NAGD: Epiphone Masterbilt Zenith

For guitars of the straight waisted variety (or reverse offset).
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Gavanti
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NAGD: Epiphone Masterbilt Zenith

Post by Gavanti » Sat Feb 02, 2019 9:21 am

I haven't had a proper acoustic in years since I traded away a Seagull. I've mostly used semi-hollow and hollowbody electrics for late night unplugged practice, but whenever I have gone on vacation, it has been a reminder that I could use a nice cheap acoustic. I was intrigued when I saw the Epiphone Masterbilt Century archtops, so kept an eye out for a used or on sale Zenith with f-holes. A cheap used one popped up with hairline cracks by the nut. These looked like finish cracks to me, but it was still more than I was willing to take a chance on. Then the seller slashed the price pretty dramatically, and I decided to take the plunge, and it arrived after FedEx resumed shipping once the polar vortex moved on. Overall, I like it. It has a strong clear tone, not super bassy. It projects well, and the piezo pickup and preamp sound true to the unamplified tone. After further inspection, I'm pretty certain the neck cracks are just in the finish, and they're out of the way of my hand. It looks like it took a bump in shipping as well (or else sitting in a truck in -30 F temps got to it) since there's another long finish crack across one side of the back the seller didn't mention. I can see a few flaws here and there in the edge binding, and one of the f-holes has some remaining uncut materials at the edge. So it's not perfect, as I would expect at the original price, but I'd definitely be careful about QC if I were buying one new. The calculated age vibe is a little strong too—everything's a little too evenly dulled; I assume as it actually ages that will mellow a bit. Otherwise it's nice: really gorgeous grain in the wood, nice satiny neck, good fretwork. Overall, it suits my aims pretty well for the price of a good pedal. I might be tempted to mod it with a gold foil surface mount pickup down the road just for fun, but we'll see.

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Maggieo
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Re: NAGD: Epiphone Masterbilt Zenith

Post by Maggieo » Sat Feb 02, 2019 10:10 am

Time to start playing some Gillian Welch songs!
“Now I am quietly waiting for/ the catastrophe of my personality/ to seem beautiful again.”- Frank O'Hara
I am not an attorney and this post is for entertainment purposes only. Please consult a licensed attorney in your state for legal advice.

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Re: NAGD: Epiphone Masterbilt Zenith

Post by jakeisjake » Sat Feb 02, 2019 10:38 am

that's nice! i've played them in stores and was pleased with them.

enjoy!
Buying another guitar will not make me a better guitar player. I was wrong; I bought another guitar and now I'm boss.

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Re: NAGD: Epiphone Masterbilt Zenith

Post by Gavanti » Sat Feb 02, 2019 10:40 am

Maggieo wrote:
Sat Feb 02, 2019 10:10 am
Time to start playing some Gillian Welch songs!
Ha—it’s mostly been Carter Family and The Sadies for the last 24 hours, but this tune kills me every time. Rawlings’s Olympic sounds so good, though I imagine he’d be just fine with a cigar box guitar.

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Re: NAGD: Epiphone Masterbilt Zenith

Post by Maggieo » Sat Feb 02, 2019 11:11 am

Gavanti wrote:
Sat Feb 02, 2019 10:40 am
Maggieo wrote:
Sat Feb 02, 2019 10:10 am
Time to start playing some Gillian Welch songs!
Ha—it’s mostly been Carter Family and The Sadies for the last 24 hours, but this tune kills me every time. Rawlings’s Olympic sounds so good, though I imagine he’d be just fine with a cigar box guitar.
God, that song and performance is so GREAT.

I really want an Olympic. No, scratch that. I want Dave Rawlings' talent and skill.
“Now I am quietly waiting for/ the catastrophe of my personality/ to seem beautiful again.”- Frank O'Hara
I am not an attorney and this post is for entertainment purposes only. Please consult a licensed attorney in your state for legal advice.

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Re: NAGD: Epiphone Masterbilt Zenith

Post by Gordon » Sat Feb 02, 2019 5:38 pm

Funny coincidence: I was in a guitar shop yesterday because it was close-by to where I was ultimately going, and this exact model make me ponder about getting an acoustic, since i sold mine years ago... :D

Is the bridge fixed/pinned/glued? Or free to move? I couldn't tell...
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Re: NAGD: Epiphone Masterbilt Zenith

Post by zhivago » Mon Feb 04, 2019 12:57 am

Very cool guitar, I was really happy to see these announced a while back.

It was about time they actually made some actual Epiphone designs under the Epiphone brand, instead of just Gibson copies. :)

One day, I will own an original Epiphone Spartan. 8)
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Re: NAGD: Epiphone Masterbilt Zenith

Post by Maggieo » Mon Feb 04, 2019 5:06 pm

Gordon wrote:
Sat Feb 02, 2019 5:38 pm
Funny coincidence: I was in a guitar shop yesterday because it was close-by to where I was ultimately going, and this exact model make me ponder about getting an acoustic, since i sold mine years ago... :D

Is the bridge fixed/pinned/glued? Or free to move? I couldn't tell...
They're free to move.
“Now I am quietly waiting for/ the catastrophe of my personality/ to seem beautiful again.”- Frank O'Hara
I am not an attorney and this post is for entertainment purposes only. Please consult a licensed attorney in your state for legal advice.

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Re: NAGD: Epiphone Masterbilt Zenith

Post by Gordon » Mon Feb 04, 2019 7:11 pm

Maggieo wrote:
Mon Feb 04, 2019 5:06 pm
They're free to move.
Thanks Maggie. But then... I hate floating bridges. :fp: (I know it can be fixed by a professional, but the Epi acoustics are quite expensive in my part of the world, adding luthier work to them won't help)
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