Any Alvarez RD 20 owners out there?


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engine11
02-19-2008, 04:56 PM
First off let me introduce myself...I'm new here to the forums and new at playing guitar. I instantly was hooked when my cousin gave me his Washburn Oscar Schmidt(with broken strings) a little over a month ago to get started and practice with...After some research I decided to get some hair on my chest and put Ernie ball Power Slinkys on it (I shredded my fingers all to hell practicing on it).
The Guitar is obviously a beginner, I kid you not at the 12th fret there is almost a 1/2" gap between the board and string...Anyways after playing it for a month I decided today that this would be a long-term hobby and went to the local Music Store.

I only tested out a couple of guitars before I played the Alvarez RD 20 Solid Spruce Top Acoustic/Electric and fell in love with it...Was surprised at the price ($325 USD) and shocked that I got a stand, cable, strings for free!

Just wanted to know if any of the UG posters have ever had any experience with this guitar and what they think of it, good or bad...Thanks

jimtaka
02-19-2008, 05:15 PM
First, welcome to UG!

Second, that is a great guitar and a great price with all the extras. Make them throw in a gig bag also ;) They'll do it.

EDIT: Just read that you already purchased the guitar. Oh well, no gig bag :) Still a great guitar and a good deal!

engine11
02-19-2008, 05:38 PM
First, welcome to UG!

Second, that is a great guitar and a great price with all the extras. Make them throw in a gig bag also ;) They'll do it.

EDIT: Just read that you already purchased the guitar. Oh well, no gig bag :) Still a great guitar and a good deal!



Thanks jimtaka, By the way...Is there anything special I should know before plugging it up into an amp?

captivate
02-19-2008, 05:56 PM
Welcome to UG! beware of the pit(in the general discussion section) and its infinite supply of "WHAT THE CRAP?"-stupid kind of weirdos, haha. Luckily, we don't get too many of the pit crowd here.

anyway, before you plug in, make sure you have everything down to 0 first. on your amp, make sure the channel volume is at 0. it doesnt matter so much that your main volume is down, but just that the channel you are plugged into is off.

if you have a small practice amp, it probably wont have a seperate channel and main volume control, so just turn the volume down.

when plugging into or out of the system, make sure you turn down the volume on the amp to 0, otherwise, you'll make a giant crackling sound, which isnt the best for the amp. it probably wont hurt it too much, but when you get into using BIG systems, that can be potentially damaging. never take out the cable while the amp is still on(and volume is up).

also, since the guitar is new, you may want to open up the battery compartment of your guitar and check the battery. sometimes they may have a piece of plastic in there to stop the battery from draining.

OR... they might not have a battery, in which case you will need one. 9V batteries are most common when it comes to acoustic electric guitars, but i have also heard of the usage of AA batteries(they dont last too long).

As for your guitar, I don't believe I have ever heard of a bad review on an Alvarez guitar. Everything I hear about them is very positive. I should really get around to trying one out.

jimtaka
02-19-2008, 06:01 PM
i usually just hook up all leads, pedals, etc. with the amp or pa system turned off.

engine11
02-19-2008, 06:28 PM
Thanks again guys...This is a nice site, Look forward to discussing more topics in the future.


Here's a pic I've found on the net that's exactly like mine...

captivate
02-19-2008, 07:11 PM
cool. that's a pretty unique finish you got there.

