Jump to content
Gibson Brands Forums

Masterbilt AJ500M Back in production again?


Recommended Posts

 

This looks like a very close cousin of the McCartney Texan, with one minor inaccuracy (missing bevel) but one added historicl feature, the ceramic saddle.

 

Nice job, Epiphone!

 

there is a second historical feature on this new Texan Red. It has the pearloid dots on the bridge too. The Epiphone on the h/stock also looks more like the 60s style too. However the pickguard still looks like the wrong material to me.

 

I am still hopeful that there is a bevel on the h/stock sides, and that the photo used isn`t showing it due to lighting. I also hope that they use the mid 60s top bracing pattern to bring out that very punchy low "E". I wasn`t that keen on the previous McCartney Texan I owned, it just wasn`t a patch on my 62! The tone was more modern and zingy, quite loud and brash no matter what I did in terms of strings or saddle material.

 

Steve.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 71
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

there is a second historical feature on this new Texan Red. It has the pearloid dots on the bridge too. The Epiphone on the h/stock also looks more like the 60s style too. However the pickguard still looks like the wrong material to me.

 

 

Steve.

 

Yup, Bobuz pointed out those dots in one of the posts above. There are no dots on McCartney's Texan, so there were none on the reissue. His looks like a plastic bridge, so that may be the reason. Most Texans I have seen from the '60s have dots on the bridge, but I have seen a few with no dots on a wooded bridge. Maybe replacements? I don't know. If nothing, Gibson was never consistent.

 

Not sure I understand what you mean by the logo. Looks OK to me. Maybe slimmer than the one on the McCartney, and with a longer strike through on the Epislon. Again, these were cut by hand and came from different suppliers, so there's a lot of variance (and dots and the dashes on the Epsilons and bits of the lower case letters fall off), though they follow a similar design.

 

I still like my McCartney and Elitist Texans. They are perhaps not my absolute favorites, but not unsatisfying by any means. My biggest challenge with them is how slim the necks are. I have become used to and now prefer the baseball bat necks on the Fuller's J-35 RI and J-45 Legend. I like 'em beefy!

 

How about some posting some pics of your Texan in this thread, so some of the newer folks can see an original?

Link to post
Share on other sites

From what I have read & seen, my best guess is that McCartney's original had a plastic bridge, but was then converted to a rosewood bridge with extended saddle inserts to compensate for left-hand playing. When the rosewood bridge was made, it retained the "no dots" of the plastic bridge.

 

The current Epi logo (being seen on many of their instruments since 2010) is virtually an exact MOP version of the silkscreened Epi logo on my '66 Cortez, so there's some historical accuracy laced in there!

 

As for tone & playability considerations, we of course know that each guitar is different, but I find my McCartney Texan to have the dry & metallic overtoned sound that I closely associate with many '60s Gibsons. This particular tone is well suited to my three-finger picking style, so it's a nice match. Additionally, I find the narrow neck combined with the 25.5" scale to be quite comfy. It's not going to work well for everyone, but these characteristics are very true to the original model.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Here you go Red, as requested.

 

1962 Epiphone FT-79 Texan (On the right in first photo).

P1011029.jpg

 

P1010776.jpg

 

P1010788.jpg

 

P1010786.jpg

 

P1010777.jpg

 

Here I am comparing it to the 2004 Terada made Elitist McCartney version I had at the time (Serial number 040007)

 

 

Not the best quality recording, but the 62 was much deeper in the bass, and a lot sweeter overall.

Steve.

Link to post
Share on other sites

From what I have read & seen, my best guess is that McCartney's original had a plastic bridge, but was then converted to a rosewood bridge with extended saddle inserts to compensate for left-hand playing. When the rosewood bridge was made, it retained the "no dots" of the plastic bridge.

