RD8 Review

manufacturer: Alvarez date: 09/16/2013 category: Acoustic Guitars
Alvarez: RD8
A beginner's guitar doesn't have to sound like it. The Alvarez Regent Series RD8 guitar is designed to turn aspiring students into great guitarists. Features include a select spruce top, mahogany back and sides and rosewood fingerboard with dot inlays.
 Sound: 9.5
 Overall Impression: 9.7
 Reliability & Durability: 9.5
 Action, Fit & Finish: 9.5
 Features: 9.5
 Overall rating:
 8.6 
 Reviewer rating:
 9.5 
 Users rating:
 7.7 
 Votes:
 46 
reviews (6) pictures (2) 4 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9.4
RD8 Reviewed by: jmac72187, on february 27, 2006
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 100

Purchased from: Used

Features: Mine was maufactured in 2005. It was made in China. There are 20 frets. It has a rosewood fingerboard. The guitars wood is laminated top and sides. The top of the guitar is spruce and the sides and back are mahogany. It has a natural finish that looks pretty good. The tuners are just simple die cast tuners. They seem to work pretty well. The guitar included a very nice hard case that I would have paid extra for. It is very padded and seems very durable. // 10

Sound: This pretty much suits my acoustic music style. I mostly play electric but sometime I just like to pull the acoustic out and play. The guitar sounds very good. Most people that I have talked to or heard about the guitar from say that the sound the guitar has surprised them for a lower priced guitar. It compares to many more expensive guitars that can cost more then $500. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar came pretty good. I got it used though so I cannot rate how it came from the factory. The last owner never really used it though so it should be close to factory standards. The action is a little high on the higher frets. I can set it up with some new strings and change the action and it will be just fine. // 9

Reliability & Durability: This guitar would withstand live playing. The tuners seem like they might need to be replaced a little later on down the road. It's a pretty solid felling guitar. I have only played a few acoustics and this is one of my favorites. // 9

Overall Impression: I play mostly any time of music on acoustic. On my electric I play mostly heavy rock. I have been playing almost a year now. The rest of my equipment is mostly electric guitar stuff. If this guitar were lost or stolen, I would probably buy it again if I were looking for an acoustic. This guitar is the whole package for only about $200. // 9

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overall: 9.4
RD8 Reviewed by: Grunge, on september 29, 2005
1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Features: Before I found this guitar, I was sitting out trying out a bunch in a sound room. I looked at one up on a shelf (can't remember the manufacturer), started playing it (didn't like it much, no bottom end at all) and then looked at the tag and it was $1400. I picked up a few after that, they were average I guess. I picked this one up without looking at the tag and started playing it. I really liked it, it was nice, I decided that it won't be here in a few months, which is when I was planning to buy a new guitar, so I purchased it. Well, actually, I didn't know if I was going to spend all this money just now, but my dad convinced me and I'm happy he did. This means no birthday for me, even though I paid for it by myself (long story, but brother at college doesn't really work in a tight budget). This guitar was made in China. It has twenty frets on a very thin rosewood neck. It's very thin for acoustic, actually. I like it a lot, it's quick and easy to play. It's a basic acoustic guitar, nothing really special. Stays in tune pretty well, I'm guessing it might be the tuners, which are generic Alvarez tuners that just work really well I guess. The guitar came with Elixir strings, which was really nice. The body wood is thin, I guess, but it does help with its sound. It's not deadly thin where any bump = death. My dad was with me and we asked the guy if it came with a case, he said no but after an "oh," and a look of disappointment, he went to check. It did come with a case, its a really really nice case too. I'd expect to pay around 100 bucks for the case alone. This guitar originally cost 220, but the guy dropped it to 200! // 10

