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Epiphone AJ-1 Acoustic Guitar

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Product 518681
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The select spruce top with mahogany back and sides on the Epiphone AJ-1 Acoustic Guitar generates a round, mellow, and perfectly pleasing tone. The m...Click To Read More About This Product

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One of the world's most affordable dreadnoughts, a great first or second guitar!

The select spruce top with mahogany back and sides on the Epiphone AJ-1 Acoustic Guitar generates a round, mellow, and perfectly pleasing tone. The mahogany neck with rosewood fretboard is hand-friendly and easy to fret. Body binding, pearl fretboard inlays, chrome hardware, and a natural gloss finish unique in this price range add up to gorgeous looks. A fantastic value on a sweet guitar.

Spruce top
Mahogany back, sides, and neck
Rosewood fretboard with pearl inlays
Body binding
Chrome hardware
Unmatched value

Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews

(based on 106 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars



  • 4 Stars



  • 3 Stars



  • 2 Stars



  • 1 Stars



Most Liked Positive Review


My first EPI

I sold my 69 Gibson J-50 (I bought new in 1971) to make ends meet about 4 years ago, and I'm in the middle of a do-over. I am an experienced rythm...Read complete review

I sold my 69 Gibson J-50 (I bought new in 1971) to make ends meet about 4 years ago, and I'm in the middle of a do-over. I am an experienced rythm guitarist and play as often as I can.A Yamaha F-310 has been on loan to me for a number of months and though I appreciate the loan I tire of it easily --though that thing really sings it is a little shallow on the deep end and,I just can't seem to finger it right. I had done the research and decided on a low budget model... with the choice in particular, hinging on the number of evaluations and referrals.That first strum sounded so familiar in fact, it was like an old friend returning home. Not exactly the sound of my J but familiar to it. It seems brighter and louder and though the deep end is not quite the same it's very close to the J. It blows away the Yamaha though hands down. I looked at the finish and it's great. The fit is great. I wished the top was solid as the upper laminated layer has very nice and regular spacing. The sides and back actually glow golden and though also laminated, they're very striking. The neck and fret board are also striking. One thing I did notice about the finish -- though it was'nt actually on the exterior of the guitar -- was just inside the sound hole and underneath the top where there was unsanded rough wood. I know by sanding that area myself I voided the warranty but how much of a hassel would that be to send it back and probably get another just like it? I wouldn't cry if Epiphone gave me a $10 credit, but if they could get that quality control issue straightened out it would mean a great deal. As long as I had the strings off I felt around the inside bracing and it all was very smoothly sanded and tight which offset the sound hole issue for me.But it's just a $100 guitar right? Other things that were on the cheap are the tuning machines (though better that my original "J's")as they are sloppy and the pins that hold the strings in were loose but work OK as the strings are tightened. (My J's pins were always tight and I never worried about them coming loose. I will though with this one.) This is a great looking guitar, and it sounds nice, so nice in fact, I'll invest in a better case. The resale value should hold up with this one.


Most Liked Negative Review


Broke neck issue

I have been playing guitars for over thirty years and I bought this AJ1 for my sons first guitar last year. The appearance was very good and the tone was good. After a couple...Read complete review

I have been playing guitars for over thirty years and I bought this AJ1 for my sons first guitar last year. The appearance was very good and the tone was good. After a couple of months of playing upon opening the hard case the head was found to be broken off just above the nut. I had seen on some of the reviews where this had happened with others. I should have returned it however I tried to repair it with epoxy and pins. It does not appear to have enough strength in the wood in the head area to take the strain as it breaks in a different spot in the same area. You may want to try a better model.

Reviewed by 106 customers

Displaying reviews 1-20

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14 year old amature

By Ross Burroughs

from Daphne,Alabama

I`m a 14 year old guitar player and i love this guitar.I was just looking for a nice cheap guitar and this was just what I was looking for.It has a nice tone that I love to hear.I`m not embarassed to take places with me.When people asked what I paid for it they call me a liar.I`d recomend it for anyone.


A great guitar for the price.

