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Does a Masterbilt sound more like a Martin or a Gibson?


Sharwood73

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Yes I agree wtih you. The Masterbuilts are voiced to sound more like Martins than Gibsons.

 

I own both an AJ and DR 500M and they are nothing like Gibsons. I have heard from people who are in contact with Gibson that the purchase of the old Garrison plant is their answer to Taylor. I have not played one of those new Gibsons yet from Canada so I don't know.

 

Pretty smart of Gibson though. The Masterbuilts compete with Martin and the Canadian ones with Taylor and only a Gibson is Gibson.

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I've got an AJ500M also, I love this guitar!! I've tried to love Martin D-18's too, but have never been impressed with them. The only Martin

Mahogany guitars that I like are the all Mahogany models. (15 series, & the 17's) Bear in mind I haven't played every hog model martin,

& I'm sure there are some nice ones. At the same time I'm just not impressed with either the D-28, or D-18. I think your money can be better

spent. I love the HD-28., with scalloped braces. The plain models don't have scalloped braces, & too my ears they are both kind of dead sounding.

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I own a Martin HD-28, an HD-35, and an Epi AJ500M.

 

The Epi is quite different from the Martins, which are spruce over rosewood. The Epi is spruce over mahogany, which gives it a much woodier tone.

 

I don't quantify one over the other. I choose my guitars because I like the way they sound. I like them all. Like my kids, they aare all different, and they are all spectacular.

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The AJ500RC-12 fret I have also has its own distinct sound. To my ears, it has a surprising amount of "woody" sound for a rosewood b & s box. Is that the cedar, d'ya think?

I think that, in general, the Masterbilts that I've played are much more crisp-sounding than most Martins and not as midrangey as most Gibsons. Which is to say these puppies also have their own distinct "house" sound, I guess.

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Which Epiphone would I guy get that sounds the most like a Gibson.

 

What Gibson model are you looking at?

 

An Epiphone Jumbo kind of sounds like a Gibson but is all plywood and wrong scale, Humming Bird is solid top as is the Dove and they kind of sound like those guitars but with long scale necks. I have an older AJ45 from 98 that I replaced the bridge, nut and tuners. It is solid top ply back and sides but is the right scale legnth. It sounds like my Gibson J45 but not as sweet.

 

I played a Elitist Texan when they had those out and it sounded like my J45 but stiffer. If they still make that new AJ45 Vintage thing it is something to look at.

 

The Masterbuilts are the best in the Epiphone line but an AJ sounds nothing like a Gibson AJ and a DR sounds nothing like a square shoulder Gibson.

 

Some other guitars to look at unless it has to be Gibson is Simon and Patrick or Taylor. The low end Taylors sound like all wood guitars even though the tops are the only thing solid and Simon and Patrick use Nitro finish on their higher end stuff. You can get a Simon and Patrick with a solid top and back for much less than a Gibson.

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The AJ500RC-12 fret I have also has its own distinct sound.

 

Bloozeguy--just curious how you like your slot-headed 12 fretter. I have one on order, have been actively searching for one for a year, and now that the guit is available the case is the holdup--another week or so, they say. Anyway, I keep hearing about the excellent projection this model has, but that mellow tone you mention very likely is, as you suspected, the cedar. Most classical guitarists choose cedar b/c of the complexity of tones it produces, but for us steel string players who are use to that sparkle the strings have, spruce is our most common tonewood in the soundboard. The AJ500RC's cedar top is quite unusual on a steel string guitar, I'm looking forward to having a different toned instrument in the stable....=D>

 

My Breedlove custom shop Revival 000 has redwood for a tonewood on the soundboard.....it has every bit as much sparkle as a spruce top and also responds quite distinctly to a light touch and a classical style, much like cedar.

 

Let me know your impressions, please....=P~

 

Thanks!

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which epiphone the Dove or Hummingbird sound the most like the gibson dove or hummingbird I have a 500r dr and love it so I was looking for the gibson sound on a Epiphone I have a EJ200 but i think its sound is sorta cardboardy and a EJ 300sce but it has no volume but sounds good .

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Bloozeguy--just curious how you like your slot-headed 12 fretter. I have one on order' date=' have been actively searching for one for a year, and now that the guit is available the case is the holdup--another week or so, they say. Anyway, I keep hearing about the excellent projection this model has, but that mellow tone you mention very likely is, as you suspected, the cedar. Most classical guitarists choose cedar b/c of the complexity of tones it produces, but for us steel string players who are use to that sparkle the strings have, spruce is our most common tonewood in the soundboard. The AJ500RC's cedar top is quite unusual on a steel string guitar, I'm looking forward to having a different toned instrument in the stable....=D>

 

My Breedlove custom shop Revival 000 has redwood for a tonewood on the soundboard.....it has every bit as much sparkle as a spruce top and also responds quite distinctly to a light touch and a classical style, much like cedar.

