Epiphone Masterbilt AJ-45ME - Vintage Sunburst

6-string Acoustic-electric Guitar with Spruce Top, Mahogany Back and Sides, Mahogany Neck, Rosewood Fingerboard, and Shadow Electronics - Vintage Sunburst
Epiphone Masterbilt AJ-45ME - Vintage Sunburst image 1
Epiphone Masterbilt AJ-45ME - Vintage Sunburst image 1
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Epiphone Masterbilt AJ-45ME - Vintage Sunburst
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Arm Yourself with an Acoustic Cannon!

The Epiphone Masterbilt AJ-45ME might just be one of the loudest acoustic-electric guitars we've ever had here at Sweetwater, thanks to its Advanced Jumbo body. Built from mahogany and topped with solid Sitka spruce, this acoustic cannon provides you with a meaty, organic tone, framed by a vibrant quality that stands up well to forceful playing. It's pure magic when you dig into the Masterbilt AJ-45ME's fingerboard - its midrange frequencies produce amazing overtones that stack up and bloom, injecting some serious muscle into your playing. On top of that, onboard Shadow electronics make the Masterbilt AJ-45ME a phenomenal onstage companion. Braced with hand-scalloped Sitka spruce and set off by mahogany kerfing, the Epiphone Masterbilt AJ-45ME is an exceptional acoustic-electric guitar!

Epiphone Masterbilt AJ-45ME Acoustic-electric Guitar at a Glance:
  • The Advanced Jumbo produces deep resonance and amazing projection
  • Stealth electronics give you uber-natural tone
  • Masterbuilt Epiphones: a grand lineage
The Advanced Jumbo produces deep resonance and amazing projection

First produced by Gibson in 1936, the Advanced Jumbo acoustic guitar was quickly replaced by the J-200 Super Jumbo after only 300 instruments were produced. Favored by bluegrass players in the 1930s, Advanced Jumbo guitars were highly-regarded. Some modern collectors have dubbed these guitars "the best flat-top in Gibson's entire history." Currently prized by collectors and musicians, original Advanced Jumbo guitars sell for exorbitant sums of money on the used market. Now, thanks to Epiphone, you can grab one of these revered instruments for yourself!

Stealth electronics give you uber-natural tone

The Epiphone Masterbilt AJ-45ME acoustic-electric guitar gives no clues to detract from its considerable vintage charms. The output jack is even incorporated into the endpin! But lurking just under the soundhole is a state-of-the-art preamp that gives you easy access for control over your volume, as well high- and low-frequency EQ. You also get a phase switch that instantly cuts feedback without affecting tone - very handy! The Nanoflex pickup senses both the vibrations of the strings and soundboard - for a truly acoustic amplified sound that combines accurate body and string tone with percussive attack. Sort of like having a microphone mixed with a pickup - it's the best of both worlds!

Masterbuilt Epiphones: a grand lineage

The Epiphone Masterbilt AJ-45ME acoustic-electric guitar stems from a renowned lineage. Since their first release in June of 1931, Masterbuilt Epiphone acoustics have been coveted by guitarists of all genres for their easy playability and exceptional tone. The company stated in the original Epiphone Masterbilt catalog: "The possessor of an Epiphone instrument has the assurance that every possible precaution has been taken to build instruments by lifetime performance and pleasure." This promise is restated today on the Epiphone website, and is backed up by their Limited Lifetime Warranty.

Epiphone Masterbilt AJ-45ME Acoustic-electric Guitar Features:
  • Advanced Jumbo-sized body delivers deep, powerful projection
  • Mahogany and Sitka spruce tonewoods provide a meaty, vibrant tone
  • SlimTaper D neck provides comfortable playability
  • Shadow electronics deliver excellent amplified performance
  • Rosewood bridge and bone saddle provide enhanced sustain
  • Hand-scalloped Sitka spruce bracing and mahogany kerfing for increased resonance
  • Grover Sta-Tite tuners keep you in tune
The Epiphone Masterbilt AJ-45ME acoustic-electric guitar delivers unprecedented power and projection!

