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Best NON-Masterbilt Epiphone Acoustic?


cliffenstein

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I feel like I stole my EJ-200 Artist for what I paid. It get's more play time than all 3 Masterbilts combined. I picked up a Dove (not the pro) recently that I really like. Hard to say... you can find a Gem in any model I guess. I may have been lucky... I don't know.

 

 

 

 

 

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I've heard great things about the Hummingbird pro, just waiting for my local shop to get his shipment in which includes a hummingbird, dove and ej200 along with base models and electrics

 

I'm also hoping a Texan is in the order nice to know I can suggest models and my local epi dealer, Northland Music, will bring them in.

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Excluding the Masterbilt line, what's the best Epiphone acoustic produced in the past decade?

Well, if you're looking at the past decade, the Paul McCartney 1964 Texan would have to be considered. There were three versions, with two made in limited runs by Gibson in the Bozeman plant, and the third made by Terada in Japan in a run of 1,964 guitars. I happen to have one of the Terada models made in '05, and it is a very impressive instrument. Any of the Elitist acoustics made by Terada a few years earlier would also be worth a serious look.

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Everything I'm reading is that the newest Indonesian made Texan is the best Texan made outside of the US. Obviously the 250 Montana ones would be the absolute tops. In my OP, I should have specified Non-US built, as was my intention.

Macca Texan (MIJ)So light!

Have an IB (MIC)SUNBURST-Workhorse for electric gigs.

Had a Dove for a while -not in the same street.Only bought it to get the Grovers.

Almost forgot Excellente-after the Macca the best Asian acoustics I've laid a hand on.

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Everything I'm reading is that the newest Indonesian made Texan is the best Texan made outside of the US.

I kind of assumed you meant that, but didn't want to leave out the Montana production. So back to the question, in general the quality of the instruments built by the Terada factory in Japan will far outpace anything from another pacific rim factory. I own the McCartney Texan and have played the Indonesian Texan, and imho, there honestly is no comparison. The McCartney Texan is impeccable in it's replication of his original instrument. It looks, feels, and sounds like a '60s Gibson. I do believe the current Indonesian factory is putting out some very nice instruments, but both in acoustics and electrics, Japan's Terada factory is one of the top instrument builders in the world, easily able to match the quality of Gibson's production.

 

Epiphone has used the Terada factory in a few select situations, including the Elitist series, the McCartney Texan, and the Assembled in USA Hooker Sheraton & Lennon Casino. I am fortunate enough to have three Terada made instruments, and they are consistently impressive & worth seeking out.

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I kind of assumed you meant that, but didn't want to leave out the Montana production. So back to the question, in general the quality of the instruments built by the Terada factory in Japan will far outpace anything from another pacific rim factory. I own the McCartney Texan and have played the Indonesian Texan, and imho, there honestly is no comparison. The McCartney Texan is impeccable in it's replication of his original instrument. It looks, feels, and sounds like a '60s Gibson. I do believe the current Indonesian factory is putting out some very nice instruments, but both in acoustics and electrics, Japan's Terada factory is one of the top instrument builders in the world, easily able to match the quality of Gibson's production.

 

Epiphone has used the Terada factory in a few select situations, including the Elitist series, the McCartney Texan, and the Assembled in USA Hooker Sheraton & Lennon Casino. I am fortunate enough to have three Terada made instruments, and they are consistently impressive & worth seeking out.

 

Right on...thank you for expanding on your earlier post.

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Whenever someone wants to know "best," I think there's an additional need to add something along the lines of "for what?"

 

I have a j-series 220cse that's nice, but honestly, not competition for the AJ500me. Hate to say that, but it's true. It's a good "take out for a jam outdoors where there'll be sweat, pizza sauce and various libations."

 

OTOH, the PR5e isn't the greatest piece in the world as a pure acoustic, but it's reeeeally a size I like a lot for general playing comfort, and run through the board, matches about any other guitar anywhere, of any price tag, for sound quality given the way I play guitar - mostly very gentle fingerpicking.

 

The PR4e is a physically small Epi "cheapie" and yet it did exceptionally well for me either acoustic or electric doing stage shows with kids. With my "very exceptionally light" 9-42 strings, it sounds a bit boxy acoustic, but quite nice enough for about any kinda fingerpickin' gig run through the board.

 

I have to have some time to wring out the el-00 pro I got a cupla months ago just before I hit my super-busy work season, but it seems pretty nice too, and has my short scale "neck of preference."

 

In fact, I think it's almost worth it to check out the cost of buying an El-00 for the short neck and seeing if a luthier could put it onto a PR5e body. Or to chop what's there up to the first fret... Yeah, you could just about get a Gibbie, and certainly a Masterbuilt for that extra cost, but...

