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Epiphone Masterbilt AJ-500 & DR-500

mvsr990

Member
Messages
4,886
Been looking primarily at electrics for a starter guitar, but I found these (AJ in Rosewood, DR in Mahogany) at two different shops for the same price ($420) and quite liked the feel of both. Couldn't tell a great deal of difference between them since they weren't side by side, though I guess it's about body shape?

Curious if anyone has an opinion on one over the other for learning and general use?
 

PedalFreak

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
6,117
They are GREAT guitars! The DR has more bass. The AJ has a little more note definition/midrange.

My favorite is the AJ.
 

Groovey Records

Senior Member
Messages
3,131
I wanted to like the Rose Wood AJ so much but I didn't. It felt too light and thin for me. I collect Epiphone's, I only have 4 now and I recommend them highly but not those Masterbilt's particularly. If your thinking of electric, I think your thinking rock and roll, which is great on acoustic. But you need a more substantial box and neck to get those strings ringing to give you the tones used in rock and roll. The AJ & DR 500 are gentile and require a softer touch to get any bottom. For $300 - $350 you could get an EPI Dove or Hummingbird and put a nice set of phospher bronze strings on and play just like you ringing a bell!

Just my own not so humble opinion


Been looking primarily at electrics for a starter guitar, but I found these (AJ in Rosewood, DR in Mahogany) at two different shops for the same price ($420) and quite liked the feel of both. Couldn't tell a great deal of difference between them since they weren't side by side, though I guess it's about body shape?

Curious if anyone has an opinion on one over the other for learning and general use?
 

Ampegged

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,389
I have played a few of both of the AJ in rosewood & the DR. For the money, I have not played a better acoustic guitar off the shelf. A buddy of mine just bought a rosewood AJ that is a killer guitar. Plays great (guy he bought it from had it setup) & sounds great. Plus, it has that snazzy hard\gig bag case. I think he payed $330 for it used. I have played several high end guitars & have preferred the Masterbilts several times. For the money, I havent seen\played anything that even comes close. If I was in the market for an acoustic, I would definately check out a Masterbilt.
 

Shawn3786

Member
Messages
227
Fantastic guitar! Made with great craftsmanship and certainly durable. I'd make sure you buy it electrified to be on the safe side. There is nothing wrong with the masterbuilt series at all, go for it!
 

cesjr

Member
Messages
201
I've zeroed in on these two guitars as well; more specifically the AJ-500ME and the DR-500ME. Unfortunately my local shop doesn't stock the masterbilt series but I've heard many great things about the them.

If anyone knows I'd be interested in which one (of the two) would be better suited for finger picking?

Thanks,
 

cesjr

Member
Messages
201
I'm definitely leaning towards the AJ-500M model. The rounded shoulder J-45 type shape would suit my playing style. I usually won't purchase a guitar without playing one first so it will be a gamble.
 

catdaddy

Member
Messages
10
I've got an AJ500M that I use almost exclusively for fingerstyle. It does have the rather narrow 1 & 11/16th inch nut width but string spacing at the saddle is easily wide enough for fingerstyle. It is also a great guitar for stumming with good volume and projection. A great value IMO.
 

Jamie

Member
Messages
21
The AJ and DR500 are very similar. I think the AJ looks cooler. I sell them at my store. The OM style has a MASSIVE neck very wide with a humorously deep V. Espacially near the body. The others are normal slim acoustic necks. They all sound jawdroppingly good for imports. Canadian larrive is the next step up in quality at $750.
 




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