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Epiphone Masterbilt AJ-500RE Advanced Jumbo Acoustic-Electric Guitar

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The Epiphone Masterbilt AJ-500RE Acoustic-Electric Guitar boasts expert luthiery to rival Epiphone's classic 1930s guitars. You can see it in the pre...Click To Read More About This Product

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OVERVIEW

Amazingly low price for all solid woods and luxurious appointments.

The Epiphone Masterbilt AJ-500RE Acoustic-Electric Guitar boasts expert luthiery to rival Epiphone's classic 1930s guitars. You can see it in the 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. The eSonic2 preamp system amplifies that great tone with surprising fidelity. Nickel hardware, stickpin inlay, and offset notch headstock add visual elegance.

The eSonic2 preamp

The eSonic2 preamp with built-in tuner features studio quality fidelity, premiere dynamics, and greatly increased harmonic content, resulting in uncompromising acoustic guitar realism. The preamp is equipped with a very accurate chromatic tuner. When the tuner button is activated, the tuner, there will be no output signal from the guitar. The tuner button can also be used as a mute function. By activating the tuner, you can avoid the loud pops when plugging in.

NanoFlex pickup
The term "Nanoflex" refers to its ultra thin (nano-like) profile and its flexibility that allows it to conform to any surface shape. This assures complete guitar-to-pickup-to-saddle contact. Unlike other under-saddle pickups, the Nanoflex design utilizes 7 highly-sensitive and ultra-responsive layers of sensor material to not only sense the vibrations of the strings but the vibrations of the guitar body as well. The Nanoflex is the first pickup to incorporate active amplification directly at the pickup. As a result, the signal does not pass through even a single millimeter of the wire and therefore, the signal quality is uncompromised.

Nanomag Pickup
Ordinary magnetic pickups have been used successfully to amplify electric guitars for years but when used to amplify acoustic guitars, they fail to deliver desirable acoustic response. That's because magnetic pickups have a very narrow bandwidth with an over-emphasis on mid-range frequencies. The Nanomag, referring to its small size and its composition, is a different kind of magnetic pickup that combines 3 Samarium”Cobalt magnets with on-board, active electronics to produce a low-impedance pickup with absolute linear response and an uncharacteristically wide frequency range.

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

FEATURES
  • Solid Sitka spruce top
  • Solid rosewood back and sides
  • Rosewood fretboard
  • Mahogany neck
  • Gold tuners
  • eSonic2 stereo preamp with built-in tuner and NanoFlex/NanoMag pickup combination
  • Multi-ply binding on top and headstock
  • Full body and fretboard binding

For a fabulous-looking, great-sounding, and easy-playing flat top, you'll never beat this price. Order now.

Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
EpiphoneMasterbilt AJ-500RE Advanced Jumbo Acoustic-Electric Guitar
 
4.4

(based on 21 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (15)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (1)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Great sounding guitar

I bought the Epiphone AJ-500 RE used. I had to correct problems caused Epiphone and/or previous owner(s). Some problems are ones mentioned by others. Someone had tried to lower the...Read complete review

I bought the Epiphone AJ-500 RE used. I had to correct problems caused Epiphone and/or previous owner(s). Some problems are ones mentioned by others. Someone had tried to lower the strings by shaving the saddle too much. The nanoflex was improperly installed. Shadow Electronics of Germany has instructions for the proper installation of nanoflex. A 90 degree hole to the soundboard and bridge is not correct. So I (1) adjusted the truss rod to straighten the neck (2) installed and adjusted a new saddle (3) sent to Shadow for a new nanoflex (under the 5 year warranty) as the previous one had been folded like a piece of paper to fit the 90 degree hole and installed it according the Shadow instructions from their website (4) fixed endpin as someone had tightened the endpin nut without an allen wrench through the securing hole which twisted the wires running out of the endpin so they were making contact causing a severe buzz.

After the problems were corrected, the guitar played and sounded great. The reviews here lead me to the conclusion that the nanoflex and endpin are the buzz problem mentioned in the reviews since many of them are new guitars those problems must originate with Epiphone and their installation of Shadow electronics. I find Shadow pickups to be one of the best on the market they just need to be installed correctly. Also if you leave the guitar plugged the battery is still on, so unplug the guitar to save your battery.

