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mwheeler

masterbuilt AJ-500RCE

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Looking to buy the Masterbuilt AJ-500RCE I have the masterbuilt DR-500 MCE and love it..... the AJ-500RCE is rosewood and I like the sound of that........any of you guys have this guitar or have played this guitar............any info would be helpful

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They are different instruments. The AJ has a deeper, richer more Gibson sound. I seem to go back and forth between the two, although my maple model has been getting more and more playing time recently.

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Looking to buy the Masterbuilt AJ-500RCE I have the masterbuilt DR-500 MCE and love it..... the AJ-500RCE is rosewood and I like the sound of that........any of you guys have this guitar or have played this guitar............any info would be helpful

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I have the AJ500RCE. I've been impressed and happy with it. I was looking for something to take out to gigs so I could leave my vintage and higher priced guitars safe at home. I like the Masterbikt so much it's all I played the first few months I had it. Plays great, sounds great, acoustically or plugged in. Love the built in tuner. Love the satin finish. Great playability and tone. Looks great. What's not to love?!!

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the AJ-500RCE is rosewood and I like the sound of that........

 

Gotta love that solid rosewood back and sides. It's a jumbo, and it's big. I've got the AJ500RC, but here the "C" is for cedar top, not cutaway, and it's a 12-fret slot head, which makes for a BIG difference.

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Gotta love that solid rosewood back and sides. It's a jumbo, and it's big. I've got the AJ500RC, but here the "C" is for cedar top, not cutaway, and it's a 12-fret slot head, which makes for a BIG difference.

You own alot of Epiphones .......Cougar

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You own alot of Epiphones .......Cougar

 

Haha, and they're all superb, even the ones I got for, like, 200 bucks off ebay. The biggest surprise was the remarkable tone out of this gussied up laminate Epi Performer....

 

pfm130.jpg

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Haha, and they're all superb, even the ones I got for, like, 200 bucks off ebay. The biggest surprise was the remarkable tone out of this gussied up laminate Epi Performer....

I've only ever heard good things about the Epiphone Performer ME. It's certainly a very intruiging guitar...

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Looking to buy the Masterbuilt AJ-500RCE I have the masterbuilt DR-500 MCE and love it..... the AJ-500RCE is rosewood and I like the sound of that........any of you guys have this guitar or have played this guitar............any info would be helpful

 

I have the AJ-500RENS. It is from 2005, and It is my favorite guitar. Impressive bass, great mids and highs, easy to play, and it sounds great unplugged or amped.

 

The electronics are controlled with a small wheel inside the top of the sound hole, no controls on the top of the guitar. I really do not know what series the electronics are.......Info on this please?

 

I also have a seemingly rare DR-500RANS Dread from 2004, and it is a killer as well.

 

A guitar store in Kingsport Tennesse was going out of business in December, and I took my old AJ-500RENS to compare with the Larrivees, Martins, Guilds, Taylors, Eastmans, and Recording Kings that were marked at a " Clearance Price ", and I brought nothing home but the Epiphone AJ-500RENS. It was better than the over thirty guitars in the store, even with the older strings that are on it.

 

I am not rich, but I can afford to buy these higher priced guitars if I wanted them..Sometimes the quality is not better with a higher price.

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I also have a seemingly rare DR-500RANS Dread from 2004, and it is a killer as well.

 

Wow. Yeah, I would say that's rare - I didn't know DRs came with the rosewood-abalone treatment. (Of course, there's a lot I don't know.) And 2004 was the first year of the 2004-2011 production run. There's a ton of great Masterbilts built during that period. The RAVS is my favorite. [thumbup]

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I'm in the UK and bought by AJ-500RCE on Friday Sept 2nd 2016. There seems to be some confusion about the spec of this guitar so hopefully this helps:

 

Solid Spruce top

Solid Rosewood sides

Solid Rosewood back (with centre binding strip)

Shadow Nanoflex under saddle pickup with sound hole pre-amp (there is no built in tuner or any holes in the body for the preamp)

Solid mahogany single piece neck (although heel is a second piece)

Solid bone compensated saddle

Solid bone nut

Venetian cutaway

Grover Sta-tite nickel tuners (18:1)

Made in Indonesia (2016 although I can't figure out the month)

Satin Finish Vintage Sunburst finish (feels to be reasonably thin, not dipped in plastic)

