Jump to content
Gibson Brands Forums

I was considering buying an EF500RA...


Recommended Posts

As meanstreak will tell you, EF500M's and RA's don't come up for sale very often. Only made from 2004 - 2010 or thereabouts. There must have been a lot of them made, but whoever's got them, they must like them. They're not selling 'em. All the EF500s now are cutaways, which just do not appeal to me. I appreciate cliffenstein locating that one EF500M that came up for sale, 'just arrived' at some guitar center down in Tucson, and he was right to encourage me to pick it up. It is nice.

 

But I'm new to these acoustics. I've got a few very nice Epi electrics I started picking up a few years ago. But my guitar roots are acoustic - early Donovan, Dylan, say. Anyway, I started my "research" looking at Martins and Gibsons. Yeah, nice, classic, but, uh, too expensive. So I'm looking into the Masterbilt line, reviews, specs, etc. Yeah, one reviewer says the RA is way over the top with the abalone. Should I take on his opinion? Maybe I should make up my own mind. Then the 500M turns up, I snatch it up for a pretty good price, and I'm glad I did.

 

Still, I was thinking about bidding on that EF500RA that was up on ebay a week or so ago, the photo of which lucille posted in his (?) thread about "considering buying a EF500RA". Thinking maybe throw in a lowball bid, then I thought, why the hell not just go for it big? I might like that abalone. It's pretty stunning, I'll say that. And the RA's seem to be the rare of the rare. So, auction ends Sunday 9:00 p.m. It was a long day. I was exhausted. I was waiting, waiting... I'll just lay down for a minute. Next thing I know, I'm waking up and it's 9:15. I totally missed the auction. Man, what a let down!

 

There are just no other EF500RA's for sale on this planet. I'm scouring the internet. "We're sorry, this item is no longer available." Then, what's this? A guy up in Anchorage, Alaska put one up on the Anchorage craigslist 5 days ago. I'm on it. To make an already long story not that much longer, after a few emails, the guy agrees to put it up on ebay as a buy-it-now, which I then bought, and which is currently en route from Alaska to my abode in the Wild West! [cool]

 

I'm charging up the battery in the camera.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Good job nailing that one down Cougar !

 

I forgot to add, I was real glad when you posted that you'd decided against going after the RA in that auction. It didn't matter though, since I missed putting in a bid in the final seconds. I wonder if that winning bidder is a member of these discussion boards, or maybe a future member....

Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's the auction for my new RA. I paid a bit more than I wanted, and shipping from Alaska was pretty nasty, but it's got a nice SKB case, and if it's "like new" as advertised, it should be worth it. I worked it so the seller would email me once he got it up on ebay. I happened to be in a meeting, though, when he emailed me. My boss was blabbing on about a conference he just got back from. So it was up on ebay for 15-20 minutes before I knew it was there. By the time I got to the auction, ebay was telling me "3 people have viewed this item in the past hour." [scared] Man, I could have missed out again! Fortunately, nobody jumped on it before me. Should be arriving Monday or Tuesday. The anticipation!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's the auction for my new RA. I paid a bit more than I wanted, and shipping from Alaska was pretty nasty, but it's got a nice SKB case, and if it's "like new" as advertised, it should be worth it. I worked it so the seller would email me once he got it up on ebay. I happened to be in a meeting, though, when he emailed me. My boss was blabbing on about a conference he just got back from. So it was up on ebay for 15-20 minutes before I knew it was there. By the time I got to the auction, ebay was telling me "3 people have viewed this item in the past hour." [scared] Man, I could have missed out again! Fortunately, nobody jumped on it before me. Should be arriving Monday or Tuesday. The anticipation!

 

Cougar..congratulations! .That's one beautiful guitar..I particularly love the abalone inlays. And it seems to be in great shape from your pictures. Inlays make a guitar special, different from all the other plain brown guitars in my view. You will love it! The serial number on your EF-500RA indicates the details, and here they are if you do not read serial numbers....1008170566 (your serial number in the sound hole) the break down as follows.......10=2010....08= august.....17= China.....0566= the 566th guitar made as of that date. So your guitar was made in August of 2010, in China, and was the 566th guitar made to that date. Enjoy it! It's a beauty...the seller could likely have some remorse in the future for selling it! But it's all YOURS now! Enjoy it when it comes! ...GuitarLight

Link to post
Share on other sites

Cougar....

 

yea the shipping was a bit stiff but as long as the instrument is as nice as he claims and it does appear to be

 

to obtain this particular model with no cutaway is worth every penny spent.

 

I'm sure you will let us know how nice it is when you get some time with it.

 

Congradulations

Link to post
Share on other sites
So your guitar was made in August of 2010, in China, and was the 566th guitar made to that date.

 

Right. The 2010 date was an additional selling point for me. Qingdao had been making them for 6 years. It's right around the time Epiphone stopped making them (although I seem to recall seeing a 2011 serial number on an EF500RA out in cyberland somewhere).

 

Oh, but about the "566th guitar made to that date".... Just to clarify, is that "made to date for that year"?

