0% Interest for 24 Months! Learn more »
(800) 222-4700
  • Español: (800) 222-4701
Microphone Month

Epiphone Masterbilt EF-500RCCE - Natural Reviews

5.0 stars based on 33 customer reviews
Questions about the Epiphone Masterbilt EF-500RCCE - Natural?

Questions about the Epiphone Masterbilt EF-500RCCE - Natural?

Or call us at (800) 222-4700

  • from FL May 12, 2017Music Background:

    Epiphone Masterbilt EF-500RCCE - Natural

    Super feel Great tone Al around great guitar.

  • from New York March 27, 2017Music Background:
    songwriter, musician, engineer, producer

    Great Quality and Tone!!

    This is a superb guitar at any price. The sound, the action, the craftsmanship and attention to detail is mind blowing. You'd have to spend 3x the money for a guitar of this quality. Even then it's questionable. If you're looking for a great guitar and don't want to break the bank here is your answer. Many thanks to my sales engineer, Paul Lea and Sweetwater Sound for outstanding customer service.

  • from White Pine, MI March 26, 2017


    Even though I am somewhat of a beginner, I wanted an upgrade to my "starter" guitar. After a lot of research, I finally decided on purchasing an Epiphone Masterbuilt for my next level guitar. Originally I had narrowed it down between the Masterbuilt DR-500MCE and the EF-500RCCE. When I finally decided on the DR-500, it went out of stock before I could press the Order button, to my disappointment. After looking into the EF a bit closer, I decided after-all this should have been my purchase all the while, especially with the wider nut and string spacing. Did I ever make the right decision! The guitar fits me and sounds so much better than what I was using previously (Urban acoustic). The wider string spacing makes it easier for me on the tougher chords (for me) in that my fingers aren't touching the adjoining strings, muting them out and creating a dull sound. Everyone who has tried it out, thinks it is a really nice guitar, especially my son who plays finger-style. Very pleased with my purchase, pleased with the sound, and pleased with the price.

  • from Astoria, OR March 20, 2017Music Background:
    Self taught professional, have played for nearly 50 years

    Wonderful sound, Finger Picker's dream

    I have wanted a six string steel string acoustic for a long time. I can afford any one I want but I prefer bang for the buck. I have played Taylors, Martins, high and Takamines and a few others. This guitar has a wonderful tone. The vintage style neck might take a little getting used to for some people, but after about 15 minutes I didn't care. It sounds great unplugged, and better plugged in. It has a very rich full tone associated more with a vintage guitar. I suspect with time the tone will only get better. The rave reviews this guitar has gotten are well deserved.

    Thanks to Chris Kress at Sweetwater for his usual stellar customer service. I will continue to buy from Sweetwater because they really care.

  • from West Virginia December 16, 2016Music Background:
    Intermediate Player

    Fingerstyle Heaven

    The EF-500RCCE is perfect for fingerstyle for me. I started learning fingerstyle guitar about six months ago, so I decided to invest in this fingerstyle guitar. The slight difference in nut measurement and string spacing at the bridge has made a world of difference. My fingers just seem to land on the right strings all the time....no more hitting two strings at the same time. The playability is sweet. The smaller size guitar also makes it more comfortable to hold for hours. The sounds is a bit tight now, but I expect that to open up after playing more. Sounds nicer than my current Washburn and Mitchell guitars, but not as nice as my Taylor....yet. It is awfully close. Pickup is nice. I know that the relationship I develop with this guitar will be meaningful and lasting. Build quality first rate.....only issue I have is that the Cedar top does not have an "even" grain to it, not an imperfection or blemish.....just not so uniform. Still.....easy to overlook when you play it. I had Sweetwater set it up for me before delivery. Took it out of the box, small tuning adjustment and wow. BTW...I play with fleshy part of my fingers.....no nails or picks. Finally, as I was use to a C neck on all my other guitars, the slight V in this neck shape took some time (one week) to appreciate. Now I love it.

  • from December 9, 2016


    I bought this guitar after playing much more expensive guitars in the showroom nothing came close. I have an older Martin that sounds awesome also and Taylor but this Masterbilt is just a dream the sound is beyond belief smooth and loud hard to play quietly and Ikes Taylor is the best literally bent over backwards to to take care of me thank you Sweetwater and Ikes

  • from Roanoke, Va. October 26, 2016

    Affordable superb acoustic for the working man.