 

m

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Whenever someone wants to know "best," I think there's an additional need to add something along the lines of "for what?"

If we wanted to add sub categories to the original question, I think Epiphone's current Indonesian production would win the title of Best Bang For Your Buck!

 

What we've seen so far of the Indonesian production is impressive, and at the given price points of the IB-Texan, EL-00 Pro, Hummingbird Pro, and others, the overall value is hard to beat.

 

As has so often been the case in the post 1970 history of Epiphone, production of inexpensive instruments generally follows a global trek towards the least expensive labor costs. Here's hoping the current Indonesian plant remains viable for many years.

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I agree...my 2014 Indonesian Texan sounds exactly like a Gibson to me. Some reviews say it sounds more like a Martin, but I don't hear that at all.

 

 

Every Masterbuilt I have owned, still own, and played sounds more in the Martin camp, Gibson's have that midrange voice to them if you are a Gibson player then you know the Gibson acoustic tone.

 

I have 2 Texans a Natural that is wonderful but the PU died and sounds like a long scale J45, I own a J45. Not as sweet but really nice.

 

I also got a burst for a steal and not as nice in tone as the Natural but the electronics work and that is the guitar I use at practice and leave there.

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I have a 1947 Gibson J-50 that needs a rebuild due to holes, severe cracks, warped soundhole, refret, neck reset, loose bracing and bent tuners. I'll be getting that rebuild done next year, but even in its current condition I can hear that beautiful tone. I hear much of that in my new Texan as well. And that's why I like it so much.

 

Also, I've heard that the burst texans don't sound as good as the antique natural. I wonder why that is.

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I have a 1947 Gibson J-50 that needs a rebuild due to holes, severe cracks, warped soundhole, refret, neck reset, loose bracing and bent tuners. I'll be getting that rebuild done next year, but even in its current condition I can hear that beautiful tone. I hear much of that in my new Texan as well. And that's why I like it so much.

 

Also, I've heard that the burst texans don't sound as good as the antique natural. I wonder why that is.

 

the finish wrecks the true sound of a guitar all mine are natural except this SS Stewart with the Honey Burst finish and it needs a rebuild as well

 

 

 

 

 

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I would think they use better looking grain on the clear color, Which might make them sound better.

 

That would be my guess too, I don't know if they have a Natural wood pile and one for others or solid coats.

 

It is just the magic of how things go together sometimes.

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Interesting how those cheapie Taylors are using poly finishes - and how it's praised for being better than the nitro finishes such as Gibson uses.

 

"Other than varnished guitars (Baby, GS Mini, 100 Series), all of our guitars are sprayed with UV-cured polyester — at least to form the base coat over the paste-filled surface. On full-gloss models, the base coat is sanded level then sprayed again with the same material, which is finally rubbed out and robotically buffed to gloss."

 

I'm not a fan, but some folks figure Taylors are decent guitars - and they cost a lot more than most Epis.

 

To quote the Taylor web site again, "It’s more durable and less susceptible to 'cold-checking,' the spiderweb-like microfissures that result from exposure to dramatic temperature swings; a thinner coverage can be applied, which allows the wood to resonate more freely; it’s clearer than lacquer and won’t yellow over time like lacquer will; and it’s easier to work with when doing spot repairs. It’s also much more environmentally friendly, which earned Taylor several official commendations and helped raise the environmental standards for the guitar industry as a whole."

 

You can buy those cheapie poly-finished guitars on hand at Sweetwater for a bit over $7,000 U.S. down to their little cheapies for $400-$500. I understand they have more expensive models too...

 

m

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Interesting how those cheapie Taylors are using poly finishes - and how it's praised for being better than the nitro finishes such as Gibson uses.

 

You can buy those cheapie poly-finished guitars on hand at Sweetwater for a bit over $7,000 U.S. down to their little cheapies for $400-$500. I understand they have more expensive models too...

 

m

 

KILLER post!!!!

 

My 2014 Texan freaking smokes...it's such a beautiful guitar with a sound to match. $399 at my local guitar center. Perhaps I just got lucky and got a really good one, but the reviews out there all have videos of it that sound exactly like mine.

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Of those three the Hummingbird Pro seems to routinely get the best user reviews. I was actually playing one in the store before I saw my Texan. It looked great but it didn't knock my socks off with the tone. Once I played the Texan it was all over for me.

 

People who own the Masterbilt guitars...are they really any better than the new Texans? The only thing I really like better about the way they look are their headstocks. I've never played one, though.

 

If I found a good condition AJ-500M would I notice much of a difference? I've read a lot about them being pretty much the same guitar with the differences being a satin finish, different headstock and solid sides.

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