LeftyDave
02-19-2008, 07:38 PM
Hey engine11, welcome to the board and congrats on the new axe! I own the Alvarez RD20SL (L for lefty btw). Full size dread, non-amped up version of yours and I totally love it. The action, fit and finish was perfect right off the bat. I upgraded the saddle to true bone and it made a huge improvement in tone. I've experimented with a lot of different strings, and have come to the conclusion that the best sounding for mine is the phosphor/bronze makeup. Currently I've got a set of D'Addario p/b's on it, light gauge. The 80/20 bronze strings just don't ring out like the p/b's do. Another set worth trying out is the Martin Silk and Steels. They above any others I've tried hold their tune the best. Incredibly stable strings, assuming you install them correctly.
Excellent choice for an acoustic. Enjoy it!

engine11
02-19-2008, 07:51 PM
Hey engine11, welcome to the board and congrats on the new axe! I own the Alvarez RD20SL (L for lefty btw). Full size dread, non-amped up version of yours and I totally love it. The action, fit and finish was perfect right off the bat. I upgraded the saddle to true bone and it made a huge improvement in tone. I've experimented with a lot of different strings, and have come to the conclusion that the best sounding for mine is the phosphor/bronze makeup. Currently I've got a set of D'Addario p/b's on it, light gauge. The 80/20 bronze strings just don't ring out like the p/b's do. Another set worth trying out is the Martin Silk and Steels. They above any others I've tried hold their tune the best. Incredibly stable strings, assuming you install them correctly.
Excellent choice for an acoustic. Enjoy it!


Cool man, I'll keep all that in mind...By 'Saddle' you mean the nut right? If so I'll definently check into that later.

LeftyDave
02-19-2008, 08:06 PM
Nope, by saddle I mean saddle. That's the part in the bridge that the strings go over when they come out of the bridge, down by the soundhole. The nut is the other piece up at the headstock that has slots in it.

Dishburn
02-20-2008, 01:38 PM
Eng11,

Welcome to UG. You have a purchased a great guitar that will serve you well for many years. (I have a RD2012 12 String and it sounds awesome) Be sure to name your guitar after a woman and play it often. Rock on, Dude.

Dish

engine11
02-20-2008, 04:06 PM
Hey Lefty,

How long did it take to have the bone saddle installed?

Thanks-Dishburn...I've got to narrow down some of my 'ex's', Dated a Red-head a while back who quit me cold-turkey, Guess my new axe can have the 'honor' of being named after her.

LeftyDave
02-20-2008, 08:35 PM
Engine, I did it myself in an afternoon. I bought a bone blank that was close to the size I needed, but still oversize. I customized it to fit my guitar. I used the original as a template and worked at it with a dremel tool until I got it really close to the correct size. Then went to work with sandpaper to get it precise. Fits like a dream and sounds just as good. All in all, took me about 2 hrs. Blank cost me $10. It's cow bone, which is a by-product of the beef industry. I would have gone with fossilized walrus or mammoth ivory but they are a bit more spendy, and my local shop doesn't stock them.
And one last thing. Why on earth would you want to name your axe after a chick who dumped you? Don't do it man! You'll curse your guitar! Name it after a hot, loyal, pretty, hot chick. lol Oh, and make sure she can sing.

captivate
02-20-2008, 09:52 PM
what exactly about bone makes the guitar sound better? i dont really understand why it would =/

anyway, i named my guitar Chloe. I thought it well suited my guitar because acoustic guitars are gentle... and that name just sounds very gentle to me, so there you have it, haha. i was going to name her alexis, but that's too... electric guitary..

engine11
02-20-2008, 10:06 PM
Engine, I did it myself in an afternoon. I bought a bone blank that was close to the size I needed, but still oversize. I customized it to fit my guitar. I used the original as a template and worked at it with a dremel tool until I got it really close to the correct size. Then went to work with sandpaper to get it precise. Fits like a dream and sounds just as good. All in all, took me about 2 hrs. Blank cost me $10. It's cow bone, which is a by-product of the beef industry. I would have gone with fossilized walrus or mammoth ivory but they are a bit more spendy, and my local shop doesn't stock them.
And one last thing. Why on earth would you want to name your axe after a chick who dumped you? Don't do it man! You'll curse your guitar! Name it after a hot, loyal, pretty, hot chick. lol Oh, and make sure she can sing.