    I've played Epiphone all my life, never the old 30's classics but lots of them, this guitar is unrecognizable as an Epiphone acoustic, for one it's very light and Epiphone usually has a rather heavy acoustic , second it has all solid wood and has been Pleck'd and is perfect from the nut to the bridge, third it is a guitar that will get better as the years go by and is very affordable. Oh yeah! I should mention that this may be called a finger picker but a pick is what makes it special.... Man I am hard to please ! And I am delighted at the quality cost ratio on this one! Get one! If you ever want to say you got a fair buy , this is it! Thank you Sweetwater and Epiphone!

  • from Boise April 1, 2016

    Epi master bilo 500 rcce

    I am really trying to like this guitar but for me the tone is just not there, also as far as the neck goes it is not comfortable for my style. Fit and finish is on part, plek did not really make difference since set up was too high for me. Electronics are good as well.
    I have several other acoustics and this one is my most expensive one. I'm still gonna keep it in my collection even though it is not perfect A.

  • from Neosho, Mo. March 18, 2016

    Ideal Guitar

    I have many quality guitars from a Gretsch 1959 Country Gentleman, to an Epiphone Prophecy GX Black cherry Les Paul model, but this guitar is as good as any of them. The neck for instance is the same size as the Country Gentleman 1 3/4 at the nut and 25.5 scale length. As if the acoustic quality equaling even the most expensive Taylor's is impressive wait until you try the electronics it can be a stereo or mono with the choice of two or either pickup.

    Marshal Oliver helped me and he found out that the right case for this guitar is the Epiphone PR5 and it fits like a glove and looks classy. This product is top drawer. Contact Marshal Oliver and buy one! You will be more than happy.

  • from MS March 13, 2016Music Background:

    The Top of the line acoustic

    I wish I could give it a 10. I have tried these guitars and I`m here to tell ya that you can not beat them. It is remarkable. It cracks me up that Epiphone sells these instruments for $799.00 because if you took the name Epiphone off the guitar and pasted on Taylor, Martin, or Gibson, you`d be paying probably close to $3500.00 for the same guitar.I have played several Masterbilt series guitars and people if you haven`t, then its your loss. This EF500CCE may be the best acoustic I have ever had my hands on. The tone is astonishing, the electronics, second to none, the build, flawless, the action and playability, perfect, the cosmetics, magnificent. So go ahead and spend those thousands to buy a guitar if you want. I can hardly wait to buy one of my own. The only bad thing about this model is that there`s never any in stock when I have the money. But I won`t fuss about that because I would rather they build them right than fast.

  • from Carolina's January 8, 2016

    Loud and Proud

    The sound is very loud, but smooth in comparison to the Masterbilt DR 500 MCE which I also own. I quickly handed down the DR 500 MCE to my son after just a minute of strumming this one. Very playable for all skill levels, including a slightly thinner body over the DR 500 MCE. This guitar will drown out lesser built guitars very easily, acoustically without being amplified at all. I really wish I had just spent the few extra bucks on this one at the start of my Masterbilt journey.

    I really like the wider string set (the distance in between the strings). I didn't know what to expect in a finger style set-up. Whether strumming or soloing, the wider string set allows a hair more forgiveness and freedom in finger movement than the standard string distance. I don't really finger pick anything to be honest and the wider space in between the strings is barely noticeable.

    If your a beginner or intermediate level player looking to upgrade from the cheap guitar you started with to something Loud and Proud, this is it. That's the situation I was in and I may never buy another acoustic guitar.

  • from Syracuse, NY December 2, 2015Music Background:
    20+ years bass and guitar in various roles

    Can't put it down!

    I don't know if it's the string spacing, the thick one-piece solid V neck, the smooth Grover vintage tuners, the pickup blending options, the OM/folk shape, or the all-solid cedar on rosewood ringing with sustain, but this thing is just perfect for my mostly fingerstyle needs. When it's not in my hands, my fingers are craving it and I often laugh that even as I work at my computer I practically have a hand on it in case a free moment arises.

