Just wondering what ya'lls opinions were. I've never really been a big epiphone fan but I've heard the epiphone masterbilts are good guitars (looking more toward the dreadnoughts). Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
I can vouch for the quality of the Masterbilt series, I've got the fingerstyle model and it's all gravy, I love it.
They're both well built guitars. You really can't go wrong with either. Epiphone Masterbilt guitars are definitely one of the better guitars under $1000. Just make sure you try them out before you make a decision.
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Like captivate said, just make sure you try before you buy. In my experience, the Masterbilt guitars can be a little hit or miss. But if you find one that's a hit, I think it'll be a better sounding guitar than that Takamine. But that Takamine is also an acoustic-electric so there's some upside there if you're wanting an acoustic-electric. Are you looking at the Masterbilt acoustic-electrics or just acoustics?
Just acoustics for the masterbuilt really and i can get a pick up for it later on. What i'm mainly look to play with this guitar is just strictly country music. Just to play and sing and i almost worry about the jumbo takamine being too loud to really sing with (without the aid of a mic). But I could be totally wrong on that. I haven't played acoustic in a while. I want something that's gonna be a good sort of all around guitar and I don't really know if a dreadnought is better than a jumbo in that department or not. If any of that information helps. I sure appreciate all the help.
Either guitar would be a great choice for what you want. And I would say that the volume difference between an EG523SC and most of the guitars in the Masterbilt series is negligible. You won't have any problem singing over either guitar... unless you're just not comfortable singing or sing particularly quietly. You can always play the guitar quieter if you want, though.

Which Masterbilt are you looking at? Dreadnought or Advanced Jumbo? Rosewood or Mahogany back and sides?

Do you want to mostly strum or mostly fingerpick?
I went and played both guitars today and finally decided with the epiphone masterbilt dr-500m. I can always get a pick up for it later. I decided against the takamine just because the maple back and sides make it just a little too bright for my taste. I also picked up some ebony bridge pins to replace the plastic ones but I havent used them yet. That was another deciding factor. I wasn't to hyped on the fact that the takamine didn't use pins. I just felt like the masterbilt gave me a more deep traditional tone (if that makes sense). I do appreciate all the help from everybody.
Glad to hear you got the opportunity to try out both guitars, and are happy with your purchase! You should post some pictures and sound clips or post a NGD (New Guitar Day) thread!
Nice choice man! I love me some Masterbilt. Takamine too, but I think I know what you mean about the too bright thing. That and personally I've found better guitars for the price than Takamines in the sub-$1000 range.
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I own the 523SC and it is a great guitar.
honestly, i play unplugged 99% of the time and it's got a really nice tone. But when you plug it in it really comes alive. So either way, it's a good choice.