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mgrasso

Masterbilt AJ-45ME - VSS

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...The guitar world waits with bated breath...for an authentic, high quality " Masterbilt Hummingbird! " .....There will be a line three city blocks long...and I'll be in the front of the line!msp_thumbup.gif ...Many musicians simply can not afford a $3100 plus Gibson Hummingbird...but do not want to be seen with a $299 laminated Epiphone Hummingbird on stage or at home....How about a much needed quality middle of the road respectable Masterbilt Hummingbird version? That would be a sure fire hit!

 

...the AJ45ME Masterbilt above looks great, nice burst and overall refreshing to see this new Masterbilt finally. The pick guard on it however, does not seem to have nearly the same quality of my three Masterbilts, in which the pick guards are thicker, very high quality, beveled, and much more three dimensional, and beautifully rich in tortoise shell color. This one looks more like an inexpensive, thin vinyl glue on. The vinyl type found on my own much less expensive $199 AJ220S which does the job, but should not be found on a much more expensive Masterbilt.

 

The bridge wood also seems somehow thinner and less quality, less chunkier, than on my present 3 Masterbilts and it looks more inexpensive than what I would expect in a Masterbilt.

 

And unfortunately the sound hole rosette is also diminished as compared to my three Masterbilts, and is not nearly as nice as those found on the previous Masterbuilts.

 

These things on the surface to me, seem to indicate a re-entry of Masterbilt into the market, but at lower quality build to cut corners. Let's hope not, or the Masterbilt line will fail.

 

If Epiphone decides to add more Masterbilts to their line....let's hope they do it right, and not cut corners...because on a Masterbilt those cut corners will not pass the grade.

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I agree with you on the pickguard. That pickguard had me over at Terrapin looking for a replacement alreadyunsure.gif

It is nice to see another entry to the Masterbilt line but I think you might have hit it on the head of cutting costs.

This does not look the same as my 2 Masterbilts from the las decade.

They did not include a spec sheet to confirm solid wood construction either.

I'm with you on a Masterbilt Hummingbird and I'll add to that a dove.

I have the DR-500 PNS and just watched one sell on e-bay for over $700 with the original soft shell case.

An all solid maple back and side dred would be welcome.

 

 

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I like this simplified rosette MUCH better than the older ones. I would like it even better if it had FEWER rings. It's still too gaudy. Far too many rings, especially if they're calling this model a J-45. A J-45 has a simple and dignified rosette. This new Masterbilt J-45 has more rings than a J-45 Custom of Southern Jumbo, even. They got the rosette right with the Inspired by Texan; wonder why they chose to go with more rings and plys here?

 

Oh well, it's just a rosette, and nothing to really get your ire up about, boys.

 

The bridge doesn't look any different from the AJ-500M, and seems rather nice.

 

Can't tell from that angle too much about the pickguard, but Masterbilt pickguards were never anything to write home about in the first place. The quality of this one will probably be just as good. I do hope your wrong and it's not decal-thin. That would certainly cheapen the Masterbilt's good reputation.

 

I do like the fact they eliminated the AJ-500M's marquette strip from the back of the guitar. That is true to a J-45. That white cap on the heel is not.

 

There's very nice silking on the top of the guitar in the photo. The neck is one-piece. I'm not crazy about how streaky the sapele (presumably) is on the back, but the sides look very nice.

 

Overall, it looks like a return to form for the Masterbilt line, but I'd preferred they not name it after a Gibson J when it has as many features wrong as right. I bet it will sound pretty good, though!

 

Red 333

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Lets wait and see if it becomes reality, not the first time Epiphone tried to copy this classic ( http://epiphonewiki 2013 model according to this site) Gibson but being a masterbuilt I'm sure it will be close to the awesome Gibson model. Very Cool

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Not a masterbilt, but saw this and am having a hard time figuring out what they are thinking. The Zenith Robot.

 

Looks like something a kid show host would play.

 

P_Z1Robot-NA1.jpg

 

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It will also be interesting to see what the scale length of this Masterbilt AJ-45.

 

Virtually every post-70's Epiphone acoustic is long-scale (except the EL-00), even the copies of famously short-scale Gibson models like the Hummingbird. Epiphone's last J-45 monikered guitar was also incorrectly long-scale.

 

To their credit, the rare Elitist model was short-scale, though.

 

Since this new Masterbilt AJ-45 is probably the AJ-500M reissued with a different pickguard and no back strip, I'll wager it's long-scale. Doesn't make it a bad guitar, just not a J-45, in my book.

 

Still, NOTHING wrong with another AJ-500M/IB Texan variant.