    I compared it to everything I could get my hands on and nothing came close. For me, the most telling was putting it head to head with a Martin OMCPA4R and Taylor 314ce - both incredible instruments - and strongly preferring the Epiphone in almost every regard (Okay, I liked the Martin slightly better when strummed hard, but I don't do hard strumming with a pick anyway). Seriously, there just isn't anything else that sounds (or looks) like the ef-500rcce.

    It's my second guitar purchase from Sweetwater and I couldn't be happier with this choice - from the moment you meet your instrument in the guitar gallery to the moment you've got it in your hands to the follow up call from your sales engineer a few week later just to make sure you LOVE your purchase, it's by far the BEST internet buying experience a musician can have.

    I appreciate the "plek" treatment. Mine has a perfect setup - buzz free with ideal medium/low action and perfect intonation all the way to the upper frets.

    One small negative (shared with other guitars that combine an output jack with a strap button): You may have to doctor your strap a bit to get it to fit over the wide jack/end pin.

  • from May 7, 2015

    Love this Guitar

    This guitar has better tone than my $2000 takamini, the sound blends very well, low, mids and high's. I am very happy with the construction and playability. Nice action and smooth neck. I love Sweetwater 55 point check system. I also give Hats Off to your sales team, have talked with Pat and Will and you just cannot beat the customer service and their involvement in any purchase made from Sweetwater from ordering to delivery. 10 out of 10.

  • from May 5, 2015Music Background:
    Retired old hacker

    Guitar Lover

    Great for all styles from finger to flat. Woods opening nicely. Electronics the best. Size allows great tonal balance. First real exposure to Sweetwater love em.

  • from waterville, ME April 8, 2015

    epiphone ef 500rcce

    just arrived and first impression was good, it's light, easy to hold, sitting play's comfortable, it feels a lot better than i thought it would.. the finger board is slick and played good with an action and playability as advertised. the neck was good soft and the v shaped is new to me the first one I've owned, it fit my hand nicely, sound was just what i hoped it would be deep low and nice mid and picking up the neck was good as well the upper octave was on right out of the box... the wood was the main consideration for buying the epiphone ef 500rcce and price .ceder, rosewood and mahogany very nice.... this guitar is a good fit for me at the price.. will take some time getting used to the neck shape.. but after a month of looking and tiring the others under a thousand dollars this fit the bill, " wise choice..." As advertised .....

  • from Madison, WI USA February 15, 2015Music Background:
    Living Room Rocker for the past 25 years.

    Epiphone Masterbilt

    I'd give the fit and finish 5 stars, the unplugged sound a 3, the plugged in sound a 4, and playability a 4.

    The guitar looks beautiful. No imperfections after a thorough inspection. The color is a nice tan/light brown and is very pleasing. I would prefer a little darker, but it still looks beautiful. The finish on the neck is perfect. Enough tackiness to hold your position for bar chords, yet smooth enough to fly up and down the neck.

    The sound unplugged is boxy and not as clear as I would have expected. Compared to a 20 year old fender dreadnaught (laminate sides and back, solid spruce top), it sounds boxy and not as rich. The individual notes of a chord become muddled together, when on my fender they are crisp and clear. I am hoping this changes as the wood ages.

    The plugged in sound is very good. Has a variety of tones from the two pickups. The nano flex tends to dominate the sound when the blend is used. I have to slide the blend nearly to all nanomag to get a true blended sound. The nanomag is much quieter in the mix than the nano flex. The nanomag caters more to the bass side of things where the nano flex picks up the treble sounds. I have used the nanomag with distortion and it is surprisingly good. No Les Paul mind you, but would be serviceable for some classic rock tones from an acoustic. My two gripes about the esonic2 are the nano flex dominating the "blended" sound and a slight popping when finger picking. The electronic pop is annoying when playing softly, but is not audible when strumming or picking with some force.

    Playability is great. The neck finish is smooth enough to fly up and down the neck, while still tacky enough to hold your position for barre chords. It was plek'd and I do believe this helps with playability quite a bit. Two complaints here are the action is too high. Haven't measured it yet, but it certainly needs to be lowered at least 3/64, probably more. The other problem is the 15th fret needs some dressing which I thought the plek'd process would have addressed. It makes bends at this fret difficult. Lowering the action and dressing this fret would make this a 5/5 stars.

