
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    Ok, so despite the above, I've come to realize that I can't put this guitar down. The Blazes in these things OWN, at first I thought I didn't like the way this guitar sounded, until I started backing off the treble on my patches, and that made all of the difference in the world. I find that the Blazes are great when you're using darker sounding patches as they seem to make up for the loss of definition

    The neck is definitely not larger than the 307, but is shaped different, which I'm used to now, but wasn't at first. The action on low “B” string is higher, but I find that it's perfect for start/stop Pantera style rhythms, which is what I wanted the 27 inch scale for the first place. In the next batch I wold probably shave about an 1/64th off of that end, and that would (imo) be a better compromise.

    Now for the complaints...

    Part of the reason I bought Donni is I wanted to compare 2 Interceptors side by side, to see if some of the things I thought were issues were in fact issues, or there by design. The “issues” with Dorki are the following:

    1. The fretboard on the locking nut end is not wide enough to accommodate the locking nut. On Dorki, the locking nut extends like 1/32 inch of the treble side while the bass side is flush. This issue didn't appear on Donni, who's only issue in that regard was that the locking nut wasn't tightened down far enough, and you could initially see a gap between the lock and the fingerboard (fixed by tighten, so not big deal). The only thing that really irks me here, on Dorki there's no way to fix that. Personally, this neck shouldn't have left the factory.

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    2.The high e string was too close to the edge of the fretboard on Dorki, where it wasn't on Donni (causal effect from the above,so....).

    Please note: the above 2 issue, do not occur on Donni.

    3.On Dorki, after adjusting the tremolo to lower the action, the base plate of the tremolo hits the stud plate when you dump the bar (you can see in the pics where the anodized black in worn away). I could live with only because the strings are completely dumped, but this never happened on the 307, which has a deeper route. Not to mention that the shallow route keeps the action from being as low as it could be on the treble side. This issue occurs on both Dorki and Donni.

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    IMO this should be deeper, or the plate removed and tighter trem posts used...
    [​IMG]

    What I liked:

    The extended scale is really cool. I know this bugs some but the 27 inch scale has always worked well for me, and this is no exception. The tone is really clear and strident, and surprisingly (well maybe not surprising since this is basswood being compared to alder) sounds much like the Fernandez, but a hair smoother. Both Dorki and Donni were already routed in the tremolo plate so that issue was resolved, and te trems on both did a good job of coming back to pitch. Weirdly enough Dorki was actually better then Donni is this regard, which amazes me considering the stud plate issue.

    I really really liked the neck joint, this is another place where pictures really fail the Interceptor. In the picture, the joint looks weak, and almost gives you the impression that the neck could slide off, in reality, this joint works real well. There is still an amazing amount of wood there to support the neck, and it NEVER got in the way of my hand. Honestly, I truly believe that this joint is actually superior (I can't believe I said it either but its true) to the Ibanez AANJ.

    The coil tap is cool, although I'd personally would rather have a 5 way switch. The tone switch is difficult for me pull up, and I find that I really have to think about what I'm doing since I'm not used to it. Really, I would get rid the tone switch anyway, and just leave it volume and pickup switch.

    As of this writing I've done a practice, and 2 shows with the Interceptors, and I love it. I comments on the sounds I've gotten have been very positive, and I have to agree, after living with these 2 I have to admit, that these are the best sounding 7 strings I've owned to date (and I've pretty much owned every late 90's/pre-millenial model 7 string at this point), with the only exception in my experience being a used Carvin 727, which to date is the best 7 string I've played period (but sadly did not own....wah).

    The problems with the Interceptor can be easily solved by either increasing the route depths in the tremolo (which scare me slightly because it seems like a lot of wood to remove), or replacing the unit with a tremolo that DOES NOT use a stud plate. I may replace one with an OFR to experiment, and will let you know what I find.

    The first couple of days that I owned Dorki, I had seriously considered sending it back. Between the B string action issue, the over extended locking nut, and the trem plate, were all telling me to just take that money and buy a used RG, but I went into this knowing that I would part of the R&D process (hence why I wrote this book...sorry), and the bottom line, despite the problem this guitar sounds amazing. I recently sold my 307 and RG 7620 and I don't miss either, nor do I regret buying Donni.

    That and Rondo is currently out of Interceptors...LOL.

    As is, this guitar is serious contender as far as production 7 strings go, as many of things I thought wrong could be fixed in the setup process, but if they could alleviate these problems at the factory AND keep the prices to where it is currently, they could very well crush the market especially if they had the proper endorsements (hint hint :Dorkness wants an endorsement: hint hint).
     
    Mark. A and Shawn like this.
  2. nyck

    nyck blah!

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    The part about the nut is correct. It's about a mm too long. I fixed this by putting wood in the screw down parts, then rescrewing in the nut. This fixed it pretty well.

    As for the high bass side nut, it almost drove me CRAZY. Until I realized I could just take off the nut and sand down the ebony behind the nut! This solved the problem perfectly and the guitar plays so much more better on rhythm.

