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Epiphone Masterbilt DR-500MCE Acoustic-Electric Guitar  Vintage Sunburst

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Epiphone's Masterbilt DR-500MCE acoustic-electric guitar incorporates decades of acoustic guitar building know-how with premium tonewoods. This ensur...Read More

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OVERVIEW

Epiphone's Masterbilt DR-500MCE acoustic-electric guitar incorporates decades of acoustic guitar building know-how with premium tonewoods. This ensures a well-balanced tonal range with rich, resonant bass, clearly defined mids, and transparent treble with crisp articulation. Despite its modest price tag, the Epiphone Masterbilt DR-500MCE acoustic-electric guitar is built with solid tonewoods unlike the laminates used by other makers in this price range. The solid Sitka spruce top has hand-scalloped Sitka spruce braces, mahogany kerfing, and a rosewood bridge helps transmit the guitar's rich tonality. Epiphone handcrafts the dovetail neck joint for maximum tone transfer and uses traditional hide-glue construction, giving the instrument the look and feel of a vintage classic. The solid mahogany back and sides produce a mellow, round tone with ample projection. The 20-fret, hand-profiled mahogany neck is set into the body at the 14th fret while the fretboard sports traditional split-diamond pearl inlay work. The DR-500MCE comes equipped with the eSonic2 preamp system that's manufactured in collaboration with Shadow Germany and includes an intuitive tuner. When in tuner mode, the guitar's output is muted for silent tuning onstage. Pressing the tuner button lets you connect and disconnect the guitar cable noise-free. The preamp has a full suite of controls to fine-tune your sound, including settings a Master Volume, NanoFlex Tone, NanoMag Tone, Stereo Blend, and a low battery alert. A phase switch helps fight feedback. Its use of two ultralight 2032 lithium watch batteries delivers much longer life than the usual 9V battery used in other preamps. Under the bone saddle is Shadow's proprietary NanoFlex, a low-impedance pickup. Not a piezo, this unique flexible sensing material features integrated active electronics into the Epiphone electric guitar that not only pick up string vibration, but also top and body vibrations for a truly acoustic tone without the harshness of piezos. Complimenting the NanoFlex is the revolutionary NanoMag pickup mounted at the harmonic-rich, end of the fingerboard. Exclusively from Shadow, the NanoMag features 3 Samarian-Cobalt magnets and an integrated active circuit to capture all the highs and lows, including a wide range of harmonics. With your choice of either a 1/4" mono output blending both pickups, or a 1/4" stereo output splitting the two pickups, the Epiphone Masterbilt guitar pickup gives you incredible flexibility and the opportunity to create the perfect acoustic tone live. Other features on the Epiphone Masterbilt acoustic electric guitar include quality vintage-style Grover Sta-Tite 16:1 ratio machine heads; bone nut and saddle; imitation tortoise pickguard; nickel hardware; and a bound body, neck, and headstock.

When it comes to acoustic guitar tone and quality, nothing performs like an all-solid wood instrument.

FEATURES
  • Top material: solid sitka spruce
  • Body material: solid mahogany
  • Side material: solid mahogany
  • Neck: mahogany, 1-piece plus heel
  • Neck shape options: SlimTaper "D" profile
  • Neck joint: glued-in, dove-tail, hide-glue construction
  • Scale length: 25-1/2"
  • Fingerboard: rosewood with mother-of-pearl split-diamond inlays
  • Neck pickup: Shadow NanoMag
  • Bridge pickup: Shadow NanoFlex
  • Electronics: eSonic-2 stereo pramp
  • Controls: eSonic2 preamp with built-in tuner, stereo output, master volume pot, NanoMag EQ Pot, NanoFlex EQ pot, phase anti-feedback switch, electronic tuner activation with output mute switch,
  • Binding: 6-ply body, 1-ply neck, 3-ply headstock
  • Fingerboard radius:14"
  • Frets: 20, medium
  • Bridge: rosewood
  • Saddle material: bone
  • Nut width: 1.68"
  • Nut material: bone
  • Hardware: nickel
  • Machine heads: Grover Sta-Tite, 18:1 ratio
Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
EpiphoneMasterbilt DR-500MCE Acoustic-Electric Guitar
 