 

 

I think he plays both his original and perhaps a duplicate. I's pretty certain one still has a plastic bridge. When you see it in close up, it's almost ebony colored, and with no wood grain. And it looks like the saddle is an insert to the original wide slot of the adjustable saddle. I kinda think that if Mandolin Bros (they did the work on McCartney's Texan) went to all the trouble to make a wooden bridge to replace the plastic one, they wouldn't have left the saddle opening so wide, and would have filled it in to accommodate the new lefty-compensated saddle they made--they would have just slotted it to fit the new bridge, so it was in there nice and tight without filler wood around it.

 

It have heard that McCartney also plays one of the aged, Gibson-made replicas of his guitar (or one they built especially for him). Those have a wooden bridge, and some have the lefty-compensated saddle. that might be what you have seen. Note that they left the saddle slot the same size as the adjustable saddle, and use filler around the lefty-compensated saddle, so I think that means the original is also like that, which fits with my observation above.

 

Also, he tours with at least one replica of his famous Hofner bass, too. It stands to reason he's have backups and replicas to his iconic instruments, in case something happened to one between or during shows. They are after all, an integral part of his shows.

 

Red 333

Link to post
Share on other sites

Here you go Red, as requested.

 

 

 

Beautiful, Steve.

 

The back of yours looks like it has the shaded finish. Was the front like that too, or was yours natural with a shaded back? Or am I nuts?

 

Thanks for the pictures! Nice collection.

 

Red 333

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think he plays both his original and perhaps a duplicate. I's pretty certain one still has a plastic bridge.

Red 333

That could be it, Red. Will check some books when I get back home tomorrow to see if I can find a photo of the original '64.

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

The back of yours looks like it has the shaded finish. Was the front like that too, or was yours natural with a shaded back? Or am I nuts?

 

 

Red 333

 

Yes Red the top was originally shaded, but it`s all virtually disappeared now, and turned to this wonderful caramel colour.

 

The top X bracing on the 62 is non scallopped, it`s full thickness is in the centre of the X brace and slopes away on all four arms to the sides of the guitar. The Elitist McCartney on the other hand was scalloped and had a top centre seam strip(Just like you see on the back) running from the back of the bridge plate to the end block! See if yours are the same if you get an opportunity. I would of thought that that would have stiffened the top somewhat.

 

Steve.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I got my order confirmation yesterday, and my backorder notice today LOL. Hey, at least I'm in line!

Surprise, surprise, surprise! Just got an email from GC that my order has shipped. Brown truck so I'm guessing late week. Woohoo!

Link to post
Share on other sites

The top X bracing on the 62 is non scallopped, it`s full thickness is in the centre of the X brace and slopes away on all four arms to the sides of the guitar. The Elitist McCartney on the other hand was scalloped and had a top centre seam strip(Just like you see on the back) running from the back of the bridge plate to the end block! See if yours are the same if you get an opportunity. I would of thought that that would have stiffened the top somewhat.

Interesting. My '05 McCartney Texan does indeed have the center seam strip you mention behind the bridge plate, but I do not see any scalloped braces. The X braces are not scalloped. The brace directly behind the bridge plate is lowest on the bass side, and then gradually tapers to it's highest point on the treble side. The next lower brace maintains an even height from one side to the other.

Link to post
Share on other sites

That`s interesting Bobouz. what I will say about the Elitist Macca Texan that I had, was that it was a pre-production model, in fact one of the ones used in the promotion pictures at the time. It didn`t have the blue interior label, and it was numbered 040007, clearly made by Terada, but I guess I could have been wrong about the scalloped bracing (Pretty sure it was though), as I sold it nearly two years ago, but I distinctly remember that top strip, which the 62 didn`t have.

 

Here`s the Macca I owned.

 

P1011035.jpg

 

P1011046_zps6be44bb8.jpg

 

P1011040_zps2a9d9443.jpg

 

P1011044_zps99c61655.jpg

 

Despite my poor experience with this particular Texan, I am very keen to get my hands on one of these new Limited editions, when they appear.

 

Steve.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...

Surprise, surprise, surprise! Just got an email from GC that my order has shipped. Brown truck so I'm guessing late week. Woohoo!

