NGD : Epi Masterbilt Century Olympic

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by Wyzsard, Apr 9, 2020.

  1. Wyzsard

    Wyzsard Friend of Leo's

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    "Epiphone Masterbilt Century Olympic"

    That's a mouthful lol

    I have been a David Rawlings fan for years. So I thought I would get the Epiphone Olympic in hopes it will allow me to ease into the archtop realm for not a lot of money. I knew going in that a MII version would not sound like a vintage one. But as long as it was in the ballpark and played well, I'd be good with it.

    Action was a bit high out of the box but I lowered it a lot, expecting to hear some fret buzz but was pleasantly surprised. Action at the (bone) nut is fine and the neck has almost no relief at all. I'm going to put heavy gauge strings on it after the stock Cleartone light strings wear out. The string slots will need to be filed to accommodate the move up in gauge.

    No fret sprout or any other issues. Tuners seem fine.

    First things I noticed. Not much low end at all and it sounds nothing like a flat top guitar. It's not a guitar to strum cowboy chords on.

    But playing accompaniment with someone playing a flat top, it sounds nice. Finger-picking and arpeggios is where it shines.

    Got it Tuesday and the more I play it, the more I dig it. I have not tried to plug it in yet. It has an under saddle pickup with. Volume and EQ control inside the edge of the lower f hole.

    The neck profile is fairly fat. Enough so that those who do not like fat necks at all won't like it. I love it though. After lowering the action, placing my fingers on the fretted notes requires as little pressure as any instrument I've played.

    It's a small body archtop and is very comfortable to play but one thing I learned quickly is that playing while playing while seated I prefer to rest the lower bout in my lap rather than the waist on my right leg. It's kind of spoiling me. Now my Yamaha FG335 doesn't feel so comfortable. And I never noticed that with the Yamaha before.

    I also found I don't like using the strap pin on the heel of the neck at all. The Olympic wants to tilt toward the floor using it. Attaching the strap to the headstock is the way to go, for me anyhow.

    Fretboard is pau ferro.

    So overall, I'm very surprised I like this bottom shelf archtop so much.

    Case is nice as well.

    0407201811a~2.jpg 0407201722~2.jpg 0407201719b.jpg 0407201718~2.jpg 0407201723~2.jpg
     
  2. 62 Jazzmaster

    62 Jazzmaster Friend of Leo's

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    Wow! As an Epiphone fan that really speaks to me, beautiful!
     
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  3. Wyzsard

    Wyzsard Friend of Leo's

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    Btw, these come with a tort pickguard that has to be installed by the owner, but I won't put it on mine. I love the distance from the strings to the top of the guitar. Makes anchoring so comfortable.
     
  4. Wyzsard

    Wyzsard Friend of Leo's

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    Thanks !

    Pretty sure it's a keeper.
     
  5. Macrogats

    Macrogats Friend of Leo's

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    Very nice. HNGD.
     
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  6. Misty Mountain

    Misty Mountain Tele-Meister

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    I have that exact model for a couple of years. Love it!
     
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  7. rangercaster

    rangercaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    Wow !!! Good choice !!! I love Epis !!! Best of luck with her !!!
     
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  8. tah1962

    tah1962 Friend of Leo's

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    Very :cool: Congratulations.
     
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  9. Wyzsard

    Wyzsard Friend of Leo's

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    Thanks all, I'm not much of a slide player but I just finished using a glass slide and had a blast !

    It's doing a good job to get my mind off the virus thing.
     
  10. Wyzsard

    Wyzsard Friend of Leo's

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    What strings do you use on yours ?

    I found a Premier Guitar article that says David Rawlings uses Darco strings.
     
  11. Misty Mountain

    Misty Mountain Tele-Meister

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    i use Martin retros. I am generally not too hung up on string brands, though.
     
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  12. Fretting out

    Fretting out Friend of Leo's

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    That’s an awesome guitar, I’d love to try a couple from that series
     
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  13. Wyzsard

    Wyzsard Friend of Leo's

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    Thanks, Epiphone seems to have removed them from their 2020 catalog, so we might see them at clearance prices soon.

    I got mine from zZounds for 379.00

    They have a honeyburst finish as well with white binding.

    I'm going to keep an eye on them and if they drop the price I may get a second one and set it up for slide.
     
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  14. Fretting out

    Fretting out Friend of Leo's

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    Heck at those prices and they sound good I’d like to have a f hole and one of the regular sound hole models
     
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  15. Stubee

    Stubee Doctor of Teleocity Gold Supporter

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    That’s a cool axe. I love Rawlings and though I haven’t played one of those exact guitars I agree on the “tone”. It’s so good for what he does and so different than a regular flattop.
     
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  16. mimmo

    mimmo Friend of Leo's

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    Great looking epiphone, big congrats!
     
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  17. Wyzsard

    Wyzsard Friend of Leo's

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    Listen how Maybelle Carter's archtop cuts through the mix here...

     
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  18. KyAnne

    KyAnne Tele-Afflicted

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    Very decent and cool man!
     
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  19. shupe13

    shupe13 Tele-Holic

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    Congrats!

    Sent from my REVVLPLUS C3701A using Tapatalk
     
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  20. Wyzsard

    Wyzsard Friend of Leo's

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    Well, the honeymoon is definitely not over. I'm loving this guitar.

    It's pretty responsive for a pressed top. I've never played an archtop that's carved vs pressed, but this thing is nice. When sliding up or down a few frets, the notes don't die. They sort of "bloom" a bit volume-wise. I suppose it's the pronounced mids. Never owned an acoustic instrument that did that. Sounds nice.

    It really responds to different pick thicknesses and material too. Not just warmer vs crisper as with any guitar.

    I still love my old Yamaha FG335, but any time I'll be jamming with others playing their flat tops, this Olympic will be my go to.

    A few nights ago, I jammed with a couple of guys on a big porch (masks and spread out 7-8 feet apart). One had a Yamaha like mine and the other had a Martin D 18.

    Both couldn't understand how well they could hear the Olympic because their guitars blow it away as far as sheer volume. They aren't gear heads so I had to explain how mids are what cuts through a mix.

    Anyhow, it's a keeper. I still haven't checked out the under saddle p/up and eq yet. I'll probably do that tomorrow evening.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2020
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