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Product 423559

Epiphone Masterbilt DR-500MCE Acoustic-Electric Guitar Natural 

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The Epiphone Masterbilt DR-500MCE guitar combines traditional construction methods and features with premium all-solid tone woods to bring you a new-...Read More

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OVERVIEW

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

The Epiphone Masterbilt DR-500MCE guitar combines traditional construction methods and features with premium all-solid tone woods to bring you a new-vintage electric guitar with deep, rich lows, shimmering highs, and just the right amount of mids. While many other guitars in this price class use pressed backs, spliced neck joints, and even artificial wood backs and sides, you can be assured that this Epiphone guitar holds true to its all-solid wood promise.

It features a solid Sitka spruce top, hand-scalloped Sitka spruce braces, mahogany kerfing, a 25-1/2"-scale rosewood fingerboard, and a rosewood bridge. Players looking for vintage tone and vibe will appreciate the handcrafted dovetail neck joint and hide-glue construction. The Epiphone DR-500MCE guitar has a solid mahogany back and sides, as well as a 20-fret, hand-shaped mahogany neck that joins the body at the 14th fret, which is adorned with carefully cut, split-diamond pearl fretboard inlays. As with all Masterbilts, the Epiphone electric guitar features a vintage-style offset headstock with a stickpin inlay.

While the Epiphone DR-500MCE sounds great unplugged, it really comes alive when plugged in—thanks to the eSonic2 preamp system. Made in cooperation with Shadow Germany, the eSonic2 preamp features a built-in, easy-to-use tuner. When engaged, the Epiphone guitar's output is automatically muted—with no popping noise—making it a perfect choice for stage use. You can even push in the tuner button and unplug the guitar without a loud pop. Other controls on this state-of-the-art preamp include Master Volume, NanoFlex Tone, NanoMag Tone, Stereo Blend, Low Battery indicator, and a Phase switch to help eliminate unwanted feedback. The preamp uses two 2032 lithium watch batteries that are not only lightweight, but provide significantly longer life than old-fashioned, heavy 9V batteries.

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.


Check the drop-down menu to the right to select colors and/or other options.

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

Gorgeous, radiant solid-top tone and Masterbilt quality. Order now!

Reviews
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Review Snapshot®

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

(based on 60 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (51)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (6)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (2)

95%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Good audio (4)
  • Tone (4)
  • Beautiful finish (3)
  • Playability (3)

Cons

    Best Uses

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No (32)

      Most Liked Positive Review

       

      Good But Had Issues

      Okay - I have been torn between giving the DR500MCE a higher score than I did. Here's the reasons. (1) There were certainly issues with the one I ordered and received. And...Read complete review

      Okay - I have been torn between giving the DR500MCE a higher score than I did. Here's the reasons. (1) There were certainly issues with the one I ordered and received. And I read some reviews that mentioned these issues as well. (2) Out of the box, the DR500MCE was not very playable at all. Action was incredibly high. The bridge saddle was pivoted toward the neck due to it being 3/32" instead of 1/8" wide. This meant that the bridge saddle slopped around and with string tension leaned forward - which throws the intonation way off. And the intonation was way off due to this. I lowered the action (sanding the bottom of the bridge saddle properly). In addition, all marketing photos I have seen show a compensated saddle. This was not. After a call to Epi customer service, it was necessary to order a good TUSQ compensated saddle of the correct width from Stewmac. (3) Frets were leveled, except for the last 4 closest to sound hole were not. The frets were not finished or polished. A rough fret surface on every fret. I removed strings and used a solid wood block with 800 grit wet/dry and got the frets dressed, then polished. Made a huge difference. Edges of frets also needed to be finished, as they were very sharp. Epiphone needs to keep a better eye on this stuff! (4) Bridge pins are terrible. Holes for bridge pins are slightly to large. Ordered TUSQ bridge pins from Stewmac. (5) Lots of debris inside body. Easy to shake out, but should not have been there in the first place. (6) Neck had way too much bow. Easy to fix, so not really a problem. Overall, I would hope that Epiphone would take care of at least some of these issues. OKAY, that is it for the negative. Now to the positive. Yes, lots of positive. I don't want to imply this is a bad guitar. Some of the above issues can be found in much higher price guitars. For the most part, they can all be handled easily. After all the fixes, I tested several brands of high-quality strings. I ended up with Martin MSP4100 strings. Huge difference over the stock things that came with it. Huge difference. At this point playability was great. Really great. Absolutely beautiful sound and projection. I would actually put this DR500MCE up with one or two of my Martins now. Really. Build quality is very good. Sure, there are a few things I noticed build-wise, but don't think most players would notice or care. Although the neck is slightly fatter than I expected, it is still very nice. Fretboard is nice. I'm not a big fan of Grover Sta-Tite tuners, but they are good and provide precise tuning. The electronics are superb. Built-in tuner is very good. Through amp or PA it sings wonderfully. Bottom line is that this is a great players guitar (after the fixes I had to make to mine). Sound and tone are excellent - period (good strings make a big difference). Don't get to hung up on the negatives I've indicated. The plus side outweighs the negative. I would recommend the DR500MCE to anyone on a budget. Solid woods, etc. The DR500MCE is probably the best acoustic guitar on the market in it's price range. you really can't go wrong.

