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Epiphone Masterbilt AJ 500RENS


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Just got it yesterday. I have played several acoustics for the past couple of months, including Guild GADs, lower end Martins and Larrivees and must say it was one of the best sounding acoustics I have heard. Not to mention it is one good looking instrument and the case is really cool.

 

I was just wondering if anyone else had one and what their take was on it. I really wanted one of the EF models, but I got a really good deal on the AJ and haven't seen or played one of the EF models at any of the local shops. I did like the AJ much more than the DR models though.

 

Also does anyone have any string recomendations? I've heard they come with 12s and it feels like it because I usually play 10 or 11s.

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Grats Jerime! I haven't come across that model yet but got me an EF500RCCE a couple weeks ago.I really love it.I also tried a DR at GC which was nice but preferred the EF.How's that one compare to the GAD30R.I hope to try one before the 45 day trial runs out but they're hard to come by.

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Well I believe I played the GAD30R, I'm not sure of the exact model number but it looked like that one. I guess it could have been the 30RD. The Guild was nice. I picked the Epi because it projected more in my opion and the neck seem more comfortable for me, possibly because it wasn't as thick as the Guild. The Epi was also in my opion a much better looking guitar which doesn't hurt. If you have the chance to try the Guild go for it. I haven't played the EF500RCCE but if you were as impressed with yours as I was with mine than you might just stick with the Epi.

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I actually LOVED the strings that came on mine, and Guitar Center had a closeout box of them for like $3 a pack, so I bought 4 sets of the Gibson strings. They are real tight sounding, very big(12's) but my girlfriend put light Martins on her guitar, and it feels way too small now, and the tone is way better with the bigger strings.

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  • 13 years later...
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I own one. Purchased at Guitar Center in LV circa 2010. Sound and playability are both very good. I have had to replace the electronics, upgrade the bracing, repair the top and install a new bridge. I do like the guitar but I may need to cut and run on this one. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
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I have a sunburst Gibson J45 with traditional mahogany back and sides. The make en with Rosewood back and sides now.

Mine has the 100 anniversary sticker in side, so I must have got it in 1994. Came in a nice dark brown tolex case with purple fuzzy liner.

It sounds awesome. Paid a whopping 700 bucks for it new at the time.

I actually bought as a back up acoustic, thinking I might need something to go along with my Martin MC 28.

Neither guitar owes me a dime. I'm almost ready to get some fret work down on the Gibson, the Martin was done years ago.

I have actually stopped taking out such nice guitarist to bars, and use either a Martin 00016RGT or a Koa Taylor GS mini.

 

The Epiphne looks ever nice and I like the headstock design too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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On 7/18/2020 at 8:23 AM, JeanB said:

I own one. Purchased at Guitar Center in LV circa 2010. Sound and playability are both very good. I have had to replace the electronics, upgrade the bracing, repair the top and install a new bridge. I do like the guitar but I may need to cut and run on this one. 

It's kind of an old thread but your comments have sort of answered my concerns to their longevity. I tried an Epi Masterbilt EF-500RA out in 2005 (basically a rosewood/sitka OM with a dark sunburst bound with abalone and with a V-shaped neck profile) and I was impressed with the tone but wondered how it would age. Lightly built guitars don't tend to live long - especially in hot and dry climates like LV regardless if the have laminated back and sides or solid like the Masterbilts had.

FWIW on the day I tried the MasterbiltEF-500RA I A/B'd it with a Larrivee D-09. Admittedly it was apples to oranges but eventually I went with a Larrivee OM-03R which like the EF-500RA is an OM but with Larrivee's symmetrical and unscalloped bracing. It took some time for it to open up but I'm glad I waited. If I'd pulled the trigger on the Epi it would have imploded by now but my Larrivee took some knocks and shrugged them off. 

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