The Epiphone AJ-500 RE setup properly is a joy to play with great sound both unplugged and plugged. This is not the only guitar I own or the most expensive. I like the sound of this AJ-500 RE.

I did get the extended warranty (as I do on used items) useless. Was told to contact Epiphone first which I did, got another runaround. Shadow was the best for customer service (once you find who to contact on one of these guitar forums). Emailed Shadow Electronics of Germany about my problem. Four days later part arrived at my house. No cost.

This is a nice imported solid rosewood and spruce acoustic electric guitar at a moderate price but some may have the nanoflex and/or endpin issues. The installation of Shadow Electronics is the key for those who plug in. It is a sweet sounding guitar plugged or unplugged.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Purchase at your own risk!!!!!!!

I bought this guitar because I fell in love with the sound and projection when I first played it. It had a pretty smooth action, a great vintage look, and seemed to have...Read complete review

I bought this guitar because I fell in love with the sound and projection when I first played it. It had a pretty smooth action, a great vintage look, and seemed to have nice features. Everything seemed to be great for such a low price!What I didn't know was that the first one I bought had major neck problems that I didn't notice until after I really got into the guitar.When I took it to a certified Epiphone technician they told me that this was typical for Epiphone products and said I should get something different.Neverthless, I sent it back to the Epiphone company and they sent me another one. On this one 2 of the tuning machines are bad so the guitar doesn't stay in tune long, and an expert technician told me that the rod was not installed correctly in the kneck and also that it was stripped so there is no way to adjust it. So that's why I say "buy at your own risk." I love the sound the look and the action, but the overall quality is questionable and that's what really matters. One last observation, the pre-amp system is ok but if you play live often be prepared to spend some serious money on batteries; they burn quickly.So, I won't tell you not to buy one but be careful, check everything before you buy, and don't be surprised when things go wrong. Good Luck!!!!

Reviewed by 21 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Great sounding guitar

By Patrick Long

from McLean, VA

See all my reviews

Comments about Epiphone Masterbilt AJ-500RE Advanced Jumbo Acoustic-Electric Guitar:

I bought the Epiphone AJ-500 RE used. I had to correct problems caused Epiphone and/or previous owner(s). Some problems are ones mentioned by others. Someone had tried to lower the strings by shaving the saddle too much. The nanoflex was improperly installed. Shadow Electronics of Germany has instructions for the proper installation of nanoflex. A 90 degree hole to the soundboard and bridge is not correct. So I (1) adjusted the truss rod to straighten the neck (2) installed and adjusted a new saddle (3) sent to Shadow for a new nanoflex (under the 5 year warranty) as the previous one had been folded like a piece of paper to fit the 90 degree hole and installed it according the Shadow instructions from their website (4) fixed endpin as someone had tightened the endpin nut without an allen wrench through the securing hole which twisted the wires running out of the endpin so they were making contact causing a severe buzz.

After the problems were corrected, the guitar played and sounded great. The reviews here lead me to the conclusion that the nanoflex and endpin are the buzz problem mentioned in the reviews since many of them are new guitars those problems must originate with Epiphone and their installation of Shadow electronics. I find Shadow pickups to be one of the best on the market they just need to be installed correctly. Also if you leave the guitar plugged the battery is still on, so unplug the guitar to save your battery.

The Epiphone AJ-500 RE setup properly is a joy to play with great sound both unplugged and plugged. This is not the only guitar I own or the most expensive. I like the sound of this AJ-500 RE.

I did get the extended warranty (as I do on used items) useless. Was told to contact Epiphone first which I did, got another runaround. Shadow was the best for customer service (once you find who to contact on one of these guitar forums). Emailed Shadow Electronics of Germany about my problem. Four days later part arrived at my house. No cost.

