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  #1  
Old 07-15-2017, 03:41 PM
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BoneDigger BoneDigger is offline
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Default NGD: Epiphone Masterbilt Century Deluxe

Okay, no throwing stones! I realize this guitar doesn't get high reviews from the jazz crowd, but I'm okay with that since I don't play jazz!

I bought this used, but like new. It's well set up and sounds great. I'd almost call this a crossover archtop for the dreadnought crowd. I played quite a few vintage archtops, from Gibson to Kay. Since I'm not a jazzer, I wasn't exactly looking for that jazz tone. This one has more bass but generally has its own tone. Acoustically and plugged in, it sounds like what I wanted.





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Last edited by BoneDigger; 07-15-2017 at 05:20 PM.
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Old 07-15-2017, 04:59 PM
DanR DanR is offline
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Very nice!

Congrats and enjoy ♫
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Old 07-15-2017, 05:46 PM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
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If you like yours keep it in good shape - as you said they were poorly received in the marketplace (and not just by the jazz crowd) due to their neither-fish-nor-fowl nature, and one dealer told me a while back that Epiphone may be pulling them from the market entirely, either in favor of a more period-accurate (and somewhat more expensive) redesign, or discontinuing them outright to refocus on the low-/mid-price not-quite-reissue electric market where their strength lies. Given the new Embassy and T-Bird Vintage Pro basses that debuted at Summer NAMM - and the new Deluxe acoustic/electric bass notwithstanding (full-size ABG's are on their way out in general - IMO this one's dead in the water even before it ships in October) I strongly suspect the latter...
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Old 07-15-2017, 05:55 PM
dannyg1 dannyg1 is offline
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I take it that these guitars sound more like a dread than an archtop?
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Old 07-15-2017, 06:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dannyg1 View Post
I take it that these guitars sound more like a dread than an archtop?
Not exactly a dread, and not exactly an archtop. It really has its own thing going on tone wise.
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Epiphone Masterbuilt Century Deluxe archtop
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Old 07-15-2017, 07:09 PM
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I had a chance to really put it through its paces this afternoon. It's a great sounding guitar and fits my needs perfectly. As I mentioned earlier, I played a few vintage archtop that were available locally, including a Gibson, a Kay, and an old Epiphone. All sounded good and sounded like an archtop is meant to sound. The Gibson actually came in second to the Kay.

The new Epiphone doesn't sound as compressed as the vintage instruments, but to me that's a good thing. It doesn't sound cheap and boxy though. It really does have a pleasant tone and is a dream to play. It projects very well acoustically as well.

The pickup is more along the lines of what would be found in a flat top guitar. Not sure why they chose it, but it's also pleasant in its own way.

I would not call this a jazz box for sure. But, if you are looking for something different, this is a nice guitar.

The case is one of nicest I've seen.
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  #7  
Old 07-16-2017, 12:51 AM
Desafinado Desafinado is offline
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The Masterbuilts are terrific guitars. Enjoy!
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Old 07-16-2017, 06:00 AM
gmr gmr is offline
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I purchased one of the small Olympic models. While it has s not the same charcteristic archtop tone of the originals, it has a likeable and useable tonality. I have lately been thinking about replacing the bridge with a more traditional rosewood bridge/saddle and replacing the under saddle piezo with a dual transducer type, mounted underside of the soundboard in hopes of taming some of the piezo harshness. I had been resigned to trade this guitar for something else. But it is fun to play, unusually comfortable despite the big neck, and the tone is very even across the strings and up the neck. I agree, the cases for these are very, very nice.
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Old 07-17-2017, 09:36 AM
jricc jricc is offline
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Beautiful guitar.
How does it play? I tried one of the smaller ones, maybe the Olympic? and the playability seemed very stiff to me. Just curious...

