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Should I get an AJ45?

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Hey folks,

I’m strongly considering the (2015) AJ45 for my next slope shoulder dreadnaught.

After doing lots of research, I’m impressed by the all-solid tone woods, the sound, and the positive responses people have had about the AJ45’s playability. I even kind of like the burnt toast sunburst finish. 

My main acoustic for the past four years has been the amazing Inspired By 1964 Texan. I love everything about it! So with this in mind, I’m wondering:

Is the AJ45 a significant improvement over the Texan? 

Usually I’m all for getting more guitars 😉 But I’m wondering if this one is worth it because the Texan already has a solid top and back, fantastic playability, and an excellent sound. I love it so much I upgraded the pickup system to an LR Baggs Anthem and it somehow sounds even better plugged in. 

Specifically, I’m interested in people’s perspectives on:

• What tonal qualities does the solid spruce and mahogany of the AJ45 add over the Texan? (from what I hear, the AJ45 projects better, has a warmer and woodier tone, and sustains much better)

• Is the AJ45 comparable in comfort when playing?

• How well does the AJ45 take heavier strumming?

• What’s the bracing pattern?

• Are there any other benefits the AJ45 has that you can think of?

If I got an AJ45, it would be my first all-solid acoustic guitar. That’s one point of appeal. Of course the other one is the sound. There’s just something about it that I find myself drawn to, in a different way than my Texan.

If you own an AJ45 or a Texan (or both) please share your thoughts!

Thank you 😙

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The first IB Texans were made in China, and then production was switched to Indonesia.  I believe the AJ45 is made in the same Indonesian factory, so the two probably share very similar construction characteristics.  The Texan is long scale, while the AJ45 will be a short scale.  Whether the differences are enough to appeal to you is something you’ll only know by playing them.

Enjoy the pursuit!

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I have a 2015 AJ-45me and love it, particularly for the comfort of the short scale it sports, which the Gibson J-45 also has. It is extremely comfortable to hold and play.  It is a great guitar for singing and supports the voice without over-riding the voice. It also has thinner neck profile than the Texan which has a thicker neck.  The Texan with the thicker full scale neck is good if you like a thicker neck.  It may produce a deeper louder sound. The AJ-45 has what is called a "slim taper D" neck...very slim and sweet and easy to play as I prefer thin necks. I may produce a slightly sweeter, slightly thinner yet full rich sound. I have my AJ-45 for 5 years now, it has aged well and sounds delightful, almost competing with my Gibson J-45.  (particularly after I had it set up) They are both very different guitars, both sounding wonderful. I would say the AJ-45 is easier to hold and play, very, very comfortable in your lap if you sit while playing. It's main drawback to me is the non-gloss matt finish on the top..which I hand polished to a gloss finish on the top, and replaced the pick guard and pins...making it look even more like its expensive sister the J-45 Gibson. So scale, volume and matt finish as well as neck thickness should be considered when comparing the two. Good luck, both are fine guitars! For me the Epiphone Masterbilt AJ-45 is the perfect compliment to the Gibson J-45 standard, and sounds closer to a Gibson J-45 than any other guitar I have ever played including the Texan.  It has that iconic Gibson sound and feel.

Edited by ALD323
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My Texan was built in an Indonesian factory, so if the build of the AJ45 is anything like it, I'll already be very pleased!

I enjoy the long scale neck. But I imagine the short scale neck on the slope shoulder dreadnaught makes it even more comfortable to play. That's always nice. Definitely a plus.

Thank you so much for the detailed opinion of your AJ45. That's exactly what I was looking for. I don't mind the matte finish, but a pickguard swap would be in order. Everything you've said about the AJ45 makes me compelled to buy it. 

Your input is much appreciated!

 

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My AJ45 ME was my first solid wood guitar.  It became my main gigging guitar for the last couple years.  It continues to get better and better the more it is played.

Only two weeks ago I bough a Gibson J45 studio.  It will become my main guitar, but only by the slightest of margins.  The AJ45 will go to a grandchild in a few years.  I have only heard the Epiphone Texan, never payed one.  I like the bassy tone of the AJ45 better.  It has more bass response than my new Studio, that will take some getting use to.

Mine played like butter right out of the box.  I absolutely did not "need" to "upgrade" to the studio.  The AJ45 could do it all.

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I have early 2000's AJ-500RNS, AJ-500MNS, DR-500PNS and a brand new Masterbilt Frontier (photos soon).

I was not impressed with the AJ-45ME when I played one compared to the above. 

Maybe it was the shorter scale. Not sure. I will now look at putting electronics into each.

I would go with the new Masterbilt Texan before I would go with the AJ45ME.

I will also get the new Masterbilt Excellente when they become available.

Just my 2 cents.

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