Why Buy Your Guitar from Sweetwater?

See how Sweetwater goes to great lengths to give you the very best online guitar buying experience. From our online Guitar Gallery that allows you to see and select the exact instrument you want to our 55-point Evaluation process and our in-house guitar techs, we take the guesswork out of buying your next guitar online.

Additional Media

Acoustic Guitar Buying Guide

Tech Specs

String Type Steel
Number of Strings 6
Body Shape Round Shoulder Dreadnought
Body Style No Cutaway
Left-/Right-handed Right-handed
Color Vintage Sunburst
Finish Satin
Top Wood Solid Sitka Spruce
Back & Sides Wood Solid Mahogany
Body Bracing Hand-scalloped
Neck Wood Mahogany
Neck Shape SlimTaper D profile
Radius 14"
Fingerboard Material Rosewood
Fingerboard Inlay Dots
Number of Frets 20, Medium
Scale Length 24.75"
Tuning Machines Grover Sta-Tite; 18:1 Ratio
Bridge Material Rosewood
Nut/Saddle Material Bone/Bone
Nut Width 1.69"
Electronics Shadow Sonic w/ NanoFlex
Manufacturer Part Number EME4VSSNH1

Customer Reviews

Based on 38 reviews
Write your review

Fantastic Instrument!

I've had this guitar for 3 days now and have been playing it almost non-stop, which is unusual for me because I usually alternate between guitar, banjo and mandolin. I already own a DR-500MCE Masterbuilt so I am familiar with this line of guitars. I have been playing for 35 years and I have played some very expensive instruments in the past... 1960's Gibsons, Martins, Guilds, etc... Let me be clear: The AJ-45ME Masterbuilt is everything it is advertised to be. Build quality is outstanding... no sloppy glue on the inside, great attention to the little details. Quality Control is excellent. Really well built... very tight and accurate. Fret dressing is perfect. No disappointments at all. I've played instruments 4 or 5 times this cost that didn't impress me nearly as much. Frankly it's a little shocking at this price point. Epiphone definitely did their homework. The neck is fantastic. Straight as an arrow. The action is slightly higher than my 500MCE, but the 500MCE plays like a silky electric guitar neck... very low with no buzz. The action on the Aj-45 is slightly higher but just fine. I can whip out fast bluegrass runs with no problems. The shorter neck certainly helps. Incredibly comfortable. The neck is also slightly wider than the 500MCE... perfect for finger picking or strumming (Note that I have medium size hands). The Grover tuners are rock solid... same as on my 500MCE. Tune it and it stays in tune. I checked the intonation with an electronic tuner and it's dead on. Sound? This guitar sounds fantastic! My 500MCE has a very tight mid-rangy sound with great articulation and clarity. The Aj-45 definitely has deeper bass response, no question. And it will get better with age. Volume and projection are excellent. Arpeggios ring out. Deep South, 1940's blues is virtually built into this guitar. Excellent clarity and punch. Chords are REALLY satisfying... hard to describe how tight but yet open they are. Very rich sound. Perfect for folk, bluegrass or Led Zeppelin. It does NOT sound quite like a modern Gibson AJ-45. It's very similar but this guitar is designed to sound like a 1940's Gibson 45. This is definitely a professional quality instrument. No lie. Lastly, let me give a shout out to my Sales Engineer, Jorge Padilla. Jorge... You da man! Absolutely outstanding service and commitment to his customers. It doesn't get any better! I don't know how long Epiphone will be making these Masterbuilt guitars but get this guitar while you still can. Forget about the brand purists... This is an absolutely excellent guitar. Your brand purist friends will be impressed with it, I promise.