    Overall this is a nice guitar. I will probably keep it. It's the first new guitar I have purchased since my first Peavy kit 25 years ago when I started playing. I am a fan of Epiphone having a Les Paul Standard that is as good as any guitar I've every played (now that I've set it up properly). I wish the unplugged sound was more crisp and clear, but I purchased it largely for plugging in. Epiphone makes great affordable guitars.

  • from EASTON, PA January 26, 2015Music Background:

    Epiphone EF-500RCCE

    Just an all around beautiful instrument. Purchased from sweetwater. Plays and sounds wonderful!

  • from United States January 10, 2015Music Background:
    recording artist

    Worth a Second Purchase

    I bought one last year from a non-music vendor - recorded hundreds of music videos with it. The bridge is starting to lift off. Should I switch to a different type of guitar? No. No other guitar sounds like this. It has two outputs for its two different pickup types. The Epiphone Masterbilt has the broadest sound spectrum of any guitar I've played. So I'm going to purchase another one - from Sweetwater, this time.

  • from United States January 6, 2015

    YESSS ... FINALLY!!!

    I've had a couple of Steelstring guitars before but never had fun playing them. I was looking for a steelstring with a wider nut/fretboard (This one is 1.750") because I am used to play nylon strings. Perfect for fingerstyle players. To me the Epiphone Masterbilt EF-500RCCE is one of the best steelstring guitars out there. I've tried a bunch of steelstring guitars at the guitarshop but when I hooked up this one to the amp I fell in love. Clean, bright and full. Phenomenal sound and playability!! Just love the E-Sonic-II preamp, the dual connection and the vintage look. Epiphone did a AMAAAAZING job! Excellent for studio use and/or stage!!!

  • from United States December 26, 2014

    Blown Away

    To me the Epiphone Masterbilt EF-500RCCE is one of the best steelstring guitars out there. I was looking for a steelstring with a wider nut/fretboard (This one is 1.750") because I am used to play nylon strings. I've tried many steelstring guitars but the moment I hooked this one up to the amp I fell in love instantly. Phenomenal sound and playability!! Epiphone did a GREAT job! Excellent for studio use and/or stage!!! Here is a recording with the Epiphone Masterbilt EF-500RCCE.

  • from VERMILION, OH July 30, 2014

    Awesome Guitar

    I received this guitar about 2 weeks ago.Purchased this guitar because of the wide nut and Bridge string spacing. Cedar top and string width make this an awesome guitar for fingerstyle playing. The tone is amazing, and also sounds great plugged in. Flawless construction, great C neck profile. It came from Sweetwater well setup, great action. My guitar teacher who has been a professional guitarist for 50 plus years was blown away by the great tone and playability.
    Don't hesitate to buy one or to buy one from sweetwater. Both great.

  • from April 7, 2014Music Background:

    Superb Tone and Playability

    Great combination of all solid resonant tonewoods. I have been looking for a great sounding finger style guitar and have taken several Martin, Taylor, & Breedloves for test drives and this baby plays and sounds every bit as good (if not better) at half the price. I have always thought Epiphone offers just about the best "Guitar Bang for the Buck", but this is my first Epiphone acoustic and I have been blown away. It sounds fantastic unplugged, but equally impressive is how the two pickup systems sound when blended - the nanomag is just icing on the cake! Buy this guitar! Sweetwater has been great - great customer service, fast free shipping, great care in the packaging, great Tech support, and knowledgable sales staff. Not to mention the Great deal I got! Bart Amburn is THE MAN! Ext.1638 he will hook you up!
    This was my first time dealing with Sweetwater and I will definitely be back.

  • from Florida, USA March 29, 2014Music Background:
    10 years playing guitar

    I love it

    Great guitar for the money. It is very responsive. I am a fan of the "Masterbilt" series and encourage anyone looking for a guitar that offers a good cost to quality ratio to buy one. The DR series is fantastic as well, as was the AJ. I have two DR masterbilts and one EF. Its a beautiful, all solid wood guitar that sounds wonderful. The finish is more of a satin/matte than a gloss, which I think is a good thing. If I had more money laying around I'd buy a second EF. I think that these guitars will not be produced for much longer. The masterbilt series was originally much larger, with jumbo and classical guitars included. They have since stopped being produced. This guitar will probably fall out of production too soon. Its a great guitar and I recommend it.

