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Epiphone Masterbilt DR-500MCE Acoustic-Electric Guitar  

Item #: 
127474168936029362
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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, shimm... Click To Read More About This Product

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  • Natural

    $649.00 Top Rated

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  • Vintage Sunburst

    $649.00 Top Seller

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Price:
$6490.00
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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
Warranty

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Pro Coverage gives you added warranty protection for your new gear. Stepping in where the manufacturer's "normal wear and tear" coverage ends, our Pro Coverage program offers you upgraded coverage if your product ever fails Read More.

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  • No lemon guarantee
  • Free transfer of coverage to a new owner
  • Repair costs covered for up to three years from date of purchase
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  • Customer Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
EpiphoneMasterbilt DR-500MCE Acoustic-Electric Guitar
 
4.7

(based on 134 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (109)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (17)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (3)

92%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Good audio (21)
  • Good feel (17)
  • Stays in tune (16)
  • Fun to play (11)
  • Consistent (8)

Cons

  • Poor quality (3)

Best Uses

  • Jamming (13)
  • Practicing (13)
  • Small venues (11)
  • Recording (8)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (43)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (13), Novice (6)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Love at first sight

The sound, feel and quality of workmanship of the DR-500 Masterbuilt is A one. I expected less and got more. I have one entry level guitar for learning when I started to...Read complete review

The sound, feel and quality of workmanship of the DR-500 Masterbuilt is A one. I expected less and got more. I have one entry level guitar for learning when I started to learn. Playing the Epiphone is much easier to play I gave the other guitar to my grandson. Recommending this Epi to anyone who is serious about learning to play and enjoys the challenges the come with it. I am 79 so you're never to old to learn.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Nice guitar with bad preamp

I read many great reviews, so I decided to get one online, so I didn't try it first, as I should have.
I'm a professional musician, and I've been playing guitar...Read complete review

I read many great reviews, so I decided to get one online, so I didn't try it first, as I should have.
I'm a professional musician, and I've been playing guitar for 20 years now. I owned Taylors, Gibsons and Martins, and I have to say this guitar is pretty well built, and is a very nice sounding acoustic. The woods are great, satin neck feels great, the action was good, but I lovered it some more, and had to correct a small bow on the neck...but I don't consider it to be a problem. My main guitar is still Martin DC16GTE Premium(also mahogany), and it looks like that's not going to change any time soon. Comparing those two: the sound on Epiphone is somehow more on the treble side (brighter), definetly a bit louder, but Martin still has more defined tones.
Plugged in, there's no comparison, Martin is a monster (Fishman Prefix Premium Blend preamp). The preamp on Epiphone is small, with thin and tall potentiometers that are just not so convenient for quick on stage use...and turning the volume knob produces some kind of static noise, and now I'm in the process of exchanging the preamp wit a new one from Epiphone. But even then, I think I will just get a Fishman preamp, and install that one, but they are so expensive. The sound coming out of the Esonic2 preamp is just terrible. They say it should be more natural, something like combining piezo pickup and internal mic (which I have on Martin), but as I said, it's not even close. The nanoflex pickup is just bad, the eq knob does very little change to the sound turned all the way down, and up. It doesn't pick up any knocking on the wood, or any of that vibrations that internal mic, or even piezo would pick up. And the nanomag is in my opinion totally useless piece of equipment on acoustic guitar. Maybe I just have a bad working preamp, but I'm doing this review based on what I got for my money.
So, just two eq knobs that do very little change to the sound, and I can't seem to find any usable sound setting.

Reviewed by 134 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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5.0

Yes, I would buy this product again and again.

By cz

from NYC

About Me Experienced

Pros

  • Consistent
  • Fun To Play
  • Good Feel
  • Rich Sound
  • Stays In Tune

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Jamming
    • Practicing
    • Small Venues

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

    I wrote a review of this guitar April 28, 2016 and gave it 4 stars. I've decided it really is a 5-star instrument despite the few quibbles I posted. The soundboard changes I described are really quite minor and I still think a hard case and humidifier help. The overall construction is excellent and the materials are fine. Every now and then I go to my local GC to play guitars and I still find this Masterbilt to be the guitar I would buy even if I gave myself a $2000 budget. The tone, sustain, action, neck, feel and playability all come together to make this a highly worthy guitar.

