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Leodhas
01-25-2010, 04:46 PM
Has anyone come across an Epiphone Ukulele? Better still has anyone played one? Someone is asking me to make them an offer on one and I have no idea about them! I know it's mahogany and a soprano. However how much are they worth? Can't find any information about them on the net, except that they are of the masterbilt range which interests me as I have a Masterbilt Epi guitar which is fantastic value for money.

Therefore any help concerning the price of these things will be of great help!

On a personal note I'm aff to Ireland in 2 hrs so I'm in a good mood, will be back tonight though so it's not all good:rolleyes:

Once again any help will be most welcome.

experimentjon
01-25-2010, 05:00 PM
I played one in a Tom Lee Music Hong Kong. (At least I think I did...my memory is slightly fuzzy, but I think it was an Epiphone.) And it was a mahogany soprano too. It was selling for the equivilent of about $120 USD in the store, which I thought was sort of overpriced for a laminate soprano ukulele, even if it was one of only two styles in the store, and the other was a rubbish Aria that cost $50 USD. The sound, action, fit and finish, were all very average. Nothing too special about it. But I don't know if this was one of their Masterbilt instruments (which I believe have all solid woods?) But overall, I was unimpressed with it.

However, if you can get it for $50-$60, it might be a pretty good deal.

harpdog
01-26-2010, 01:31 AM
I thought the current Epi were solid woods. I think there was a solid koa and a solid mahog.
Here's the mfg page, which says discontinued: http://tinyurl.com/6bvzxv

casarole45
01-26-2010, 06:55 AM
dunno, as your probably aware Epiphone are the budget brand of Gibson, so lesser quality parts and build to make them entry level, I don't know if this is the same for their ukes or not... definately worth taking into consideration though

mik55
01-26-2010, 07:12 AM
Epi Masterbilt instruments are all solid wood top notch instruments. There have been 2 ukes, both discontinued. First to discontinue was the MB-500KA. Last year they finaly discontinued the solid mahogany MB-500M.

Picture shows an all solid Koa MB-500KA prototype that was offered to me 2 years ago. Unfortunately I did not jump on it...

http://i239.photobucket.com/albums/ff281/n6kvH938z67Rg/EPI-MB500KA.jpg

Skrik
01-26-2010, 09:47 AM
dunno, as your probably aware Epiphone are the budget brand of Gibson, so lesser quality parts and build to make them entry level, I don't know if this is the same for their ukes or not... definately worth taking into consideration though

Epiphone used to compete against Gibson, and some of their guitars from that period of history are just as good as their Gibson contemporaries.

Personally, I am very wary of guitar manufacturers jumping on the ukulele band wagon: staking a claim in the ukulele market may be good for shareholders, but not necessarily for musicians.

Plainsong
01-26-2010, 09:51 AM
Epiphone used to compete against Gibson, and some of their guitars from that period of history are just as good as their Gibson contemporaries.

Personally, I am very wary of guitar manufacturers jumping on the ukulele band wagon: staking a claim in the ukulele market may be good for shareholders, but not necessarily for musicians.

Yeah the Collings and Breedlove ukes are horrible. And what was up with Martin for 50 or so some odd years and more.. ;)

I agree to a certain point, but you have to take it on a case by case basis. If it sounds good, it is good. :)

Skrik
01-26-2010, 10:38 AM
Yeah the Collings and Breedlove ukes are horrible. And what was up with Martin for 50 or so some odd years and more.. ;)

I agree to a certain point, but you have to take it on a case by case basis. If it sounds good, it is good. :)

In my defense, I did say I am wary, not that I write them off completely.

casarole45
01-26-2010, 10:48 AM
Epiphone used to compete against Gibson, and some of their guitars from that period of history are just as good as their Gibson contemporaries.

Personally, I am very wary of guitar manufacturers jumping on the ukulele band wagon: staking a claim in the ukulele market may be good for shareholders, but not necessarily for musicians.

Although I appear to stand corrected, I don't know about the Masterbilt range but they do seem very nice. I stand by my comment in the general though, Epiphone are now a sub of Gibson, Gibson being the flagship and generally Epiphone instruments are entry level instruments.

Plainsong
01-26-2010, 11:38 AM
In my defense, I did say I am wary, not that I write them off completely.

Ah, gotcha. I know many ukers who do write off Collings, which is completely their loss.

I would welcome the guitar makers who released great ukes. We need the variety, and they're more likely to be stocked in music shops. I can't go into any local shops and audition anything that's decent. More are in my boat than aren't.

But they're not, and that makes me give the sadface.

GrumpyOldMan
01-27-2010, 07:18 AM
The last price that GAK had on the Epiphone Masterbilt was , I think, 179.00. They now say phone for price. www.gak.co.uk is the website. Very cheap prices on Stagg Ukes there too.
Ian.

Pippin
01-27-2010, 09:35 AM
I played one in a Tom Lee Music Hong Kong. (At least I think I did...my memory is slightly fuzzy, but I think it was an Epiphone.) And it was a mahogany soprano too. It was selling for the equivilent of about $120 USD in the store, which I thought was sort of overpriced for a laminate soprano ukulele, even if it was one of only two styles in the store, and the other was a rubbish Aria that cost $50 USD. The sound, action, fit and finish, were all very average. Nothing too special about it. But I don't know if this was one of their Masterbilt instruments (which I believe have all solid woods?) But overall, I was unimpressed with it.

However, if you can get it for $50-$60, it might be a pretty good deal.