Strung with 12-53 Cleartone Strings

Nut width

Scale length 25.5"

Guitar has been Plek'd

Action on low E was 7/64

Action on high E was 5/64

Intonation checked with Peterson strobe tuner was excellent

 

Playable right out of the box. No fret buzz on fret by fret note test nor under heavy strumming. The dealer had performed an inspection and included a sound hole feedback plug but confirmed they had not adjusted the setup. The finish and build quality is very good. There are the odd tiny little pieces of dust trapped in the finish but on mine I have found only three, one on side and two on back. I am sure those will wear down soon as they are so small. The burst has been very well done. The binding has been done extremely well done everywhere on the guitar. I love the Grover Sta-tite tuners. I have Waverly tuners on my Collings OM2H and I really doubt anyone would be able to tell the difference in a blindfold test. The pick guard is thin, cheap and a let down. Overall it is a very well made guitar. Its not a masterpiece like my Collings OM2H but I didn't spend £3500 on this guitar. It was £449. I think it was a pricing error as the dealer had the same guitar with natural finish at £550. Andertons which normally has the best prices here in the UK had the same VSS finish guitar at £499. Andertons will normally price match but declined in this case, so I'm pretty sure Reidy's has made an error in pricing but they are still offering the price for the same guitar but ex-stock. Whatever is the case, I got a very good price (for the UK) for a very good guitar.

 

Good tone. Obviously due to the rosewood back and sides and the longer scale length it does not sound exactly like a J-45 but it is in the ballpark. To my ears it sounds darker and fuller than other rosewood guitars I have played in the past but it is not a short scale mahogany back&sides guitar and would never be mistaken for such. I have been playing guitars with wider nuts primarily so it is taking some adjusting to my pick technique but I doubt most people would find it cramped. There is definitely space for finger style if that is your style. This guitar still has what I would generalise as a Gibson like tone. It is not over built like many Asian factory built guitars. I'm confident the more I play this, the more the tone will open up.

 

What would and will I change? The satin finish for one thing. I like a satin finish on my guitar necks and will leave that, especially as with time it will slowly wear away to a semi-gloss anyway. At the least I am planning to polish up the top and the headstock face to a semi-gloss. I have seen instructions online on how to do this both with car polishing compounds and Micro Mesh polish grit cloths. When I do that I will also replace the pick guard to a vintage style fire stripe pick guard with a 30 degree bevel. Both those will have to wait until I feel a lot more brave and have some time to devote to it. Probably on my festive holiday break.

 

All in all a lot more guitar than I should have got for this money. This has been my first Epiphone guitar but it won't be my last. I am coveting a Masterbilt Zenith Classic. I hope they are still around when I have raised the money for that purchase.

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Gotta love that solid rosewood back and sides. It's a jumbo, and it's big. I've got the AJ500RC, but here the "C" is for cedar top, not cutaway, and it's a 12-fret slot head, which makes for a BIG difference.

 

Me, too...I'm researching products to juice mine up for stage use. So far the K&K Mini has the nod, I like the use of multiple microphones inside the body of the guitar, as I feel that will more closely replicate the tone and definition I love about my AJ500RC than a pickup with a UST. If I do go with this product I'll get the optional phase controller and also the volume control, which is a small pot with a small knurled thumbwheel that mounts to the underside of the soundboard with the knurled part sticking out inside the soundhole.

 

I'm just curious if anyone else has tried this combo....it seems a natural to me, but others may have found out otherwise and if they'll chime in I'd appreciate it, too.

 

I do know that the K&K does not have a battery pack, so I'll have to wear a belt-mounted pre-amp, but I'm good with that...as long as I don't have to deal with pedals!

 

Cheers from YerDugliness

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Me, too...I'm researching products to juice mine up for stage use. So far the K&K Mini has the nod, I like the use of multiple microphones inside the body of the guitar, as I feel that will more closely replicate the tone and definition I love about my AJ500RC than a pickup with a UST. If I do go with this product I'll get the optional phase controller and also the volume control, which is a small pot with a small knurled thumbwheel that mounts to the underside of the soundboard with the knurled part sticking out inside the soundhole.

 

I'm just curious if anyone else has tried this combo....it seems a natural to me, but others may have found out otherwise and if they'll chime in I'd appreciate it, too.