Sound: I like a bunch of music, I bought the acoustic because I really do enjoy acoustic pieces by a bunch of bands. I tried to play this guitar for a bunch of Beatles songs and it sounds really nice. It doesn't really buzz (it did at the store a bit, but it was because of the new strings, which stopped after a while). It has a full sound, but a bit more treble than bass, which is fine because too much bass, for me at least, makes it seem like the guitar is muted and bleh. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: The action was alright. It wasn't tiny, but then again, what acoustic is? I don't really mind high action, it's just something you need to get used to. Everything was in tune, intonation was prett good, and it was overall good. Some idiot scratched the headstock when restringing it, I'm guessing, but its not really noticable. My dad noticed it when I was playing it. I didn't even see. About the finish, its amazing. It's really wonderful. I needed to take a seperate picture because all the ones online show a dark red-ish color. The paint is Transparent Black (Hence, TBK) and my color is a pretty dark green. For some reason, I've been comparing it to an old mossy forest. That's just some imagery to help you. // 10

Reliability & Durability: I never played live, nor do I think I ever will be good enough, but it probably would. It plays well, and you can bang on the strings all you want and it stays in tune well. I didn't try a strap on this yet, but the strap button seem solid enough to hold it up no problem. The finish seems a bit thin, but I'm not an expert in this. What I can say, however, is that even if it does wear off, it won't affect how it looks a lot anyway. It'll retain most of its color, since it's transparent black. // 9

Overall Impression: I play a bunch of music, really. I do play a lot of Beatles songs and this is a great match. Good highs and mids, pretty good lows too (but not too low). I've been playing for almost 10 months, and I own a Mexican Strat (yes, I am lucky with my equipment and I'm thankful for that, but I do try to earn it. I don't just go up to my parents and say "I need a new guitar"). If this was stolen, I'd be really sad cause I couldn't afford a new guitar for a while. But I would try to find it. "Can you help me find my stolen guitar?" posters everywhere. I love everything about it. I love the fact that I liked it more than the $1400 one. I also love that it's affordable and a good acoustic overall. Much better than my aunts Yamaha 420 that I've been playing (old guitar, was probably better a long time ago). My favorite feature is its finish and look. It's just so different yet still beautiful. It's nice. I compared it to the borrowed Yamaha 420 (forgot the rest of the model name, but it contains 420). I really like this guitar, and I recommend it strongly to beginners and intermediates but as always, try before you buy. // 9

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overall: 9.6
RD8 Reviewed by: outtolunch, on december 14, 2006
1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 99.99

Purchased from: e-bay

Features: I got mine off of e-bay in April of 2006. It was new (I think) but the guy said that he had to advertise it as used cause he was a certified dealer or something. It was in almost perfect condition (just one little bump on the back of the headstock. It has a 20 fret very pretty rosewood neck. It's dot inlayes look somthing like peral but I'm not sure. The back and sides are mohagony, the top is spruce, and the finish is natural. It had chrome die-cast tuning knobs that stay in tune very well. After about 2 months of playing it always goes down a half step wich I fine cause I don't play with it in a band. It's a dreadnought with multiple body bindings (I honestly don't know what that means but dreadnought is sure fun to say). // 9

Sound: With good new strings on it I'd say that you could hardly tell a difference to a better Alvarez, Takamine, or Martin. On the low E A and D strings, you can't get that good of a sound if you go above about 12 frets, but you can sound a lot like a banjo if you play by the bridge. It gets pretty good harmonics too. The sound was a pleasent surprise like when your parents say that you can Live in their basement! // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: The action was perfect, neck straight, bridge set up good, no complaints. The finish was really pretty too. I've banged it up a lot but it atill plays about perfect. No problems ever. The neck is amazing, my favorite part about it. It's silky smooth and really fast. // 10

Reliability & Durability: This guitar would definately gigable (that's really fun to say) without need of a backup (unless you try to do the swing around your head thing or smash it on the ground). It only had the strap button one the butox of the body buy I just put nail instead trying to put another button in it. I've bumped it a lot (like the time I was playing on the tiolet and dropped my pik down the tiolet) so it looks pretty banged up but it plays like a whistle. // 9

Overall Impression: I this guitar I play anything from open chords while I'm singing, to Dueling Banjos, to acoustc hits like Swing Life Away and some Foo Fightrs stuff. I love pretty much everything and wouldn't change anything really. If it was stolen I'd either try to find another one in mint condition for half the price, or get a Martin or Takemine. // 10

