History of Alvarez Acoustic Guitar & Series Review
Based out of St. Louis, Missouri, Alvarez Acoustic Guitar makers was founded in 1965 and have created a reputation for themselves as being the makers of great acoustic guitars. While many of the Alvarez models are made in China, the very top models are hand-crafted by Kazuo Yairi in the Yairi Guitar Shop in Japan.
As with any maker of good acoustic guitars, not all the models in the Alvarez series of guitars are created equal. From the higher-end Yari line with its exacting attention to detail and high-quality reputation to the Alvarez Regent Series that is crafted for the budget of the beginning guitarist, each series in the Alvarez line is made up of a number of different models so that you can choose the model that is right for you.
A look at the different Alvarez Acoustic Guitar lines should give you a good idea as to which line will provide you with the best quality instrument in your price range.
The Alvarez Yari Signature Series
The guitars in the Yairi Signature Series are top notch models that are made for the discerning guitar player who wants a great acoustic guitar. The acoustic models in this series fall into one of two body types; folk style and dreadnought. While the dreadnoughts in the Yari Signature Series have a fantastically full-bodied sound and outstanding volume, the folk style models are much easier to handle due to their slightly smaller size. Each model is made “for” a known guitarist and exhibits the qualities that artist values (or valued) in their instrument. Both the folk and the dreadnought styles will give you an outstanding performance, though they can be a bit costly when it comes to price with products ranging from $1,000-$2,000.
The Alvarez Yari Classical Guitar Series
With their roots firmly in the great Spanish guitar crafting traditions, these classical guitars all have solid cedar tops and either traditional or up-to-the-minute bracing design to give you the tone and projection that you’ve been dreaming of. Whether you are playing for yourself or with a group, these guitars have an excellent reputation for quality craftsmanship and dependability. While the prices may be a bit prohibitive, the quality of sound will more than make up the differential, especially if you are in need of a quality classical guitar.
Alvarez Masterworks Series
These guitars are a real value. Each is created not only with a solid top
, but with solid wood back and sides
as well. Add to this the thin profile necks, and you get instruments that are not only some of the best acoustic guitars for craftsmanship, but for tone and playability as well. The Masterworks may be decidedly more expensive than either the Artist or Regent series with prices ranging from $500 -$1,000 depending on the model and body type that you choose. Any “C” Masterwork guitar comes with a deep cutaway for easy access of the upper frets. Body types in this series include dreadnoughts and classical styled bodies.
Alvarez Professional Series
The Alvarez Professional Series of guitars is an excellent combination of simplicity and craftsmanship. Each guitar comes with a Canadian Spruce top, scalloped bracing and either a solid Indian rosewood or mahogany back and sides. The only real aesthetic features on any of these are the maple binding and the abalone shell inlays, but the combination gives these guitars an incredibly stylish look. The professional series comes in either dreadnought style or folk style guitars so you can choose which model feels the best for you. These guitars have a very rich sound, with precise emphasis on each note which makes them a great choice for those looking for a solid working guitar.
The Alvarez Artist Series
The Alvarez Artist Series of guitars is probably one of the most impressive collections of guitars when it comes to sheer variety. While the Artist Series guitars do not
have the solid bodies of the Masterworks or Professional Series, they do have solid tops
which give these instruments a rounded tone and depth of projection that you won’t find with the Regent Series guitars. Priced between $300-$600, the Alvarez Acoustic Guitar Artist Series guitars come in a number of different body types as well as both six and twelve string models and with so many different woods and finishes that it is a rare person that cannot find a guitar that suits their taste and style of play.
The Alvarez Regent Series
The Alvarez Regent Series guitars are designed to be good acoustic guitars for beginners. With attention to detail, these guitars may not have the solid tops and solid bodies of the Professional or Masterworks series, but they are well made for all of that, and the laminate bodies tend to stand up to wear and tear very well as well as changes in temperature, which is why these are so popular with beginning guitarists as well as those who cannot afford the higher end models. With models ranging from dreadnought to folk and classical, the variety of models available is only matched by the price, for with Regent Series models mostly priced below $300, you can see why they would be not only practical, but affordable as well. On the downside, the lack of solid tops make these practically priced instruments rather prone to losing their tune fairly easily, and the projection and tone cannot compare to the solid top or solid body models, but they are decent acoustic guitars for all of that.
From the hand-crafted Yari models to the cheap (read affordable) guitars in the Regent and Artist series, Alvarez acoustic guitars have something for everyone! No matter if you are a professional musician, a collector, a beginner, or someone who just loves playing great acoustic guitars, you will appreciate the look and feel of the Alvarez acoustic guitar models, and while individual guitars (especially in the Regent Series) may have issues and need specialized attention, the further up the product lines you go, the better quality guitar you find, and the more please with your choice you are going to be.
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