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Hi gang,


I'm thinking of getting a Masterbilt. Does anyone have recent experience with the eSonic2 pickup system? I know that they seem to have been plagued with problems a few years ago, I'm wondering how the new system is working out. Is the reliability better than it used to be?


And while I'm at it, what seems to be the preference? The dread or the OM body size? I have to admit a slightly smaller body with a cedar and rosewood combination is intriguing. I'm wondering how the EF-500RCE will handle heavy strumming.



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Well, I have an AJ500me - a full slope shoulder "J" size all-wood guitar, mahogany body. I got it when others were complaining and - mine works perfectly.


I've had no problems at all with the esonic 2 system. Or other Shadow systems.


It appears from here that the problem isn't even with the design as much as the installation - largely wiring. One will hear on occasion a belief that the under saddle pup isn't doing its job well, but often that may well have been more a matter of the bridge saddle than the concept.


I have another couple of "big body" guitars I plan to give away to friends. I just don't flatpick that much any more, and I have plenty of big-body/big sound strummers already left over from the '70s.


Most well built guitars of about any size should handle medium strings well enough, although I'd have concerns about some of the really smaller and lighter ones.


Then again, the smaller guitars were not built for the kind of heavy strumming "modern" players have been doing since 1900 or so as dreads and big archtops came into being. I think that for the money, for example, the PR4e is an incredibly inexpensive and yet expressive little "parlor" type of AE guitar but I'd have concerns about heavy strings and heavy strumming.


So personally, I'd say that if you're into beating up innocent little strings, you're probably best off with a dread, square or slope.


That's not to say that a better quality mid-size instrument couldn't handle heavy strings and strumming. It's just that to me it's kinda counterproductive.


I don't fingerpick much at all on my six-string dreads. (I do on the 12-strings.)


I don't flatpick my small/mid size flattops or any of my archtops nowadays. When I did, it was more of a brush stroke as opposed to a harder attack.


This is mostly a guess, but I'd wager that the entire Masterbuilt line should handle most strings and strums. But for volume, you need a bigger box.


Here's also a point to consider: A weakness to long sole experience on an acoustic is that volume is achieved largely through plucking/strumming harder on heavier strings. On electric or AE, that's not necessary - and is why there are volume knobs. So beating on an AE or electric is really counterproductive other than perhaps burning more calories and more frequent string replacement.



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I have two new Ej-200ce's with the eSonic2 system. One of the preamp modules crapped out a few months after purchase, but Epi replaced it under warranty. The other one has been just fine!

I have played around with the systems on my guitars...running them "in stereo" with two cables to two amps (VERY cool sound, lots of possibilities), running them thru just the mono jack and blending the signals into one amp. (Good too, and more practical for my live set up, as I use a wireless transmitter.)


When using it with just one cable, in the main jack and using the "blend" slider to go from nanomag to nanoflex, on both my guitars the nanoflex is louder than the nanomag...and that actually suits me fine! I have never really cared for magnetic pickups on acoustic guitar. I used to have a Gibson J-160 E WAY back in the day, and hated the pickup. The un-wound B and E strings are quite noticably louder with a magnetic pickup, making it harder to eq. Just my opinion and experience, of course.


I usually run my guitars with the slider just barely bringing in a bit of nanomag for effect. The tone controls are OK, I use them for fine tuning after setting the tone thru my amp first. The volume control is fine, and handy to have. The tuner gets you in the ballpark quickly, and after using it a few times you'll get used to it and it will work just fine. I use a capo for certain songs and its handy to have the onboard tuner. A nice feature is the way it mutes the guitar when its activated. The phase switch is OK. It might help with squashing feedback a little. (My Fishman Loudbox Artist 120w amp has a feedback eliminator dial and a phase switch that is just awesome, so I don't even use the one on the guitar itself.)

However, having said all that, I just bought an EJ200 and am having a Fishman Matrix Infinity system installed. Just my preference.


And I LOVE the big Super Jumbo guitars! They just "fit" me physically ( I am a little over 6'5" and on me the jumbo feels like just a normal sized guitar...a dread feels and looks like a student-size guitar on me) as well as sonically! I'm a strummer and singer. Sometimes a pretty heavy strummer, but I'm switching to 11's (a little easier on the fingertips than 12's or 13's) and am disciplining myself to strum easier. It just sounds better.


My g/f bought the EL-00 and its a great guitar. Has a Fishman system in it and it sounds great! Perfect size for her! She finger picks, slides and strums...but, like milod, its more a brushing strum than an attack!


For real heavy strumming...a dread or bigger with heavier strings would be ideal. A super jumbo would handle it just fine...but it's not a guitar for everyone.


Just my .02.


Oh...and if you're giving away big body guitars, milod.... ;)

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