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overall: 9.4
RD8 Reviewed by: TonyRandall, on november 08, 2007
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 199.99

Purchased from: Music123.com

Features: Mahogany back and sides and a spruce top, this guitar is definately the best acoustic I've played under $500. I used to have an Epiphone dove, I wish I still had it, it was a beautiful guitar but it definately didn't sound as nice as this one. This guitar is beautiful too. I don't know if it was just mine, but the top had kind of a quilted grain. It is beautiful. The rosette is lovely, the binding looks very good also. It was made in China, which I have no problem with, if it were made in America, I would expect a price around $500 or higher. It is a dreadnaught, one of the reasons I bought it, if I hadnt I would have wanted a sharp cutaway. The tuners are decent, they are the only reason I gave it a nine for features, those and the bridge pins, the saddle and the nut. I would have been happier with grovers, but I'm not complaining about that, for 200 bucks I couldnt ask for more. I'm planning on replacing the tuners with gold grovers anyway, I love gold hardware and they will make this guitar more beautiful. It will definately be a 10 for features after that replcement, but stock it is a good 9. The nut and saddle isn't high quality, I replaced them, they aren't bad, it is just a personal prefference. It did come with a nice hard shell case that I wouldn't have minded paying a little more for. It is probably worth $50 or $60 bucks. // 9

Sound: I gave this a 9 for sound. It came with elixir nanowebs, which are (relativly) expensive strings, I liked them, but I replaced them when they got dull in sound for Ernie Ball rock and blues. Those are only 5 bucks and sound just as good on this guitar. The natural harmonics on this guitar are nice and clear. I never put this baby down, she is perfect for every kind of music I want to play. Rock, blues, folk, anything I want, I know I can rely on Irene. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: The factory setup on this guitar was playable and decent, after about a month, I adjusted the truss rod and got rid of a little (minor) fret buzz. The saddle and nut werent hight quality, as I said, but they werent poorly manufactured, they just werent made out of quality materials. They didn't affect the sound or playability at all. The Finish is beautiful, as I said, mine had a mild quilt which made me very pleased, for under 200 dollars, that was much more than I could have asked for. Alvarez did a great job with this instrument. When I get more experienced with inlay, I'm going to do a custom inlay job on this guitar, the dots aren't bad, I just want a better inlay, I feel that they are the only average part of it's appearance. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I got this guitar for an acoustic that I could take with me everywhere and not mind if it got dinged up, but when I saw it those plans vanished, this guitar is meant for a beginner, but I've been playing for about 4 or 5 years and wouldn't call myself a beginner or even intermediate, I'd say I'm probably almost advanced, and this guitar doesnt't lack anything. I would definately gig with it, it sounds very nice and I wouldn't be embarrassed by it's looks, I brag about this guitar a lot. This would definately make a great beginners guitar, I wish I could have started on this, but for the better of the guitarists Who just want a guitar that's fun to own and play I would recommend this. It is great for the musicians on a budget (low money was the main reason I bought this, I didn't have much money after buying a car). // 10

Overall Impression: I play rock and blues mostly, and this acoustic is perfect for me, when I'm not playing my electrics I can cound on this baby to be there. I have been playing for about 5 years. The only thing that I find that this guitar lacks is a quality saddle and nut. But these don't affect sound, so they are fine, I replaced mine, but only for the rights to say that I have a tusq saddle and nut on it. I love everything else about this guitar. Overall, I give it a 10, I don't think I could dock it in overall value for it not having my exact prefferences. It makes up for everything with its sound and appearance. // 10

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overall: 10
RD8 Reviewed by: rchunter57, on june 01, 2011
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 139

Purchased from: pawn america

Features: This is an amazing guitar for the price. Beautiful finish, (mine is the natural), high gloss, very nice. Stays in tune really well. The case alone would be worth half of the price I paid. Nice felt, and not just cardboard like most. Tuners feel solid, and stays in tune very well. // 10

