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reviews or personal use opinions on the Masterbilt DR500M ?


lucille64

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Nice guitars, I used to own one.

 

The DRs did not seem to have the issues the AJs did, and they are all used now so they have all had time to settle in.

 

If I found a used one for a good price would not mind one again though would go for the DR500R instead as I own enough Hogs.

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Absolute beast of a guitar. I love mine, it sounds amazing. Only drawback for me is the 1.69" nut as I have pretty massive hands. If it had the wider nut like most Gibson's it would've taken sales awy sales from them for sure!

 

For comparison sakes the Gibson Hummingbird Pro from guitar center has the same long scale and 1.69" nut as as the DR-500M and it doesn't sound anywhere near as good as the Epi, at least not the examples I've played. You haveade a great choice my friend!

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MeanStreak.....

 

That is a wonderful endorsement. Gives me some faith that I may have made a good choice.

 

I have fairly large hands myself but I am so accustomed to a 1 11/16ths nut that the spacing on 1 3/4" nuts just throws me off a tiny bit on my fingering accuracy. I'm sure if I played a 1 3/4 nut width long enough I'd adjust but I'm a 70 year old dog that don't learn new tricks easy anymore :)

 

I have a beautiful OMC Martin with a 1 3/4 nut , 2 1/4 string spacing and a 16" radius but the arthritis in my hands keeps me from chording and noting it cleanly.

 

One of the reasons I chose this DR500M was the 14"radius and 1 11/16ths nut width and I have always prefered the warm bottom end , soft highs and nice midrange of hog bodied guitars and I didn't want any electronics, just a sweet plain dreadnaught to pick up and play and write songs on. My Martin is a Brazilian rosewood and red spruce custom model but I am just not comfortable with it any longer.

I also like the full body tone of a dread over a 000 or OMC body.

 

That video does give a nice example of it's tone. That is basically the very tone I'm looking for.

 

Thanks for the information and review.

 

I knew I could count on our forum members to come through for me on this !

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byrds1965.....

 

good advice, thank you.

 

The one I found was in a small Mom & Pop music store in Buffalo, NY. It's a new old stock one from 2005 they told me. Just been sitting in it's case and never sold. They tell me it plays perfectly, no neck issues, it's mint and sounds beautiful.

 

I find it strange it has never sold but hey for the little I paid for it , it was worth a shot.

 

We shall see soon enough.

I will post my findings once it has arrived and I've had a little while to get personal with it ;)

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Mine is the satin top. The satin is actually labeled the DR-500MNS if I'm not mistaken. I'm not at home otherwise I'd go have a look at mine. I thought about getting the gloss too but the gloss is satin on the back and sides anyway so I like it all being the same with the satin top.

 

I also removed the pick guard and put if on my AJ-500R and got a tortoise shell hummingbird shape pick guard for my DR-500M, it gives it the Gibson country western look. I dig!

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The Masterbilt line is probably the best line that Epiphone ever built, and then destroyed, by deliberately discontinuing them because they were too good and likely interfered with Gibson sales. You will love your Masterbilt. I own three of them. They are three of the best sounding guitars I ever owned. Epiphone continues to shoot itself in the foot by evaporating this fine line of exquisite sounding guitars, which were able to compete, and hold their own, with any guitar in the world.

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The Masterbilt line is probably the best line that Epiphone ever built, and then destroyed, by deliberately discontinuing them because they were too good and likely interfered with Gibson sales. You will love your Masterbilt. I own three of them. They are three of the best sounding guitars I ever owned.

 

Ya I agree, but I also wonder if costs were rising by having such a wide variety of models and they didn't want to raise prices to make up for it. Have you seen the latest news in the new Masterbilts AJ-45 short scale that is in the works?

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Hey Mean,

 

Nice picture. Reminds me of when I played for food on my table for 55 years :)

 

I like that Gibson style pickguard. When mine arrives and it goes directly to my luthier I may have him do the same to mine.

 

Where did you find that guard ?