4.7

(based on 70 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (59)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (8)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (2)

96%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Tone (5)
  • Good audio (4)
  • Playability (4)
  • Beautiful finish (3)
  • Good price / value (3)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

No Best Uses
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (41)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Love at first sight

The sound, feel and quality of workmanship of the DR-500 Masterbuilt is A one. I expected less and got more. I have one entry level guitar for learning when I started to...Read complete review

The sound, feel and quality of workmanship of the DR-500 Masterbuilt is A one. I expected less and got more. I have one entry level guitar for learning when I started to learn. Playing the Epiphone is much easier to play I gave the other guitar to my grandson. Recommending this Epi to anyone who is serious about learning to play and enjoys the challenges the come with it. I am 79 so you're never to old to learn.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Too Much Buzz

I just received my guitar after waiting over a month. I was really excited to play, but was greatly disappointed upon first strum. The buzz was just too much. I am considering taking...Read complete review

I just received my guitar after waiting over a month. I was really excited to play, but was greatly disappointed upon first strum. The buzz was just too much. I am considering taking it to a local guitar shop to see if they can make adjustments, but I think I'm just going to exchange it for another one and take my chances. Hopefully, there will be no problems with an exchange, and the new one will meet my expectations.

Reviewed by 70 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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(3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Amazing quality, tone and playability

By 

from St. Aug, FL

Verified Reviewer

Pros

  • Consistent
  • Good action
  • Intonated

Cons

    Best Uses

      Comments about Epiphone Masterbilt DR-500MCE Acoustic-Electric Guitar:

      The finish and quality of workmanship of this guitar is amazing. The best thing is that the guitar is intonated correctly and rings true all the way up the neck and from E to E. The sound is very consistent also- my other acoustics all have booming bass and piercing highs but not much mids. This guitar has good mids and allow me to control the boominess of the bass or treble with my playing.

      Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

      (2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

       
      4.0

      aged

      Comments about Epiphone Masterbilt DR-500MCE Acoustic-Electric Guitar:

      i read all the reviews before i bought it. at 1st i didnt like the sound at all. it sounded subdued. 1.5 yrs has gone by and recently ive had friends hearing me play several of my guitars and they all liked the sound of this one the best.i guess the wood aged in 1.5 yrs and now im liking it more and more. the only changes i made were sanding down the saddle and i put on gibson masterbuilt strings 12-53.its got a comfortable neck and the guitar is not real heavy.i think in time this will be a runner up as one of my favorite guitars.my favorite guitar is my yamaha cpx-700. . be patient with this guitar, but buy it.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

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      (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Best guitar purchase I've made in 20 years

      By 

      from Orland Park, IL

      Verified Buyer

      Comments about Epiphone Masterbilt DR-500MCE Acoustic-Electric Guitar:

      This Epiphone Masterbilt is the best guitar purchase I have made in the last 20 years. Let me start my saying I am a solid intermediate player. Im not a virtuoso, but I have a complete set of guitar skills. I'll begin with the tone of the guitar. It is fantastic! It has tons of booming bottom with a bright sparkly high end. This guitar sings which is probably due to its all solid wood construction. I played this objectively side by side with other guitars at the box store prior to purchasing from my favorite online purveyor of musical instruments, MF, and have to say I preferred the tone and playability of this one over all of the others I played, even the Taylors (1xx and 2xx) and Martins I tried. I know those brand have come a long way with engineering and such but this Masterbilt is a beefy, well made instrument, made in the spirit of the instruments of old. Don't ask me if its American or foreign made I don't care. The quality of this guitar is good...period. This could be the end of my review, however, I haven't discussed the value. This guitar has by far the best instrument to price ratio I've ever seen. It sits at a price point without ANY competition. I didn't believe the other reviews when people said It plays like double or triple its cost. If you have 1.5 to 3k to pay for a guitar and are willing to sit in a hermetically sealed, padded room to play it, don't buy this guitar. If you're like the rest of us that want to play guitar at a bar gig, open mic, at a beach, around a campfire, while drinking beer, BUY THIS GUITAR! Way to go Epiphone, you might have made a new loyal customer. Keep it up.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

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      (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      best bang for the buck

      By 

      from central texas

      Pros

      • "custom" headstock
      • Excellent Fit and Finish
      • fantastic electronics
      • perfect intonation!

