Jump to content
Gibson Brands Forums
Sign in to follow this  
Skizz

AJ 500M

Recommended Posts

I've been looking for a guitar that will last me for about the next ten years. I've been looking for a solid wood guitar (on a very low budget). I've done quite alot of research on the Masterbilt line and a local guitar store is having a sale and a AJ500M VS is going for €200 (around $325).I've read some problems about bridges coming loose and bowing tops while also reading about the excellent tone. So the question is to buy or not to buy?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Skizz,

I've had my AJ500R since 2006, and have never had any issues with bridge, neck, or anything else. I know a couple of people here have reported some of the issues you mentioned, but my experience with my guitar has been great. I've played dozens of acoustics that sell for 2-10 times what I paid for my Masterbilt, and there's maybe 2 or 3 that I might trade for. In the final analysis, you have to take the knowledge you have and inspect it carefully before you buy. Make sure the bridge is secure. You could try to slide a piece of typing paper under the corners for example. I think light gauge strings are best, and keep it in a humidity controlled environment. Do everything you can to take care of it. (And fill out the warranty card immediatley.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been looking for a guitar that will last me for about the next ten years. I've been looking for a solid wood guitar (on a very low budget). I've done quite alot of research on the Masterbilt line and a local guitar store is having a sale and a AJ500M VS is going for €200 (around $325).I've read some problems about bridges coming loose and bowing tops while also reading about the excellent tone. So the question is to buy or not to buy?

 

Hi - I own a DR500M, purchased new in late 2007, and have never had a problem with it. You are correct about the AJ models and the issues you identified, there were many threads and posts in the old Epiphone Forum about those specific problems. However, I have not seen complaints, or new owners reporting problems for over a year or longer? Perhaps Epiphone made some engineering adjustments, and solved the problem(s).

 

Regards,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok. I've gone ahead and ordered it. Just got to wait for it to arrive. I'm really excited. I'll post my intial thoughts on the guitar when I get it. Thanks for the advice!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Old bridge issues had to do with putting on medium strings without having the guitar properly set up for mediums. My advice would be to keep the strings light unless you set it up properly for mediums.

 

I have an AJ500M.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Calico,

 

I've checked the epiphone website and it recommends 12s. I was thinking D'addrio phospher bronze or elixer nanowebs 12s. Any advice in terms of gauge and string type? (thats really aimed at all masterbilt owners)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

question for calico (or anyone else for that matter)

what specifically do you need to change in your set up when going from medium to light gauge strings??

i have a DR500M and go from light to extra light without making any changes. except playability and tone it doesn't seem to me that i need a different set up??

look forward to learning something here

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

question for calico (or anyone else for that matter)

what specifically do you need to change in your set up when going from medium to light gauge strings??

i have a DR500M and go from light to extra light without making any changes. except playability and tone it doesn't seem to me that i need a different set up??

look forward to learning something here

 

A bit of neck adjustment for the lessened tension, could possibly need a new nut if the smaller strings don't sit correctly in it. Might need new pins (probably not but maybe) but if it plays fine, intonation is right and no buzzing then you are probably Ok. The opposite is true for going from light or extra light to mediums.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Calico,

 

I've checked the epiphone website and it recommends 12s. I was thinking D'addrio phospher bronze or elixer nanowebs 12s. Any advice in terms of gauge and string type? (thats really aimed at all masterbilt owners)

 

I'd say those are both great choices. I tend to use Martin SP 12's a lot, mostly because I like to change at least once a month and Martin's sound pretty good and are cheap!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

thanks meanstreak

 

neck tension and pins i could cope with but i guess a nut change would not be something you do often. i imagine you try and decide if you are going to stick with a certain gauge of strings as to avoid major set up factors as this one no???

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Old bridge issues had to do with putting on medium strings without having the guitar properly set up for mediums. My advice would be to keep the strings light unless you set it up properly for mediums.

 

I have an AJ500M.

 

Hi -

 

What is the basis of your conclusion regarding the "Old bridge issues"? Did Epiphone/Gibson provide you with that insight? Thanks in advance for a reply.

 

Regards,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Calico,

 

I've checked the epiphone website and it recommends 12s. I was thinking D'addrio phospher bronze or elixer nanowebs 12s. Any advice in terms of gauge and string type? (thats really aimed at all masterbilt owners)

 

Hi -

 

Shortly after I bought my DR500M, I contacted Epiphone to find out what strings are installed on DR500M's at the factory. Below is the the reply I received. Note the requirement to adjust the neck for the increased tension when using medium gauge strings.

 

Regards

 

 

"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

1-800-4GIBSON

service@gibson.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Calico,

 

I've checked the epiphone website and it recommends 12s. I was thinking D'addrio phospher bronze or elixer nanowebs 12s. Any advice in terms of gauge and string type? (thats really aimed at all masterbilt owners)

I go with the D'Addario phosphor-bronze lights on my AJ500RC, and would do so on any other acoustic guitar I'd have. Last and stay in tune longer, play sweeter, easier on the fingers than any others I've used. They come cheaper...errrrr...less expensive than most other brands, too, esp. when someone like Guitar Center runs a sale. BUT, remember, string preferences are almost as subjective as guitars. While remembering what everyone here is saying about gauges on the Epi MB necks, try stuff out and go with what you like.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Something I learned the hard way is that there can be intonation problems (that often seem like tuning problems) when using strings other than the stock gauge the guitar was manufactured for. This can become frustratingly apparent when using a capo. Since these acoustics have fixed bridges, no adjustment is possible. I thought there was something wrong with my (compensated saddle) guitar until I realized what the problem was, which was using strings other (in my case, lighter) than the stock 12s.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Got her on Monday. An absolutely beautiful guitar and it has an incredible voice. A trifle bright but I think that might be solved with a change of strings and over the years as the spruce matures. First impression though is very very good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On the brightness issue I have found with my AJ-500M after I changed strings[Martin Light]. Just changing picks made a different in tone. Fender thin pick Bright sound, useing V-pick thin more mellow even tone. V-picks a little pricey but last a long time[if you don't lose it,I use the clear ones]. Your ears will hear the different. Try it,I change picks for different songs.

Share this post


Link to post
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...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...