    On another note, I have purchased 4 or 5 guitars through sweetwater and have always had a positive experience with their shipping, packaging, customer service, and overall quality. If you are trying to decide between buying this instrument from sweetwater vs. another online dealer I think the wise choice is Sweetwater. They seem to care for their instruments. For example, a solid wood guitar like ths one needs a certain level of care and humidity. I have faith that sweetwater looks after their inventory. And, of course, you can usually pick a specific serial number to order which (if you do your homework) can allow you to choose a production year and factory for your guitar.

  • from Phoenix Az March 25, 2014Music Background:


    This guitar is amazing the workmanship, the woods used, and the electronics are all outstanding. I've always considered Epiphone one step down from the parent Gibson, but I've got to forget that opinion now. This guitar is as good as any major guitar maker, Martin, Taylor, Gibson, Leravee, or any other that you might think of. Before I bought this guitar from sweetwater I read over 15 reviews from several different web sites and all of them were 5 star. I took the plunge, and believe I've found a real winner and look forward to many years of enjoyment from this Epiphone.

  • from Bronx, ny February 11, 2014Music Background:

    My new Epiphone

    I've never purchased a guitar from any site before but sweet water was so easy. It's nice being able to make a few payments and a guitar of your choice is yours... Brian my sells rep was very helpful and friendly. This new Epiphone masterbilt is amazing... There's a reason Zakk Wylde travels with 3 of them...

  • from Lexington, KY November 26, 2013Music Background:


    Sweetwater is the best place to buy a guitar. I got this Epiphone EF=500RCCE today and it is set up perfect!!! When they tell you they check it out they do. Out of the box it was in tune and this is truly an awesome sounding playing guitar. Trust me I have purchased and owned a lot of guitars and this one is a keeper and I will buy all my guitars from Sweetwater from now on. Thanks...

  • from Washington,Pa November 15, 2013

    Anthony Logan ext 1279 is awesome

    This is my second purchase from Sweater. My first purchase was a fender mustang IV. I had the amp the very next day. I am so pleased with this amp. The epiphany guitar I am also extremely pleased with. The esonic2 sound system is great. I would not purchase from anyone but Sweetwater.

  • from Southern Mississippi August 13, 2013Music Background:
    Experienced Hobbyist

    Quality Value

    Having played various guitars (Acoustic and Electric) since 1976, I know what I like. Acoustically speaking this Epiphone is a very good purchase for me for this price point. Set up well; action is very good; and the sound is what I wanted in a Cedar/Rosewood combination. Not too much treble in the upper range ,and good bass response when chording. Individual notes last good for me. Built pretty solid with not too many "bad spots"(some scuff marks on rosewood body by arm rest area. They buffed out for the most part) String spacing is what you would expect for a fingerstyle guitar but still close enough for challenging chording. Hey... I like it and would recommend it. Thanks to my sales engineer Chris Lewis for all his help and answers to ALL of my pre-order questions Later!

  • from St. Petersburg, FL July 14, 2011Music Background:

    A Great Guitar

    I'm not a professional, but I'm very impressed with this guitar. It has a very good, soft feel and a mellow tone. It was just what i was looking for. I've played other guitars in music stores, but none had this model Epiphone in stock, so I was a little nervous about buying on line. I've never done that before with a musical instrument. Aaron Rom at Sweetwater was knowledgeable and helpful. I talked to other music stores and they tried to talk me into something other than what I wanted. Aaron answered all my questions. He assured me they would order one in and stand by the producct and I took a chance. I'm glad I did. I love this guitar. Great service from Sweetwater too.

  • from Trans Pecos February 27, 2011Music Background:
    Ex recording engineer and pro musician - now retired mostly.

    Wonderful guitar

    This is a very good looking instrument and well made. Good overall tone especially if you like midrange which the cedar top affords. The bass is a little weak as would be expected, however, the lack of boom makes it a good recording guitar.

    The spacing on the saddle could be a little better. The thing is - it plays like a dream. This is the neck I've been searching for on an acoustic. I play finger-style mostly and the Epiphone suits me perfectly. I found mine used in like new condition and am convinced that for the money it can't be beat.

