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Everything posted by navigate40

  1. I played several J-15's and J-45 studio's side by side. Like the J-15 a lot, but they were pretty inconsistent, from one to another. Only found one that I liked the tone of. Most were too brash for me. I ended up getting a Gibson J-45 studio and love it. Love the dimensions, tone, playability. I think the build quality and bracing are a step up from the G-45. I like the gloss nitro finish more than the finish on the G-45 and the J-45 has superior electronics (LR Baggs vs Fishman sonitone). Sounds great. Of course, string choice makes a difference. Have rosewood pins and am using Martin monel strings on it right now. Thanks to all.
  2. Hello I believe the new Epi Masterbilt Texan begins shipping today (1/27). Would be very interested in the reviews and opinions of those who have played one. Tone, quality, construction, finish (thick poly, or OK poly)? How does it compare to the current IB Texan? Had an Epi Masterbilt dread (DR-500) in the past. The finish did not seem overly thick, and did not detract from the tone. My present one is the AJ45ME. Very nice, thin satin finish. I would think the new Masterbilt Texan would be good....interested to know. Have not seen it announced on any GC's that are near me. Would really like to try one. Thanks John
  3. Seems a really nice selection of Masterbilt's by Epi. The AJ45ME, short scale, 'hog back and sides. Texan, 25.5" scale, 'hog back and sides. Frontier, maple back and sides. Excellente, ovangkol back and sides. A short scale dread such as the Hummingbird would be really interesting. Looking forward to playing and comparing them. I have a couple solid rosewood back and sides acoustics and mahogany. Would be very interesting to see what might fit into the collection. One thing about the video demo's....just a nit... I have yet to find one that I considered accurate or really informative. Every time I go to a store to play a model, it sounds a bit different...of course....solid wood acoustics can be very individual. Recording on my own, I see what different mics and post processing can do. Often, the demo will be finger style playing up the neck....which tells me very little about what flat picking of open chords sound like. Then, strings, string age, etc...I am sure all of you know what I am talking about. Some A/B demo's are useful. Oh well...just talking. It is rainy here in SE FL...so....an inside day. BTW...have been playing my Epi AJ45ME out more. Usually play a Breedlove concert or Martin dread. Really woke it up with a set of D'add nickle bronze strings! Amazing. I always liked the tone, mostly for it being mellow ….but this brought it to a whole new level. It really sings. And...as an aside...ever since I took the pickguard off, I have been getting A LOT of compliments from all kinds of people, about the look. Players and non-players. Not the most flattering pic below, but, should give you an idea. My best to all.
  4. One thing I appreciate about the Epi Masterbilts is that apparently, even if there isn't a sticker on the headstock, they are all Plek'd. I am pretty sure Epi support told me this. I find that the AJ45ME takes a capo extremely well. Some acoustics seem to get choked a little. The AJ45ME sings true. I wonder if this is due to the plek, and also the short scale giving a fuller tone. Does anyone know what the finish is on the Masterbilt Texan? The AJ45ME has a thin, satin finish....I think that helps tone more than the thick poly finishes we see on many models.
  5. I would LOVE to have those guitars in my collection! WOW. I have a Martin DRS2, Gibson J-45 Studio, Breedlove stage concert (rosewood), Blueridge BR-163CE and the AJ45ME (and 3 tele's and an LP :). I am seriously thinking of getting a J-15. Have played them several times and each time I do I walk away saying....DARN, I should have gotten that. The Texan has intrigued me for a long time. But, love playing the AJ45ME. It gets a lot of compliments not only on its looks, but tone. I am planning on ratcheting up its articulation and adding some brightness, with D'add Nickle bronze strings (coming today, in fact). Might also try 80/20's or John Pearse. Lots of options. (Added...NB's perked it up nicely) I do need to play a Masterbilt Texan when they are available. Actually, now that I have all this information, I am tracking a couple J-15's instead. BTW...heard from epi support....the epi and gib web sites are updating more. I get the feeling their web sites need a lot of catching up.
  6. Epi and Gibson seem to be in such a transition that their web sites cannot keep up. The Gibson Hummingbird is short scale, while the Dove is 25.5. The Dove seems to be maple back and sides, while the DR-500MCE is 25.5 scale with mahogany. I am probably mistaken, but I though the Dove also came in mahogany as well.....but....really do not remember. So, IMHO...the DR-500MCE seems to be more along the Dove line of Gibson's. The Sheryl Crow Western Supreme is mahogany, but short scale and no cutaway. All in all, the Masterbilt DR-500MCE is a great guitar, with unique features. If I am not mistaken, it has the Shadow 2 system...so...piezo and magnetic pickups...very nice. Cutaway, which a lot prefer. I had one....liked it a lot, played and sounded great, but, did not fully appreciate the pickup system...was not playing out then....so...sold it to a pro...who loved it and wanted to use it for gigs, instead of his more expensive guitars. I think he valued the pickup system as well.
