Epiphone has long been known for producing incredible and durable instruments for musicians with all levels of ability. Thanks to their commitment to detail, their willingness to improve upon older instruments, and how they value quality parts, they are able to create reliable and impressive guitars, such as the Masterbilt DR-500MCE.
Our Epiphone Masterbilt DR-500MCE Review
What Is the Epiphone Masterbilt DR-500MCE?
Epiphone has been making all-solid wood guitars since the 1930s, and they know a thing or two about design and quality construction. The Masterbilt Collection was designed to combine historic features with traditional construction methods to create unique and powerful modern instruments with a great vintage feel.
Unlike other similar-looking guitars from competitors, Epiphone sticks to their promise of using all wood in their Masterbilt series. The Original Masterbilt guitars were released in 1931, and they were known for lasting for a lifetime and offering great pleasure when played.
Newer Masterbilt guitars stick to the promise and rely on the well-known Epiphone name as a promise of quality and durability.
Who Is the Epiphone Masterbilt DR-500MCE Designed For?
This guitar was designed for musicians who are interested in a vintage vibe and tone but don’t want to sacrifice the quality of their instrument or the ease of play. Thanks to the high-quality sound that this guitar produces, it’s great for advanced musicians who are looking for an instrument that can match their ability.
While this guitar isn’t any more difficult to use than any other acoustic/electric guitar, the price tag is a little off-putting for new musicians. The Masterbilt DR-500MCE was definitely designed for more advanced musicians who are looking to take their abilities to the next level.
Because it is both an acoustic and an electric guitar, you can use it for quiet practice in your home or can plug it into an amp if you need to be louder for a performance. One great feature that this guitar has is that you can unplug the guitar after pushing in the tuner button without suffering through the typical loud pop, which makes switching between electric and acoustic really easy.
What’s Included with the Epiphone Masterbilt DR-500MCE?
Like most guitars that you can buy online, you will have to invest in a quality case or travel bag when you buy this guitar so that you can protect it when you’re not playing it. It ships with light D’Addario strings, and while they produce a fine tone that is light and pleasant, musicians who want more volume and depth will want to replace them with a medium string instead.
Unfortunately, the stock bridge pins are made of soft plastic and simply aren’t very high-quality and won’t last very long. This means that you need to replace them for more durable bridge pins if you want the best action from your guitar, but since the Masterbilt DR-500MCE doesn’t take standard pins, you will have to order special replacements.
The electronics system is very high-quality and offers incredible tone and sound quality when the guitar is plugged in. Thanks to the body style, the sound has a rich intonation and is very crisp. Make sure that you have an amp on hand, as this guitar does not ship with one.
This guitar requires 2 CR2 batteries in order to use the electronic components, so you need to make sure that you have them on hand.
Primary Features of the Epiphone Masterbilt DR-500MCE
The Epiphone Masterbilt DR-500MCE is built to last for a long time and to provide a deep tone whenever it is played. In addition to being attractive and easy to use as either an acoustic or an electric guitar, it offers the following features:
- eSonic-2 Stereo Preamp
- Electronic tuner activation
- Output Mute
- 1-piece mahogany head
- Adjustable truss rod
- Solid mahogany body and side
- Solid Sitka spruce top
- Onboard tuner
- Grover tuners
The fretboard is a nice size and makes it very easy to play this guitar, but you do need to be aware that the frets are a little rough. More advanced players will still be able to enjoy a great sound from this guitar and likely won’t be so worried about this as a problem, but beginners will find that this will hinder their playing.
Before playing, the Masterbilt DR-500MCE does need a good setup so that you can make sure that it will suit your preferences, as it will play well out of the box but can use some tweaking. The overall workmanship is incredible, but small details, including the pins, the frets, and action may need to be adjusted if you really want control over your playing and your sound.
Alternatives to the Epiphone Masterbilt DR-500MCE
Having alternatives is important when shopping for instruments, especially when you’re on a budget, which is why it’s a good idea to consider the Martin DRS2 Dreadnought Acoustic-Electric Guitar. This is a much better option for musicians with a budget, but it still offers the same beauty and sound as the Masterbilt DR-500MCE. While the Epiphone has a deeper and richer tone, the Martin features a solid Sitka spruce top, which is the same, as well as high-quality electronics for great sound.
Another great option is the Yamaha 6 String Series A3M Cutaway Acoustic-Electric Guitar. It has the same dreadnought body styles as the Masterbilt DR-500MCE but is easier on the budget. While it doesn’t offer the same rich tone as the Epiphone, this guitar is easier for beginners to use and is great for intermediate guitarists, as well.
Conclusion – Should You Buy the Epiphone Masterbilt DR-500MCE?
The Epiphone Masterbilt DR-500MCE is a great guitar for advanced players who really want to have complete control over their sound, want to play both acoustic and electric guitar, and are looking for an instrument that has plenty of power.
Because it is designed for more advanced musicians, you don’t have to worry about not having a guitar that will grow with you as you improve as a guitarist. You can easily improve your playing abilities without feeling held back or stifled by your instrument.
Designed to allow musicians complete control over their music, a rich tone, and perfect tuning thanks to the easy-to-use tuner, guitarists who choose the Masterbilt DR-500MCE will have complete control over their sound and be able to easily adjust their tone as desired during performances.