      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 60 customers

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      Displaying reviews 1-10

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      5.0

      Wonderful

      By Elliott

      from Washington DC

      Pros

      • Setup
      • Sound
      • Style
      • Tone

      Cons

      • none

      Best Uses

      • Everything

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

      I'm a drummer and this is my first acoustic guitar. I was looking for a good mid-priced guitar to pick up. My choice was between a low level Taylor/Martin or this highest level Epiphone. After much research I couldn't be happier. Straight out of the box it was set-up great. The playablity and tone are comparable to my friend's Martin. The tone sounds great plugged in during a live show as well. The pick-ups and tuner are awesome.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

      Comment on this review

       
      5.0

      Goodf guitar to buy!

      By Butch

      from Horse Shoe N.C.

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

        Cons

          Best Uses

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

            I looked at several guitars and this guitar had the best sound. The quality of this guitar is awesome. I would highly recommend.Out standing for the money.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

            Comment on this review

            (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Love at first sight

            By Jake

            from Washington State

            Pros

            • Attention to detail
            • Quality of workmanship
            • Superb sound

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Personal Enjoyment

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

              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.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

              Comment on this review

               
              4.0

              Wouldn't have it any other way.

              By Inflection

              from Altoona, PA

              Pros

              • excellent electronics
              • Solid wood

              Cons

              • Some Finish Blemishes

              Best Uses

              • Maybe Some Recording
              • Public Gigs

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

              So far so good with my guitar! Overall it seems to be of excellent quality and construction. Having a blast with the pickup system!
              One thing I noticed is that the neck isn't very fast. It's comfortable but not exceptional. Basically I'm pretty happy with it and I would buy it again!

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

              Comment on this review

               
              5.0

              Best choice in its price range by far!

              By Tgear720

              from Johnstown, PA

              Pros

              • Awesome Sound

              Cons

              • Needed Set Up Before Play

              Best Uses

              • A Good Workhorse

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

              Needed set up outta the box, but i always do it anyhow. Great fit and finish, sound is amazing with nice overtones! Bought the NAT and the top is an aged finish, much darker than pics! Epi hit a homer with this one folks!

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

              Comment on this review

               
              5.0

              Love it more every day

              Pros

              • Amazing sound
              • Features
              • Great looking
              • Playability
              • Quality
              • value

              Cons

              • Absolutely non
              • Absolutely none

              Best Uses

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

                I have owned this guitar for six months now, and absolutely love it more every time I play it. When others say it sounds as good as guitars costing 2-3 times as much, believe them. I have played everything on it from country to folk to blues to classical, and the sounds are amazing. Unplugged great, plugged even better. I can make this thing sound like a harp on classical pieces.

                As for quality, fit and finish, mine was flawless. I have read some reviews that these are made in China, but mine says Indonesia. Regardless, I will stack this up against the best of them. I have the sunburst model and it is a work of art. The woods all seem top quality and I am sure it will only get better with time.

                As for the initial setup, these are "Plek'd" at the factory when they arrive in the states. I believe only Gibson and Epiphone use this system. The action is low and the neck is the fastest I have ever held. This is perhaps the best thing about this guitar, playability. I have played for 30 years and thought I had reached my limits. But this is so easy to play it has expanded my capabilities.

