Epiphone Masterbilt Excellente Review & Prices

Epiphone Masterbilt Excellente Review
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  • From Epiphone's 2020 Masterbilt series
  • Made in China
  • 6 strings
  • 25.3"'' scale
  • 12" Fretboard Radius
  • Solid Sitka Spruce top
  • Solid Ovangkol back
  • Solid Ovangkol sides
  • Mahogany neck
  • Ebony fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: Fishman Sonicore (Preamp/Active)
  • Ebony; Excellente shape with pearl dot inlays bridge
  • Acoustic C Set neck
  • 20 Medium Jumbo frets
  • Gold Vintage Waffleback tuners with metal buttons tuners
  • Compare Specs >

Our Scores and Tone Evaluation

Playability 73
Sound 88
Build quality 79
Value for money 80
Overall Score 80
Tone Evaluation
  • Heavy Metal
  • Hard Rock
  • Jazz
  • Blues
  • Funk
  • Country
Strengths & Weaknesses
Epiphone Masterbilt Excellente
  • Expensive Wood
  • Bone Nut
  • Top Brand Pickups
  • Electronics
  • Bone Saddle
  • Solid Top Wood
  • Solid Side Wood
  • Solid Back Wood
  • Cheap Fret Wire (NS)
  • No Locking Tuners
  • Made in China
  • No Compound Radius Fretboard
  • No 21:1 Tuner Ratio
  • No Strap Lock

Price Overview

Its average competitor's price is $440, which means that the Epiphone Masterbilt Excellente costs around 195% more than the competition. It might be due to it having additional features, but know that you can find cheaper similar alternatives. This takes into account all instruments of the same category in our database with 6 strings and Fixed bridge that are made in China.

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Videos

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Your feedback

Not all instruments are created equally. That's why it's important to have different opinions. Here's what our users who have played this instrument say. If you've played it before, help others by voting below!

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Is it Easy to Play?

The Epiphone Masterbilt Excellente meets 3 out of our 8 criteria items for beginner friendliness, which means that it's not recommended for complete beginners. This takes into account the type of frets, scale length, nut width, bridge type, fretboard radius, and neck profile to determine the easiest combination for new players to get used to.

New Player Friendliness

Epiphone Masterbilt Excellente
  • Easy-to-use bridge
  • Tall frets
  • Comfortable neck
  • Comfortable shape
  • Comfortable fretboard
  • Narrow nut
  • Short scale
  • Soft Strings
  • Locking tuners

Hand Size Comfortability

After taking into account the neck profile, scale size, fretboard radius, and nut width, we can conclude that the Epiphone Masterbilt Excellente's construction favors people with relatively small hands.

Nevertheless, this comes down in the end to personal preference. Make sure you test this guitar—or another one with similar characteristics—before buying.

Big Hands
Small Hands

Scale Length

Scale length is the distance the strings will span between the bridge and the nut. It can tell you a lot about the overall playability and tone of the instrument. A longer scale length means longer distance between frets, brighter tone and more string tension—which means lower action, but more difficult bending of the strings.

Here's the Epiphone Masterbilt Excellente's 25.3" scale length compared to other common sizes:

Epiphone Masterbilt Excellente Scale Length Comparison
Epiphone Masterbilt Excellente's scale length (at the top) compared to other popular sizes

This is considered a long scale, but slightly shorter than what's commonly found in acoustic guitars.

Since the distance between bridge and nut is relatively long, strings will feel stiff and more difficult to bend, but the tone will feel brighter. It will also be less likely to produce fret buzzing and rattling when strumming hard.

More with the same scale length:

Neck Profile

Epiphone Masterbilt Excellente Neck Profile
Epiphone Masterbilt Excellente's neck profile

The neck profile tells you the thickness (neck depth) and shape in cross section. Every difference will completely change the feeling and comfortability of the neck. This is a highly subjective thing, but most players indeed prefer certain types of necks (like Cs and Ds) because they feel nice in most hands.

