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Product 518103

Epiphone Masterbilt AJ-500R Acoustic Guitar   

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It's all about rich, full tone at an affordable price with the Epiphone Masterbilt AJ-500R Acoustic Guitar. Expert luthiery to rival Epiphone's class...Read More

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Amazingly low price for a genuine solid Sitka spruce top and luxurious appointments.

It's all about rich, full tone at an affordable price with the Epiphone Masterbilt AJ-500R Acoustic Guitar. Expert luthiery to rival Epiphone's classic 1930s guitars is evident in precision back, fretboard, and multi-ply top and headstock binding. A light guitar with great volume, projection, and natural warmth made crisp and punchy by solid rosewood back and sides. Gold hardware, stickpin inlay, and offset notch headstock add visual elegance to the Epiphone AJ-500R.

  • Solid Sitka spruce top
  • Solid rosewood back and sides
  • Rosewood fretboard
  • Mahogany neck
  • Gold tuners
  • Multi-ply binding on top and headstock

Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews

(based on 25 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars



  • 4 Stars



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  • 1 Stars



Most Liked Positive Review


One Sweet Guitar!

I bought this after shopping around for a year. I played everything: Martin, Taylor, Blueridge. About 2 months ago I bought the Epi AJ-500r. It is true love. I found...Read complete review

I bought this after shopping around for a year. I played everything: Martin, Taylor, Blueridge. About 2 months ago I bought the Epi AJ-500r. It is true love. I found the sound I was looking for. This guitar has such a wonderful sound! The bass is full like a Martin. Also great highs and overall a punchy, balanced tone. It has remarkable sustain. I am using D'Addarion EXP mediums. The action is a bit on the high side, best for Bluegrass and flat-picking, although I finger pick as well. I may eventually get some neck work for a lower action. In the store, I played this Epi against several Gibsons, a Blueridge BR160 and a few Taylors. It was no contest in the tone and volume dept., although the Taylors and Gibsons had a bit better neck action. I am awed by the high quality of construction on this one. I play with a friend and I am proud to say that my Epi holds its own with his 20 year old Martin HD 28. I actually like the sound of mine more. BTW, I've played guitar since 1968, more of a writer than performer, although I've done that, too. If you want a moderately-priced, loud, rich-sounding guitar that can keep up with those top-dollar Martins, this is your baby.


Most Liked Negative Review



First, Musicians Friend is a joy to deal with quick shipping and easy ordering. This acoustic (AJ-500R VS) is killer out of the box. Loud, tight treble and bass, and...Read complete review

First, Musicians Friend is a joy to deal with quick shipping and easy ordering. This acoustic (AJ-500R VS) is killer out of the box. Loud, tight treble and bass, and superb sustain. For the price it can't be beat. I have played guitar for 30+ years and this is a great acoustic. The solid woods on this guitar should mature with age and provide an awesome guitar for years to come. I have had it for about 2 months and can not really find any any real fault with it, it sounds better to me every time I play. I prefer a lower action than it came with, but that can easily be rectified at the repair shop. I will say as others have noted, the dull finish is not exciting, but with the quality of woods, sound, and workmanship who cares. You will not get a better comparable acoustic in this price range. There ain't nothing like playing guitar! Rock On!

Reviewed by 25 customers

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feel,sound .playability


from georgetown texas

I purchased apiphone aj 500 r what a good sounding guitar I have a 1989 taylor 810 an a guild d 50 an alvarez but the epiphone thin top sound is really something I you go play it youll buy it.


Nice Guitar

By Anonymous

from Undisclosed

Had my eye on the guitar for awhile, and got it about a week ago. Plays great and the tone is killer, sounds like a Gibson. I gave the quality a low rating because when I changed the strings the saddle sank into the guitar. I know this guitar's price is no down payment on a house but come on now... regardless, it's a great sounding guitar that sounds amazing on recordings


fine guitar

By stickyfingers

from rural new jersey

I am a new guitar player and was looking for a quality acoustic to replace the 20 year old Kramer acoustic sitting in the garage. I looked at Martin, Gibson etc. and found them too expensive. When the sales clerk handed me the Epi I figured he was trying to slip me a stinker. Man was I surprised, I did not know much about the tech part of the guitar but I knew what sounded great and this was the real deal. I love playing this guitar, sustain is great, I don't have to tune it every time I touch it and it has mellow bottom sound with bright highs. A fine guitar and relatively inexpensive.


