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Need Help - BEST STRINGS for my Masterbuilt AJ-500M


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I use elixir nanoweb p/b's on mine. I going to use the same type for my next string change, but am going to switch to med's.

That's what I have on my other guitars & that's what I prefer.

Have heard some comments about the bridge lifting on a "few" of these models, on this forum, but I'm gong to put on med's anyway!

I don't think this will effect the bridge, but if it does they can give me a new guitar.

I just prefer med strings, & that's all there is to that.

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All -


Here's the question / reply I received from Epiphone re. strings for Masterbilts:




I am a new owner of an Epiphone Masterbilt DR-500M - what brand/model and gauge

of strings were installed on the guitar at the factory? I reviewed the Epiphone

acoustic guitar forums (new & old) and there seems to be a discrepancy from

Gibson Support Services when this question was previously submitted to you.


One reply was as follows: "The strings used from the factory are Gibson

Masterbuilt strings gauges .010-.046. Thanks." Jon Sutherland, Customer

Services, Gibson Guitar Corporation. The other response was: "I emailed Gibson

this question about what strings are recommended. The response I got was that

the guitars are shipped with Gibson Masterbuilt phosphor bronze gauges 0.12-0.52

(What most would consider a light gauge string)."


Can you clarify for us owners exactly what strings are installed at the factory?

It would be helpful to know if there is a difference by model type as well - DR, AJ and EF.


Finally, would I invalidate the Epiphone Limited Lifetime Warranty if I

installed medium gauge strings? Thanks in advance for a quick and accurate





Sorry about the confusion! All Masterbilt steel-string guitars come

from the factory with Gibson Masterbuilt .012-.052. It will not void your

warranty to use medium-guage strings, it will just require the appropriate neck

adjustments to accommodate for the increased neck tension. I hope this

information is helpful! Thanks for the inquiry!


Best regards,

Benton Cummings

Gibson Customer Service





Hope this was usefull,





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Mine definately had D'Addario Lights when I bought mine off the wall at Guitar Center. Has the colored ball ends. I think I'll stick with these. The guitar impressed me enough to buy it and these are the strings it was wearing. Even if I experiment, I will at least know the D'Ads sound great on this guitar.



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Hey Glide 340 and all:

I also had the D'Addario Lights on my AJ500R when I bought it new (August '06). Also from GC. I wondered if it might have been a returned item that someone had changed the strings on. Interesting that you had the same experience. The above quoted response from 'Jon Sutherland' at Gibson was from one of my previous posts. I cut and pasted it exaclty like he sent it to me, but that was obviously incorrect. I tried several different sets of strings, but finally settled on the D'Addario Lights, as you said, because it sounded good enough to make me want to buy it. Although I willl say when I changed the strings, it took a couple of weeks for the new ones to settle in and get that specific tone back that I was looking for. I did order some of the Gibson Masterbilt Light strings, and I may try them at some point.

Also, it's good info in the thread about the medium strings and the warranty.

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Fascinating to learn about the D'Addario Lights installed on the Masterbilts from GC - I purchased mine from a GC competitor; I assume they are the factory Gibson's which in part gives it the sound I like (one of the reasons I bought it). I'm considering a set on John Pearce just to see if they would give a "warmer" sound as opposed to bright. Thanks for the info.



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I was wondering if any Masterbuilt AJ-500M owners had any string recommendations.


Hey! Remember tuning it for the first time, and just smiling as you played your favorite rifts. I have (3) Gibsons AJ, J 45 R and L-140 and use use everythink from Elixars to D'Adario's. I have (2 Epiphone Masterbilt's DR-500P and an AJ-500 M) and use Gibson Masterbilts I love these Eppi's and don't want to change a thing. Good Luck
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I have a new Epi Masterbulit AJ-500M. It had some old dead strings on it when I bought it, so I took it home and put some Martin Sp 80/20 .12s on it and it was way bright and the action was high. It needed a truss rod adjustment, the neck looked like a little bow and arrow, so I took it back to GC the next day and they adjusted the neck relief and put a mixed bag of spares on it, which was weird (a Phosphor Bronze EGDe and 80/20's for the A and B strings). But the relief was better and they didn't charge me for the strings. I went home and put on a set of D'adarrio EJ16 PB .12s that I had.


Now it sounds good!~:-({|=

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