 

AND, if the headstock still retains its tapered depth (a detail even Gibson can't get right on anything other than its Legend reissues), I'll be pleased as punch.

 

Red 333

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Given the cool art-deco pinstick inlay and headshop shape, I'd have preferred that given this new Masterbilt the swoopy pickguard shape that follows the guitar's body contours, like the EL-00 has, or the Gibson Advanced Jumbo or J-35.

 

Red 333

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I like this simplified rosette MUCH better than the older ones. I would like it even better if it had FEWER rings. It's still too gaudy. Far too many rings, especially if they're calling this model a J-45.

 

I'd much prefer a single ring like my Epi E160e

much more classy

but I'll be picking one of these up if the price is right

I missed out on the AJ500 and love a sunburst model

Reminds me of Paul Weller's J45 with that pickguard

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I'd much prefer a single ring like my Epi E160e

much more classy

but I'll be picking one of these up if the price is right

I missed out on the AJ500 and love a sunburst model

Reminds me of Paul Weller's J45 with that pickguard

 

It is definitely on my list as I also missed the aj 500, I wonder if it will be in the dr price range or the ef price range?

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It will also be interesting to see what the scale length of this Masterbilt AJ-45.

 

Virtually every post-70's Epiphone acoustic is long-scale (except the EL-00), even the copies of famously short-scale Gibson models like the Hummingbird. Epiphone's last J-45 monikered guitar was also incorrectly long-scale.

 

To their credit, the rare Elitist model was short-scale, though.

 

Since this new Masterbilt AJ-45 is probably the AJ-500M reissued with a different pickguard and no back strip, I'll wager it's long-scale. Doesn't make it a bad guitar, just not a J-45, in my book.

 

Still, NOTHING wrong with another AJ-500M/IB Texan variant.

 

AND, if the headstock still retains its tapered depth (a detail even Gibson can't get right on anything other than its Legend reissues), I'll be pleased as punch.

 

Red 333

 

 

Worth taking a look at if they ever bring it out.

 

Agree too Epiphone will probably make it the wrong scale at 25.5 not a J45 at all.

 

I still think the Masterbuilts are voiced nothing like Gibsons and are more in the Martin tone range.

 

Looks a lot like my AJ500 ME in burst. The pickguard on mine is nothing impressive either.

 

I posted mine was never a very impressive guitar from day one and had many issues and still has a random buzzing from a loose bridge plate or brace when you hit certain notes.

 

I bought mine for the burst and only hang onto it as it has zero resale value and would not pawn it off on anyone else.

 

Pretty much stays unplayed or gets left at our practice space.

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Worth taking a look at if they ever bring it out.

 

Agree too Epiphone will probably make it the wrong scale at 25.5 not a J45 at all.

 

I still think the Masterbuilts are voiced nothing like Gibsons and are more in the Martin tone range.

 

Looks a lot like my AJ500 ME in burst. The pickguard on mine is nothing impressive either.

 

I posted mine was never a very impressive guitar from day one and had many issues and still has a random buzzing from a loose bridge plate or brace when you hit certain notes.

 

I bought mine for the burst and only hang onto it as it has zero resale value and would not pawn it off on anyone else.

 

Pretty much stays unplayed or gets left at our practice space.

 

Although I missed the boat on the earlier Masterbuilts my dr 500 mce is nothing short of awesome. Depending on what strings I choose the tone is amazing and I jam with Martin, Guild and Gibson owners and they love the tone of my epi and comment on how nice it plays. I hope this is out soon and the continue the DR and EF line as well. Epiphone Masterbuilts are proof they can make top notch acoustics.

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Although I missed the boat on the earlier Masterbuilts my dr 500 mce is nothing short of awesome. Depending on what strings I choose the tone is amazing and I jam with Martin, Guild and Gibson owners and they love the tone of my epi and comment on how nice it plays. I hope this is out soon and the continue the DR and EF line as well. Epiphone Masterbuilts are proof they can make top notch acoustics.

 

I got a Musician's Friend flyer today, and the ES-175 is back, along with a flame-top version of the Hummingbird Artist. Epiphone seems like it has a few good tricks up its sleeve! Looking forward to even more.

 

Red 333

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I agree with you on the pickguard. That pickguard had me over at Terrapin looking for a replacement alreadyunsure.gif

It is nice to see another entry to the Masterbilt line but I think you might have hit it on the head of cutting costs.

This does not look the same as my 2 Masterbilts from the las decade.

They did not include a spec sheet to confirm solid wood construction either.

