I am planning on celebrating with the purchase of a good quality guitar. The AJ500RC-12 is one of those I am GASing over--can you tell me what your impression of this guitar is?
Well, when I 1st sit down to test drive a possible new guitar, the 1st thing I do is grab a Bluegrass G chord and strum down on the strings. There are only 3 guitars I've ever played that stunned me with just that. A vintage Martin small bodied 12 fretter several years ago(that was way out of my price range), the Blueridge BR160 I now own, and my AJ500RC.
As I contiuned to play it it passed every test grading out at 110% in every area.
It is VERY loud. The tone DRIPS with character. Very woody. Exceedingly well balanced. It flatpicked wonderfully, and fingerpicked just as well. This happens to be my 1st cedar topped guitar, and I find the tone to be VERY provacative. Loud like a spruce topped guitar, but without the very *trebly* brightness. This guitar just sings beautifully.
I notice you own some pretty fine equipment,...
Well, thank you! I am not a rich man, so I dont have any *vintage* Martins or Gibsons. No Collings or Santa Cruz's, etc. But I try to get the most bang for the buck with my purchases.
Would you mind comparing the AJ500RC-12 to the Blueridge (another brand I am considering)?
Both of them blew me away on the 1st strum, and never dropped in any area after that. The primary difference is the tonal differences between the cedar top on the Epiphone, vs the Sruce top of the Blueridge...and the tonal differences that the body shape of the 12 fretter produces.
Both are very loud with great tone. The 12 fretter has a more midrange
shimmer wrapped around its tone, as opposed to the Blueriges more trebly
shimmer. Both have wonderful sustain. They both speak very quickly. You hit a note or chord and its like its *instantly* 5 feet in front of you.
The Blueridge is a very very powerful guitar. An absolute cannon. I play bluegrass a lot and need that power to compete with the mandolins and banjos, etc. I have not tried my AJ500 yet in a bluegrass setting. So far its been so good that it wouldnt surprise me a bit of it cuts just fine. But if it proves to be a bit less powerful than the Blueridge that wont diminish my regard for it in the least. I'd just attribute it to the cedar top and its darker tone.
Right now the front runner is a Santa Cruz 12-fretter, but there might be adequate funds for both the SC and another, so I'd very much be interested in your impressions of the Epi Masterbilt and the Blueridge.
Thanks for whatever insight you can provide!
I hope I've helped some! [
Epiphone AJ500RC 12 fret slothead
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