Anyway, lots of luck with her.
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Old 07-17-2017, 01:20 PM
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The one I bought was well set up and it plays like a dream. It has low action and the thick neck is actually quite comfortable.
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Martin D18 (2017)
Martin D35 (2017)
Guild D40 Bluegrass Jubilee (Tacoma)
Guild F412 (Tacoma), 12-string
Guild F50R (Corona)
Composite Acoustic (CA) Cargo (carbon fiber)
Epiphone Masterbuilt Century Deluxe archtop
Cordoba C5ce (classical)
several banjos!


www.mcmakinmusic.com
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Old 07-17-2017, 07:16 PM
Hot Vibrato Hot Vibrato is offline
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A friend of mine bought one, and it's a nice guitar. It doesn't exactly "bark" when chomping out swing jazz chords, but it has a nice sound. I like big necks, but I'm wondering why Epiphone went with such a chunky neck, considering that many Epiphones from the 40's and 50's have slim necks even by today's standards - definitely much slimmer than the current Masterbuilt series. Not necessarily a criticism - just an observation.

The onboard piezo pickup sounds about like you'd expect. I think that with a magnetic pickup, these Masterbuilts would sound fantastic through a good tube amp. For a blues or old school country tone, a Johnny Smith style pickup would be a nice addition, and it wouldn't affect the guitar's acoustic sound.
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Old 07-17-2017, 07:20 PM
Cepheus Cepheus is offline
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Thumbs up

I had a similar experience. Glad to see I am not the only one who likes these guitars. I play acoustic only and have a high end Larrivée Dread among others. I bought mine at a local store going out of biz sale and was really expecting to sell it. I love the different sound and so does the string band I am in. I agree it does not sound like the old archtops, but for me it is perfect when I want something a bit different and sounds and plays amazing. It also opened up after a month or so and with a bit different holding style (keeping the back away from my body so as not to dampen) it is actually louder than my Larrivée. I love it and don't much care that most of this forum seems not to. Play it and enjoy! When it opens up you will be pleasantly surprised

Cheers - Cepheus
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Old 07-17-2017, 07:33 PM
Cepheus Cepheus is offline
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OH - forgot - I was also wondering if replacing the bridge with ebony or rosewood would make a difference I would care about since I am not plugged in. At this point I am keeping the guitar so don't really care if it reduces the value. The bridge fits well but it is carbon? plastic? ??

I would appreciate your input even if you did not like the guitar. (and I agree that the case is well done)
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  #14  
Old 07-17-2017, 09:30 PM
gmr gmr is offline
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I agree Cepheus. These guitars are cool. They do have a sound that is different compared to classic acoustic archtops but certainly have a good deal of character. I like the guitar as designed but I am curious to seet if fitting a rosewood bridge and changing the undersaddle pickup with a dual piezo like a KandK or a jjb type will calm down the harshness of the stock undersaddle pickup. The sound samples I have heard from these type pickups on other guitars are a noticeable improvement over typical undersaddle types. Some samples have actually been quite natural sounding. I am not a jazz guy so I am not looking for a tone derived from the magnetic type pickups, but simply a transparent amplified acoustic tone. My ES125 covers that reasonably already. Impacted to my old Gibson ES, the neck profile of the new Epi is massive but quite comfortable nonetheless.... My only real gripe is purely personal.... Iwish it were of a Gibson scale length.😁
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  #15  
Old 08-16-2017, 08:43 AM
savofenno savofenno is offline
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Wink Coming back, getting the guitar in topic too

So i had to sign me in again to AF, well, they gave me new password, simple as that. I had forgot my old 4 years...

I will get Epiphone Masterbilt De Luxe Classic next week. Peoples opinions of it
have not been entirely positive, they mostly say it is not the guitar it wants to be really, but thankfully it`s said the tone is not dull as least.

I bought a Loar LH-309 3 years ago, before i had read many recensions which were mostly not so positive, but it sounded good for me, i play 90% acoustically with it. To me it sounded like Eddie Lang`s guitar in records.
It IS a L-5 from 1928 copy or like. Today it costs twice 2014 price, and guitarists say nice things of it.

At seller Thomann`s photos it does not look cheapish either, let`s see how it looks in reality. I am feeling good vibrations already without using trem arm in one of my 12 Strats!

I have been lucky this far when choosing my 65 guitars or basses.

Last edited by savofenno; 08-16-2017 at 09:11 AM.
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