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Epiphone Masterbilt DR-500MCE Acoustic-Electric Guitar

When it comes to acoustic guitar tone and quality, nothing performs like an ALL SOLID wood instrument.


(12 reviews)


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MSRP: $1,165.00 $699.00 Save : $466.00 (40%)

MSRP: $1,165.00 $699.00 Save : $466.00 (40%)
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Harking back to the 1930's and their heritage, the Epiphone Masterbilt line combines traditional construction methods and features with premium all solid tone woods to bring you a new "vintage" instrument with deep rich lows, shimmering highs and just the right amount of mids. While many other guitars in this price class use pressed backs, spliced neck joints and even artificial wood backs and sides, you can be assured that every Masterbilt holds true to it's all solid wood promise.  

As with all Masterbilts, the Epiphone DR-500MCE model features a solid Sitka spruce top, hand-scalloped Sitka spruce braces, mahogany kerfing, a 25.5"scale Pau Ferro fingerboard and a rosewood bridge. Players looking for vintage tone and vibe will appreciate the hand-crafted dovetail neck joint and hide-glue construction.  The Epiphone DR-500MCE also has a solid Mahogany back and sides as well as a 20-fret hand-shaped Mahogany neck that joins the body at the 14th fret that is adorned with carefully cut, "split-diamond" pearl fretboard inlays.  As with all Masterbilts, the Epiphone DR-500MCE also features Epiphone historic "off-set" headstock with "stickpin" headstock inlay.  

While the Epiphone DR-500MCE sounds great "unplugged," it really comes alive when plugged in thanks to the new eSonic2 preamp system. Made in cooperation with Shadow Germany, the new eSonic2 preamp features a built-in, easy to use tuner.  When engaged, the guitar’s output is automatically muted – with no “popping” noise - making it a perfect choice for stage use.  You can even push in the “tuner” button and unplug the guitar without a loud “pop.” Other controls on this state-of-the-art preamp include Master Volume, NanoFlex Tone, NanoMag Tone, Stereo Blend, Low Battery indicator and a Phase switch to help eliminate unwanted feedback. The preamp uses two 2032 lithium watch batteries that are not only lightweight, but provide significantly longer life than old-fashioned, heavy 9V batteries.  

Under the bone saddle, is Shadow’s proprietary NanoFlex, low-impedance pickup. Not a piezo, this unique flexible sensing material features integrated active electronics that not only picks string vibration but also top and body vibrations as well for a truly acoustic tone without the harshness of piezos. Complimenting that is the revolutionary NanoMag pickup mounted at the harmonic-rich, end of the fingerboard. Exclusively from Shadow, the NanoMag features 3 Samarian-Cobalt magnets and an integrated active circuit  to capture all the highs and lows, including a wide range of harmonics. With your choice of either 1/4" mono output blending both pickups or 1/4" stereo output splitting the two pickups, you have incredible flexibility and opportunities to create the perfect acoustic tone live!   

Other features included quality vintage-style Grover Sta-Tite 18:1 ratio machine heads, bone nut and saddle, imitation tortoise pickguard, nickel hardware and a bound body, neck and headstock. Case not included.
  • Top: Solid Sitka Spruce
  • Body: Solid mahogany
  • Side: Solid mahogany
  • Neck: Mahogany; 1-piece plus heel
  • Neck Shape Options: SlimTaper “D” profile
  • Neck Joint: Glued-In, Dove-Tail with hide glue
  • Truss Rod: Adjustable
  • Scale Length: 25.5"
  • Fingerboard Material: Pau Ferro with pearloid Split-Diamond Inlays
  • Neck Pickup: Shadow NanoMag
  • Bridge Pickup: Shadow NanoFlex
  • Electronics: eSonic-2 Stereo Preamp
  • Controls: eSonic2 preamp with built-in tuner, stereo output, Master Volume Pot, NanoMag EQ Pot, NanoFlex EQ Pot, Phase "Anti-Feedback" Switch, Electronic Tuner Activation w/Output Mute Switch Binding: Body: 6-ply; Neck:1-ply, Headstock: 3-ply
  • Fingerboard Radius: 14"
  • Frets: 20; Medium
  • Bridge: Rosewood
  • Saddle Material: Bone
  • Nut Width: 1.68"
  • Nut Material: Bone
  • Hardware: Nickel
  • Machine Heads: Grover Sta-Tite 18:1 ratio
  • Case: Not included

Get your Epiphone Masterbilt DR-500MCE Acoustic-Electric Guitar today at the guaranteed lowest price from Sam Ash Direct with our 45-day return and 60-day price protection policy.

Things You Will Get:

  • Acoustic Electric Guitar

One of the best acoustic guitars I've played


This guitar is absolutely incredible! I had it for about 2 months now. When I bought it, I played guitars in the $1000 - $2000 price range but this guitar sounded really good compared to them. I felt that once the guitars got over $1000, I was simply paying for a name. This guitar sounds the best plugged in, and I also love the vintage sunburst finish. I play this guitar everyday and I love the nanomeg and nanoflex features on it! The built-in tuner is also pretty useful. It also looks super cool, and I can play it for a long time without getting finger fatigue! I would TOTALLY recommend buying this guitar.