 

I do know that the K&K does not have a battery pack, so I'll have to wear a belt-mounted pre-amp, but I'm good with that...as long as I don't have to deal with pedals!

 

Cheers from YerDugliness

 

I have a K7K in my Blueridge, and I love it. I also have the external pre-amp.

 

Mel

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I'm in the UK and bought by AJ-500RCE on Friday Sept 2nd 2016. There seems to be some confusion about the spec of this guitar so hopefully this helps:

 

Solid Spruce top

Solid Rosewood sides

Solid Rosewood back (with centre binding strip)

Shadow Nanoflex under saddle pickup with sound hole pre-amp (there is no built in tuner or any holes in the body for the preamp)

Solid mahogany single piece neck (although heel is a second piece)

Solid bone compensated saddle

Solid bone nut

Venetian cutaway

Grover Sta-tite nickel tuners (18:1)

Made in Indonesia (2016 although I can't figure out the month)

Satin Finish Vintage Sunburst finish (feels to be reasonably thin, not dipped in plastic)

Strung with 12-53 Cleartone Strings

Nut width

Scale length 25.5"

Guitar has been Plek'd

Action on low E was 7/64

Action on high E was 5/64

Intonation checked with Peterson strobe tuner was excellent

 

Playable right out of the box. No fret buzz on fret by fret note test nor under heavy strumming. The dealer had performed an inspection and included a sound hole feedback plug but confirmed they had not adjusted the setup. The finish and build quality is very good. There are the odd tiny little pieces of dust trapped in the finish but on mine I have found only three, one on side and two on back. I am sure those will wear down soon as they are so small. The burst has been very well done. The binding has been done extremely well done everywhere on the guitar. I love the Grover Sta-tite tuners. I have Waverly tuners on my Collings OM2H and I really doubt anyone would be able to tell the difference in a blindfold test. The pick guard is thin, cheap and a let down. Overall it is a very well made guitar. Its not a masterpiece like my Collings OM2H but I didn't spend £3500 on this guitar. It was £449. I think it was a pricing error as the dealer had the same guitar with natural finish at £550. Andertons which normally has the best prices here in the UK had the same VSS finish guitar at £499. Andertons will normally price match but declined in this case, so I'm pretty sure Reidy's has made an error in pricing but they are still offering the price for the same guitar but ex-stock. Whatever is the case, I got a very good price (for the UK) for a very good guitar.

 

Good tone. Obviously due to the rosewood back and sides and the longer scale length it does not sound exactly like a J-45 but it is in the ballpark. To my ears it sounds darker and fuller than other rosewood guitars I have played in the past but it is not a short scale mahogany back&sides guitar and would never be mistaken for such. I have been playing guitars with wider nuts primarily so it is taking some adjusting to my pick technique but I doubt most people would find it cramped. There is definitely space for finger style if that is your style. This guitar still has what I would generalise as a Gibson like tone. It is not over built like many Asian factory built guitars. I'm confident the more I play this, the more the tone will open up.

 

What would and will I change? The satin finish for one thing. I like a satin finish on my guitar necks and will leave that, especially as with time it will slowly wear away to a semi-gloss anyway. At the least I am planning to polish up the top and the headstock face to a semi-gloss. I have seen instructions online on how to do this both with car polishing compounds and Micro Mesh polish grit cloths. When I do that I will also replace the pick guard to a vintage style fire stripe pick guard with a 30 degree bevel. Both those will have to wait until I feel a lot more brave and have some time to devote to it. Probably on my festive holiday break.

 

All in all a lot more guitar than I should have got for this money. This has been my first Epiphone guitar but it won't be my last. I am coveting a Masterbilt Zenith Classic. I hope they are still around when I have raised the money for that purchase.

Hey Newbie...........I did read conflicting info on the AJ-500 RCE...you have the specs right...but was it made in China or Indonesia ??? I never could find one here in Florida so bought the AJ-45 ME.........nice guitar but not that crazy about the satin finish...it stays at the house most of the time in a tweed case so should be ok...........I like the sound ....it does have a Gibson kind of tone....sounds ok unplugged but I play plugged in most of the time....I have a kind of elaborate acoustic set up in my home so I can get some nice sounds out of the AJ-45 ME....the Century De Luxe in sunburst is great looking guitar

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