Sound: Have plunked around on guitars most of my life, play banjo, (don't hold that against me, ha ha). The rich bass and clarity on this "begginers" guitar blow everyone away. My dad has a Takamine and this sounds better, my opinion, than his. The bass is incredible. It projects a very rich, warm sound that surprises everyone who picks it up. My neighbor is a professional musician, and he built his own guitar from scratch, not a kit, and he likes it too. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: don't know if this was set up after purchase or not. Action is really fast and low, neck probably is a little to straight, but for playability I'm not going to touch it. Again, my neighbor said the neck could be adjusted, too flat he thinks, but I love the action as it is and since I play for pleasure, were going to leave just the way it is. // 10

Reliability & Durability: Not afraid to put this baby next to about any other guitar. Seriously, for under $200 bucks, you can't go wrong. It stand up with great low end sound, but yet is bright on the high end. The finish is great. High gloss, nice grain on the top and back. I thought it could be a beat around guitar, but its way too nice for that. Looks like I'll have to keep looking for a beater cause this definitely isn't it. If I "gigged", I wouldn't be ashamed to use this guitar at all. // 10

Overall Impression: Bluegrass, gospel, anything my daughters and I can come up with. I read all the reviews here on ug after I bought it, you know reinforcement for buying it at a pawn shop, and I normally don't take the time to do something like a review, but this guitar deserved some love. // 10

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overall: 9.4
RD8 Reviewed by: dtmichalek27, on september 16, 2013
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 150

Purchased from: eBay

Features: The case is brown and has a very nice dark red interior with a compartment for picks and extra strings. The case is manufactured by Alvarez. The case is nicely cushioned and forms perfectly to the guitar. Inside the case I also found a QC card that tells you the level of the action on both the first and 12th frets and it also tells you the action for the first and sixth strings. The guitar is natural color clear coat finish. The frets are wide enough yet close enough for comfortable playing with a 20 fret rosewood fret board. // 9

Sound: This is a great acoustic guitar! I play both acoustic and electric guitar. I am a child of the '70s, '80s, and '90s so electric and acoustic guitars are part of my playing style. I have been playing now for 26 years and have had guitars from companies like Guild, Cort, and ESP. I find the Alvarez acoustic to be as good as any of those companies. The guitar has a rich full sound and it sounds great no matter where on the fret board I am playing it. I am able to play any style of music with the RD8. Because of its full bodied sound and sustained tone I can play songs normally meant to be played on an electric guitar with great success! // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: It has a rich full sound and the action is decent for an acoustic guitar. The action is not as good as my electric guitar but that is to be expected from an acoustic. I did buy it used so there is the possibility that the previous owner worked with the nut and the bridge. The tuning keys are nice and tight helping keep the guitar in tune. The rosewood fret board is a little worn from use but it doesn't negatively effect the sound of the guitar. I do know the previous owner so I do know that these are not the original strings but they haven't stretched and I believe that this is due to the tight tuning keys. The bridge and nut are perfectly aligned. // 9

Reliability & Durability: As I stated earlier the tuning keys are nice and tight keeping the guitar in tune. I play the guitar regularly and hardly have to tune it. I don't play out at clubs any more but I do play for people regularly at parties in and out doors so my acoustic is important to me. I play acoustic versions of many songs like "18" by Alice Cooper. I also like to play acoustic favorites like Poison's "Every Rose Has Its Thorn." No matter what I am playing the guitar sounds great. Because the guitar is well constructed it is ideal for playing around a campfire and I don't have to worry about using a generator to power an amplifier or effects. // 10

Overall Impression: Because I do play a variety of music from the '70s, '80s, and '90s it's important that I have a guitar that has a full bodied sound. The Alvarez RD8 is good for playing lead as well as rhythm guitar. I will always use my electric for playing more complex leads but the Alvarez allows me to play enough lead guitar that I don't have to limit myself to only rhythm guitar. I would also recommend using the RD8 for playing live in a club. Whether you are going to use an acoustic pickup or just a mic to allow people to hear you playing I would recommend the RD8 and its rich acoustic sound. I really love playing this guitar. // 10

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