Epiphone Masterbilt New Century f-hole archtops

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Phil_aka_PipPhil_aka_Pip Frets: 8787
edited March 25 in Acoustics
DeLuxe (the big one)
Zenith (the middle-sized one)
Olympic (the baby one)

Anyone got one (or more than one?) How are you getting on with it? Do you wish you had bought one of the others and why?
"Working" software has only unobserved bugs. (Parroty Error: Pieces of Nine! Pieces of Nine!)
Seriously: If you value it, take/fetch it yourself
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  • BigLicks67BigLicks67 Frets: 468
    I played one the other day, not sure what model it was but the neck was enormous.
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  • Phil_aka_PipPhil_aka_Pip Frets: 8787
    I played one the other day, not sure what model it was but the neck was enormous.
    You're right they are a bit baseball bat-ish. Apparently they used to be built that way to stand up to the steel strings, before truss rods got to be the way they are today. tbh I didn't mind that much. I've got a Columbus Hummingbird copy with a neck of similar size.
    "Working" software has only unobserved bugs. (Parroty Error: Pieces of Nine! Pieces of Nine!)
    Seriously: If you value it, take/fetch it yourself
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  • NiteflyNitefly Frets: 2059
    Yep Phil, I got the Zenith with f-holes from Thomann (the only place I could find one, and they didn't have the matching case for it, grrr...). 

    It's the "vintage natural" finish, aka blonde.  I was surprised, and a little disappointed, that it was satin rather than gloss, but I've learned to live with it.

    As already mentioned, it has a pretty big neck - almost as big as the 1940's L-50 that I had for a while - but it's very manageable.

    It arrived with round-wound strings, which I've replaced with flat-wounds, 11's I think.  I've also installed the included scratch-plate - It just looks wrong without it, to my eye.

    I'm very impressed with the acoustic sound, especially with the flat-wound strings - I've been using it mostly for chordy stuff, which really gets it moving.

    I've only plugged it in once, just to make sure it worked, so I can't really comment on the amplified sound.  That said, it's a Shadow Nanoflex under-saddle unit, so I wouldn't expect too much in the way of jazzy woodiness...

    All in all, I'm very pleased with it, just annoyed about the case, which I see is now available at an extra £129...

    Grown most uncommonly fat!
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  • Phil_aka_PipPhil_aka_Pip Frets: 8787
    Thank you @Nitefly. Did you choose the Zenith as a compromise between the rich sounding Deluxe and the very cut-through sound of the Olympic?

    I thought the Deluxe sounded good on its own, but that the Olympic would be better when placed among other instruments. It wouldn't crowd other instruments' frequency ranges.
    "Working" software has only unobserved bugs. (Parroty Error: Pieces of Nine! Pieces of Nine!)
    Seriously: If you value it, take/fetch it yourself
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  • NiteflyNitefly Frets: 2059
    I just liked the look of it - the Deluxe at 17" looked a bit too much of a handful for me (can't manage dreadnoughts for the same reason - too much "me"!), and the Olympic was too small.

    BTW I posted a pic of my 72 SG in the other thread, with he plugged mini-switch holes - intriguing!
    Grown most uncommonly fat!
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  • Phil_aka_PipPhil_aka_Pip Frets: 8787
    I know what you mean. My Columbus Hummingbird copy used to sit very close to my body when I were 17, and the neck would stick out to the left, perpendicular to the direction I was looking in. If I played it today my middle-aged bulge would push the instrument way too much in front of me, so instead the neck sticks out at 45 degree to the direction I'm looking and the big part of the body is by my side under mt right elbow.
    "Working" software has only unobserved bugs. (Parroty Error: Pieces of Nine! Pieces of Nine!)
    Seriously: If you value it, take/fetch it yourself
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  • Phil_aka_PipPhil_aka_Pip Frets: 8787
    edited March 30
    @Nitefly @ESBlonde @Bridgehouse I did it, got one of these

    Lurved the tone, size is just right.

    EDIT I don't think you can say "they don't make 'em like that anymore" ... 'cos they do!
    "Working" software has only unobserved bugs. (Parroty Error: Pieces of Nine! Pieces of Nine!)
    Seriously: If you value it, take/fetch it yourself
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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 14427
    Cor! Worth waiting for the middle one then?
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  • Phil_aka_PipPhil_aka_Pip Frets: 8787
    Cor! Worth waiting for the middle one then?
    Yes indeedy :)

    Already booked in with my tech for a setup job (new strings, adjust truss rod & bridge, set intonation etc). It's pretty good now tbh, but there's a strip of white stuff under the bridge supposed to prevent scratching if bridge moves in transit which if I remove it the bridge WILL move and I want different strings. But I'm very happy :)
    "Working" software has only unobserved bugs. (Parroty Error: Pieces of Nine! Pieces of Nine!)
    Seriously: If you value it, take/fetch it yourself
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  • NiteflyNitefly Frets: 2059
    Ah, great stuff - glad you're pleased with it, Phil!