By cptplastic

from San Diego, CA

After many years of putting off my purchase of a steel string acoustic guitar (I have been playing on a classical and a strat copy for over 20 years), I was excited to receive my new AJ-1 yesterday.This guitar is well constructed, tunes easily and the sound is just beautiful! No buzzing, clean tones, everything just sounds great. I looked at other low cost guitars at my local stores, such as the Squire SA-100 and a Yamaha F325, and the AJ-1 is cleaner and better built.And, by the way, Musician's Friends customer service people are really great, too! (Really, they didn't pay me to say that!):-)


It's great

By christie

from antioch, CA

I love this guitar but i have had problums with it all I did was hit it against the wall and it broke! all well i'll buy a new one


Good for Cheap Guitar

By Home Studio Owner

from Clarksburg, CA

See all my reviews

I bought one of these guitars a few years ago for an extra guitar to have around. For the price it is a great deal. I'm very happy I got it, however it is not without it's problems, I've had problems from the start with the bridgepins fitting into the bridge and have shimmed them with small folded pieces of paper. Have also had a lot of buzzing and have shimmed the nut. The tuners are not the best.For the price this is a nice guitar to have, you don't mind taking it places, I own 9 guitars and this one being the least expensive I really feel very comfortable taking it places because it's replacement cost is so low.Sound quality: I've played for small crowds with it and it really has a thin sound and doesn't carry well, however by yourself in your living room it sounds a lot better. I've recorded with it using 2 or 3 condenser mics (one up close near end of fretboard and 1 or 2 about 3 feet away spaced and mixed together) and have gotten some pretty nice recorded sounds.All around I would recommend getting this guitar, you can't beat the price, and if you are thinking about learning to play the guitar, this is a great starter guitar. If you stick with playing then you can move up to a better guitar as your skills improve.GREAT VALUE for the money.


Great Guitar-Great Price

By tbramfan13

from Winchester, VA

See all my reviews

I saw the price on this guitar and decided to give it a shot. I was genuinely suprised by the quality of this guitar. It really sounds great once I put a good set of strings on it. This guitar is hard to beat for the price. It is not a Taylor but if you can find a Taylor for this price, good luck. It sound just as good as my Takamine which cost 6 times more. An excellent buy. It came ready to play straight of the box. I recommend a new set of strings though. It has deep rich tone for such a small price.


broken in 12 hours

By -A6AyMc3U

from Undisclosed

I bought this so my sons would have a guitar to play when they are staying with me. I gave it to them right before Xmas and they loved it, sound and all, and put it away. Opened the case the next morning and the neck was snapped, not a clean break, either, but a "greenstick" fracture. I know it was inexpensive, but even the cheapest Toyota should be better than the average Yugo, shouldn't it? I would be scared to buy another.



By Pat Rutz

from Toms River, NJ

See all my reviews

Spanky tone, bright sound, nice cosmetics. Sweet bargain. If a hundred dollars is what you consider a big investment, GET OUT OF MUSIC AS A HOBBY. Obviously a Taylor or Martin will be better, for about a dozen times the price. Please people, stop comparing this poor man's guitar to world class hand-built instruments.It contends with guitars around the $300-$600 range. Enough said.


Good Guitar

By Stratlover87

from San Angelo, Tx

See all my reviews

I bought this guitar last summer because it was cheap. It's pretty nice and sounds good with fresh strings. The only problem is the bridge. Mine is like the Manhattan Bridge. The action is so high that it hurts my hands to play it. But besides that just put on some Gibson strings and it sounds good. Good value


Good for starters

By Jimmy.C.playsthepubs

from London, ON

Ive been playing 10 years now and my girlfriend wanted to learn how to play. I picked her up the Epiphone AJ-1. It was cheap and I didnt know if she was going to stick with guitar. Sound isnt over the top, but its fine. I play a gibson hummingbird so this is a huge step down for me. But for a starter at any age its a great guitar. Tuning heads needed to be tightend when I bought it but other than that no major set up issues. great gift idea!


EXCELLENT: that's all I can say

By ani2k

from Lansing, MI

See all my reviews

I had two accoustic guitars before having this one. And I had real bad time playing those. So I got a little furstrated and started playing electric. Last month I saw this epiphone on this website and thought ok I will give it a try. I got this yesterday and I am just spellbound. It sounds amazing. The quality is really incredible. They packed it very well.. If you wanna have a great accoustic guitar for a real cheap price, go for this one. You will never regret.