So the Masterbilt arrived a couple of weeks ago. All looks well to me, except for an action adjustment needed. Dropped it off at my tech's place today with 1) any "ruhrows"? and if not 2) do a setup and action adjustment, plus new strings. Should be done in a couple of days. Film (or pix)at 11, as the saying goes.

Link to post
Share on other sites

So the Masterbilt arrived a couple of weeks ago. All looks well to me, except for an action adjustment needed. Dropped it off at my tech's place today with 1) any "ruhrows"? and if not 2) do a setup and action adjustment, plus new strings. Should be done in a couple of days. Film (or pix)at 11, as the saying goes.

 

I heard those AJ500M's are selling like hot cakes! Hope they don't run out! Can't wait to see yours!

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

I heard those AJ500M's are selling like hot cakes! Hope they don't run out! Can't wait to see yours!

I would bet that they are. Got mine back from my tech a few days ago and all is well. For the money, this is just a first class guitar. My tech took one look and said something to the effect of "Oh yeah, I always loved these Masterbilts." Anyway, as promised:

 

001_zps02ea3abf.jpg

002_zpsf05733de.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

I would bet that they are. Got mine back from my tech a few days ago and all is well. For the money, this is just a first class guitar. My tech took one look and said something to the effect of "Oh yeah, I always loved these Masterbilts." Anyway, as promised:

 

001_zps02ea3abf.jpg

002_zpsf05733de.jpg

Thanks for the nice pics Dennis! The woods on your new Masterbilt look first class, book matched to perfection, with no run out on back ...and particularly on the top sound board! It looks stunning! Beautiful! Simple, clean and sweet! You'll probably notice that even the rich pick guard is premium first class, high quality and beveled ground on the outer edges....at least mine is anyway...The best is yet to come..haha....just wait till that baby opens up! Your soul will feel it resonate in your lap!

 

.....I played my own 500M today in a back to back comparison to my mahogany Gibson Hummingbird..a stunning guitar in a class all its own.....and yet my 500M, has much, if not all of the rich delectable Umf sound displayed by my Hummingbird. My 500M ...and this I love....with 80/20 Elixir light nanoweb strings...my 500M can play sweet, quiet delicate, delicious and pure with a light attack...yet a harder attack will bring the thunder, thickness, power and resonance enough to thrill any guitarist. At $499 this is the real deal, with all 100% quality wood construction, and bone nut and saddle to boot! Enjoy that great guitar! I just KNOW you will! ...Best wishes! GL

 

.....a special note here to Epiphone!....Thank you! ..... for producing a first class guitar at a decent price. Epiphone is to be commended here for all its fine guitars including the most excellent Texan, and the AJ220s models, and others. which excel on every single level that counts!

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

So what's the deal with this? Is there any way to get hold of the 500 m? I have really wanted this specific guitar for a while now.

I got mine through the GC (yeah, I know LOL). Just searched their site and the AJ500m doesn't show up. As noted earlier in the thread, I placed an online order, got a backorder notice, and then a "shipped" notice a day or so later. Might be worth a phone call to get the real scoop. Based on the one I got, I'd say snag one if you can.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I got mine through the GC (yeah, I know LOL). Just searched their site and the AJ500m doesn't show up. As noted earlier in the thread, I placed an online order, got a backorder notice, and then a "shipped" notice a day or so later. Might be worth a phone call to get the real scoop. Based on the one I got, I'd say snag one if you can.

 

Ya, I feel like I saw them selling them on Guitar Center and thought it was just a mistake. Now however, they are not available to purchase anymore. I may call and ask anyway. I would just buy a new Masterbilt, but I don't like cutaways.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ya, I feel like I saw them selling them on Guitar Center and thought it was just a mistake. Now however, they are not available to purchase anymore. I may call and ask anyway. I would just buy a new Masterbilt, but I don't like cutaways.

 

Cody....Here is a used Epiphone Masterbilt AJ500M which GC claims is in great condition.. It is online as of 09/24/14 for $349 ... likely will vanish fast. http://www.guitarcen...110-i3919212.gc

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...