It has a C type neck. C-shaped necks like this have been the most popular for the last years. The reason is that they feel good in most hands. It's generally a thin neck that doesn't get in your way when playing fast, but that also has enough mass to give your hands a comfortable grip for chords if they aren't too big.

Thin necks like this make it easier to move your hand across the neck and it helps when playing fast solos, especially if you like to leave your thumb free while playing high on the fretboard. However, thinner necks are also weaker and will need adjustment more often than a thicker neck.

However, Epiphone tends to be inconsistent with the shape and thickness of their necks. So two instruments, even if they're the same model, might have necks that feel different. It's been like this for a long time, and other brands don't have this problem.

More for different hand sizes

Fretboard Radius

When it comes to fingerboard radius, personal preference will dictate which one is better for you. However, most people seem to agree that a more curved (lower) radius will make it easier to play chords while a less curved (higher) radius is better for soloing and bending.

The Epiphone Masterbilt Excellente has a 12" fingerboard radius.

Here's an image comparing this fretboard radius to other popular choices:

Epiphone Masterbilt Excellente Fretboard Radius Comparison with Fender Stratocaster and Gibson Les Paul
Epiphone Masterbilt Excellente's fretboard radius compared to others

This is the same radius that Gibson uses in most of their guitars. When compare to the other popular radius of Fender Stratocasters, you can see that it's a lot flatter. Guitars with this radius are usually made to bring a good balance between single-note and chord playing.

Compound radius fingerboards give the best of both worlds. Unfortunately, the Epiphone Masterbilt Excellente has the same radius across the board.

More with the same fretboard radius:

Playability compared to main competitors

25.3'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.693'' Nut Width
12'' Fretboard Radius
24.72'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.693'' Nut Width
12'' Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.693'' Nut Width
12'' Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.68'' Nut Width
12'' Fretboard Radius
25.512'' Scale Length
D Neck Profile
1.75'' Nut Width
14.96'' Fretboard Radius

Nut Width

Epiphone Masterbilt Excellente Nut Width
Epiphone Masterbilt Excellente Nut Width

The Epiphone Masterbilt Excellente has a nut width of 43mm (1.693''). This is within the most common range of nut widths for a 6-string guitar. It offers a good balance of string separation at the nut. It's the size that most guitarists prefer as it gives them just enough space to play open chords without muting the strings, but without spreading the strings too wide and making bar chords difficult to perform.

Frets

It comes with nickel silver frets, so they won't last as long as stainless steel frets. If you use your instrument a lot, you might need to replace the frets after a few years. But this is unlikely as most people change instruments before this happens.

More with the same amount of frets:

Fret Size

Epiphone Masterbilt Excellente Fret Size Comparison
Epiphone Masterbilt Excellente's fret size (in orange) compared to other popular sizes

Finally, let's talk about fret size. Some people prefer tall frets because it's easier to press the strings and perform bends since there's less friction against the fretboard. On the other hand, some people like shorter frets because they like to touch the fretboard when playing, or because they got heavy hands and tend to press too much on the string and alter the of the note pitch accidently.

The Epiphone Masterbilt Excellente's frets are Medium Jumbo size. These sit somewhere between a Jumbo and a Medium fret. They're not quite as tall as a full Jumbo, so you'll still feel the fretboard, but you won't feel it as much as with medium frets. This is a good size if you want to make it easy to press the strings but would also like a little bit of ''feedback'' to know when to stop pressing so the notes don't go out of pitch.

More with the same type of frets:

Playability Score

Bending & Vibrato Ease 75
Chord Playability 65
Solo Playability 80
Playability 73

Tone Analysis

The type of wood and even the shape of the body will have a lot of influence in the final tone of an acoustic guitar. Here's we'll talk about what kind of tone you can expect from its specs.

Wood

Spruce wood pattern used for guitar building
Spruce Top
Ovangkol wood pattern used for guitar building
Ovangkol Back, Sides
Mahogany wood pattern used for guitar building
Mahogany Neck
Ebony wood pattern used for guitar building
Ebony Fretboard

Spruce Top: This wood has a light color with tight grain patterns. It's very stiff but relatively light. It's known for producing a well-rounded tone with a broad dynamic range.