My AJ-1 Setup

By BlueScoot (retired US Coast Guard)

from Northshore Lake Superior, Minnesota

I had to loosen the truss rod using the truss rodadjustment wrench that came with the guitar as well as the saetup instrucs.I also had one hi fret in the hi-E string... soi filed that one frert with a jeweler's file.Afeter filing that one fret ALL notes change now.I put new Martin Light strings on it and it playspretty nice now. Happy with it.


Looks good-Feels good-Sound's lacking punch.

By Col. Crash

from Central City, Ky.

See all my reviews

The guitar feels real good & comfortable to play. The appearence is great. The sound is lacking the deeper bass punch of higer quality instruments.


Amazing for the price

By Stratocruiser

from SE Wisconsin

See all my reviews

I have had this guitar since spring 2004. After about 3 years and a lot of playing, I replaced the tuners, which made the whole instrument seem better (I should have replaced those way sooner). I then replaced the pickguard, and then installed a pickup. I have had great results with this guitar. After all these years, the tone has really warmed up, and strung with light guage strings, this baby plays/sounds like a dream! And the body actually has good x-bracing, kerfing and real binding, which seem to be rare for a guitar in this price range. I have played tons of gigs with it and it really behaves like a $500 guitar! Great for beginners who want a decent guitar that they can upgrade over time, as their playing ability increases!


AJ OK for Beginners

By Bob in SATX

from san antonio, TX

I bought this guitar to give to my grand daughter who is two. I think that this will be a great guitar for her to get started on when she gets old enough to play. It will need a neck and bridge adjustment later on as it is fretting out on the 12th fret. There are no other guitars to compare at this price so it was a great value. It's warrantied for life so I know that no matter what age my grand daughter starts playing the guitar will be guaranteed to work for her.


Great Guitar

By Jeff in Ketucky

from Pinsonfork, KY.

See all my reviews

I bought this guitar for my Wife's first guitar. Really a great guitar! Tone is great, action good, well built. So much better than a starter. I love Epiphone's.I have a Les Paul and just ordered a DR-200 for 89.95. I hope it's as good has this AJ-1.


You Can't Go Wrong

By RC from Toledo

from Toledo, OR

See all my reviews

The Epiphone AJ-1 is a very nice acoustic guitar for this price range. It's very well built, has a beautiful finish, and sounds excellent. By all means, give this one a try!!


Good Value

By Condar

from DeFuniak Springs, FL

See all my reviews

This is an excellent guitar for the money. I was very impressed with the tone and construction quality. I didn't expect a guitar of this quality for the $. I was expecting something to just play around with. I was proven wrong. This is a great value. Buy it now!


Ho-Hum? Not the case here!

By Rangerdan

from Casper Wy

First off this was not the first choice of guitar I was going to buy for my Niece. After chatting with the Customer Service Rep. at Musicians Friend he suggested the AJ-1 for what I needed. This was to be her first guitar and I wanted something that she could lug around for...well a very long time. My rating of this guitar reflects the values from the price of the guitar, obviously a guitar that costs more would sound better and last longer.Filled with doubt I opened the box and was suprised at the quality of workmanship from an aesthetic stand point. Clean smooth finish...perfect actually. I looked but couldnt find any blems on the entire guitar. I expected to find varnish drips, uneven top and general low budget workmanship. Simply not the case here.Once I tuned it up and started playing it was evident this guitar is a real bargain. Each string rings out true and vibrant, the neck is nice and smooth on the sides, Went through every chord I could think of and picked it for awhile all perfect results, no fret buzz and the action is just right. Some others reviewing this model say the action is high but not this one, hell I wouldnt change a thing on it if I were to keep it.In conclusion this guitar is way worth the cost for the beginner or if your looking for that Epiphone acoustic sound (kind of a reverbish sound) grab this guitar now.By the way I must recommend a better string, perhaps some Martins.


i like it very much i think its a great guitar

By LiQwEdViBeZ

from Los angeles, CA

great guitar for its price, in fact i think its under priced


Amazing for the money

By Anonymous

from Undisclosed

I bought this to have a beater I didn't mind bringing to work. Four things make a good guitar. Sound, intonation, action, and value. This is a very good guitar, right out of the box. Intonation is excellent, even has a compensated saddle. Playability I found to be a little stiff. Sound is SUPERB. Finish is flawless. After taking the action down a little it rivals my Taylor. I'm flabbergasted at how good this is for the money.

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