Epiphone have this week announced a new range of ‘Masterbilt’ archtop acoustic guitars. Each has eSonic HD preamps and Nanoflex under-saddle pickups with controls hidden inside the sound holes. They come in three versions: De Luxe, Zenith and Olympic.
All the guitars feature ebonoid floating bridges (not pinned, so be careful when you change your strings!) and vintage style trapeze tailpieces. The whole series has one foot firmly in the past, though they all have modern touches including modern tuners and, of course, the added onboard preamps and pickups. They should be very popular with singer-songwriters and players that frequent open mic nights, for example.
Epiphone Masterbilt Century De Luxe.
The De Luxe and De Luxe Classic are both based on 1930s instruments on which Epiphone first built heir reputation. The guitars come in either a regular sound hole version, the De Luxe, or an F-hole version, the De Luxe Classic. Both guitars have an arch top made from solid spruce with traditional ’30s period correct parallel bracing. The 1930s-style tuners have a modern 18:1 gear ratio. This combines with the preamp/under-saddle pickup system to bring these vintage-inspired instruments bang up to date. They’re available in Vintage Natural and Vintage Sunburst with ebony fretboards.
Epiphone Masterbilt Zenith
The Epiphone Masterbilt Zenith and Zenith Classic are, again, 1930s-inspired and have a similar specification to the De Luxe series. The main differences are the laminated flame maple top and the fact that these more compact-bodied guitars. The theory is they should be a little ‘punchier’ then the larger-bodied De Luxe range.
Epiphone Masterbilt Olympic
Epiphone Masterbilt Olympic is the smallest of the new range and comes in either Honey Burst or Violin Burst, both with rosewood fingerboards.
RRPs TBC though should be between $599 and $899
Epiphone Masterbilt Collection: site
- Epiphone Masterbilt Century Collection - De Luxe, Zenith and Olympic : http://www.epiphone.com/MBCentury.aspx