  • from Hermosa Beach, CA December 12, 2009Music Background:
    Active musician, recording musician, songwriter

    Epiphone Masterbilt

    So, this is my 6th different epiphone instrument. And they never cease to amaze me with their quality. My best friend just got a Taylor 214ce. Once my masterbilt arrived, we had to compare the two. Tone wise, the epiphone is a lot more balanced. One of the more balanced acoustic guitar I have ever played. The action as smooth as the Taylor. But the thing that really sets the masterbilt apart is the nanomag pickup. Having both options, nanomag and the e-sonic, is so awesome. Tons of tonal options. One last thing, the Taylors (under the 314 series) is not an all wood guitar. The masterbilt is an all wood guitar with a ceder top, which only sounds better with age. Call my man stuart, Ext 1337, he will take care of you big time. Thanks again for the excellent service! Stuart you are the man!

  • from Tenn July 30, 2009Music Background:
    Guitar teacher for 16 yrs

    Great Guitar

    This is the best finger picking guitar I have seen for under 1000 bucks. I was prepared to spend three times as much. But after testing a few Martin's and several Taylor's I was sold on this Masterbuilt. It sounds just as good but did not break my bank account. Quality craftsmanship and attention to detail make this a stunning guitar. The solid cedar top and solid rosewood body were exactly what I was looking for. This beauty gets a 10 star rating from me. My suggestion is to buy while you can. There is no guarantee that Epiphone will manufacture any more. I have heard from reputable sources that this guitar has been discontinued.

  • from Huntington Beach, CA USA June 10, 2008Music Background:
    Student of life and music.

    Epiphone EF-500RCCE

    I've been trying to play guitar now for several months. I work with a 25 year guitar veteran. He's a purist when it comes to his guitars. For him it's strictly acoustic. In fact he went with me to buy my first real guitar. I had him play several guitars both in and out of my price range. We managed to find a really nice sounding Taylor 114e. After some negotiation I managed to get a hard case and the Taylor for $600 otd. The Taylor really is a sweet sounding guitar. We put it up against a $3000 model and I could not tell the difference. I then read about my new purchase and felt I wanted more. I wanted an all solid wood with a cutaway and a built-in chromatic tuner. I scoured the internet until I found the Epiphone EF-500RCCE. It had everything I was looking for; a solid cedar top and solid rosewood body. I found every review I could find on this guitar and the Masterbilt Epiphones like it. Every review sounded good although there weren't that many out there. The only hesitation I had was the fact that these guitars were made in China. I learned that after they're built they are shipped to Epiphone for a intense inspection process. I was sold. I ordered my Epiphone from Sweetwater.com. I received a phone call from Joe at Sweetwater the next day. He told me my guitar would ship as soon as it was inspected by the Sweetwater guitar tech. I thought this was pretty good service. When the guitar arrived, I snuck it into the house. I hadn't yet told the wife that I purchased yet another guitar. When I opened the box, the sweet smell of cedar permeated the air. Man this guitar is gorgeous. I carefully inspected every inch of it. This guitar was built with care. Man, what a piece of craftmanship! The set-up and action were right on. I inserted the 9-volt battery into the Esonic2 electronics, fired up the tuner and was quickly in standard tuning. I plucked my first note and was amazed at the the sound emanating from this not-too-expensive guitar. My guitar playing friend had to see it. He brought over his $3000 dollar, abalone inlaid Martin. We played both guitars and again the less expensive guitar rang out as sweet as the more expesive Martin. I may buy another Epiphone and I know my next guitar will be from Sweetwater.com. You can't go wrong

Questions about the Epiphone Masterbilt EF-500RCCE - Natural?

Sweetwater's Sales Engineers are regarded as the most experienced and knowledgeable professionals in the music industry, with extensive music backgrounds and intense training on the latest products and technologies. They are available to offer you personalized product advice any time you need it.

Type your question below or call us at (800) 222-4700

Thank You!

Thank you for your request. A Sweetwater Sales Engineer will get back to you shortly. You can also call us toll free at (800) 222-4700, Mon-Thu 9-9, Fri 9-8, and Sat 9-7 Eastern.

Enter the Giveaway