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-   -   Epiphone Masterbilt Century Deluxe upgrade (https://www.acousticguitarforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=538941)

BoneDigger 02-22-2019 08:11 PM

Epiphone Masterbilt Century Deluxe upgrade
 
2 Attachment(s)
I still really like my Century Deluxe but decided I just couldn't live with the pickup that came on it. I considered a floating pickup but decided to go all out on it. I had my local shop install a Gretsch Dynasonic neck pickup in it. Wow, what a difference! They installed tone and volume controls and replaced the battery compartment with a nice cover and jack. For rockabilly and even jazz or blues, this is a great little combo!

ToddAttachment 19350Attachment 19351

Steve DeRosa 02-22-2019 08:44 PM

Um, it's a bit too late now, but did you consider this Big Band period-accurate - and non-invasive - option:

https://shop.guildguitars.com/produc...-mount-pickup/

IMO Epiphone should have done something like this from the get-go - I also think a piezo bridge is a bad idea on a guitar of this type - and I'm hoping they get it right on the long-rumored/long-awaited successor lineup...

BoneDigger 02-22-2019 09:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Steve DeRosa (Post 5987724)
Um, it's a bit too late now, but did you consider this Big Band period-accurate - and non-invasive - option:

https://shop.guildguitars.com/produc...-mount-pickup/

IMO Epiphone should have done something like this from the get-go - I also think a piezo bridge is a bad idea on a guitar of this type - and I'm hoping they get it right on the long-rumored/long-awaited successor lineup...

Yep, I sure did. I almost pulled the trigger on one of those but decided I felt like going all out on this. I very happy with the tone. It's a great mod and not too awfully expensive when finished.

rockabilly69 04-08-2019 12:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BoneDigger (Post 5987744)
Yep, I sure did. I almost pulled the trigger on one of those but decided I felt like going all out on this. I very happy with the tone. It's a great mode and not too awfully expensive when finished.

For me I would have to go full dynasonic, just for the pole piece adjustment alone!!! And I've owned a few DeArmond stick pickups I really don't like all that stuff on top of my guitar!

JohnHuff 10-31-2019 06:08 PM

Shadow Nanoflex pickup
 
I was disappointed with the brittle sound of the original pickup, also the 1st string was too quiet. I had the p/u replaced with a Shadow Nanoflex and the difference is AMAZING! It gives the true acoustic sound of the guitar (not the elecric sound which will inevitably come from a conventional p/u no matter how good). Equipped with Martin Retro Monel strings all the brashness has gone and the guitar is sweet and even in response right through the range. The only downside is that the onboard controls, which were themselves a bit iffy, are now defunct. I use my amp's eq (AER Compact 60) and a volume pedal for live situations. I now have the guitar I wanted. Shame it was spoilt by cheap electronics in the first place.

rockabilly69 11-01-2019 11:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JohnHuff (Post 6200532)
I was disappointed with the brittle sound of the original pickup, also the 1st string was too quiet. I had the p/u replaced with a Shadow Nanoflex and the difference is AMAZING! It gives the true acoustic sound of the guitar (not the elecric sound which will inevitably come from a conventional p/u no matter how good). Equipped with Martin Retro Monel strings all the brashness has gone and the guitar is sweet and even in response right through the range. The only downside is that the onboard controls, which were themselves a bit iffy, are now defunct. I use my amp's eq (AER Compact 60) and a volume pedal for live situations. I now have the guitar I wanted. Shame it was spoilt by cheap electronics in the first place.

the original pickup is a shadow nanoflex, as per Epiphone....


Now with the eSonic™ HD preamp and Shadow NanoFlex™ HD Under-saddle pickup, you can plug in any Masterbilt Century archtop acoustic/electric into an amp or any PA and hear your guitar’s beautiful and dynamic true acoustic tone on any size stage. For flattop guitarists who have only played old plywood archtops, the sound of a Masterbilt Century guitars will be a revelation. Get ready for a totally new acoustic guitar experience!

JohnHuff 11-01-2019 02:27 PM

Shadow Nanoflex pickup
 
Unfortunately it seems that Epiphone may have fitted a cheaper Nanoflex-ish pickup. Beilieve me, it doesn't seem to be a proper one. (I'm choosing my words carefully.) It's obvious when it's removed. The difference is like night and day. Instead of picking up the sound of the strings, the replacement (real one) picks up the sound of the guitar top, rich and full. The monel strings reduce the top end. The bronze/nickel alloy is not as bright as phosphor/bronze.
I had mine fitted by Jeff Beer (Zero One Guitars), a luthier from Pencader, Wales. He made a superb job of it. The volume pot was unreliable, causing distortion, and so as it could not be removed it was left out of the wiring. He fitted the preamp in the original jack socket and the battery in the original battery box. I use a volume pedal for real time volume changes but the amp controls for overall volume setting.
The guitar now punches way above its weight. It's a fantastic instrument, superb value. But it will only be the cogniscenti (those that know) who get the best out of this guitar. It really comes in under the radar. The cheap electronics will always sully its reputation, but invest in one, make the changes and you'll have a jewel!


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