I'm with you on a Masterbilt Hummingbird and I'll add to that a dove.

I have the DR-500 PNS and just watched one sell on e-bay for over $700 with the original soft shell case.

An all solid maple back and side dred would be welcome.

 

Mgrasso

I'm the proud owner of that 500-P that just went on ebay and I was ready to go to a thousand if need be. It arrived yesterday and omg, what a nice instrument and the case (I assumed it came with a gig bag) is very very nice. I've been search for a 500-P for months. I wasn't about to let this one get away. It'll make a great companion to my AJ and DR. Even my wife (who was less than thrilled at seeing yet another guitar show up to the house commented, "That's a beautiful guitar". More on that later when I can get some pics.

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I got a Musician's Friend flyer today, and the ES-175 is back, along with a flame-top version of the Hummingbird Artist. Epiphone seems like it has a few good tricks up its sleeve! Looking forward to even more.

 

Red 333

 

That Hummingbird Artist in blue with the flamed veneer looks fabulous. That has to be a limited run that was not announced on the press site.

When click for more info, it just brings up the Hummingbird Pro. Hopefully there will be more info later.

 

It also comes in a cherry burst. And all for $199. Hummmmm . . .

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Mgrasso

I'm the proud owner of that 500-P that just went on ebay and I was ready to go to a thousand if need be. It arrived yesterday and omg, what a nice instrument and the case (I assumed it came with a gig bag) is very very nice. I've been search for a 500-P for months. I wasn't about to let this one get away. It'll make a great companion to my AJ and DR. Even my wife (who was less than thrilled at seeing yet another guitar show up to the house commented, "That's a beautiful guitar". More on that later when I can get some pics.

 

HNGD I do have to say i was not that surprised at the price you paid.

You will love this guitar. I was very fortunate to find mine from Forum member Calmwater (still happy with it, thanks again rolleyes.gif) and the price was astounding at $400 + shipping.

 

But these are getting rarer by the day.

 

These really do give Martins a run for their money. Hopefully the J-45 will be the return of the best lineup of Epiphone acoustics.

 

Now we need an Epiphone Masterbilt Excellente and Frontier with satin finishes.

 

 

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HNGD I do have to say i was not that surprised at the price you paid.

You will love this guitar. I was very fortunate to find mine from Forum member Calmwater (still happy with it, thanks again rolleyes.gif) and the price was astounding at $400 + shipping.

 

But these are getting rarer by the day.

 

These really do give Martins a run for their money. Hopefully the J-45 will be the return of the best lineup of Epiphone acoustics.

 

Now we need an Epiphone Masterbilt Excellente and Frontier with satin finishes.

 

I have a 000-18 GE but my DR-500 is my go to guitar. This 500P was in MINT condition. I was hoping for around $600 but $775 seems reasonable given the rarity of this one. Heck, I paid $3300 for the 000-18GE. To me the $750 was well worth it. We need a 12 string Masterbilt too. I would be first in line for that one!

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Yes, I have to admit that I have been fortunate to have acquired my Masterbilts for the prices that I have.

And if I had to replace them, I would pony up more if I had to.

I agree with your assessment the they are better built than their price indicate. My Masterbilts play as well as my friends Martins and Taylors. They even say that.

 

A Masterbilt 12 string would be great addition. Along with a Maple Masterbilt Jumbo and the afore mentioned Excellente and Frontier.

 

Hell, even a Masterbilt Texan.

 

I really do not see why they are doing Gibson versions when Epiphone has such a great history of their own models.

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Anyway as much as I love the idea of a short scale Masterbilt the 1.69" nut width means I'll give this one a pass. If it had the 1.729 or 1.75" width I'd pre-order ASAP, but My AJ-500M is already a refurbished 2nd with a scale length that is right at 25" and nut width of 1.69" so I essentially already have this guitar.

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1404108617[/url]' post='1535659']

The Specs are there in an excel file -

 

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hu3fj7.jpg

 

Thanks for the update. They must have just added this information.

Now if we could only get a delivery date.

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Short scale! I'm very impressed and pleased. I humbly apologize for for cynically thinking Epiphone would release this as along scale model.

 

Now--more Masterbilts, please!

 

Red 333

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I would very much like to see Masterbilt versions of all the 60`s Ft models.

 

FT-30 Caballero, FT-45 Cortez, FT-79 Texan, FT-90 Eldorado, FT-95 Folkster with it`s 2 inch nut, FT-110 Frontier, and not forgetting The FT-120 Excellente, especially for Moose, who will probably snap them all up!! [biggrin]

 

What`s the chances Epiphone?

 

Steve.

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