Epiphone DR-100 Acoustic Review
Since 1873, Epiphone has been making some of the most revered instruments, and the DR-100 acoustic guitar is proof of this. The rise from a small family repair shop to a worldwide leader in the manufacture of quality instruments could easily be a novel!
But this story is true, just like the quality you will find in both the build and sound of their acoustic guitars, like the Epiphone DR-100 song maker! There have been many popular players and incredibly rich history behind Epiphone guitars.
Certainly why their experience in engineering great acoustics has a number of their models in some of our best lists and reviews!
The DR-100 brings the legendary Epiphone tone to beginners with a rigid build, balanced sound and some great feel for an entry level guitar! Join us as we take a deeper look into this acoustic and see what it has to offer, and why it made our list.
Epiphone DR-100 Song Maker Features
Let’s take a look at some key features of the Epiphone DR-100 Song Maker Acoustic guitar.
- Laminate Spruce top
- Select mahogany back and sides
- Mahogany neck
- Rosewood Finger Board
- Dreadnought Body Shape
- 25.5 inch scale with 20 frets
- Epiphone Premium Tuners
Who is the DR-100 Made For?
Because of the great build quality and very affordable price, the Epiphone DR-100 is perfect for beginners and intermediate players who want to play an acoustic guitar. It’s a comfortable guitar that will make it easy for new players to get familiar with holding an instrument.
But it also has a great sound, which is perfect for motivating and inspiring a guitarist to play. This is important in the first few months of learning how to play!
The DR-100 is also a perfect guitar for those who want to have one lying around the house that can get beat up. It’s affordable enough that a few dings and dents are not a big deal, especially if you own some very expensive acoustic guitars that need to be kept immaculate.
Epiphone DR-100 Guitar Body
This dreadnought style body has a laminated spruce top, mahogany back and sides and an incredibly classic look with 3 available finishes of either vintage sunburst, natural or ebony! In this review, we are looking at the natural finish.
The choice of woods in the construction of the body really adds a balanced sound. The spruce top, being a complex tone wood, adds rich harmonics that will only improve with age! Paired with the mahogany back and sides, the DR-100 produces a warm, bold timbre, yet has a sparkling top end that is sure to provide a great experience!
Neck and Headstock
The Epiphone DR-100 neck is made from mahogany with a rose wood fret board, 20 frets and a 25.5 inch scale length. This neck is very comfortable with a nut width of 1.69 inches and Epiphone’s own Slim taper “D” profile.
Additionally, the truss rod can be accessed from behind the small cover on the full size Epiphone headstock. This makes truss rod adjustments very easy should they be necessary. Overall, it’s an easy neck to play and looks good with the standard pearloid dot fingerboard inlay.
The acoustic comes with an imitation bone nut and saddle, which are more than likely synthetic. Although this is quite common to find on an acoustic at this price point, it does not negatively affect the sound or tuning in any way that I could find.
The bridge pins are made from PVC, which is acceptable. The compensated Epiphone saddle, which is designed to improve intonation, helps in keeping the guitar in tune and does so wonderfully all over the neck of this acoustic.
Secondly, the tuning machine heads are Epiphone premium die-cast tuners which feel good, hold tune well and are easy to use. However, I would suggest upgrading them after a few months of use for better performance.
You will also want to change the stock strings that come with the guitar, as they are probably quite oxidized and of low quality.
Epiphone DR-100 Sound and Feel
So, now that you know a bit about the guitar, the question is, how does it sound? Pretty darn good for the price, let me tell you! The big, bold sound off of this guitar is sure to impress!
Not to mention the articulate top end, which resonates off of the spruce wood. For an entry level model, the tone is great! I mean, it’s a sub $200 guitar with tone wood and is excellent!
The slim neck, string spacing and action on it gave this acoustic a great feel, it was easy to get around on the fret board and was a joy to play. Also, the Epiphone neck was comfortable and easy to hold on to.
This is also an excellent choice for finger picking as the treble response retains its presence and keeps a full balanced sound. No matter how you decide to use it, the guitar will serve you well and for most music styles.
- Materials and Design
- Well Balanced Sound
- Plays great
- Great Price For a Beginner
- Vintage look
- A Set-up may be required out of the box
- Frets might be a bit rough on some guitars
- Stock strings might be dull
There are many great acoustic guitars in the under $500 price range available these days that play and sound good for beginners. Epiphone’s DR-100 is one of those models with a great sound and is a perfect entry level acoustic.
The build quality and tone is impressive and will have you wondering how they sell a guitar like this for such a great price. Seriously!
Epiphone has an incredible history and even with some being made overseas, they have managed to design and build a model that will bring many people a great experience for under a couple of hundred bucks!
We recommend it, especially to people just getting started that need a quality instrument. Staying inspired to keep practicing on a very small budget is key, and this is a great fit.
Does the Epiphone DR-100 have a solid top?
No, the Epiphone DR-100 does not have a solid top. The spruce top is made of laminated pieces that are compressed to form the part. It’s still wood, but adhesive is mixed in, which does affect the resonance slightly. For the price, it would be too difficult for the manufacturer to provide a solid top.
Is the Epiphone Songmaker a good guitar?
The Epiphone Song Maker is a wonderful guitar, and at this price is hard to beat. More experienced players will find it decent, but it doesn’t compare to more expensive models as would be expected. But with some upgrades like new strings, this guitar is perfect for beginners and intermediate players,
What size is the Epiphone DR-100?
The Epiphone DR-100 is a standard dreadnought guitar body size. The dimensions are 44″ long, 18.5″ wide and 5.5″ deep. It is capable of providing loud, full sound as a result, but is still comfortable to play, even for some smaller hands.
Does the DR-100 have electronics?
The DR-100 doesn’t come with any electronics or pickups. This is a natural acoustic guitar. But there are easy ways of converting it to also include a pickup! Seymour Duncan makes the Woody XL that clips onto the sound hole under the strings and sounds excellent!
The combination of the guitar and pickup are incredibly affordable and will offer you the benefit of having an electric acoustic with a great sound.
Other Guitars To Consider
There are a few other guitars that are similar to the DR-100 if you are looking for something slightly different.
The Fender CD-60S is another great acoustic and one that we featured in our best for beginners article. It features a truly solid top, easy to play neck with rolled finger edges, and has a parlor body shape. This might be a better fit for those who feel a dreadnought is a bit big.
The Yamaha FG850 is another great option and is another one of our favorite recommended guitars. It’s comparable in price but comes with the same great playing performance but has a warmer, bold sound. You can also expect quality hardware and great looks from this one.