      Cons

        Best Uses

          Comments about Epiphone Masterbilt DR-500MCE Acoustic-Electric Guitar:

          I've been playing for 50+ years- own 15 guitars (gibson/fender/washburn/PRS) and this is undoubtedly the best guitar for the money I've ever purchased. Action, playablility, and sound both amplified and unamplified is great. Especially love the headstock- there is a slight taper in the thickness of the wood from the nut to the end of the headstock, and the asymetrical shape and nice inlays along with the "retro" open tuners make it especially appealing. I would only expect this type of attention to detail on much more expensive instruments. BUY ONE- you won't be disappointed!

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

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          (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

           
          4.0

          Great Guitar! No so-great pickup system

          Pros

          • price
          • Sound
          • Workmanship

          Cons

          • Shadow Pickup System

          Best Uses

          • Performing
          • Recording

          Comments about Epiphone Masterbilt DR-500MCE Acoustic-Electric Guitar:

          I researched this guitar for a few months before I purchased it and for the price range I still believe this is as good as you can get. I play 3-4 gigs a week and some of these are outdoor gigs and I was destroying my Martin D18V so I wanted something that still played and sounded great but that I wouldn't mind banging up a bit. I had the guitar professionally set up and it plays and sounds beautifully acoustically. My ONLY gripe with this guitar is I'm not a fan of the pickup system. This guitar with a simple LR Baggs would be perfect. I've gone through two of these Shadow pre-amps now and they completely frustrate me. However, I've read many reviews with people who haven't had my same issues so I would definitely recommend this guitar. My only problem now is I love it so much my Martin tends to collect dust...cheers!

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

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          (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          worth the money

          By 

          from hico, tx.

          Pros

          • Comfortable to hold
          • Good price
          • Plays very well
          • Warm Mellow Sound

          Cons

          • Strap Button Too Short

          Best Uses

          • Anything

          Comments about Epiphone Masterbilt DR-500MCE Acoustic-Electric Guitar:

          First I tried a Martin DRS 1. Loved the sound, but hated the neck . Tried a Breedlove mahogany . Played good, but was a little bright for me . Then I picked up this thing !! Never been an Epi fan before, but I am now . I really love the warm, mellow sound that comes out of this guitar. The neck feels pretty good, and it plays very well . Seriously it has the warm sound that I was looking for . We all have our little quirks about what we like and don't like in any guitar. I think I will keep this one for a long, long time .

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

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          (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          EPIPHONE MASTERBUILT DR-500MCE

          Comments about Epiphone Masterbilt DR-500MCE Acoustic-Electric Guitar:

          THIS IS A BEAUTIFUL GUITAR IN EVERY RESPECT. FIT
          AND FINISH GREAT. HAD A SLIGHT BUZZ ON HIGH E
          STRING BUT A LITTLE TURN ON THE TRUSS ROD BY MY
          TECH FIXED THAT. NO BIG DEAL. PLAYS AND SOUNDS
          GREAT. ALL SOLID WOOD. COMPARE TO OTHERS IN THIS
          PRICE RANGE AND THOSE AT THREE TO FOUR TIMES THE
          COST AND I'M SURE YOU'LL AGREE THIS A VERY NICE
          GUITAR.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

          Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

          (5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Believe the hype!