This is a nice imported solid rosewood and spruce acoustic electric guitar at a moderate price but some may have the nanoflex and/or endpin issues. The installation of Shadow Electronics is the key for those who plug in. It is a sweet sounding guitar plugged or unplugged.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

One Great Acoustic Guitar

By Fenderzguy

from Washington, D.C. area

See all my reviews

Comments about Epiphone Masterbilt AJ-500RE Advanced Jumbo Acoustic-Electric Guitar:

I mainly play electric guitar but wanted a good acoustic for recording so I settled for the AJ 500RE. The electronics had been replaced with the Elan-4TN which works beautifully. I played it at GC along side a Taylor, Gibson and Martin three times more expensive than this Epiphone. Not even close. The AJ 500 RE produces rich, deep tones, plays extremely well and projects nicely. Even though it's built in China, they have some incredible luthiers there! The craftsmanship is astounding. I also purchased the Ultrasound DSX amp from MF and this guitar and amp are a match made in heaven. I did a lot of research before buying this guitar and almost all reviewers agreed: 1st rate. Best money I have ever spent. So do yourself a favor. Play one and you will buy it on the spot. I love it.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
3.0

I truly wanted to love this guitar...

By Anonymous

from Undisclosed

Comments about Epiphone Masterbilt AJ-500RE Advanced Jumbo Acoustic-Electric Guitar:

I bought the Epiphone Masterbilt AJ500 RE because of the quality wood and great feel. Really sturdy guitar and great sound....... for an acoustic. Two months out of the box, however, and there was all kinds of buzz and crackling when plugged in. I tried different amps, different chords. I replaced the battery. Same thing. My situation was so similar to other reviews on here that I panicked and took it back. Bummer.

 
5.0

Good purchase! Great value! Nicely built

By Dogfather

from Beltsville,Maryland

See all my reviews

Ask me a question

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Acoustic guitar
  • Good electronics
  • Wooden guitar

Cons

  • Frets are a bit large
  • Satin finish

Best Uses

  • Good in amp or PA

Comments about Epiphone Masterbilt AJ-500RE Advanced Jumbo Acoustic-Electric Guitar:

I had been wanting a real wooden guitar of acoustic quality with good natural sounding electronics.This fits the bill at an affordable price.Epiphone produces this guitar in China and finishes the set up here in USA.It was almost in tune after shipping.Used it on a gig day after receiving it.Loved the sound.Came with cheap strings.Not surprised.Changed them next day.I dig this guitar.

 
5.0

Phenom Guitar at modest price

By STPAcoustic

from MASS

Comments about Epiphone Masterbilt AJ-500RE Advanced Jumbo Acoustic-Electric Guitar:

I purchased this guitar a year ago and could not be happier with it. I played it up against all the gibsons and alvarezs in the shop and this guitar could not be beat! This axe's sound unplugged is HUGE and plugged in sounds amazing. I play it through a Marshall AS50D and have Elixer nanoweb bronze 12's on it. They dont show in the picture that the guitar has a magnetic pickup where the sound hole and neck meet. The electronics are nice and easy. You have 2 controls knobs for each on the pickups (magnetic and piezo under the saddle) and a blend switch. The magnetic blended in with the piezo gives a huge and warm sound but if you play in front of a speaker or bass stack the magnetic picks up and buzzes a little but turned down enough and it doesnt. The blend is great for solo gigs. Using just the piezo the guitar sounds nice and bright but not too bright (I like really really bright sounding guitars). I purchased mine at a local shop and the hardshell case came with it and I like it. It is a snug fit near the electronics but you can pull back the padding and it fits nice and snug. The neck it straight as an arrow. I shaved down the saddle just a little for easier playability. You will not regret buying this guitar, I promise! Who needs to spend 2-3k on a Martin Taylor or Gibson when this sounds even better!

 
5.0

stopped looking after playing this

By two bits/ 25 cent

from appleton, wis

See all my reviews

Comments about Epiphone Masterbilt AJ-500RE Advanced Jumbo Acoustic-Electric Guitar:

I've been playing over 30 years. If this is your first guitar, you're very fortunate indeed. If your looking for a replacement, start here with this instrument if money permits or almost permits. I havn't even tried the electronic aspect yet. I play 50's,60's + 70's with a rock band but played coffeehouses, hotels, private clubs and Universities for years prior. This acoustic is the orchestra I wish had been behind me all those solo gigs. This review limits types of music played. Don't do Puff the Magic Dragon but I do play Rocky Racoon, Blackbird, Kodachrome, Main Street, Nashville Cats etc. If that's folk, ok. In my day it was Top Forty. I played it back to back with the Martins, Ovations and anything that caught my eye. This is a guitar for creating music. The description is far from true. Smartly appointed etc. etc. It's all in the sound, beautiful. Many guitars are suited for show! This one is all about playing music,no need for pearl inlays. The head is authentic inlay, no need to dress up beautiful sound in my opinion, Just play one and the science is self evident regardless of what you know about constructs

 
5.0

Amazing guitar for an amazing price

By ps150rocks

from Montana - God's Country

See all my reviews

Comments about Epiphone Masterbilt AJ-500RE Advanced Jumbo Acoustic-Electric Guitar:

I bought this guitar about a year ago as my first acoustic guitar. It is also the reason I fell in love with playing acoustic guitars. The low tones are room-filling and have boom to them. At the same time, the mid-tone and high-tone are loud and pleasantly consistent. Anyone who loves the instrument to work in perfect harmony with them and feel like they are part of the same musical expression will love this guitar. Since then I have bought two Taylors (814ce, 615ce). And, I have to say the AJ-500RE holds its own against them and I still play it about as often as my Taylors. The only reason I gave this a 4.5 in quality is because the electronics are fairly cheap and don't allow you to control tone or volume. But, you can buy this guitar and feel great about it. You won't be disappointed.

 
5.0

one of the best sounding guitars you can buy

By John Westcott

from Stevensville, MD

See all my reviews

Comments about Epiphone Masterbilt AJ-500RE Advanced Jumbo Acoustic-Electric Guitar:

I recently bought one these at my local music store. I was in there trying out a few other high end guitars and I've had my eye on getting slope shoulder j45 Gibson. I picked up the display model and was surprised at the bottom-end and loudness of this instrument. It out gibson's a Gibson at a 3rd of the price. I own a Yairi, a Rainsong, a Larrivee parlor and this guitar compares in quality and workmanship. My Rainsong is still the clearest sounding of my collection of instruments but it's designed for fingerpicking. The Yairi has a maple back so it got that clear sounding voice too. The Epiphone on the otherhand has that big voice needed for bluegrass. It has that deep,woody sound that I'm missing from my other instruments. I ended up getting a new one straight out the wrapper and it was setup perfectly and sounded even better then the floor model ( that one needed new strings) The fit and finish were perfect. The guitar features a one piece rosewood back along with solid rosewood sides and solid spruce top. The satin finish makes for a very fast playing neck and no fingerprints. The true test came Sunday at my local bluegrass meetup ( Baltimore Bluegrass Meetup Group) Most of the guys there are Martin fans and there are a number of new and old instruments that are brought out to the jam so we all get try out each other's guitars. I could tell the Epiphone had more bottom end and was just as clear as some of the old Martins. Based on what I've heard and tried this is one of the best values in the acoustic guitar world if you looking for a new instrument give it a try and save your money. No need to spend Thousands of dollars when you can get the same quality and sound for a lot less.

 
5.0

Can,t put it down...

By Trev.

from Oshawa, ON

Comments about Epiphone Masterbilt AJ-500RE Advanced Jumbo Acoustic-Electric Guitar:

From the moment I took the guitar out of the case it has been an experience of sound that just never stops.The fullness,the tone, high and low,this guitar packs a punch even on the most delicate of songs this guitar overwhelms the ear.I don,t use picks so if a guitar can sound this beautiful for me, I am a happy guy !!!

 
3.0

Nice sound when electronics work

By c14smalls

from NE Texas

Comments about Epiphone Masterbilt AJ-500RE Advanced Jumbo Acoustic-Electric Guitar:

I purchased this guitar a little over a year ago. I went in for a Martin but happened to play this one and loved it. Since then it has been returned for warranty work on the electronics three times. The Esonic2 electronics are trash! I tried to get them to put another preamp in on the third return but they wouldn't. It also goes through batteries like nothing else, and they are expensive. As an acoustic this guitar would be among the top of the class but with the Esonic2 preamp, its not worth shooting. I ended up selling it for next to nothing and getting a Takamine. If you do purchase I hope you have better luck.

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