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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... Read More

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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
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  • Customer Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
EpiphoneMasterbilt DR-500MCE Acoustic-Electric Guitar
 
4.8

(based on 58 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (47)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (8)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

88%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Good audio (12)
  • Good feel (11)
  • Stays in tune (9)
  • Fun to play (7)
  • Consistent (4)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Practicing (8)
  • Jamming (6)
  • Small venues (6)
  • Recording (3)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (4)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (9), Novice (4)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Great Guitar

Wow was my first impression on playing this guitar unplugged. The volume and depth of tone are unmatched at this price range. Workmanship is excellent with solid top and back. I especially like...Read complete review

Wow was my first impression on playing this guitar unplugged. The volume and depth of tone are unmatched at this price range. Workmanship is excellent with solid top and back. I especially like the neck which is non lacquered matte finish. It just feels great in you hands. If this guitar had no electronics I would still give it the high marks, but this one really shines plugged in with the Esonic NanoMag. Everyone who has picked this up and played it can't believe the sound out of this thing for the price. I have a Gibson Hummingbird that I love dearly but it was close to 4 times the cost of this. I was always reluctant to throw the Gibson in a bag and take it over to friends and parties so I started looking for a mid priced box. For a guitar in the $600 range, you won't find a better value or with better electronics.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Good guitar, 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. 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 58 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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(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.

      (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.

          (0 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

           
          3.0

          Nice guitar

          By Cristoballs

          from Hollywood CA

          About Me Experienced

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Rich Sound
          • Stays In Tune

          Cons

          • Poor Construction

          Best Uses

          • Recording
          • Rock Concerts
          • Small Venues

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

          I only play at home or with my friends sometimes and what is really great about this guitar is the rich sound, also the fact that it has two pick-ups, so you could use different tones. What is not great about this guitar is that the tuners at the headstock are very short and it doesn't allow you to re-string it easily. Also the pins at the bridge keep popping up when re-stringing it so you need to hold them down with your finger while tuning after re-stringing it.

          (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

           
          4.0

          Love this guitar, but ...

          By C.Z.

          from New York City

          About Me Experienced

          Pros

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

          Cons

          • Fair construction/materials
          • Pre-amp

          Best Uses

          • Jamming
          • Practicing
          • Small Venues

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

          I've had this guitar just about a year, and still love playing it. The superlatives you will read in other reviews are valid, IMHO, with a couple of caveats. The pre-amp volume potentiometer went out after only a few times plugged in. The tuner, while a nice convenience, is unreadable in most situations which makes alternate tuning take a little longer. The bigger issue is that the spruce soundboard has begun to buckle and seams in the wood evident below the bridge. It hasn't affected the sound, but indicates lower quality wood and bracing. A hard case and humidifier are essential. Also, while the guitar sounds wonderful unplugged, it is not very loud, nor does it project well. Very good sustain and tone make up for this minor quibble. Amplified, it is fine. I've read some reviews that complain of how easily a strap comes off the endpin. I found that plugging just a 1/4" plug or adapter in the jack after attaching a strap solves the problem.

           
          5.0

          Everything I wanted and hoped for

          By G

          from Little Rock, Arkansas

          About Me Novice

          Pros

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

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Jamming
            • Practicing

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

            I had progressed in my playing to the point where I found my beginner guitar a bit annoying (action was high and some noticeable fret buzz). My goal was/is to play for friends and family. I have no ambition to go any further and that is why I was not willing to spend thousands. This guitar is much easier to play and makes practicing fun. I am not a professional but if you are a similar type of player I think you will be really happy. The guys at Guitar Center all raved about the guitar and told me I would be really happy with it. They were right. Spends thousands if you want to, it's your money but likely not worth it with this guitar available.

            (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Really nicely exicuted guitar

            By A.D.

            from Oakland CA

            About Me Experienced

            Verified Buyer

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

            For the money, this is an absolutely great guitar. The sound is rich and balanced and it feels great in the hands. It doesn't project quite as strongly as more expensive brands, but I think the tonality is right up there with the best of them, and the electronics really are nice. Plus, the fit and finish are really well done. Again, not as good at a $1500 instrument, but easily up there in the $1000 range. Bottom line, I love playing this thing.

             
            5.0

            Great Guitar for the $$$

            By T

            from Chicago, IL

            About Me Novice

            Pros

            • Good Feel
            • Rich Sound
            • Stays In Tune

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Practicing

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

              I bought the Vintage Sunburst finish about a week ago and I have to say for the money, this guitar is SOLID and looks beautiful. Out of the box, it sounds great. I am somewhat of a beginner and haven't played in a few years, but do have experience. I have always wanted a Martin, but you really can't beat the aesthetics and sound on this guitar especially in this price range. The action is easy and tuner works just fine.

              (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Buy this guitar

              By Kevin

              from Las Vegas

              About Me Novice

              Pros

              • 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 was looking for a solid body guitar for a good price and this guitar is exactly what I wanted. I am no expert in acoustics or how the pickups compare to others but this guitar does everything I need right out of the box. Zero fret buzz, very comfortable action, good tone. I planned on bringing it in to guitar center for a setup but after a couple weeks of playing it I simply can't find a reason that it needs further set up. Buy this guitar.

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