Link to post
Share on other sites
...yea the shipping was a bit stiff...

 

Haha, you're telling me! Reportedly, our usual shipping services (UPS, USPS) have to fly everything out of Alaska (and into). There's no "UPS ground," since that would involve a border crossing, I imagine. Anyway, I figured the seller had me over a barrel. He had no competition.

 

But after paying that for shipping, here is the tracking message you do not want to receive:

 

WE'VE INCORRECTLY SORTED THE PACKAGE AT OUR FACILITY.

THIS MAY CAUSE AT LEAST ONE BUSINESS DAY DELAY.

Aug-01-14, 06:12 AM, ONTARIO, CA

 

[cursing]

 

Well, it's now on the road at least. I didn't figure I'd be getting it today anyway. I'm hoping for Monday.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Right. The 2010 date was an additional selling point for me. Qingdao had been making them for 6 years. It's right around the time Epiphone stopped making them (although I seem to recall seeing a 2011 serial number on an EF500RA out in cyberland somewhere).

 

Oh, but about the "566th guitar made to that date".... Just to clarify, is that "made to date for that year"?

 

I could be wrong, someone please correct me if I am...but I am assuming that the 566 is the number of those guitars made in that particular year as it seems certain that more than 566 guitars would have been made in the decade they were being manufactured up till 2010. I have two AJ Masterbilts from just before they were discontinued made in China (AJ-500M and AJ-500R) ..both are exceptional players. Also exceptional is the still manufactured Masterbilt DR-500MCE which I also own.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Haha, you're telling me! Reportedly, our usual shipping services (UPS, USPS) have to fly everything out of Alaska (and into). There's no "UPS ground," since that would involve a border crossing, I imagine. Anyway, I figured the seller had me over a barrel. He had no competition.

 

But after paying that for shipping, here is the tracking message you do not want to receive:

 

WE'VE INCORRECTLY SORTED THE PACKAGE AT OUR FACILITY.

THIS MAY CAUSE AT LEAST ONE BUSINESS DAY DELAY.

Aug-01-14, 06:12 AM, ONTARIO, CA

 

[cursing]

 

Well, it's now on the road at least. I didn't figure I'd be getting it today anyway. I'm hoping for Monday.

Cougar... been there and done that ! :) you can't trust any of these shipping vendors. I've had good and bad experiences with all of them.

 

The waiting really sucks though. I have to wait 60 days for my special custom case to be made and shipped. UGGH !!

Link to post
Share on other sites
...I am assuming that the 566 is the number of those guitars made in that particular year...

 

That makes sense. I guess I was subconsciously wishful thinking it could be the total number. So if the yearly production was roughly the same each year1, I'd estimate fewer than 7,000 made.

 

___________________

1 Of course, that's a shaky assumption.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Just a side note.... I have a Martin Custom shop 000-45 and since I got my DR500MNA it doesn't get played anymore.

 

I actually like the neck on the Epi more than the Martin... but hey, that's just me :)

 

I also think the DR500 sounds almost equally as good only in it's own way

Link to post
Share on other sites
I also think the DR500 sounds almost equally as good only in it's own way

 

I just put new strings on the EF500RA. Man, is it sonic! It's slightly but noticeably heavier than the EF500M. Looking up wood densities, I see the rosewood is up around 0.8 relative to 0.6+ for mahogany. But it depends on where the wood is from. Honduras mahogany is about 0.65, and Spanish mahogany is up around 0.85. Bolivian rosewood is about 0.82, while East Indian rosewood is up around 0.9. (Units are 1,000 kg per cubic meter.) Sitka spruce is about 0.45.

 

When I first got the EF500M, before playing it, just taking it out of the case, I could feel it vibrating, reacting to the slightest touch. These Masterbilts really project sound!

Link to post
Share on other sites

I just put new strings on the EF500RA. Man, is it sonic! It's slightly but noticeably heavier than the EF500M. Looking up wood densities, I see the rosewood is up around 0.8 relative to 0.6+ for mahogany. But it depends on where the wood is from. Honduras mahogany is about 0.65, and Spanish mahogany is up around 0.85. Bolivian rosewood is about 0.82, while East Indian rosewood is up around 0.9. (Units are 1,000 kg per cubic meter.) Sitka spruce is about 0.45.

 

When I first got the EF500M, before playing it, just taking it out of the case, I could feel it vibrating, reacting to the slightest touch. These Masterbilts really project sound!

 

 

Cougar........ you are so correct. The way the Masterbilt line resonates string vibration from the top of the headstock to the tail block and everything in between is truly amazing.

 

Touch tapping these guitars is extremely sensitive and fluid throughout the entire instrument.

 

These are Gems that too much of the guitar playing world just aren't aware of. That can be a good and bad thing depending on perspective.

 

With the exception of my Martin custom shop 000-45 I have abandoned all my other acoustic guitars except my main piece. My DR500MNA.

 

First one I pick up / last one I put down.

 

Someday the Masterbilt Epiphone's may very well become extremely collectable like the one's from the 20's and 30's of the last century.

 

Either way, I am never going to part with mine, that is for sure :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...