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AJ-500 Masterbilt VS


steve_d

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I have a question regarding the AJ500 Masterbilt in the vintage sunburst finish. Do they still make them? I can't seem to find one any where except for the occasional listing on ebay. My thought is they're discontinued. I haven't contacted Epiphone, but that may be my next stop. Any info would be appreciated. Thanks!

 

Steve

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There are three AJ-500 models currently on Epiphone's product pages. Finding one on a dealer's shelf may be a daunting task. Check with your local Epiphone Dealer to see if he has or can get one. Sweetwater lists one on their website.

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Sunburst Masterbilts are very hard to come by these days. Most of them seem to have natural tops. I think Epiphone produces Masterbilts with sunburst tops only rarely now. I got a sunburst AJ500R a few years ago, and it was discounted BECAUSE it was sunburst. I haven't seen a sunburst AJ500R since. If they ARE available, maybe a 5-Star Gibson dealer like Fuller's, EM Shorts, Wildwood, or Rainbow Guitars could get one for you.

 

Red 333

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Sunburst Masterbilts are very hard to come by these days. Most of them seem to have natural tops. I think Epiphone produces Masterbilts with sunburst tops only rarely now. I got a sunburst AJ500R a few years ago, and it was discounted BECAUSE it was sunburst. I haven't seen a sunburst AJ500R since. If they ARE available, maybe a 5-Star Gibson dealer like Fuller's, EM Shorts, Wildwood, or Rainbow Guitars could get one for you.

 

Red 333

 

The Epiphone website only lists Natural as a finish option.

Glad I got the VS when it was available; it really stands out.

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Thanks to everyone who chimed in. I did check the Epiphone website and noticed it wasn't there. I also noticed that some of the big box stores had it listed on their sites, but when I called no luck. Red, I may try one of those stores you mentioned or may have to drop $1500+ on a used Gibson J-45 which I really don't want to do. To be honest I didn't see much difference between my DM-500 and the $1000+ guitars. I was leary about the Masterbilts at first, but when I read up on the materials used and then finally had one in my hands, I was quite impressed. Enough of my babbling. Hopefully I will eventually find my AJ500 vintage sunburst. Thanks!

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I recently picked up an AJ-500RE that I'm totally digging.Even though it's listed as a natural stain top,it has a nice dark tan like hue that makes it almost look like it's made of cedar.I had hoped that they made the solid spruce/rosewood AJ-500RE as a cutaway,and with the DR-500MCE like sunburst finish.But overall,I'm extremely pleased with my new Epiphone Masterbilt AJ-500RE acoustic/electric guitar.

 

 

 

Ed

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Congrats Ed! My DR-500M also has that same "tan like hue" you speak of. Has a very vintage look to it and love it. Enjoy your new guitar. I'm hoping I can find an AJ-500 in the VS finish. Have a good one!

 

Steve

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Congrats Ed! My DR-500M also has that same "tan like hue" you speak of. Has a very vintage look to it and love it. Enjoy your new guitar. I'm hoping I can find an AJ-500 in the VS finish. Have a good one!

 

Steve

Not all Satin Natural finishes are the same. Not a plug for them, but when I buy online I go to Sweetwater and pick a model in the "Guitar Gallery".

They show actual high res pics of the stock they have on hand. You can pick the one you want by serial number. That way there should be no buyer's remorse.

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Ya I got my AJ-500MVS in January of 2010 and I had such a hard time finding it you'd think it was the last one for sale on the planet!

 

I've been thinking of buying a used DR-500M in natural though, preferably a bit beaten up to replace my old beater I leave sitting around the house and don't care if I bump it up against something. Do you guys think they sound that much different?

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I bought mine new in Jan 2011, but according to the serial # it was made in 2008.

I just stumbled on it .Wasn't looking to buy anther acoustic guitar but once I tried it I

couldn't believe how nice it was for the price.

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"bought mine new in Jan 2011, but according to the serial # it was made in 2008.

I just stumbled on it .Wasn't looking to buy anther acoustic guitar but once I tried it I

couldn't believe how nice it was for the price".

 

G, I wish I had that kind of luck. I'm keeping my eyes open and hoping I'm find one.

 

I did contact Gibson and their reply was "they still make the AJ-500, check with your authorized Epiphone dealer". They didn't address the vintage sunburst part of the question. I sent a follow up question.

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"bought mine new in Jan 2011, but according to the serial # it was made in 2008.

I just stumbled on it .Wasn't looking to buy anther acoustic guitar but once I tried it I

couldn't believe how nice it was for the price".

 

G, I wish I had that kind of luck. I'm keeping my eyes open and hoping I'm find one.

 

I did contact Gibson and their reply was "they still make the AJ-500, check with your authorized Epiphone dealer". They didn't address the vintage sunburst part of the question. I sent a follow up question.

 

Hey Steve,

Where are you located?

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Congrats Ed! My DR-500M also has that same "tan like hue" you speak of. Has a very vintage look to it and love it. Enjoy your new guitar. I'm hoping I can find an AJ-500 in the VS finish. Have a good one!

 

Steve

 

 

Thanks,Steve!While I really do like lots about my 10 year old Martin DM acoustic [w/ added Fishman],I find the overall feel and tone of the AJ-500RE to be a notch or two above that of the Martin.Plus,my new Epi has inspired a recent rush of new song ideas.

 

 

Ed

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Got one back in about 2005 or 6 and about a year later, had some problems with the neck. At that time I noticed no one had the burst anymore. I ended up having to ship it back to Gibson. They replaced it with a new burst and it has been a great guitar. I have no seen any other new aj-500 rvs since.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Tried getting an AJ with a burst at GC about three weeks ago. Their internet site has the sunburst AJ, but they sent me a satin finish, which I returned. They said the catalog pic was out-of-date and that they can't get the AJ sunburst anymore. Anyway, ended-up ordering an Epi Texan (64) from EM Shorts and and got it last week. I'm quite pleased with it. AJ body and it does kind of have that Beatles sound, although that's not why I ordered it. I just wanted the AJ body with a burst. Used it for a gig this last weekend and it's very nice. Not a Gibson AJ, but it didn't cost 2500 either. The Epi is a lot of guitar. I like it.

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I went through the same routine with all the local and online vendors regarding the AJ-500 in VS. Many sites still show the VS. I sent an e-mail to Gibson/Epiphone and they confirmed that they are no longer manufactured in the VS finish. That's why I end making a purchase on ebay. Not a fan of buying guitars on ebay, but had several lengthy e-mail exchanges with the seller which made me feel comfortable with my purchse. I should get it by Saturday. I'll let you know how it turns out! BTW...there are a couple of AJ-500 VS on ebay right now. Good luck with your Texan!

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IMHO, I think they drop certain finishes or even lines because they cut into the Gibson sales. Look at the elitist line. Great quality guitars at a fraction of the price of a "real" Gibson. As much as I would love to own a J-45, I think I would be constantly worried about it. I don't think I would take it out on gigs that's for sure. Anyways, The Masterbilts are a finely built guitar at a great price.

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I don't think Gibson ever called them "AJ's" (I'm not a Gibson expert by no means). I believe the AJ's were design to look like the J-45. I know Epiphone put out an Elite J-45 tribute years back (just saw one on ebay 2-3 weeks ago). Maybe someday I'll own a J-45, but til then, my AJ-500M in VS will have to do. LOL.

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