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Alvarez Masterworks vs Epiphone MasterBilt


jdpkeeper
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I have an MD90 and I think the sound is superb, the masterbuilts i played sounded a little boxy but they could be much better with a proper set up and fresh strings and a little time to open up. certainly they get more love here than the alvarez other than the ALVAREZ ALLIANCE that is...

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I think the Alvarez will have a better build quality but the Epi might sound nicer, only generalizing though, I've owned a Masterbuilt but never a Masterworks, I know my Epi had a really sweet tone to it, too bad the finger board cracked. What models are you specifaly looking at? As I tell everyone around here take a look at the Breedlove Retro series, they are awesome and worth every penny, I love mine

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I haven't spent a lot of time with the Epiphone's, so I don't have much to say about that. The ones I did try (briefly) didn't impress me all that much.

 

I personally think the Alvarez Masterworks series are quite impressive guitars for the money. I came very, very close to purchasing an MD90, which was just an extraordinary guitar in just about every way.

 

You didn't mention if you are looking for an acoustic/electric or a plain acoustic. If you are looking for an ac./elect., then the Alvarez would win hands down. The System 600 electronics package that come in those are quite nice. It's one of those piezo systems that uses the tone of the preamp to eliminate the "quackiness" of the piezo. It also lets you blend in a second source, either a mic or a soundhole p/u. A very flexible and powerful system.

 

One thing I did notice about the Alvarez Masterworks series is that they don't seem to care much about getting a flawless piece of wood for the top. Most of the ones I looked at had noticeable flaws in the top wood. This does not personally matter to me. In fact, if a company is going to scrimp somewhere on a guitar, I'd rather have the ebony bridge and fingerboard, and bone saddles, and have a top that is perfectly fine tonally, but has a slight imperfection or two. I believe that this just shows that Alvarez has their priorities in proper order. But, I suppose that might bother some folks.

 

Brad

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thanks blutunes...

i think im leaning more towards the acu/elec side just for the easier recording and live playing.

 

Also, does anyone have any experience with the Ibanez Artwood Studio's?

i played one of those last night too, i was impressed considering the price point

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I was in your shoes a while back and chose the Alvarez. I played every MasterBilt I could get my hands on, but in the end opted for the Alvarez. I ended up buying a PD90S not a Masterworks. These guitars are similar. What swung me towards the Alavarez was the TONE. There seemed so much more of it with the Alvarez.

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I have an MD90 and I think the sound is superb, the masterbuilts i played sounded a little boxy but they could be much better with a proper set up and fresh strings and a little time to open up. certainly they get more love here than the alvarez other than the ALVAREZ ALLIANCE that is...

 

I've owned an Alvarez MD90 and presently own a Masterbilt AJ500M.

 

I've found sort of the opposite of what you're saying to be true. The Masterbilts have a wonderful, full balanced tone, while the Alvarez lacks the bass of the Masterbilt. But tone is subjective, so I think it would be best for someone to do their own side-by-side comparison to see which guitar they prefer.

 

The main reason I didn't keep the MD90 was that the neck was too thin for my large hands and the bridge has a horrible design. The tall, sharp edge that faces the soundhole is razor-sharp and I literally kept cutting open the knuckle on my little finger when I strummed the MD90. It was frustrating and painful, so I returned it and bought a Yamaha LL16 instead... a MUCH better guitar. ;)

 

But again, YMMV... so it's best for each individual to play both and see which they like better.

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  • 11 years later...
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I also have an A/E Tak. It's a EG463SC.

I'm following this thread bc my Tak sounds tinny, and I'm looking for a dreadnought to replace it.

Even though I am the Worlds Okayest guitar player and I "can" afford to purchase a Gibson J-200, but I'm 58, I only play at church and won't make money to pay for it, so I need to replace Tak with something with Good tone and not tinny.

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