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wildkat1

Masterbilt comparisons

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I would love to hear some theories on the differencs in the Masterbilts sold from guitar shops in the early years of the guitar versus the later models that are turning up as refurbs with red labels covering the original serial #'s. I bought a beautiful Masterbilt AJ500RE at a Guitar Center in Albany NY in 2008 that sounds fantastic; a rich deep and loud projecting guitar. The shape is more "bell like" than "hour glass" with rounded sloping shoulders. I also bought my son a refurb that sounds "good" but not great that has entirely different dimensions. It is an AJ 500R, but more "hour glass" in shape. the upper and lower bouts are totally different dimensions. The sound is not as deep or rich and does not project as loudly...what gives???? Anybody??? Also, his neck moves a lot during the dry upstate NY winters whereas mine does not!! Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.....BTW...I wouldn't trade mine for a Martin or a Gibson right now..

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Could be the later had dead strings on it as for the different dimensions maybe different year? Not sure why they would be different what was it that had to done to the refurbished AJ?

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I cannot compare different Masterbilt guitar years but I will say my 2008 AJ-500M sounds just as you describe, deep with lots of projection with no shifting in this Michigan winter either :-)

 

 

 

 

db

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I forgot to mention that the refurb reportedly had a "blemish" in the finish that couldn't be detected......and I personally put a brand new set of elixirs on the guitar (the same elixirs I use on my 2008 AJ500RE)....I am reasonably sure they are of a different year make...

Thanks for the input so far!!

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I forgot to mention that the refurb reportedly had a "blemish" in the finish that couldn't be detected......and I personally put a brand new set of elixirs on the guitar (the same elixirs I use on my 2008 AJ500RE)....I am reasonably sure they are of a different year make...

Thanks for the input so far!!

 

they could also be made at different factories.

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It also could be that it was returned because it sucked. It's hard to sell guitars that suck, so "refurb" and "blemish you can't find" are thrown around a lot in recent years. Just my observations, doesn't make them right.

 

rct

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Different plants are using different CAD programs to make the guitars.

 

I have seen the AJ500 Masterbuilts in the shapes you have mentioned.

 

Mine is a 2006 AJ500ME is a bean shaped one...........same body shape as the Peerless EJ160E used.........Epiphone used the same CAD program for the IB Texans.

 

My EJ160E from the Peerless plant is identical in body shape to my IB Texan.

 

The newer Indonesian EJ160E's are closer in shape to the real Gibson version.

 

Different plants different CAD programs being used............Epiphone should really update their files.

 

The old AJ45s (1998-2000?) made by Peerless was identical in shape/scale to my Gibson J45.

 

I would guess the contract plants and even Epiphone's own use what files Epiphone tells them to for what guitar.

 

Kind of annoying but then again an Epiphone and not a Gibson.......if you want a Gibson buy a Gibson.......Epiphones are a good value but they are what they are.

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Also, his neck moves a lot during the dry upstate NY winters whereas mine does not!! Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.....BTW...I wouldn't trade mine for a Martin or a Gibson right now..

 

 

The AJ500s are/were a mixed bag.

 

The very thin construction that contributes to the tone also caused some to really shift around/hump and crack........as mine did and it was stored humidified with my Gibsons.

 

I would warn any buyer only buy if the opportunity to play first........and then an old stock one so you know the wood had settled-stabilized, really check well for any cracks or top or bridge humping and random buzzing from loose or not seated braces.

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