Epiphone DR-100 Dreadnought Review: Iconic and Affordable Acoustic Guitar

Why Epiphone DR-100 Dreadnought Guitar

Standing out of the crowd for all around reliability is Epiphone DR-100 Dreadnought, their highest selling guitar since long. It has all the features and hallmarks of a versatile and good sounding rig.

Epiphone has been in the business of crafting guitars for over 100 years. With such a prestigious heritage it is not surprising that many accomplished guitarists have used the Dreadnought as their first guitar. Coming from Epiphone you can’t go wrong as they are one of the most reputable guitar companies. As many guitarists are aware, when you buy an Epiphone, you are actually buying and even more prestigious Gibson and that’s very reassuring. Being sold at the budget end of the market makes it a perfect choice for beginners.

Company Credentials:

Epiphone is a division of leading guitar manufacturer, Gibson, and they are always easily distinguished by the shape of their headstock, and emblazoned with the proud gold script logo. Epiphone was originally a Turkish company operating since the last quarter of the 19th Century making traditional Middle Eastern lutes and ouds and violins. By 1957 it had been acquired by Gibson and in the current time, maintains its separate business structure. They are manufactured in a range of different countries including Japan, China, Czech Republic, Indonesia and Korea.


Construction of Epiphone DR-100 Dreadnought:

Epiphone DR-100 Body:

The DR-100 is laminated plywood assembly on each side, which includes a spruce laminate for the top and back, with the sides and back constructed from a mahogany laminate. The choice of this type of laminate construction appears to embed rich tones into the shaping of the guitar. Unlike solid wood, there is less effects of humidity for the tuning. In fact, with the Select Spruce top, it appears that frequent playing seems to improve the tone, as the wood breathes more with more use.

The DR refers to its model style, the ‘dreadnought’ which is a style of acoustic guitar when guitars were being established originally referred to a larger than usual guitar. The classic shape has no cutaway and is symmetrical. The Epiphone DR-100 is available in Ebony, Vintage Sunburst and classic Natural colors.


The Manufacturer use carved rosewood to make the bridge. The choice of rosewood improves the longevity and overall strength of the guitar, due to the great stress borne by the tension that the strings are under between the nut and the bridge. Having a rosewood bridge strengthens the neck from over tension when tuning, which in some cases will cause the entire headstock to fall away from the nut in guitars of other manufacturers.

Appearance of Epiphone DR-100 Dreadnought:

The Epiphone DR-100 Dreadnought is large with classical styling. It comes in a variety of colors including ebony, natural and vintage sunburst. The rosette is ornate in style with a herringbone border within elegant silver concentric circles. The dark fingerboard is offset with the inlaid fret dots.


  • 47cm width x 107cm Length x 14cm depth
  • Weighs around 4kg
  • Neck style is a slim taper style, making the reach for chords easier


Epiphone DR-100 Dreadnought comes with D’addario 12, 16, 25, 34, 41, 53


The neck is manufactured from mahogany and is glued in at the 14th fret accompanied by a rosewood fingerboard. The headstock is emblazoned with the immediately recognizable ‘Epiphone’ logo, complete with high quality mechanical tuners.

Pick guard

A sweeping black pick guard finishes the front of the guitar with the classic Epiphone “E” proudly stamped across it.

Review – players

It wins so many player reviews simply due to its affordability. Players recognize that this is not a premium product, but coming in at around $100, is a damn good choice for a beginner or as a good second guitar to have around if you want to make sure your best guitar doesn’t get damaged by friends who want to play around a campfire.

There are some who feel that the buzzing after some time can be a problem, whereas others utilize the hex tool that’s included to make some adjustments. If you’re a beginner you may have to consult your local guitar shop for some tips with this, but it will be good skill to have, no matter which guitar you have.


  1. Affordable quality
  2. Adjustable play action, Allen/hex key included
  3. Quality wooden construction, made from spruce, mahogany & rosewood
  4. Retains it tuning


  1. Tends to buzzing after a long use
  2. Difficult to replace strings


Who is the Epiphone DR-100 most suited to?

The DR-100 is a great choice for beginning guitarists as it is a quality brand at a very cheap price. The tone is as you would expect from a leading guitar manufacturer, however with the mass production that a guitar at this price point must use, the quality of the workmanship can sometimes let you down. However, the returns are easy for faulty products. As it is a larger size guitar, it is suitable for adults who have sufficient reach to play comfortably.

It is also a very cool looking guitar and its iconic look and sound is suitable for a wide range of styles of playing, from blues to rock as well as folk and country. Pretty much anyone who wants to play acoustic guitar will enjoy the Epiphone Dr-100.

Points to Note

The Epiphone DR-100 dreadnought is backed by a leading manufacturer and if you have problems your warranty will be honored by a company that values its hard-fought reputation. A comparison with a similar acoustic/electric style from a leading and reputable manufacturer would be the Fender FA-100 Dreadnought. Both represent great value, both are from leading guitar manufacturers with great reputations. Both are a great entry guitar for a beginner too.

Although both great choices in terms of playability, sound and cost, I think the Epiphone DR-100 is a better choice as its Spruce top seems to provide a slightly warmer tone than the mahogany used in the back. Also, for myself, the Epiphone’s body is slightly longer yet narrower which makes holding and playing a little easier.

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