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I have the same guitar, also a 2005. This I think was the peak of the Masterbilt production IMO. I got it used off C-list. It was the reason I bought 2 more Masterbilts, a DR500MCE & an AJ500M. I never played a rosewood version that I liked, but I still kick myself in the butt for not hitting the buy now button on a DR500P when they were available.

 

I hope you enjoy it!

 

 

 

 

 

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My DR500MCE is my go to guitar. I bought a Martin 000-18 GE with a wider nut but (as far as nut width) it's really what you get used to. I thought I would might not appreciate the DR once I got the 000, but the opposite happened,I appreciate it more now than I did before. Mahogany back and sides with a spruce top is my absolute favorite tonewood combination and I like (make that love) the glossy look. Sounds like you have yourself a nice instrument. Let us know your feedback in a few days.

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The Masterbilt line is probably the best line that Epiphone ever built, and then destroyed, by deliberately discontinuing them because they were too good and likely interfered with Gibson sales.

 

There's no way Masterbilts interfered with Gibson sales. They were discontinued because they didn't sell as well as hoped. People like us recognized their value, but unfortunately, most buyers don't consider Epiphone as good a quality as a Gibson, Martin, Taylor or others, especially after decades of Epiphone putting out very budget-oriented, less than inspired product. For the wider market, a $500 + price point was just too much for a guitar with Epiphone on the headstock. That's why Epiphone stopped including the nice case with Masterbilts; they eliminated the case (and then later started using lesser quality materials in the guitars themselves) instead of raising prices past those originally established, because they knew the market would react adversely.

 

That is why you find so many seemly perfect Masterbilts for sale as refurbs or 2nds--they were sold off to refurbishers to eliminate unsold inventory. That is why you still find new old stock in stores today. If Masterbilts were so desirable TO THE AVERAGE BUYER, they would have been sold long ago, and not hung on a shop wall for several years!

 

The same fate befell the Elitist line. They were in many ways equal to their Gibson counterparts, but Epiphone had already established such a widepread reputation as basically just an importer of budget Gibson look alike guitars that few people would pay four or five times the price of a standard Epiphone for one. What would your friends think?

 

I don't say this to any way dismiss or disparage the QUALITY or VALUE of the Masterbilts or Elitists. The Masterbilts are very good guitars, and the Elitists excellent. I have four Masterbilts and eleven Elitists, so I am a fan, obviously. I am simply trying to point out that Epiphone's brand equity (what it's widely known for and what people value it for) was at that time for inexpensive Gibson copies. Their chief virtue was that they were affordable, and of good quality, but not necessarily of high quality. So, when they tried to sell guitars with a price tag that corresponded to the high quality of the product, the market was skeptical and eventually, uninterested.

 

In a way, it's kind of a perverse compliment to Epiphone. They did such a great job building $399 Les Pauls and such that looked great, that it made it hard for them to sell a near identical looking Elitist model at three times the price. Consumers couldn't SEE a big difference (unless they knew how to look).

 

Since then, Epiphone, has learned from their experience, and instead of offering guitars that are a great leap in price (as well as quality) from their other product, they have slowly introduced models at only incrementally higher prices and quality (the Pro Line, the models with Gibson pickups, etc.). This has been more successful strategy, it seems, and they are rightly building a stronger reputation for both quality and value that will let them command higher prices when the product justifies it.

 

Red 333

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Yeah, I'd like to know about the "why long scale" and also what's with a short scale Masterbuilt quality flattop.

 

My EL00 pro is a pretty doggone nice little guitar for doggone little cash. I'd love something like the Epi PR5e with a short scale and all wood - like the old Gibbie of the similar shape.

 

m

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hey everybody! Just wanted to say that I'm a first-time guitar buyer, never played before, and am looking forward to my very first lesson tonight. Last Friday, I bought a Masterbilt DR500M (new) and am very happy with my purchase. The guitar has a wonderful, rich sound to it and I am excited about playing it.

 

My only question is about the model being discontinued. When did this happen? Does being a discontinued model make it more desirable for buyers?