          Profile Image

          By 

          from Phoenix, AZ

          Comments about Epiphone Masterbilt DR-500MCE Acoustic-Electric Guitar:

          Lots of reviewers on various sites are saying this could be the best bang-for-buck acoustic electric on the market, and I happily agree. This thing plays and sounds like guitars costing many times more.

          Fit and finish are excellent. I had to tighten the ring around the mono output (doubles as a strap button) to stop it from spinning, but that's no big deal. The whole guitar just resonates, and the solid top feels very alive. I can't wait to see what this thing is like 5 or 10 years from now as it continues to loosen up. But the tone is fantastic right out of the box. I swapped the stock light 12 strings for medium 13's, and the tone has only gotten better and more full. I play music full-time, and don't buy high-priced instruments that will get the snot beat out of them. This is easily the best-sounding acoustic-electric I've ever owned.

          The only two minor complaints I could have are: The EQ on the pickup system could be better. Just a single "tone" knob for each pickup - not a lot of shaping you can do. But it's still not hard to dial in a great tone using those and the blend control. Second: While this is a loud, bold guitar, it's rather quiet for fingerstyle playing. Not a problem if you're plugged in; just boost the volume a bit. But when unplugged, fingerstyle is not nearly as loud as strumming.

          Overall, though, I'm incredibly happy with this guitar. When you look at the low-end offerings from Martin, Taylor, etc., and realize that they charge more than this for laminated wood and very plain-utilitarian looking instruments, the Epiphone Masterbilt looks even better. It's beautiful, sounds amazing, and is an incredible value. Don't think twice.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

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          (6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Amazing Value & Amazing Sound

          By 

          from Clarksville, TN

          Pros

          • Appearance
          • Construction
          • Playability
          • Tone

          Cons

          • Can't put it down

          Best Uses

          • Hobbyist
          • Performance

          Comments about Epiphone Masterbilt DR-500MCE Acoustic-Electric Guitar:

          First, I am amazed that a guitar this good is being sold at this price point. The setup was perfect right out of the box, and the frets were Plecked at the factory, so they were perfect. The neck is satin finsihed, and the fretboard has a nice smooth feel. The dual pickups are excellent, and being able to blend them is a nice touch, as is the stereo output. I already played it plugged into 2 acoustic amps for that stereo effect, and it really did add that little something special.

          There are three minor downsides: first is that the soundboard has a pronounced orange tint, rather than a more natural look. As noted already, it does give it that little bit of a vintage look, though. Second, you need to give this guitar a couple of days after delivery to let it open up. My customer service rep mentioned it, and he was right. Each day now it is opening up a little more, and is becoming more and more resonant. The last downside is that you won't want to put this guitar down.

          I have three prized acoustic-electric guitars now - a Takamine Glenn Frey Signature, a Taylor 710ce, and now this Epiphone Masterbilt DR-500MCE. There is no question that the Masterbilt is worthy of being compared to the other two . . . and for a lot less $$.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

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          (10 of 12 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Diamond in the Rough

          By 

          from Upper Black Eddy, PA

          Ask me a question

          Comments about Epiphone Masterbilt DR-500MCE Acoustic-Electric Guitar:

          I bought a Taylor 100 series and after plugging it in to a Bose L1 system I realized I had to take it back - sounded terrible. I was planning on getting a Martin but decided I would not let name brand sway my decision (I lived 5 minutes from the Martin factory). I was in GC for 4 hours playing everything in my price range and couldn't find one that had it all. The salesaman came in and said they just got an Epiphone Masterbilt in and brought it over. I had reached Nirvana. All solid wood, great electronics, and a bit of a rare bird. I bought the natural which is more orange (aged look) than blonde but that makes it even more unique. While I hated the idea of feeding the Indonesian economy, I couldn't resist. These are hand-made start to finish by one luthier. That's $3000 plus if it's done here. It plays great, sounds great, and you won't see 5 other ones at every open mic or gig. This is a diamond in the rough, folks. Don't let the name fool you, this is a top quality guitar - regardless of price. They are hard to find, I just lucked out.

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          • No

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