Epiphone De Luxe Classic, Masterbilt Century Collection

Discussion in 'Other Epiphones' started by BrianB, Jan 19, 2017.

  1. BrianB

    BrianB Senior Member

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  2. Cephus

    Cephus Junior Member

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    I bought the Epiphone Masterbilt Century Deluxe in November at a store closing sale and I love it. It needs different strings then it comes with (for me), but wow, it is well made and a real hit with the string band I am in. Plenty of unplugged volume. I also wanted something different from my flat top sound and this fit me better then the other new archtops at the store in a similar price range, Loar, Godin, Gretch. Play them and see what you think. I do not plug in or play jazz so may depend on what you are using it for.
     
  3. BrianB

    BrianB Senior Member

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    Thanks for the reply... :)

    I've checked out a few other archtops (Loar, Eastman (beautiful, but out of my price range)). The onboard electronics of the Epi is making me look at this. The Loars in my budget range (LH-300 and 600) don't have anything built in.

    What do you think of the frets? Epiphone uses those really narrow frets on a lot of models. I got a EJ-200 Artist at one time, and had it for a day and returned it because of those narrow frets.

    Looking at their website, what they describe as being on the Deluxe is the same as what they use on the Inspired by "1966" Century model ( http://www.epiphone.com/Products/Electrics/Archtop/Epiphone-Inspired-by-1966-Century-Archtop.aspx ). I've had a chance to play one of these, and it has bigger, wider frets on it.

    I was wondering about straight acoustic volume, thanks. The video reviews I've seen all have the guitar amplified, so that was a question mark.

    What did it come with for strings, and what did you change to?

    Thanks.

    Brian
     
  4. Cephus

    Cephus Junior Member

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    Hi Brian,

    I only play it unplugged. The strings that came with it are Cleartone 80/20 lights and they were too bright for me. I put D'Addario PB lights on it thinking if I did not get the volume I wanted I would try medium. I don't think I will change. The sound to me is somewhere between a flat top and a vintage Epi solid carved top archtop a friend has. I like this better for my needs. If you are wanting pure jazz sound I am not sure. For bluegrass and folk it is a really nice change from my flat top. I still use both. The sound difference to me is this: I get a full huge resonance and sustain from my Larrivée and I love it. The Epi has as much volume but not the sustain. Picking notes or Chords with progressions sound amazing. The tone is sweet not harsh. The string band I am in loves it and I am constantly passing it around :) I have read if you are plugging in you will need a EQ and fiddle until you get the tone correct. The guitar is very well finished. I would say the frets are big and wide, definitely compared to my Larrivée, and the neck fits my hands perfectly. Unlike the Loar (300) I played the finish was perfect and the sound was way nicer. I have not played Eastman but have heard they are very nice. Since it is a solid pressed top (not carved) I would not be afraid to order online from Sweetwater where I have heard their setups are very well done. Wish you could find one to play...

    Cheers, C
     
  5. Cephus

    Cephus Junior Member

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    Oh I forgot - I did plug it into the amp I use for my Les Paul - Bugera tube amp, and was surprised how good it sounded. I did run it through an EQ. I am only in the string band right now so am not playing the LP with a band, but if/when I do I may see what this does on a song or two. Hotel California sounded pretty nice plugged in.
     

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