Ovangkol Back and Sides: It's a beautiful wood that's popular for acoustic guitars. Its tone sits somewhere between rosewood and mahogany, meaning it has a punchy low-end and nice mid-range.

Mahogany Neck: This is the type of wood found in many top-of-the-line guitars, so that's a positive point for the build quality. This red-looking wood Mahogany is found in Africa and Central America and has great sustain and a warm tone due to its high density. The downside about this type of wood is that it's relatively heavy.

Ebony Fretboard: This is one of the most expensive woods there is, which is why it's mostly used for fretboards. It is dense, heavy, highly resistant and comes in a really dark color that gives any guitar a classy touch. Tone wise, it helps the high side of the spectrum and provides good sustain.

Pickups

This guitar comes with pickups from one of the top brands: Fishman. So you can expect well built pickups with great sound that shouldn't need an upgrade anytime soon.

Sound Score

Sustain 95
Versatility 85
Tuning Stability 70
Sound 88

Build Quality Analysis

Country of Origin

Knowing where the instrument is produced is a good way to know how well it's built. Some manufacturing countries are known for having higher quality standards. For example, most expensive instruments are made in the US or Japan, but there are some exceptionally great countries—like South Korea—that are building a good reputation.

The Epiphone Masterbilt Excellente is made in China. So you can expect lower build quality when compared to others made in Korea, Japan or the United States. Guitars made in this country are meant for mass production, which translates into less attention to detail and quality control. This doesn't mean the product is made poorly at all. Chinese products have a bad reputation since long ago, but they've definitely improved a lot the last few years.

Bridge

Ebony; Excellente shape with pearl dot inlays: The advantage of fixed bridges is that they don't require any kind of set-up. This makes it extremely easy when changing strings because you don't need to adjust anything besides tuning the guitar. Also, the fact that the bridge is directly attached to the body will help to increase sustain. The disadvantage is the lack of versatility since you can't create the same vibrato effects as with tremolo bridges.

Nut Material

Another important thing to analyze is the nut material, as it's one of the most important aspects that can affect the sound and playability of your guitar. A well-cut nut will make sure it stays in tune and will make it more comfortable to play.

In this case, the Epiphone Masterbilt Excellente has a Bone nut. This material is one of the highest quality you can get. It provides excellent sustain and tune stability if cut well. The only disadvantage is that it's an organic material, so it's not consistent. Two different bone nuts, even if made from the same bone, will probably sound slightly different. However, bear in mind that this is only relevant when playing open strings.

More with the same nut material:

Build Quality Score

Quality of materials 86
Features 85
Quality Control 65
Build Quality 79

All Specs

Epiphone Masterbilt Excellente
General
Brand: Epiphone
Year: 2020
Configuration:
Strings: 6
Made in: China
Series: Masterbilt
Colors: Natural
Left-Handed Version: No
Body
Type: Hollowbody
Body Material: Solid Sitka Spruce
Bridge: Ebony; Excellente shape with pearl dot inlays
Neck
Neck Joint: Set
Tuners: Gold Vintage Waffleback tuners with metal buttons
Fretboard: Ebony
Neck Material: Mahogany
Decoration: Excellente Clouds, 15th fret Block
Scale Size: 25.3"
Shape: Acoustic C
Frets: 20 Medium Jumbo
Fretboard Radius: 12"
Nut: Bone
Nut Width: 43mm (1.693'')
Electronics
Switch: 0 Way
Knobs:
Volume Controls: 0
Tone Controls: 0
Bridge Pickup: Fishman Sonicore (Preamp / Active)

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User Reviews

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1 user reviews:

Guitarist profile picture
Guitarist
29/07/23 23:32:49

Amazing with great bass sounds, resonance and sustain. Beautiful ovankol wood sides and back with AAA spruce top.