 

Let me know your impressions, please....=D>

 

Dugli:

I friggin' love this thing! It's a bloody cannon! Plays like buttah! I have become a much better picker simply by having this--honest (previously used a '65-ish LGO for non-resonator work). Have had no trouble with pulling-up bridges (hopehopehope!). As I mentioned, it does sound a bit more what I consider "mahogany"--that characteristic "woody" sound, but lacks nothing in the sound spectrum. Resonant like crazy--caused me/band some little difficulty as we mic rather than plug and was subject to feeding back for a while, but we've got it worked out.

'Twould be a pity and a cryin' shame, a damned crime, in fact, if Epi pulled these off the catalogue. They are classics!

And speaking of a pity...etc.--BRING BACK THE BLUESMASTER!!!

Now let me tell you what I really think...

PS, for what it's worth: looking greedily at an MB-100 banjo at the GC for $169 to learn on (clawhammer and Gus Cannon-like frailing). Any thoughts, anyone?

 

Thanks! [/quote']

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Dugli:

I friggin' love this thing! It's a bloody cannon! Plays like buttah! I have become a much better picker simply by having this--honest (previously used a '65-ish LGO for non-resonator work). Have had no trouble with pulling-up bridges (hopehopehope!). As I mentioned' date=' it does sound a bit more what I consider "mahogany"--that characteristic "woody" sound, but lacks nothing in the sound spectrum. Resonant like crazy--caused me/band some little difficulty as we mic rather than plug and was subject to feeding back for a while, but we've got it worked out.

'Twould be a pity and a cryin' shame, a damned crime, in fact, if Epi pulled these off the catalogue. They are classics!

And speaking of a pity...etc.--BRING BACK THE BLUESMASTER!!!

Now let me tell you what I really think...

PS, for what it's worth: looking greedily at an MB-100 banjo at the GC for $169 to learn on (clawhammer and Gus Cannon-like frailing). Any thoughts, anyone?

 

Thanks! [/quote']

 

Thanks for that review, BG! So far, everyone who has replied to my many requests for impressions on numerous forums has given the same glowing review as you ! Strange it would sound like hog, it's rosewood, but do you think that the larger internal volume of the 12-fretter body design might be emphasizing a different frequency band in the overall response, giving it that "hog" sound???? I've got a hog (sapele) dreadnaught, a Washburn, and it has a great tone (modded with West African Hard Ivory nut and saddle, bone bridge pins). My AJ100 all lam campfire guit has a very woody sound to it, I wonder if it's just a characteristic of the AJ body??? This is the first anyone's mentioned the resonance. How did you manage the feedback (I may be using it for open-mic work at some time)?

 

You're not the only one who feels they should be continued--I was in one of Austin's biggest and best known vintange/new gear/music stores, asked about the AJ500RC, and all they had was a photo. When they saw it they all started drooling--guess they had never even taken time to look through their catalog. They said if they could get them they would order bunches......but.......Gibson has been making some rather significant demands regarding inventory percentage and a lot of the Gibson dealers are having to bow out rather than submit to the requirements........after many years, and with no joy about the development......too sad......

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Dugly,

I guess it could be like what you just said re: different frequency ranges. rather than being a function of just the size of the box, wonder if it has something more mto do with 12-fret construction. A luthier once told me that the bridge is placed lower in the lower bout--almost dead center--and the effect is like putting a mic right in the middle of an amp's speaker. OK.

Another thing--and I think I've been reading this about the AJ Masterbilts in general--is that it's extremely light for this big of a guitar. Just feels like the wood's been cut extremely thin.

Which brings up the resonance thang. We've pretty much got the feedback licked. Sound guy (mando/fiddle player) just got the hang of it, mostly. Mic-ing up towards the neck rather than the hole helped. Bass player (washtub) still thinks he's hearing feedback, but I think he's just hearing a lot of bass between his tub and my thumb and doesn't like the competition.

You got a real treat comin', son.

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I have to agree with the others in that the Masterbilts have their own unique sound and do not reflect a Martins tone at all. The Masterbilts seem to be brighter sounding IMHO. I own a DR500ra as well as an AJ 500r and the DR sometimes seems to be too bright. I think I may try a different set of strings on her but the AJ sounds fantastic with the same Martin Medium SP strings. I use the same set on my Martin D-35 and it sounds great. The SP lights or the Clapton set on my 000-28 sounds wonderful as well. I may try a set of the 4200+'s to see if that helps tame the DR somewhat. So if you want the Martin tone save your pennies and get a Martin! The AJ 500 has a very robust sound and gets somewhat closer though.

Svet

 

 

Acoustics.jpg?t=1213844109

 

PS yerdugly, I see you are an audiophile, what sort of equipment you into?

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