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Epiphone Masterbilt DR-500MCE Acoustic-Electric Guitar  

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Product #423559
Top Rated
Overview
  • Top material: solid sitka spruce
  • Body material: solid mahogany
  • Side material: solid mahogany
Description & Specs
  • MSRP:
    $999.00
  • Your Savings:
    - $400.00
  • Your Price:
    $59900
2 Restock From $509.15
6 Used From $479.20
Please Select a Style...
  • Vintage Sunburst

    $599.00 Top Rated

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  • Natural

    $599.00 Top Rated

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  • Restock Natural

    $509.99 Top Rated

    In stock

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  • Restock Vintage Sunburst

    $509.15 Top Rated

    In stock

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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!

 
Customer Reviews
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Review Snapshot®

by PowerReviews
EpiphoneMasterbilt DR-500MCE Acoustic-Electric Guitar
 
4.6

(based on 53 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (44)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (5)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (2)

94%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Beautiful finish (3)
  • Tone (3)

Cons

    Best Uses

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No (25)

      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

       

      not a Final review

      This was a Mint, used guitar.
      the neck was apparantly no good. The buzz in several strings could not be removed by stress rod adjustments. I was not going to take...Read complete review

      This was a Mint, used guitar.
      the neck was apparantly no good. The buzz in several strings could not be removed by stress rod adjustments. I was not going to take it to a luthier. I sent it back. I have a NEW one on the way. We'll see how that one does.
      I will say the musicians friend was great to work with and gave me a great deal on the new one... no complaints there.

      Reviewed by 53 customers

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      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

      (1 of 1 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

      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Great guitar value

      By Ditch

      from LaCrosse. WI

      Pros

        Cons

          Best Uses

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

            I have had an old Yamaha FG335 for 30 years that I recently gave to my daughter in college. It was an affordable guitar when I bought it at the time and I learned to love it's rich sound. When looking for a replacement guitar, I played different brands in the price range and was sorely disappointed at what was out there. Most sounded awful and some sounded awful and FELT cheap.....and these were name brands. I had a friend who bought a used Epiphone Masterbuilt off of Craigslist who let me borrow it for a month and fell in love with the sound, feel and playability of the instrument so buying this guitar was very satisfying for me. I would recommend this guitar to anyone looking for a best value

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

            Comment on this review

            (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Huge bang for the buck

            By Otis

            from Mendo, Ca

            Pros

              Cons

                Best Uses

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

                  I've had and still own either Gibsons, Martins or Taylors. This guitar stands up to the big three. The quality is excellent as well as the woods used. Playability out of the box is as good as a Gibson or Taylor and much better than any Martin I've ever owned. The electronics are great. If I were to change one thing it would be covered tuners and that's it. Realistically, using high quality materials, what's the difference between a crafstman in Nashville making a guitar and a craftsman in Japan or Indonesia making one? Other than the pay there's none. I would highly recommend this guitar to anyone looking for a great electric acoustic that doesn't want to get reamed for the price of one of the big three.

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

                  Comment on this review

                  (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  The Best!

                  By GaryGaru

                  from Rural Texas

                  Pros

                  • ALL GOOD

                  Cons

                  • none

                  Best Uses

                  • Anywhere anytime

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

                  For years I have played the cheaper versions of name brand guitars.... the kind with ply backs and sides with solid spruce tops... Just have never had the resources to own a more expensive solid wood custom shop guitar with out takin bread off the table of my family... I have played the high end brands owned by friends and I am was well aware of the difference in the quality of sound...playability...and intonation accuracy of a solid wood custom shop instrument....so... I took a shot at this Epiphone... used from Musicians Friend.... It is everything I dreamed a great guitar would be... I am selling my cheapos... can't stand to play them anymore... I went to a music store and played a d28 .... I love my Epi more... I really do! It really is a great guitar...

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

                  Comment on this review

                  (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  MASTERBUILT IS THE PERFECT NAME!

                  By Donny K

                  from Pottsville, Pa

                  Pros

                  • Great looking
                  • Great sounding
                  • Plugged Or Unplugged

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

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

                      I wanted an acoustic electric and I went to a local GC to see what they had. I had done a lot of research before I went so I knew which guitars I wanted to try.The masterbuilt was the first one I played and it was hands down better all around than the Taylors and Martins in that price range and they both had laminated sides and backs. I have a Martin DSR which I love but it now has some competition!

                      • Was this a gift?:
                      • No

                      Comment on this review

                      (3 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      2.0

                      not a Final review

                      Pros

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

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

                            This was a Mint, used guitar.
                            the neck was apparantly no good. The buzz in several strings could not be removed by stress rod adjustments. I was not going to take it to a luthier. I sent it back. I have a NEW one on the way. We'll see how that one does.
                            I will say the musicians friend was great to work with and gave me a great deal on the new one... no complaints there.

                            • Was this a gift?:
                            • No

                            Comment on this review

                            (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                             
                            5.0

                            The nicest at any price

                            By Blue Suede Buick

                            from San Luis Obispo

                            Pros

                            • Modern Technology
                            • Nostalgic Detail
                            • Perfect Set Up Got Lucky
                            • Superior build quality
                            • Vintage Styling

                            Cons

                            • Satin Neck
                            • Satin Neck Preference

                            Best Uses

                            • Giging Recording

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

                            All guitars have a unique tone. One can fall in love with the sound of any of them.
                            The thing about this one is that it plays itself. Hard chords go off without any effort. It is everything I have ever wanted in an instrument, Better electronic blending, pride of ownership solid wood construction and flawless fit and finish. One day they will stop making them because it is easier to make laminate guitars. Ive seen a few of these come off the boat messed up and set up to smash on stage. The thing is, you Cant find one at guitar center because they blow out so fast. Must gamble and order one. Sometimes you have to go through one or two to find a good one. When you do, its really good!
                            Luckily MF accommodates this without a hassle. the customer service is state of the art.

                            • Was this a gift?:
                            • No

                            Comment on this review

                            (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                             
                            5.0

                            tone, quality, looks

                            By cliffmac

                            from canada

                            Pros

                              Cons

                                Best Uses

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

                                  The best all around guitar I've touched in a long time. Hard to find the total package but this is it.

                                  • Was this a gift?:
                                  • No

                                  Comment on this review

                                  (3 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                                   
                                  5.0

                                  untouchable at this price

                                  Pros

                                  • All Solid Wood
                                  • All Solid Woon
                                  • Excellent stereo sound
                                  • Stays in tune well
                                  • Stereo

                                  Cons

                                  • Fret Edges A Little Sharp
                                  • Tuner Is Fair

                                  Best Uses

                                  • Great For Soloist

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

                                  I checked out a lot of acoustic/electrics a grand. Nothing has this much going on it plays so easy feels vibrant and has sweet warm harmonic overtones.The electronics are exceptional with a powerful shadow nano-mag at the neck and multi sensor Nano-flex under the bridge it sounds amazing especially in stereo. Even if you never plugged it in it would still be a great deal. The Master built is like the elitist in their electric line of guitars it is Epiphone's best.

                                  Comment on this review

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