Too scared to try and customize it myself right now...I have noticed that on Frets 2-4 on the d-string there is the slightest buzz sound, So I'll probably bring it in this weekend and have them take a look at it(And ask about getting bone put on it). Do you or JIMTAKA have any idea why just these couple frets on 1 string is barely buzzing? It's really no big deal to me as I'm in love with this guitar...But I would like to know what is up with it...Maybe a bone saddle would fix this?

As far as the name...It's just one of those, 'Would've had to been there' kind of deals...It was all worth it! lol

LeftyDave
02-21-2008, 08:14 AM
what exactly about bone makes the guitar sound better? i dont really understand why it would

Bone has low mass, yet is very hard, making it the ideal material for transmitting the vibrating string energy to the soundboard. The more energy that get's to the soundboard, the more sound comes out of the soundhole. The lighter and harder a material is, within reason of course, the better suited it is for saddle and nut material on acoustic guitars. Plastics can't compare because they are more dense, which equals out to having more mass, and are typically softer, which in turn allows them to wear faster. Top of the line guitars might have FMI or FWI saddles and nuts on them, which are fossilized mammoth ivory or fossilized walrus ivory, respectively.
Because they are fossilized and ivory, they are even harder than cow bone, yet they have that same bone characteristic of having low mass. I've seen blanks for these go for as high as $100 each on the internet. A little out of most peoples budget for such a small item, but well worth the upgrade if your guitar is worthy of it.

LeftyDave
02-21-2008, 08:22 AM
Too scared to try and customize it myself right now...I have noticed that on Frets 2-4 on the d-string there is the slightest buzz sound, So I'll probably bring it in this weekend and have them take a look at it(And ask about getting bone put on it). Do you or JIMTAKA have any idea why just these couple frets on 1 string is barely buzzing?

What I'd suggest that you do first off is install a brand new set of strings. I've already suggested a few that will work great for that guitar. The problem is that you have no idea how long the original set has been on the guitar, and how many hands have been on it playing with it in the store. Alvarez typically installs Elixer Polywebs on their new guitars. They are ok strings, and last a long time, which is why they use them, but they will go dead eventually.
Try the Elixer Nanoweb Phosphor Bronze Lights (.012's). They will last you a few months and sound fantastic. They are a little spendy, about $22/set, but since they outlast non-coated strings easily by twice as long, you break even.
If you still have that little buzzing after new strings, get back to us.

Bill43
02-21-2008, 11:22 AM
Congrats on buying a nice guitar. I own a few Alvarez guitars myself and have yet to be disappointed with any of their solid topped line.

engine11
02-21-2008, 05:49 PM
What I'd suggest that you do first off is install a brand new set of strings. I've already suggested a few that will work great for that guitar. The problem is that you have no idea how long the original set has been on the guitar, and how many hands have been on it playing with it in the store. Alvarez typically installs Elixer Polywebs on their new guitars. They are ok strings, and last a long time, which is why they use them, but they will go dead eventually.
Try the Elixer Nanoweb Phosphor Bronze Lights (.012's). They will last you a few months and sound fantastic. They are a little spendy, about $22/set, but since they outlast non-coated strings easily by twice as long, you break even.
If you still have that little buzzing after new strings, get back to us.


Alright thanks... Yeah, The stock Elixir strings have already won me over from the Ernie Balls on my POC. Hopefully new strings do the trick, If not I'll try to get you guys to help trouble-shoot it.

engine11
02-23-2008, 04:29 PM
Well, I went to the shop and they said the Tech. guy is out for the weekend and for me to bring it back Monday so they can take a look at it, They pretty much said not to sweat it since they are backed w/a lifetime warranty and also suggested that it may be as simple as changing out the strings ... So I went ahead and bought the Elixer Nanowebs ( $18.00 )...Will probably just wait until after they take a look on Monday to decide whether to change em out.

(Guess I could've avoided this if I wasnt so 'intimadated' and playing like it was in a Library instead of a guitar shop)= Lesson learned.

