Most helpful customer reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful.
Outstanding Guitar for the Money**
OK, first, the Masterbilt series are a phenomenal guitar for the money. Visible workmanship is near flawless. The woods on my particular copy were excellent, with a nice evenly spaced wide grain top. Excellent Grover tuners. The finish on the Vintage Sunburst was as good or better than I have seen anywhere! The sound, once properly setup and tweaked rivals that of guitars costing 3-4X as much. While the total fit and finish are not as refined this sounds as good or better than my Martin D-18!
The caveat on this, and why it does not get 5 stars is you will need to do a little work to get it to the level described. If it was really as good as a $2500 Gibson or Martin out of the box you'd be paying that - there is no such thing as a free lunch. Hidden finish, like under the truss rod cover, or other hidden places is a little rough.
What this guitar really needs to shine is a good setup and a few replacement pieces. While it advertises bone nut and saddle the saddle was rough and poorly made. Any decent replacement bone saddle from Stewart MacDonald would be an improvement, or spend a little time smoothing rough edges with some emery cloth at least. The action was too high for me out of the box so it was a good time to smooth a little while lowering the saddle height. The stock bridge pins are garbage - soft plastic. The bridge pin holes are a little rough and inconstant and I needed to sand individual pins to seat properly in specific holes. I replaced mine with ebony which made a nice difference in sustain. Be aware it does not take standard size bridge pins so measure before you get replacements. While it came with light D'Addario strings, they sounded too bright and shallow for my tastes - mediums really increases the overall depth and volume and gave it a very Martin like flavor. This of course requires a truss rod adjustment, but it needed one out of the box anyways. The frets could probably use a little dressing but are acceptable. Intonation was good up the neck, and once I had the action properly adjusted there was no fret buzz.
The electronics are interesting and have a lot of features and effects (with an excellent tuner) for the buck, sound better than average through my Fender Acoustasonc but are not exactly state of the art either. Time will tell how these hold up, and since I don't amplify often this was more just an added perk - the acoustic sound is what matters for me and this guitar is astoundingly good for the buck.
Once properly set up this is a truly exceptional sounding, visually stunning guitar and one you won't be paranoid to take out in less than friendly conditions like you might a high-end guitar. In fairness, any guitar needs a good setup to suit one preferences, and "out of the box" prefect is a subjective measure. The small bits to modify or replace are inconsequential. It has been stated that workmanship and QC can vary substantially with this marquee, however my only experience, bought sight unseen was excellent. Do the work and it's a solid 5 stars.
Ordered in the afternoon and there the next evening - Amazon Prime Rocks!!
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful.
So..... there is a lot of guitar here. Right out of the box, and I mean right out of the box, this thing is amazing.
Awesome craftsmanship, quality materials, and beautiful details are apparent from first glance.
Sound is something you have to experience to understand. I was absolutely blown away at how great this guitar sounded.
I have played quite a few different Masterbilt models over the years through various friends and local music shops and have always loved them. I was hesitant to purchase this guitar because the setup seemed to have changed somewhat with the matte finish missing and other small details, but this guitar sounds every bit as impressive as any other Masterbilt I have tried. Action and intonation out of the box was incredible, so much in fact that it had held it's tuning from the factory and only required a few simple tweaks using the extremely accurate built in tuner.
This guitar is an amazing value, the kind of instrument that makes you want to keep plaing just to see what sounds you can make with it next. If there are any doubts about it's quality, try it. I promise that you will not regret it. Others have said it and I agree fully, I have no idea how Epiphone can sell these guitars for $600.
I finally have a guitar that I am proud to own. Thanks Epiphone.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful. See all 41 customer reviews...
A Great New Jazz Guitar
This year marks my 40th year of playing guitar, and I wanted to get something special. I play jazz, and like most jazz players (but by no means all) I prefer a midrange tone. I like the midrange but somewhat noisy sound of my archtop, but sometimes I do not want the noise. I have wanted a Gibson j-45 for years now, but they are well out of my budget. For their midrange tone they are a perfect strummers guitar, but for the same reason they are great for jazz. This Masterbuilt version is better than I had hoped for. It has a smooth flawless sound which the electronics are faithful to and the neck is great for high speed. The tone is sweet from the mahogany, but the bone saddle gives it a crisp edge. The look is classic and understated-- perfect for jazz. The construction is all solid wood; if you consider the heel as part of the neck, it is a two piece neck-- head to heel. The old school appearance is undefiled since the electronics are essentially invisible.