Amazing Instrument

I was originally looking to get the famed Gibson J45 but a friend of mine (who actually works for Gibson) told me to check out the AJ-45ME. So I went to the local guitar shop and picked up the J45, the AJ45, and several Martins and Taylors. I already own a Martin so I was using that more as a reference. The Taylors were too bright, the J45s action was too high and the tone a bit dull, but the AJ45 was amazing from the first strum. The tone was warm and open, the action was just right, and the look is amazing. Then add the electronics and you have a no brainer of a deal here. There is no guitar for the price that comes close to the AJ45. I purchased the AJ45 from Sweetwater even though my local dealer had it in stock. Why? Because as a 20 year customer of Sweetwater, I truly appreciate the Sweetwater difference. This is the second guitar I have purchased from Sweetwater and both guitars were delivered in excellent condition, ready to play. The setup was great, and the guitars were actually in tune... crazy. Epiphone deserves an award for the guitars they are producing these days. And Sweetwater, well, 20 years of purchasing gear from them and I`ve never been disappointed so that tells you how great they are as well.
Music background: Professional Musician

Love this guitar, buy one now!

After months of research, I contacted Sweetwater in February and pre-orderd my AJ45ME. I'm a novice when it comes to playing. I needed a good acoustic and nearly pulled the trigger on several other guitars before Epiphone announced this new Masterbilt. I've always loved the tone and look of a slope shouldered j-45 so this was worth the risk. My AJ-45ME arrived last week and I could not be happier! The quality of build, feel and tone cannot be matched at this price. For that matter I think you could spend much more and not come close. Some do not like the dull finish but it is really growing on me. The only thing that makes it look a little off is the extra polished pick guard but I can live with that. I can honestly say I don't want to put this guitar down! Last but certainly not least it the service and attention I received from Jeff Bohan at Sweetwater! Give him a call for your music needs, you will not be disappointed.
Music background: Novice

Epiphone Masterbuilt AJ-45ME

I ordered this Epiphone to take on the road instead of my Gibson Advanced Jumbo. I'm really amazed by the build quality of this guitar and the playability right out of the box. Might have something to do with the new PLEK setup- makes this guitar real easy to play. The shorter scale like the Gibson J-45 might have something to do with it as well. The satin finish is nice and makes the guitar look older than it is, hopefully it will last as long as a gloss finish. I don't know what brand of string came on it, feels like light gauge, I plan on trying out a few different sets for my personal sound preference. The guitar has a quiet sound but when pushed has a even projecting volume very much like a Gibson rather than a Martin, lots of midrange and a balanced tone, no harsh high end ringing. Over all a great guitar for the money, a welcome addition to the Masterbuilt line of guitars. Thanks to all the folks at Sweetwater and especially Chris Sanders for his excellent product knowledge and customer service. He kept me posted on my guitar and even helped me with the final selection, as I wanted one with a smaller sunburst. Even when I needed to return the case I ordered, there was no problems and I really felt like a valued customer. Thanks again Sweetwater!

Great quality, good price

I bought a brand-new Gibson J-45 guitar in 1965 & still have it. I recently bought this Epi Masterbuilt (swayed largely by my purchase of a Masterbuilt AJ a couple of years ago) and this new J-45 exceeded my already high expectations. And it sounds better than my '65 (thanks to Epi abandoning that disastrous 'adjustable' bridge' Gibson used back then). I notice that this guitar weighs closer to my 1965 model than it does to most 'new' acoustic guitars (which seem to be a lot lighter than the older ones, implying that they're using extremely thin pieces of wood on many of the new acoustics). The electronics are just fine and, as usual, Sweetwater did an excellent job of setting it up for me before shipping it out. I highly recommend this guitar as a great sounding instrument with excellent playability for a very reasonable price. And I always appreciate the little 'extras' (like the setup) that you get when you buy a guitar from Sweetwater.
Music background: playing for over 50 years. several as a pro back in my younger days.
See also: 6 string acoustic guitars, Epiphone, Epiphone 6-string Acoustic Guitars, Epiphone Acoustic / Electric Guitars