Submitted June 9, 2014 by Todd R in Epping, NH
zZounds has verified that this reviewer made a purchase from us.
I admit to being another player who took a chance on this guitar. And am so glad that I did. No one locally had the Masterbilt in stock, so ordering with my fingers crossed was my only option. As usual Zzounds shipped this ASAP and I had it delivered for free, the very next day. Not bad considering their warehouse is over 400 miles away. This is my 4th guitar purchased from Zzounds and wont be my last.
Out of the box, I went over the Epi Masterbilt for a few minutes looking to make sure it survived the trip. It did. I popped in the batteries and tuned to pitch and gave it a strum. Whoa, this is nice. It rang out and has nice articulation and resonance.
Now knowing that almost all new guitars need some setup out of the box, I played it for a bit to see what I needed to do with it. Frets need polishing. this is my 3rd Epiphone guitar(having 2 electrics) and all of them needed polishing out of the box. Only needed 5 minutes and they were perfect. The fret job from the factory was very nice. From there it was quite noticeable that the bone bridge saddle was really quite tall and the ends were sharp as that could be. I prefer this so I can set up my guitar to my liking rather than having no were to adjust to if it wasn't right out of the box. Ive done my own set ups and repairs for over 30 years, and expected to need some work as even guitars worth many thousands of dollars aren't always right either. Just something that may be expected. Also as shipped the neck had zero relief. Not a big deal. So after filing the bridge height down almost an 1/8", radius the corners and setting up the neck, this guitar became a lifelong keeper for me.
I wasn't expecting the satin finish neck. It plays like 'buttah'. Honestly, it does. I own a custom made raw indian rosewood neck that's on one of my Tele's and it plays amazing. That neck cost me more than the Masterbilt did. And I would easily say the Masterbilt is just as wonderful to play. Not only so smoooooth, but shaped right and is comfortable to play for hours on end.
When shopping for a new acoustic, I played at least a couple dozen guitars ranging in price from $300 to as high as $3000. But keeping my more realistic budget at no more than $1000. Since my purchase, Ive been back to the local shops a couple times and played many more in the $1500/3000 dollar range, wondering if Im missing out on anything? Im not. I always come back with a big smile and a ton more money in my wallet for other things.
So if your looking to have a high end acoustic, get this Epiphone Masterbilt. For the price and the money you will save spending at least double for an American made guitar, you will have one that once set up, will easily play as well if not better IMHO and still have a load of cash left over for a nice hard case, acoustic amp, a decent strap and many extra sets of strings and still be far ahead of the game.
sounds great. It will only get better as the soundboard gets 'broken in'. The electrics in this work well. I have 2 small SS amps, that I run in a wet/dry combo. Using both outs in this guitar allows for an amazing full sound.
The woods in this guitar are quite beautiful. Gloss finish on the body bring out the brains nicely. Satin neck finish is oh so wonderful to play.
Ease of Use
Out of the box, its playable. But like almost all new guitars in any reasonable price range, it did require a good setup to now be a stand out guitar.
Fit and finish is exceptional. I bought the Natural and it has a beautiful amber top. The RW fret board is nice and smooth. Frets did need some minor polishing, but that is to be expected with almost any new guitar to some extent. This is my first Plek fret job. Well done.
This guitar is crazy in value. Ive spent a lot of quality playing time on various guitars selling for far more than this and always came away with a smug grin on my mug, knowing what a player the Masterbilt is by comparison.
Not had to use it for this guitar. Ive dealt with Epiphone in the past. Im happy with their service.
The Wow Factor
Again, its good out of the box, and there is a real WOW to this guitar once it receives a proper set up. And as I already mentioned, try out one of these and try out as many other much higher priced acoustics and make your own informed decision. 9 chances out of 10, you will happily end up with the Masterbilt.
35+ year home/hobby player
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