Masterbilt EF-500M Review

manufacturer: Epiphone date: 12/11/2008 category: Acoustic Guitars
Epiphone: Masterbilt EF-500M
The EF-500M features all solid wood construction with Mahogany back and sides and a Sitka Spruce top. A Rosewood version is also available. The guitar features a tapered dovetail neck joint, hand-scalloped bracing, and full-body abalone binding. A thin headstock with open-gear Grover tuners helps continue the vintage vibe of the guitar.
 Sound: 10
 Overall Impression: 9
 Reliability & Durability: 9
 Action, Fit & Finish: 9.5
 Features: 8
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (2) pictures (2) 4 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9.4
Masterbilt EF-500M Reviewed by: fifer, on august 27, 2008
2 of 3 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 400

Purchased from:

Features: This guitar was made this year (2008), in China like all Masterbilts. It has 20 frets, and a V shape neck (I think). Solid top, back and sides. Body is made from mahogany and it has a spruce top. Not sure of the finish. Body style, I believe is like an OM or 000. Bridge is the same (I think) as any other acoustic guitar. No electronix. are open back grover, I think they are 18:1 ratio. It didn't include anything but the guitar and the thing to tighten the truss rod. // 9

Sound: It is perfect for my styles. I like to play a little classical, soft rock, and praise songs, along with other stuff, but this guitar is perfect if you are playing fingerstyle and also tapping (like Trace Bundy type of music). It has a full sound that the solid woods give it, and it sounds amazing! // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: This guitar was set-up pretty good, low action, straight neck, no buzzing. The guitar contains small flaws because I bought the blemished item from zzounds. But they aren't very visible unless you look for them, and they do not affect playability or sound. it's just a few dents on the wood, but they are really small. // 10

Reliability & Durability: This guitar would stand Live playing, as long as you aren't planning on hitting it or burining it like some people do. Hardware does seem like it will last for a long time. It only has one strap button and it looks solid (I actually prefer only one strap button). Yeah I can depend on it, and I would use it without backup as long as I had extra strings. The finish is very thin, and I hope it lasts. // 9

Overall Impression: I play many different styles of music and I beilieve this guitar a very good match to my musical taste. I have been playing for around 3 years, I also own 2 electric guitars also by Epiphone, and another acoustic Epiphone, and Fender acoustic. if it were stolen I would probably replace it with this one or with the rosewood version. I love the feel, playability, sound and look. I wish it had a good pickup system. // 9

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overall: 8.8
Masterbilt EF-500M Reviewed by: TimboSlice, on december 11, 2008
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Features: Much of the details of construction were covered in the previous review, so I won't waste your time repeating anything. I can confirm that the neck is a V-shape, and the body is the OM style. My model is the EF-500 MNS, standing for Mahogany back and sides, with a Natural Satin finish. 25.5" scale length and 1.75" at the nut. The extra width on the fretboard is designed with fingerstyle players in mind. A tapered dovetail neck joint connects the set neck to the solid wood body. No extras. // 7

Sound: Here's where This Girl shines. Projection comes to mind, as it should with a solid wood acoustic. Not quite as strong as rosewood, but definitely beats spruce back and sides. Plenty of volume, spewing a full, rich, Vintage tone. Great harmonic response, and good vibrations. It's the kind of guitar that makes your ears all warm and fuzzy. I do play a lot of fingerstyle, as well as some bluesy stuff, and essentially whatever comes my way - this guitar is great for all acoustic steel-string styles. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: As per the factory set-up, I cannot comment, as I bought this guitar used; however, I have no complaints. The action is tight, no buzz anywhere, straight neck, and the frets are dressed well. I can see no flaws in the finish, the grain is gorgeous, and there are no hardware issues. // 9

Reliability & Durability: This guitar feels as sturdy as a mountain goat. You'll put a hole in anything if you kick it hard enough. The tuners are stable, the bridge is sturdy, and the guitar is built to play. I would and have gigged without a back-up. It's an acoustic - they're built to age, and sweeten as they go. // 9

Overall Impression: This guitar feels great. I've got longer fingers, so I find the wider fretboard to be great even for simple strumming - when I play an open A I'm not all scrunched up. I stumbled across this guitar by pure chance/destiny, and I haven't looked back. I was playing Larrivees twice or three times as expensive, the L-03R mostly, and while I prefer the Larrivee, the value:price ratio with this Epi was much more pronounced. Were it stolen, I would definitely repurchase, especially with such an agreeable price tag. Make no mistake, this guitar can compete with the big dogs. I am 100% satisfied. // 9

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