NGD! Agile Renaissance Acoustic 8!

Discussion in 'Jazz, Acoustic, Classical & Fingerstyle' started by SevenString, Jan 12, 2017.

  1. SevenString

    SevenString RJ-D0 : Heavy Metal Droid

    Likes Received:
    Nov 23, 2005
    Los Angeles

    Just received the UPS delivery a few hours ago.

    I had my eye on these Renaissance 8s for a while, and finally broke down and ordered one last Saturday. The $299 sale price at the time was too low to resist.

    Firstly, the build quality was MUCH better than I expected for $299, even for a 6 string at that price, let alone an 8. Stylistically, it is an understated classy looking guitar. Even the Agile "pointy" headstock seems to fit well, giving the guitar a modern flair without being too overtly "metal". Not that "too metal" is a BAD thing.

    It also is seems to be a cleanly built guitar with no visible glue or other annoying cosmetic issues. There are a couple of small places where the darker mahogany wood on the sides has an ever so slightly lighter shade, but this is normal considering natural variations in wood itself and doesn't effect the overall cosmetic quality of the guitar.

    The fretwork is clean, with smooth edges that are consistently flush with the fretboard, so there is nothing to catch on accidentally while playing. I dislike buying a guitar and having to immediately start filing just to get to something playable, so that attention to detail helped with my immediate out-of-the-box gratification.

    Also, I played every string on every fret and no buzz was heard, with the exception of the lowest F# string on the lower frets, but only when I play it hard. I chalk this up to the lighter gauge string set. I expect this to go away if I put on slightly heavier strings for the low F# and perhaps B.

    Intonation sounded good out of the box. I didn't get into it extensively with a tuner or anything, but blends of high chords and open strings sounded consistently good and in tune. The intonation on the Agile is audibly better than my existing "cheap" guitars and at least at first listen more on par with my Martins that have had intonation work done on them. Maybe a happy accident?

    The neck itself feels good in my hands. It is wide and thin almost like an electric ERG, and has a very smooth but non glossy feel.

    Overall, this guitar was immediately more than playable and felt good "out of the box". The construction feels substantial and firm, both body and neck. This is not a delicate guitar that will break in a stiff breeze.

    Sound-wise, I was impressed with the punch, but also the clarity. It isn't a muddy or overly "boomy" guitar, and notes/chords sound crisp without being too thin or weak. This is kind of the sweet spot I was hoping for. I have two old Martins, a Taylor jumbo 12, a couple of nice nylon string guitars, and a couple of cheap $99 "beaters" that I take around to parties and such.

    This guitar sounds like none of them (in a good way) and besides being an 8-string that allows me to augment my electric ERG collection with an acoustic alternative, it has a sound that will probably make it my go-to for acoustic playing in general.

    The quality and fit of the hard-shell case was surprising as well. I had ordered the case mainly as extra insurance against shipping damage and didn't expect something so substantial and nice-looking.

    My only real nit to pick about his guitar is that the action is just a hair too high for my own personal taste. However, that is easily fixed with a little bridge work. I'll get my local luthier to trick it out for me, but because the guitar is so much nicer than the price would indicate, it makes it worth it for me to have that little bit of optimization work done to make it "perfect" for my taste.

    But even so, it is very playable as-is and I am enjoying it immensely.

    Overall first day impressions are VERY good.

    coffeeflush likes this.
  2. rikomaru

    rikomaru Regular

    Likes Received:
    Dec 13, 2008
    Frisco, TX
    It's nice to see a favorable review for these guitars. How are you sourcing strings for it? Strings seem to be rather scarce in the ERG acoustic market.

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