Jump to content
Gibson Brands Forums

Anyone have a Masterbilt Frontier?


sbpark
 Share

Recommended Posts

I have been tempted to pick up another acoustic. Currently all I have at the moment is a "Reimagined" D-18 that is a beast of a guitar. Big, rich sound that I just love. Great, defined low end that isnt mushy, very nice highs that aren't shrill or thin and the guitar is just incredibly responsive. It starts to resonate when it's sitting next to me and I'm jsut talking. It really is an awesome acoustic. I recently sold my J45 )I've tried to liek J45's over the last few years going through quite a few of them but just can't bond with them). 

I've come to the realization that I jsut like longer scale guitars. Used to have a wonderful Gibson SJ200 that I foolishly sold, along with a 2012 Advanced Jumbo. The longer scale Gibsons seem to be where it's at for me and longer scale acoustics in general. Went through a phase or owning a few small body Martins and Waterloos, and always went back to my dreads. 

The Epiphone Masterbilt Frontier has caught my eye and ear recently. Unfortunately they aren't around in the stores near me, but was hoping to hear from those that have one of have played one. The sound samples on YouTube are promising, but there are obviously many other factors influencing those sound clips. I always liked the sound of the SJ200 with the maple back and sides and that guitar always sounded great recorded. Wondering how these much less expensive Masterbilt Frontiers are working out for those that have one?

 

Edited by sbpark
Link to comment
Share on other sites

wish i could tell you.
i ordered one, waited 6 weeks to get it and the pickguard started peeling off two days later.
returned it requesting the pg just be removed altogether, but Epi won't cover that sort of request. they are sending a new replacement.
that was mid-july 2021. i'm still waiting for the replacement.
i can say that the sound and build quality were very good and if i had it to do over, i'd remove the pg myself and keep what i had...

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, I ordered one sight unseen yesterday and it should behave tomorrow along with the Epi hardshell case. 

 

The lifting pick guard thing is a well known issue not only with these Epiphones, but Gibsons as well. I've powered several new J45's that had this issue and a 2012 SJ200 that had the lifting pickguard. The only Gibson acoustics I've owned that didn't have the lifting pickguard were a 2012 AJ and a J45TV. 

I think the maple was a good choice to compliment my D-18. That think rumbles and has super deep, rich lows. Hoping the Frontier will be a little crisper and clearer without being harsh or thin. I love the dread shape and stoked that it has a regular/longer-scale neck. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

0545BB88-B2CA-4D0F-BFA9-BE31BB9CC5A9.jpeg.5007ec3480a87e58b1a86d9d88d24f5f.jpegMorning folks,

on the new Masterbilt series I see some that say tribute on the inside label(s) does anyone have any input about why some have it and some don’t. I have seen it listed on all the new masterbilt line up but cannot find any information on why some have tribute in the model while others don’t. Would love to hear from someone who know about this model variation, Thanks!

CADFD392-2C3D-4B3B-91CF-0E8A76557DF6.png

Edited by Honkytonk65
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I received the Masterbilt Frontier that I ordered, but have already sent it back. It was a decent looking guitar, but the neck and some major issues. The D&G strings buzzed at nearly every fret and seemed to have a hump around the 14th fret where every string buzzed. Relief was spot on but the action was ridiculously low.  I checked the action and it was .060 on the Lowe E and .030 on the high E (no joking, it really was that low measured at the 12th fret!) So I pooped in a rosewood whim under the saddle (didn't glue it in or anything, jsut wanted to see what would happen if I raised the action). Buzzing improved in a lot of places but the G string still buzzed all over the the buzzing past the 14th fret was still there. Frets were a little sharp as well, but that would have been an easy fix with a file. 

The guitar weighed about a pound more than my D-18 and seems to be about 3/4lb heavier than the USA made Frontiers. 

Needless to say it went back. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...
  • 3 months later...

I just received my Masterbilt Frontier from Sweetwater. Based on the serial number, the guitar is ten months old, and likely so are the strings. First off, I was very underwhelmed with the looks of the guitar out of the box. Maybe I had higher expectations, but I just didn't have a warm and fuzzy feel at its unveiling. That said, the guitar seems to be very well built and had zero flaws, so that was good. The neck had a very slight relief, which is what I like. The neck is a little thicker than I like, but not a deal breaker. The real issues came in when I started playing it. The action was way too high and the sound was flat and dull. At this point, I was very frustrated and disappointed... but not ready to throw in the towel. I removed the strings, pulled out the bridge and filed it down a good quarter of an inch. The nut appeared a little high, but since I didn't feel comfortable trying to pull it out, I did file the slot down on the bass E-string (6th) to get it to the same level as the other strings. Next, I replaced the strings with new 12s, tuned it up, and now I've got say, it plays and sounds MUCH better.

I'm still not 100% happy with the playability. First, I think the longer scale is not as comfortable for me. Second, the medium jumbo frets make it more of a struggle on this guitar (I obviously have no issues with medium jumbos on any electric guitar). And finally, the 12-gauge strings are a little heavier than I like... all three of these factors have caused me to work harder than I'm used to. I think after a while, I'll switch to 10s and see how that works. This is not my first rodeo, and other acoustics I've owned play a lot easier and sound better, even with 12s. 

I have not plugged it in. I didn't realize that to get the Fishman pickup to work, I have to go through the sound hole to install the battery, and I'm not taking these strings off again right now. I anticipate that I'll like the sound of this guitar a lot more once it's plugged in. My recommendation to anyone considering this guitar, try it before buying it. Since I live in the boonies, I did not have that luxury. I love the sound of Gibson acoustics, and my feeling is, this guitar does not sound like them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Update on the Frontier. I switched to Elixir 10s and I pretty satisfied with this guitar now. I still prefer any of my electrics to any acoustic I've ever played , but hey, it is what it is.

I also figured out how to insert and mount the battery for the Fishman pickup, plugged it in,  and it is a monster.  Very happy with this guitar plugged in.

Link to comment
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...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...