    I was quite tempted by the sunburst myself, but finally plumped for the blonde.  Lovely ebony board, too.

    I hope you have many happy hours with it  =)

    Grown most uncommonly fat!
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  • VimFuegoVimFuego Frets: 6176
    nice one Phil, what's the volume like on that?

    I'm not locked in here with you, you are locked in here with me.

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  • Phil_aka_PipPhil_aka_Pip Frets: 8787
    ATM I'd say there's not a lot of difference between it and other acoustics when fingerpicked. When that strip of white stuff is removed from between bridge & body, there will be better acoustic coupling and I think it may seem louder. I am also under the impression that the volume may well increase when the strings are struck fairly hard with a plectrum. The bass is "there" and fairly tight, but the top strings really ring and I think it's the tone quality that will allow the instrument to cut through a mix.

    So I'll try to remember to report back after setup & new strings and after a go with my favourite brass plectrum. I expect to be reporting more volume than other equivalently sized acoustics.
    "Working" software has only unobserved bugs. (Parroty Error: Pieces of Nine! Pieces of Nine!)
    Seriously: If you value it, take/fetch it yourself
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  • ESBlondeESBlonde Frets: 2298
    Nice. Not a surprise you got it but still nice.
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  • Phil_aka_PipPhil_aka_Pip Frets: 8787
    The more I play this guitar the more I like it! And that's before Colin has a go at it...
    "Working" software has only unobserved bugs. (Parroty Error: Pieces of Nine! Pieces of Nine!)
    Seriously: If you value it, take/fetch it yourself
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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 14427
    To be fair, I thought the Olympic sounded great when you were having a plink last week - the Zenith must be really good!!!
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  • darthed1981darthed1981 Frets: 1869
    Nice one @Phil_aka_Pip glad to see our day out in Cambridge had a happy ending for you :)

    I've still not got a bass but gimme time ;)
    Going out in a pot noodle fuelled Mary Spender bender....
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  • Phil_aka_PipPhil_aka_Pip Frets: 8787
    @Bridgehouse the Zenith is damn good!
    @darthed1981 Yamaha RBX375 ! :)
    "Working" software has only unobserved bugs. (Parroty Error: Pieces of Nine! Pieces of Nine!)
    Seriously: If you value it, take/fetch it yourself
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  • Phil_aka_PipPhil_aka_Pip Frets: 8787
    Mr Tech how has the guitar (and my electric jazzbox). I'm told I'll be able to fetch next week. The archtop will get its new strings plus a general setup incl removing the white thing from under the bridge, and the electric jazzbox is in for fixing some raised frets at the dusty end.
    "Working" software has only unobserved bugs. (Parroty Error: Pieces of Nine! Pieces of Nine!)
    Seriously: If you value it, take/fetch it yourself
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  • Phil_aka_PipPhil_aka_Pip Frets: 8787
    I have other acoustics, to which I am attached, some possibly for sentimental reasons, but have not played any of them since getting this archtop. If I had to take the hard-nosed decision about which to keep and which to let go (based purely on sound and what it feels like to play and ignoring other issues such as sentimental value), I'd keep this archtop.
    "Working" software has only unobserved bugs. (Parroty Error: Pieces of Nine! Pieces of Nine!)
    Seriously: If you value it, take/fetch it yourself
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  • carloscarlos Frets: 1250
    How would you compare these to the similarly priced godin 5th avenue series?
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  • Phil_aka_PipPhil_aka_Pip Frets: 8787
    I've not played a Godin but
    • I prefer the Godin headstock, it's less blingy
    • I prefer the Epi sunburst finish
    • I prefer the Epi pickguard , the Godin pickguard looks well blingy (caveat I'm not using it, it's still in the case)
    • The Godin site doesn't say if there's a bug under the bridge. You get that with the Epi
    I bought the Epi 'cos PMT stocked it for the right price at the right time. If PMT had a Godin I'd have played it and maybe liked it, but they didn't and I'm still not sorry I bought the Epi.
    "Working" software has only unobserved bugs. (Parroty Error: Pieces of Nine! Pieces of Nine!)
    Seriously: If you value it, take/fetch it yourself
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