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Hello, good people!  It has been a while, hasn’t it?

I believe it is high time we take a look at another really cool guitar.

What I’ve got for you today is my Epiphone Masterbilt AJ-500 MVS.

First, a very brief history about Epiphone, 140 years in the making.

Working in the instrument repair business, I have noticed that some refer to the Epiphone brand mockingly–calling it “Epi-phony”. What a lot of people don’t realize is that Epiphone is one of America’s oldest instrument makers dating all the way back to 1873.  That’s just 40 years younger than the Martin Guitar Co.

Epiphone started by making mandolins–one of the most popular instruments at the time. By the 1920s, they had expanded into making banjos as well.  In 1928, they began making acoustic guitars in order to compete with who they viewed as their biggest rival. That rival would be none other than a little guitar company known as Gibson.

Throughout the 20s and 30s, Epiphone and Gibson maintained a vicious rivalry, continually trying to one up the other.   Gibson had the L-5 Archtops.  Epiphone had the Recording Series Archtops. Gibson introduced the Super 400.  Epiphone introduced the Emperor.  You get the idea.

After World War 2 however, Epiphone experienced a number of setbacks. In 1945, Epi–the son of the founder and President of the company–died of leukemia. This left the company in the hands of his two sons, who did not get along. The other problem was that while Epiphone was a favorite with consumers prior to WWII, after the war they did not retain the celebrity following that Gibson enjoyed.

Then in the 1950’s, with the introduction of the solid body electric guitar such as Fender’s Telecaster and Gibson’s Les Paul, the Epiphone company declined further. In 1957, the Gibson company, partially under the advice of Les Paul, bought Epiphone to tune of $20,000.

Instead of integrating the Epiphone the line into the Gibson brand, Gibson decided to revive Epiphone with a new line of instruments.  This was in part a business ploy to help market Gibson’s to dealers who had not quite proven themselves enough to sell Gibsons.

Since this decision, Epiphone has existed as a thriving, separate entity from Gibson, despite being under the same umbrella.  This is how we got to the Epiphones today, that are mainly being built in Korea and Japan.

Now a little more about my Epiphone.

This guitar features a solid spruce top and solid mahogany back and sides. The VS in the model number stands for the vintage sunburst finish. This is one of my favorite guitars to play.  It has a wonderful round sound that has played some Gibsons under the table. Also, the body style is similar to a Gibson J45.   The sloped shoulders makes a very comfortable playing guitar.

Epiphone has a fascinating history and makes some pretty awesome guitars if you ask me.  If you want to delve more into the history of Epiphone, visit, which is where I brushed up on my Epiphone history before writing this blog.

Finally the pictures!

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Apr 1 2015

Scotty Bass Time

Hey guys so I was practicing this evening and decided to pull out the iPad and record somthing

This is a cover of Jaco Pastorious’ Amerika. I usually play this as part of an intro into Spain by Chick Corea

I am playing Betty White my BA Ferguson Shirley bass and I am playing through my Tech 21 SansAmp bass driver into my SWR Working Pro 12 bass amp




Gibson Jc500

Hi there,

As a creative person there are times when despite your best efforts success isn’t just rolling in and you’re not buried in money. The press isn’t covering your material, won’t return emails, phone calls, your product may lay dormant, and as my girlfriend so deftly describes, your skin begins crawling with dangerous anxiety. Then when you pop open your favorite local paper/website/blog looking for some kind of solace or at least a direction to point your problems, suddenly other artists you think you’re on the same page with ARE getting coverage, and most likely they are. This is a breeding ground for not only more anxiety but other much more insidious characters to start showing their proverbial ugly heads; jealousy, anger, apathy, misplaced frustrations, snappy tones, and poor attitudes.

However there is relief for these types of issues. One word. Community.

Nothing squashes cynicism and misplaced competition better than a sense of community. Being front and center for your buddy’s band breeds feelings of trust, appreciation, respect and good old fashioned friendship. Let’s face it, we could all use a few more people in the front row at our shows, cheering and clapping their faces off, excited to see your band doing your thing, rocking out and having a blast.

I received an email last night from a smaller, brand new Cola band that was so appreciative that I would pass the word along they were looking for shows, any opportunity. I could just tell by the tone of the writing it was genuine. And I thought to myself, “Geez, who am I? We’re another band trying to do the same thing, fill the place up with good people, put on a great show.”

Long story short, I think we could all stand to show some more appreciation towards one another, send a thanks, show up at your friends show as much as you can, share their stuff online for your fanbase. And all the sudden all those feelings of anger frustration, just fade away.

Click here for the article by Ariel Hyatt where the ideas came from. Thanks Ariel.


Until next time,


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