  7. If I did not already have an AJ45ME, I would seriously consider the Masterbilt Texan. But, I doubt there would be enough of a difference in tone to justify it. The AJ45ME Shadow electronics are much better than the Fishman Sonitone, the burst finish gets a lot of compliments, very vintage looking. Even more now when I removed the pickguard. I like the satin/ open pore finish and the shorter scale. It does have a lower voice, since it is round shouldered, shorter scale and 'hog...but....can brighten that up with different strings. I really like round shouldered dreads and the advanced jumbo design. The scale would make it interesting too. Will have to play one sometime, to see if it adds anything. Anyone know what happened to the other epi acoustics? I don't see the EJ-200 (not the coupe), DR-500 or AJ500 and some other's, on their site, now.
  8. WOW, just saw this info on the Epi web site. Have to say...what a disappointment. For that kind of money, I would rather get a J45. Could get a J15 and a second guitar. Saw that Epi now has a Masterbilt Texan.....$699. Good move. THAT could be worth it...but.....already have an AJ45ME that I play all the time, great guitar. Also....the Masterbilt Texan has very low end Fishman Sonitone electronics. Do not like that at all...I am sorry to be so negative. I would rather have a Shadow nanoflex or LR Baggs Element. But, since it is an in the sound hole package....easy to change. WISH Epi still made the AJ-500RE Masterbilt. Rosewood back and sides, Shadow 2 electronics. Looks as though the DR-500MCE and AJ-500RCE are gone...two very popular models. Epi had a lot to chose from, and now...looks like very sparse pickings. Interesting. But, glad to see that their LP models are finally getting ultra modern weight relief. Oh well. Website needs a little work. The AJ45ME is put under "Modern acoustic" but is still a Masterbilt.
  9. Hello Very curious about the new Epi MIA Texan. Apparently announced at NAMM 2020, it will be made at Gibson Bozeman MT. Are there any details? Woods, price, availability? I have an AJ45ME, the I play out with. Somehow missed the AJ-500RE with rosewood back and sides, Shadow 2 electronics. THAT would have been a great addition to my collection. Hoping the new Texan will add something. Cannot seem to find many used ones. Cannot even seem to find the AJ-500RCE, that is on the Epi site. Not sure how the AJ-500 and the Texan differ. The Elitist Texan seems to be very pricey. Thanks. My best to all.
  10. Another question: Do the G45 standard and G45 studio have the same body profiles and depths?? [I think they are the same] I might see if I can play a G45 and J15 side by side again and see how they compare. Thanks
  11. Thank you! Appreciate the information, good to know that my measurements were pretty close. The profile is very compelling. Should make for comfortable playing and I am intrigued by the deeper mid section. Perhaps that is how these can compare to the deeper J-15. I have pretty much decided on the G-45 Studio. I actually like the satin finish and think the utile neck wood is perfectly fine. For the $500 difference in price, I can replace the Fishman electronics, if I want to . I think the Fishman sonicore electronics are the only downside to this guitar. But, could easily replace that with an LR Baggs element VTC ($159) or some other internal preamp. Use an external preamp, such as the inexpensive LR Baggs GigPro (which I have). Some other high end external preamp. Or, just mic it. Have wanted to own a Gibson acoustic for a long time. I think the G-45 is it. I think this is it. Thanks!
  12. Got to play one just now, really like it. Took a 4 inch stick to get a rough estimate. Body depth at the top seemed about 3 3/4". Mid depth looked 4 1/8th. Bottom was 4". Nice profile. Very good sound. the slightly slimmer profile did not seem to give anything up. Had that Gibson ring to it. Thanks
  13. Hello Greetings, my first post here. I have a few acoustics, but, now focused on getting a Gibson slope shouldered dread. Have played a few. Like the J-15, but thinking of one of the newer models. The G45 Studio and J45 Studio models have caught my attention. I am not sure what Gibson means by slimmer body. Does anyone have the exact dimensions of the body depths of these models? They almost seem deeper in the mid section, than at the top or bottom. Hard to tell. Have contacted Gibson CS, but have not heard back. Thank you John
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