Excellent Tone

By tbone

from Moline, IL

Ask me a question

I?ve owned other Epiphone guitars and either sold them or gave them away because the tone was just not there. The masterbuilt guitars are a different story, you?ll hear that same rich sound like a Martin or Taylor guitar. Plus the feel of AJ400-R is wonderful. I find myself reaching for it over my Martin D-28 and Martin DM. You won?t be disappointed.


Killer guitar

By Svenseel

from Pittsburgh, PA

I've owned old Gibson acoustics, Alvarez, Martin D-28, and played plenty of Larrivees and Taylor?s, to boot. This guitar beats them all handily. It's killing loud, has a great feel, and records like a dream. This was my Holy Grail guitar I got rid of my D28 because I just didn't like it anymore. They're not alike, so you might have to try a couple. But mine I wouldn't trade it for the world. I put a Baggs Element in it, and it sings. To me, this is the bargain guitar purchase going. No one seems to know much about them, and many assume an Epi is a cheapie. But no way, my kids will fight over this one when I croak (if they know anything about guitars).


Epiphone > Martin, yep, I said it.

By Anonymous

from Undisclosed

Last December I went to Guitar Center to look for new acoustic. I play a dozen Martins and Taylors and was dissappointed at their lack of tone compared to my 1979 Martin D-35. I picked up this Epiphone and was blown away. The reverb and sustain are incredible. The sound is very loud and strong. It's an incredible guitar. I urge you to buy it. Needless to say, I snatched it up on the spot.


Beautiful Guitar

By Ryan Sprite

from West Michigan

I bought one of these guitars in May of 2006. This is the greatest guitar Ive played besides a Gibson SJ-200. When I was looking for a guitar, money wasnt an issue so I went back and forth between what was in the store (Taylor, Martin, Gibson) and this guitar was better than everything in there. Its very crisp and clean. So in the end it came down to the money issue because sound-wise they were equal. Instead of paying over 2 grand for the SJ200 I paid almost 1/3 for this guitar and Ive never been let down. I wouldnt even be hesitant getting another like it.


Stunning tone quality!

By G-man #9

from Hurricane, UT

I received the AJ-500R for Christmas and I was stunned at how well it played right out of the case! I have played Fenders, Alvarez, Ibanez, and even a Martin, and they could not compare to my guitar. It has excellent tone quality and a nice, deep base response. Awesome guitar!


The Best Sounding Guitar for the Money

By Keith-b4VwY

from Highland Mills, NY

I was in the market for a new acoustic and was willing to spend up to $1000. I tried Taks and Martins, but this guitar just had the fullest, richest sound. Deep bass and balanced tone, I fell in love with the sound and look (I have one of the last sunburst models). My only complaint, and it is slight, is that the action is just slightly high for my tastes (I own a cheap Tak that has action like a Gibson electric) but I could always get the saddle filed down a bit. By the way, the saddle and nut are both bone. The case is an extra bonus: excellent quality and sturdy. I am on my second set of strings now. It ships with Gibson Masterbuilt 12 gauge strings (which sound great), but I put Daddarrio EXP16 12 gaugers on it so they last longer. These strings also sound great on this guitar. I love this instrument!


Amazing Quality ,Tone and Value

By Curtis B.

from New Orleans,La.

The Epiphone AJ500R is the best bag for the buck for any guitar player!! I spent 5 Hrs. playing Martins,Gibsons,Taylors,Ovations etc.. and was leaning towards the Taylor until I played th Epi. AJ500R. The sound of the rosewoods are Amazing as well as the fit,feel and apperance at 1/2 the the price of the Taylor. GREAT guitar sound and value.You can't go wrong!

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