     
    5.0

    You deserve one of these!

    By Athanasius

    from Orlando, FL

    About Me Experienced

    Pros

    • Consistent
    • Excellent quality electronics
    • Fun To Play
    • Good Feel
    • Lows, mids, highs all there all well balanced
    • Rich Sound
    • Stays In Tune
    • Very high build quality

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Jamming
      • Practicing
      • Recording
      • Small Venues

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

      - Build quality is equal to or greater than Martin and Taylor comparables.
      - $1K less than a comparably equipped Martin or Taylor. Makes this an extraordinarily valid choice for those of us without great big bank accounts. In my humble opinion, Epiphone/Gibson should market the living daylights out of Masterbilt DR-500 models.
      - SlimTaper™ "D" profile neck means playability is very, very good. My fretting hand is already feeling better compared to my old Ibanez PF-30. Overall action is very, very smooth.
      - Natural shade is a very good looking amber in color.
      - Grover® Sta-Tite™ 18:1 ratio tuners - High quality nickel, precise, consistent tuning.
      - Esonic2 and Shadow electronics perform quite well. Offer multiple amplification options.
      - I am still stunned by the exquisite build quality of the Masterbilt DR-500 MCE
      - Overall purchase experience was exactly the way I wanted it to go.
      - Excellent choice for novice, intermediate, advanced, professional.
      - Best bang for the buck in acoustic/electric guitars. Period.

       
      5.0

      Superior Guitar

      By DRH

      from Santa Cruz, Ca.

      About Me Novice

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Excellent craftsmanship
      • Good Feel
      • Rich Sound
      • Stays In Tune

      Cons

        Best Uses

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

          Bought this instrument a few weeks back and can't put it down. First off, the craftsmanship was excellent. Right out of the box, a quick tune, and the sound was incredible to me! ! ! Reading other reviews regarding the electronics, I have no complaints. The instrument's sound was exceptional through my Fender Blues Jr. If you are looking for an Acoustic / Electric in this price range and slightly higher you will not be disappointed.

           
          4.0

          Great Sounding Guitar...But

          By Guitar Slim

          from Los Angeles

          About Me Professional Musician

          Pros

          • Rich Sound

          Cons

          • Poor Construction

          Best Uses

          • Jamming
          • Small Venues

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

          This is an outstanding sounding guitar - bright and booming bass at the same time. The pick-ups sound excellent in a band setting - better than Takamine or Taylor if you're in a group. However.... the saddle was too thin for the slot so I had to replace, and the input jack is really cheap - many owners report crackling and battery shorting. There is a Fishman replacement but it's a bear to replace. Once you make the fixes it's outstanding.

           
          4.0

          Pretty good for the money .

          By R.L.

          from Hico, Tx .

          About Me Novice

          Pros

          • Does sound very much like a higher end Gibson.
          • Good Feel
          • Stays In Tune

          Cons

          • Bad electronics on mine .

          Best Uses

          • Just play it .

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

          Bought this guitar in May of 2015 . Had it set up ,, and it does play pretty well . Intonation is a little off , but most are anyway . I must say that it does have that bit of a higher end Gibson sound . That's good if you like Gibsons I guess . Don't really have any real complaints except for the electronics . It's in the shop right now getting a new pre-amp put in . Thankful for the 5 year warranty on it . I have a couple of friends who have more expensive guitars , ( MARTIN and BREEDLOVE ) , which to my ears do sound some better than this one ,, but they cost a lot more money . So , for the money ,,, apples to apples ,, it's not a bad guitar at all . As with anything ,, you just gotta try it out for yourself .

          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Great guitar, great price for next step up player.

          By Sprattman

          from North Houston

          About Me Experienced

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Good Feel
          • Rich Sound

          Cons

            Best Uses

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

              Broken/smashed my last acoustic ($300 Yamaha) that did the trick as a practice guitar, and so at 50 years of age, I set out to see what I could buy for quality, as I could afford a really decent guitar if I wished. I balanced by decision between getting a "lifetime" high-quality and expensive guitar to enjoy for the rest of my life, and then hand-down to my son, but knew that I wouldn't be needing live or studio quality. The right guitar at the right price made sense to me, not buy the most expensive just because I could afford it. I bracketed my search between the Taylor 714 ce at around $3,000, the Gibson Hummingbird at $2,000, and "something" around $1,000. My research said that Epiphone was a leader in acoustic/electric, the reviews said that Masterbilt was "the right guitar at the right price", and so after playing all three, it was an easy and right-for-me decision to get the Masterbilt. I love the look (bought the natural), and the way it plays and it is a very rich sound. Sounds good plugged in too. Great purchase.