                Bottom line, this is an amazing guitar for a fantastic value. You will not be disappointed with it. I only hope that Epiphone comes out with a 12 string version. Hint hint.....

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

                Comment on this review

                (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Happy Camper

                Pros

                • Best Tuner On Any Guiitar
                • Cowboy Or Bar Chords
                • Great neck
                • Great Tone Out Of The Box
                • Love The Headstock

                Cons

                • A TAD BIG
                • High Gauge Strings

                Best Uses

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

                  I bought this because someone compared it to an old Yamaha FG 30 that in a moment of pure stupidity i sold along with other high reviews. Ive always been a Taylor guy from a 114 up to an 800 series and several Takamine Import & USA + Yamaha guitars.But i just couldn't afford another Taylor and I needed acoustic /electric because I had just sold a 1200.00 Black Takamine I like this guitar better its more comfortable has a better tuner & pick ups by far the best on any I have ever had. It actually shows you the note and tells you if you are sharp or flat. I play a lot of drop tuning so this comes in very handy. Its sound better unplugged as well not as thin. I really haven't put it thru the paces i just received it but I like it and for 500.00 its a steal I thought it was going to be a Cowboy chord guitar but the bar chords are rich and full. This is my first Gibson/ Epiphone acoustic, have plenty Electrics with mixed results. The products coming out of Indonesia seem to be very high quality these days especially Fenders. I lubed up the neck and then immediately ordered a HSC from MF on sale to keep it in highly recommend the guitar or look at some of the higher end Takamine imports like an EG 523 SC another great value comes with case and is as pretty as they get especially f you want something a tad smaller ,This def a jumbo. But for the price, this a a good buy. One last thing ill def go down a gauge on the strings when these are a little bigger then what I'm use to and i found one small smudge in the finish

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

                  Comment on this review

                  (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  Epiphone is presently producing some ver

                  By Crust

                  from Brockton, MA

                  Ask me a question

                  Pros

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

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

                        Great guitar

                        • Was this a gift?:
                        • No

                        Comment on this review

                         
                        5.0

                        Great Solid Wood Construction Value!!!

                        By StruMMerDruMMer

                        from Warren, OH

                        Pros

                        • Balanced String To String
                        • Beautiful Fit and Finish
                        • Exceptional value
                        • Great Feeling Neck
                        • Plek'd And Setup Nicely
                        • Plentiful Volume

                        Cons

                        • No Gig Bag Or Case Incl

                        Best Uses

                        • Fingerstyle
                        • Flatpicking
                        • Strumming

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

                        This guitar is exceptional for the money. Plays well above it's pricepoint. The sound is well balanced, brilliant and defined. The construction and attention to detail is superb and my guitar was setup fantastic right out of the box. My choices were narrowed down between the Epiphone Masterbilts and the Seagull offerings. I ultimately ended up with the Masterbilt largely due to the difference in tone. So much brilliance and volume compared to the Seagulls I tried.

                        I really can't find a reason to criticize much of anything regarding this instrument. The color on my Natural Finish is a bit more orange than the picture suggests, but I think it looks beautifully aged; - not a bad thing! I only wish that Epiphone would include a case or at the very least a decent gigbag. Overall, these Masterbilts are a home run and definitely worth considering.

                        • Was this a gift?:
                        • No

                        Comment on this review

                        (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                         
                        5.0

                        Great! Can't buy a better acoustic!

                        Pros

                        • Best Woods And Building
                        • The Best Sound

                        Cons

                        • none

                        Best Uses

                        • Perfect Sound

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

                        I've had just about every major high end acoustic from vintage to new. From 2 D-45's to Taylor's 8 series all the way down to a big baby. Only USA built stuff even a real Brazilian rosewood D-35 and this has a better and unique sound. The build quality is as good as my D-45 inside and out. Hey real hide glue bone nut and bridge real woods and great tuners. Spend all you want you won't find a better guitar. I'm getting each model of the mater builts. My first china built guitar and I'm amazed! Each is hand built buy one craftsman. Martin and Taylor have assembly lines. This is a true hand built guitar. You'll love it!

                        • Was this a gift?:
                        • No

                        Comment on this review

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