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There's no way Masterbilts interfered with Gibson sales. They were discontinued because they didn't sell as well as hoped. People like us recognized their value, but unfortunately, most buyers don't consider Epiphone as good a quality as a Gibson, Martin, Taylor or others, especially after decades of Epiphone putting out very budget-oriented, less than inspired product. For the wider market, a $500 + price point was just too much for a guitar with Epiphone on the headstock. That's why Epiphone stopped including the nice case with Masterbilts; they eliminated the case (and then later started using lesser quality materials in the guitars themselves) instead of raising prices past those originally established, because they knew the market would react adversely.

 

That is why you find so many seemly perfect Masterbilts for sale as refurbs or 2nds--they were sold off to refurbishers to eliminate unsold inventory. That is why you still find new old stock in stores today. If Masterbilts were so desirable TO THE AVERAGE BUYER, they would have been sold long ago, and not hung on a shop wall for several years!

 

The same fate befell the Elitist line. They were in many ways equal to their Gibson counterparts, but Epiphone had already established such a widepread reputation as basically just an importer of budget Gibson look alike guitars that few people would pay four or five times the price of a standard Epiphone for one. What would your friends think?

 

I don't say this to any way dismiss or disparage the QUALITY or VALUE of the Masterbilts or Elitists. The Masterbilts are very good guitars, and the Elitists excellent. I have four Masterbilts and eleven Elitists, so I am a fan, obviously. I am simply trying to point out that Epiphone's brand equity (what it's widely known for and what people value it for) was at that time for inexpensive Gibson copies. Their chief virtue was that they were affordable, and of good quality, but not necessarily of high quality. So, when they tried to sell guitars with a price tag that corresponded to the high quality of the product, the market was skeptical and eventually, uninterested.

 

In a way, it's kind of a perverse compliment to Epiphone. They did such a great job building $399 Les Pauls and such that looked great, that it made it hard for them to sell a near identical looking Elitist model at three times the price. Consumers couldn't SEE a big difference (unless they knew how to look).

 

Since then, Epiphone, has learned from their experience, and instead of offering guitars that are a great leap in price (as well as quality) from their other product, they have slowly introduced models at only incrementally higher prices and quality (the Pro Line, the models with Gibson pickups, etc.). This has been more successful strategy, it seems, and they are rightly building a stronger reputation for both quality and value that will let them command higher prices when the product justifies it.

 

Red 333

 

What a wonderful post. I'm among those who once viewed Epiphone the way you described above. I wouldn't be caught dead owning one (this was during my electric guitar touring musician heyday). Since buying my Texan, though, I've learned a powerful lesson and now consider myself a reformed elitist snob and I look at the Epiphone brand in an entirely new way.

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What a wonderful post. I'm among those who once viewed Epiphone the way you described above. I wouldn't be caught dead owning one (this was during my electric guitar touring musician heyday). Since buying my Texan, though, I've learned a powerful lesson and now consider myself a reformed elitist snob and I look at the Epiphone brand in an entirely new way.

 

 

Cliff......... I couldn't agree more.

 

I have owned nothing but famous brand name high dollar instruments almost my entire 60+ years of guitar playing.

 

It wasn't until I took a "roll of the dice" shot at buying my Epiphone BB King Lucille that I realized this was an exceptional instrument just stock.

 

Then as everyone now knows I had it stripped down completely and rebuilt with the very best of every service and part available BUT

it was because and only because I wanted it to be even better than it was originally made.

 

Lucille opened my eyes to the quality of Epiphones. Until then I wouldn't have been "caught dead" playing one like the snob I was.

 

Then came my Masterbilt DR500M and I was truly humbled and had my eyes opened to the incredible craftsmanship and quality of these models.

 

Now all these years and countless thousands of dollars later almost every one of my "high End" status labeled headstock instruments are gone and I play and live very happily with my two Epiphones.

 

That is not to say that big name headstock instruments aren't wonderful and exceptional... it's just that Epiphone instruments can be very rewarding and quite amazingly wonderful to play.

 

I simply adore my Lucille and my Masterbilt .... I think that says it all for me

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