Torrance, CA


Great value, sound and play ability!


Best guitar under $1200 that I've owned Fun to play




Great Guitar!


i have been wanting to try one of these guitars for a while i played the natural finish dr-500-mce a few months back and i dont think it was properly setup i wasnt crazy about the sound then i went to sam ash one sunday afternoon and played the vintage sunburst and it sounded amazing then i plugged it in to a fender acoustic amp and this thing blew me away i have several gibson les pauls a 335 and a 355 and two old acoustics and now this is my favorite guitar at least till the new wears off lol i will always go to my les pauls when playing rock but this thing is great go try you one you wont be dissapointed


nashville tn


Nice guitar, however...


I bought this guitar early this year at a Sam Ash store in town.The price point was very good. I really like a lot of things about this guitar especially the action, intonation and overall feel of this instrument. I want give this guitar a higher rating and am concerned that 3 stars may be a bit too generous for the functional/practical use onstage. My biggest problem really are the electronics onboard. The nanoflex is all but useless on a big stage as it picks up too much ambient sound and begins a low feedback rumble. I have tried eqs, preamps , feedback busters, going d.i. and straight into my Fishman Artist acoustic amp. The problem cannot be corrected short of only using the nanomag pickup. This guitar will still be my goto for teaching and on some stage gigs but it depends on the volumes onstage and the bleed from front of house speakers and floor wedges. Overall a solid guitar if you can live without the electronics.

ap guitar

San Antonio Tx


Fantasic electro-acoustic guitar


I have been playing guitar for 40+ years but just recently decided to get an electro-acoustic. I had selected several different guitars that I would purchase and as I continued to go from one to the next this one kept making the grade. At first a bit apprehensive about an Epiphone but the more I played it the more I liked it. The sound is absoultely comparable to $2000 Martin's and Gibson's but a fraction of the price. I have had my new guitar for about a month now and enjoy it more every day. It is trying to replace my '74 strat as my favorite guitar. Only thing lacking is the volume between two pickups is of slight difference but I actually understand the mechanics of how the pickups work and that is why the nano is slightly hoter in the neck position than the one under the bridge, but my my, what a wonderful instrument this truly is.

Gary Stufflebeam

Lone Grove, Ok.


In one word "Amazing"


This guitar is awesome. It plays and sounds like a sweet dream. I checked out many guitars before making my purchasing and the Epiphone in my opinion, blows away all its competitors in its price range. You won't be disappointed owning this guitar.


Bonita Springs, FL


Very nice Guitar


I like everything about this guitar. Tone,great build,great neck, intonation perfect. Electrics are super. Lots of high dollar guitars don't sound as good. The only acoustic electric i've played that sound a tad bit better would be the Taylor maple at about 3k's.

Party Crasher

Columbus Ga.


Best Acoustic Electric For the Money!


Originally, I had bought an Ovation Celebrity to have as a back-up guitar for my old trusty workhorse, an Ovation Balladeer. Shortly afterward, I was jamming at an open mic and noticed the pick-up wasn't picking up the two high strings (the E and B). I took it into Sam Ash for service, and while the rep was writing up the service order, I wandered into the acoustic room once again, because I always end up in there whenever I go to Sam Ash for anything. It was then that I noticed the Epiphone Masterbilt DR500 MCE. I took it down off the wall and started noodling around on it. I immediately noticed that the sound was comparable to guitars priced in the thousands. I've played Taylors, Gibsons and Martins, high-end Larabees and Breedloves - but this... this guitar sounded every bit as good - and the price was only $599.00. Of course, then, I had to plug it into a sound system to hear the response of the Esonic2 pickups. I had no idea what nonomag or nano flex were. So I started playing around with the settings and that was it. I was hooked. I spent the next two days not being able to get this guitar out of my head. Finally, with just a few hours to go before a major snowstorm was about to hit the east coast; knowing I would be snowed in for a couple days, I headed back and bought it. Rarely, have I ever made a better decision. No need to leave the house, because I only put that guitar down long enough to write this review. I know I could have given it 4 stars because 5 stars seems to good to be true. But for the money, you just can't get a better value than the Epiphone Masterbilt DR-500 MCE. As for the Ovation Celebrity, I'm going to sell it on Craigslist after I get it fixed to offset the price of my new Epi. For some great demos of this guitar and the Esonic2 pickup system, search for the video demos on Youtube. Okay - now that the cat's out of the bag, they'll probably have a hard time keeping these babies in stock!


Philadelphia, PA


sounds great


great sound for the price looks good sounds even better plugged in replaced a 15 year old takamine that my son now has




Great playing Guitar


Nice playing guitar for the money.Like the all wood construction features.Will have the action adjusted by a luthier,otherwise, good purchase at a good price.[...]


New York


Masterbilt DR-500MCE Acoustic-Electric Guitar

4.7 12


Series Masterbilt
Other Features Bone nut, nickel hardware
Model DR-500MCE
Warranty Info:

Masterbilt DR-500MCE Acoustic-Electric Guitar

The manufacturer's warranty covers parts and labor for the lifetime of the product. The warranty excludes damage from misuse, abuse, and contains other exclusions.

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