              (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Love this guitar!

              By TimjonE

              from Detroit, mi

              About Me Experienced

              Pros

              • Consistent
              • Fun To Play
              • Good Feel
              • Rich Sound
              • Stays In Tune

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Jamming
                • Practicing
                • Recording
                • Rock Concerts
                • Small Venues

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

                I've played guitar for 25 + years, on many different acoustics. This is a excellent guitar! Love it! Sound is great, feels great. Set up nicely, plus a built in tuner! Very happy with purchase. For the price, it's a great deal. I'll be playing this for years. I've had the guitar for over 2 weeks.

                (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Incredible sound acoustic or plugged in

                By DaCoop

                from Ringgold, Ga

                About Me Experienced

                Pros

                • Consistent
                • Fun To Play
                • Good Feel
                • Rich Sound
                • Stays In Tune

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Church
                  • Country
                  • Jamming
                  • Practicing
                  • Recording
                  • Small Venues

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

                  This is a quality guitar at an affordable price that will only sound better the longer you play it thanks to the all solid wood it is made out of. It chords very well, rhythm playing is loud and without string buzz, which I never could get out of my Takamine jumbo after several repairs. I didn't go into our local GC in Chattanooga Tn. Intending to bring home a Masterbilt , but after playing Ovation, Seagull, Washburn, Martin, I picked this one up and it was that "I finally found it moment" and then I couldn't leave without it. One of the things that impressed me is how natural it sounds plugged in, which has always been a problem for me, but this guitar has the sound that suits me and my ear/style. I play through a Ibanez Troubadour TA35 amp( which sounds great but very bulky) , but I must say I really liked the Fishman Loudbox Mini I played thru at GC... Maybe next on the list! After a couple of months owning this guitar I must say it never gets out of tune, I love the vintage open geared Grover tuners, they work. Great guitar for me, as you know that's why they make so many because we all like it our way and what feels and sounds best for our own taste, but at least give this guitar a play, it plays, feels and looks like a more expensive guitar than it is. Have fun playing.

                   
                  5.0

                  Pro's I play with admire the sound

                  By G

                  from Colorado High Counrty

                  About Me Experienced

                  Pros

                  • Consistent
                  • Fun To Play
                  • Good Feel
                  • Rich Sound
                  • Stays In Tune

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Recording
                    • Small Venues

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

                    I play out about 2-3 time a week. Everyone is amazed at the sound I get from this guitar.

                    Un-pluged or though the clean channel of a Kustom amp, unbelievable sounds, I play with Martin owners that admire the sound.

                    (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    5.0

                    All Solid Wood Workhorse at a Great Price

                    By Campfire Troubadour

                    from Oswego, IL

                    About Me Experienced

                    Pros

                    • Consistent
                    • Fun To Play
                    • Good Feel
                    • Rich Sound

                    Cons

                    • sharp saddle (easy fix)
                    • short tuner posts

                    Best Uses

                    • Jamming
                    • Practicing
                    • Small Venues

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

                    Purchased this guitar about a year and a half ago from GC. I traded in a Taylor 214 that was not giving me the full sound I was looking for during performances. My Taylor played great but sounded so thin/bright and I could not EQ or tweak the thing to give it the deep tone that I was looking for. I needed a big/full sound so I went hunting for a dreadought acoustic electric in the $500-$800 range. I have been more than pleased with the DR-500MCE on every level. I took the guitar to a luthier for a setup and made a few modifications like replacing the bridge pins with Ebony and swapping the strings with Martin SP Lifespan Lights. The ESonic pickup isn't all that spectacular in my opinion, but I run it through an LR Baggs Para DI and have been able to dial in the amplified tone that I have been looking for. A couple small issues I want to mention: Bone saddle is a bit sharp and needs to sanded down (you'll feel it when palm muting), tuner posts are short so re-stringing is a bit of a challenge and bridge pins pop out easily when re-stringing. Other than that, I really don't think you can find a better all around workhorse of a guitar in this price range.

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