On another subject I bought a guitar strap and my back is already thanking me for it...While sitting in a chair playing I'd have to slump over and play and after a couple hours my back would be sore, Now wearing the strap I can sit back properly and relax while practicing... And for some reason I'm not looking down at my fretting hand quite as much. Just thought I'd share

Chad48309
02-23-2008, 04:55 PM
Hey Lefty,

How long did it take to have the bone saddle installed?

Thanks-Dishburn...I've got to narrow down some of my 'ex's', Dated a Red-head a while back who quit me cold-turkey, Guess my new axe can have the 'honor' of being named after her.
I named my guitar Beatrice after the unrequited inspiration to Dante Alighieri.

Bone saddle will make all the difference to your tone. It's honestly like night and day. In my opinion, TUSQ doesn't compare, no matter how much they plug it.

Congrats on your new guitar and keep us posted. We love new additions to the Acoustic section, here. Hopefully you'll become a daily contributor like most of us.

PROTIP: always bow before the wisdom of jimtaka and LeftyDave.

engine11
02-23-2008, 05:38 PM
I named my guitar Beatrice after the unrequited inspiration to Dante Alighieri.

Bone saddle will make all the difference to your tone. It's honestly like night and day. In my opinion, TUSQ doesn't compare, no matter how much they plug it.

Congrats on your new guitar and keep us posted. We love new additions to the Acoustic section, here. Hopefully you'll become a daily contributor like most of us.

PROTIP: always bow before the wisdom of jimtaka and LeftyDave.



Man, Ya'll have talked me into it...If a bone saddle( and nut? ) makes just 1/8th of a difference as you say it will be worth it. The cow bone Lefty was talking about would be good enough I guess. Monday cant come soon enough...I might even go as far to call in sick to work that day so I can get to the local shop bright and early.

Thanks.

Yeah, There's quite a few of ya'll who seem to have a vaste range of knowledge...Wish I could pop on some kind of absorbing helmet and suck all the knowledge out of your brains so I would'nt have to ask so many damned questions.lol

Chad48309
02-23-2008, 06:07 PM
Man, Ya'll have talked me into it...If a bone saddle( and nut? ) makes just 1/8th of a difference as you say it will be worth it. The cow bone Lefty was talking about would be good enough I guess. Monday cant come soon enough...I might even go as far to call in sick to work that day so I can get to the local shop bright and early.

Thanks.

Yeah, There's quite a few of ya'll who seem to have a vaste range of knowledge...Wish I could pop on some kind of absorbing helmet and suck all the knowledge out of your brains so I would'nt have to ask so many damned questions.lol
Hey, the only reason we know the answer to these questions is because we were asking them just a short time ago. Never stop asking questions, because the more you ask, the more you'll answer!

AL01412
02-23-2008, 09:24 PM
I have an RD-20s12 and Im in love with it. Could not imagine a better 12 string.

captivate
02-23-2008, 10:43 PM
Hey, the only reason we know the answer to these questions is because we were asking them just a short time ago. Never stop asking questions, because the more you ask, the more you'll answer!

exactly! i knew next to nothing when i started coming here, but now im full of acoustic guitar knowledge. this is probably the best place to learn about acoustic guitars. I actually never really asked too many questions. i just like to sit back and read off other people's questions, haha.

LeftyDave
02-23-2008, 11:41 PM
I have an RD-20s12 and Im in love with it. Could not imagine a better 12 string.

I'd love nothing better than to have that guitar, but Alvarez doesn't offer it in a lefty model. *sigh*
The other that I drool over every time I see it is the AJ60S12. Jumbo 12 string. Go have a gander of it at the Alvarez site, it's a beauty. And once again, not available in lefty. *bummed*
Here's a pic of her to whet your whistle.


http://i181.photobucket.com/albums/x318/leftydave/AJ60S12.jpg