If it was an "Epiphone", then it must have said "Masterbilt" on the headstock and that is a solid mahogany uke. The selling price new is $279 to $299 just about everywhere and they are really nicely made instruments. That "Masterbilt" logo is an oval shape in the center of the headstock. It sports friction tuners. Epiphone has discontinued them from what I hear.

If you can grab one, do so. They are really worth it.

Pippin
01-27-2010, 09:38 AM
dunno, as your probably aware Epiphone are the budget brand of Gibson, so lesser quality parts and build to make them entry level, I don't know if this is the same for their ukes or not... definately worth taking into consideration though

Masterbilt guitars are very fine instruments and sound wonderful. It is not a budget Gibson line and really can't compare to the standard Epiphone line of instruments. They are much better.

casarole45
01-27-2010, 10:18 AM
Masterbilt guitars are very fine instruments and sound wonderful. It is not a budget Gibson line and really can't compare to the standard Epiphone line of instruments. They are much better.

yeah they sound interesting, I'll look out for one.

GrumpyOldMan
01-27-2010, 11:00 AM
dunno, as your probably aware Epiphone are the budget brand of Gibson, so lesser quality parts and build to make them entry level,

Some of the top end Epiphone guitars are still made in Japan and are every bit as good as Gibsons. When Gibson started using the Epiphone name they were basically rebranded Orvilles, made in the same Factories - FujiGen Gakki and Terada, and even featured the open book headstock. I have played an early Japanese Epiphone Les Paul and it was sublime. I have a collection of Japanese guitars from Greco, Burny, Tokai and Orville by Gibson, mostly from the 80's, and I would not trade any of them for a new Gibson or Fender. I think there is an Epiphone Les Paul being sold at the moment which has the Long Tenon neck joint (possibly the Slash model?) and the only Gibsons you will currently find that on are the custom shop models.

I do agree though that most Epiphone guitars are no more than Squier equivalents and that the top end Epiphones should really be called Gibson Japan in the way that the Japanese Fenders are called Fender Japan (and far superior to American Fender by the way - I know as I have four!).

Cheers,
Ian.

casarole45
01-27-2010, 11:05 AM
Some of the top end Epiphone guitars are still made in Japan and are every bit as good as Gibsons. When Gibson started using the Epiphone name they were basically rebranded Orvilles, made in the same Factories - FujiGen Gakki and Terada, and even featured the open book headstock. I have played an early Japanese Epiphone Les Paul and it was sublime. I have a collection of Japanese guitars from Greco, Burny, Tokai and Orville by Gibson, mostly from the 80's, and I would not trade any of them for a new Gibson or Fender. I think there is an Epiphone Les Paul being sold at the moment which has the Long Tenon neck joint (possibly the Slash model?) and the only Gibsons you will currently find that on are the custom shop models.

I do agree though that most Epiphone guitars are no more than Squier equivalents and that the top end Epiphones should really be called Gibson Japan in the way that the Japanese Fenders are called Fender Japan (and far superior to American Fender by the way - I know as I have four!).

Cheers,
Ian.

Love Tokai (how the hell do you pronounce it though????)! If I could afford to trade in my Gibson for one I would do it in a snap, they are wayyyy better made

Leodhas
01-27-2010, 01:18 PM
Had another look at it today, he wants 125 for it ($200 ish) and it is a masterbilt. As I have previously stated, I have a masterbilt guitar (which is a top guitar for the cash) and this is what got my attention.

In terms of the Epiphone brand, It is true that it now belongs to Gibson and that a lot of their guitars are lower spec' and that they are now made in Korea and China but that is no bad thing as those countries have come on 10,000 miles from where they once were in terms of guitar manufacture. Some higher end Epiphones are still made in Japan and many performers still use new model Epiphone guitars and Many use the old 60's Epiphone guitars(The Epiphones from the 20's through the 60's are real collectors guitars). The Beatles used Epiphones, John's Casino being the iconic image and Paul famously wrote yesterday on an Epiphone.

The 80's and 90's is when Epiphone the brand started to take a real hit in terms of quality but Gibson are now giving them a wee bit of pride back. For me, because of the History of Epiphone and who has played them, they are by far the cooler brand of the two!

Saying all this the best Guitar(acoustic) I have is a Guild Gad50 which is made in China but is easily better than many 2000 / $3500 Martins and Taylors I have Played!

uke51
01-27-2010, 04:26 PM
I owned a Epiphone Masterbilt soprano Uke for awhile. It sounded great, and the build quality was very good. I didnt like the neck on it. It was very thin & I found it harder to play than a Martin SO that I have. The original Masterbilt case that came with it was also quite nice. If it wasn't for the neck shape, I would not have sold it.

GrumpyOldMan
01-27-2010, 10:52 PM
Had another look at it today, he wants 125 for it ($200 ish) and it is a masterbilt. As I have previously stated, I have a masterbilt guitar (which is a top guitar for the cash) and this is what got my attention.

That sounds reasonable to me, esp if it still has its case. But give GAK a ring as they may just have a deal on them. Like I say their last listed price was 179, I think, but at the moment it says phone for price. They are very competitive on price so you never know, depends on how bad they want to shift them I suppose.

Ian.

casarole45
01-27-2010, 11:25 PM
That sounds reasonable to me, esp if it still has its case. But give GAK a ring as they may just have a deal on them. Like I say their last listed price was 179, I think, but at the moment it says phone for price. They are very competitive on price so you never know, depends on how bad they want to shift them I suppose.

Ian.

Yeah if you could get it for say, 150 new then it'd be worth the extra 25. DO IT! =D

...or you could use that as leveridge and make an offer of 100 to this guy.