    About the trem baseplate problem. I have come accross this too! The action can't go too low on the guitar because of the trem base route. It's too shallow like you said. Another option to what you said as a solution would be to put on a shim in the neck pocket under the neck between the bottom of the neck joint and the bottom of the neck butt. If you want medium-low action, then you shouldn't care because this is pretty accessable without the trem grinding. You cannot get uber low action unless you route the base plate area more or put a shim in the neck pocket. This is all problems with the trem if you actually 'use' it. I have the trem blocked because I really don't use a trem that much to justify having it floating. With the trem blocked, you can get pretty low action. I would want the option to go lower anyway though. I will be adding a shim in the neck pocket pretty soon.

    The neck shape is pretty horrid imo. I enjoy Ibanez flat-thin necks and this definetly doesn't satisfy me. I plan on sanding down the back of the neck to get it more flat and thin in a few days. I'll be putting Tung oil on it as well.

    I agree with the sound. I found this guitar to sound incredible. With the right settings, it can sound HUGE. I like dialing in a nu metal scoop sound just for fun because it does it so well. You can get great versitile sounds with all the electronics.
     
  3. Cancer

    Cancer Cancer:The Crucifuct

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    After seeing some other reviews and pics, I'm pretty convinced that there was and "a" and "b" batch in this revision. Perhaps we caught a day when the neck machine was off, I dunno. Thing is I'm used to it now so it doesn't bother me and I knew I was taking a chance by buying a guitar sight unseen. Had Dorki had been in a music store, I wouldn't have purchased her, but despite that I'm still interested in the future of where this thing is going to go, if they fix the issues, or increase quality control, the Interceptor line will crush, and I'm really interested in getting something that I kinda call my own.

    It's like I said before, the issues are small, but in this day and age, especially since we know these are stamped out by machine (which I'm fine with), the consumer shouldn't have to settle with them, repair it himslef, or get a luthier to do it. I should be able to get a box, make some action adjustments and go.

    Luckily Rondo Music has an awesome return policy so (and if they had more Interceptors Io might go for it) I refuse to complain but so much. Really at this point, I'm trying to bitch, as much as trying to help.
     
  4. noodles

    noodles Contributor

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    Now THAT is a review. :yesway:
     
  5. eaeolian

    eaeolian Pictures of guitars I don't even own anymore! Super Moderator

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    No doubt. I wish that every review were this detailed.

    My boss wouldn't be happy about it, though. :lol:
     
  6. Jason

    Jason Forum MVP

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    Thanks For the review :yesway:
     
  7. D-EJ915

    D-EJ915 Forum MVP

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    Yeah man that kicked ass, nice job!! \m/

    It sounds as if a neck shim is in order because that trem route is DAMN SHALLOW, geez.
     
  8. nyck

    nyck blah!

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    Those are some sweet ass stances too man hehe :yesway:
     
  9. Cancer

    Cancer Cancer:The Crucifuct

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    My only problem with this is that the neck pocket is so perfect, I don't want to mess with it, although it is a much simpler solution than re-routing the frontal trem cavity, or the other solution, getting new slightly thicker trem posts, and removing the trem support plate altogether (which, if you got an OFR, you'd end up doing anyway).

    I had thought about just removing the trem support plate and getting some cheap post, but the predrilled post holes aren't tight enough (the trem support bar slid oout with ZERO effort, and is actually held down by 2 very tiny screws), and I have a feeling that would be a future issue.
     
  10. Shannon

    Shannon Lord Super Awesome Contributor

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    Thank you Psyphre! ;)
    [action=Shannon]tips his hat.[/action]
     
  11. nyck

    nyck blah!

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  12. Shawn

    Shawn Ibanez Guitars Forum MVP

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    Cool review, cool pics and nice guitars, Psyphre! :agreed:
     
  13. Jerich

    Jerich Contributor

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    this was/is a good review.......after going to the Hondo store and seeing these guitars first hand you really spoke well of them........I purchased one and am going to heavily MODIFY it.......thank you....
     
  14. Cancer

    Cancer Cancer:The Crucifuct

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    Cool, I for one, am curious to read your thoughts on it.
     
  15. nyck

    nyck blah!

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    +1
     
  16. David

    David je t'aime Contributor

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    KICK ASS review!:yesway: That's the best and most thorough one I've ever seen. What's up with these Agiles? Every one seems to be extremely messed up. I gotta say, between the nut, the neck, the sheer size compared to a 7620, it's just freakin me out.:nono:
     
  17. nyck

    nyck blah!

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    There are some design flaws, mainly because it's so new. I wouldn't advise someone who doesn't know how to mod their guitar to buy one. It just needed some TLC.
     
  18. zimbloth

    zimbloth Nick // Axe Palace Vendor Forum MVP

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    I dont see why people dont just get the Sceptor. Cut out the headache of the Agile's trem related issues. I'm sure the 25.5 scale is still cool? Too bad they don't make the hardtail in 27" too.
     
  19. David

    David je t'aime Contributor

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    people such as myself can't live without trem.
     
  20. zimbloth

    zimbloth Nick // Axe Palace Vendor Forum MVP

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    Yeah, I guess so. I just don't see how its worth it when it causes so many other problems. Might as well get a guitar with a better trem system. :scratch:
     

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