I don't know much about acoustic guitars so I thought I would ask the knowledgeable acoustic players in this forum.

I want to hear what you think or want to say about Alvarez guitars. Or if there are other brands you would like to recommend. I haven?t been able to test out too many kinds of guitars because the local shop is very limiting and driving 3 hours to a Guitar Center isn?t ideal? especially when they don?t have Alvarez brand to compare the others too.

At the local shop though, I tested out two different Alvarez, I can?t remember the first ones model but the second one was the Alvarez PD90s. They didn?t have prices on them and after I decided I liked the PD90s better, I asked how much they cost. They could sell me the guitar a little below list price and I don?t really know how to get them to drop their price. I?m almost positive they probably won?t go down to what it is online. Would it be better to just buy it online?

I?m getting close to making a purchase on the PD90s so I was just wondering if you could help me out and let me know about other options, etc. I like how it has both a solid top and solid back.. does the lack of solid sides effect it much? I just need to know a little more about this guitar for lunging in.

Alvarez PD90s

Thanks for helping.
"Those who do not want to imitate anything, produce nothing."
Last edited by scribbles at Aug 27, 2006,
Anyone else? Please..
"Those who do not want to imitate anything, produce nothing."
I have an Alvarez. Amazing sound for the price. My recommendation for you, though, is to look at the Masterworks series instead of the Professional series. All of the Masterwork series (MD) have all solid woods, and sound wonderful. The only difference is that you they are not quite as decorated as the PD series is.

Partscaster/Tele into a bunch of pedals, a Maz 18 head, and a Z Best cab.
I've always liked Alvarez guitars and have owned several of them. The thing I like about them is the tone. But that's a personal thing.
A few tips on buying. If you buy locally, ASK if the guitar has had a "set-up" done on it. If not, one SHOULD come w/the higher mom & pop local price than buying online, where they almost cerainly have not been set up. A set up is a brigde/neck adjustment to insure is in max condition for playability/tone.
If they won't include a free set up,threaten to buy online and leave. You can always go back later.
Ask if they'll throw in a chipboard case too. They may or may not. But it's worth asking. If not you can probably get a decent used one at a pawnshop for about $10.
Personally, if possible I prefer to buy guitars in person. That way you can see/play what you're geting beforehand. But I've bought some online too. I might mention that Guitar Center is currently having a sale in which for $100. you can get 10 sets of quality D"addario strings AND your choice of a Takamine Jamine S-35, Epiphone PR 100, or whatever the entry level Yamaha acoustic is. (They're all entry level guitars) I'd probably go for the Yamaha or Epiphone.
If you're a beginner, one of these should do ya for awhile. And you'll have a years worth of strings.But IMO they're not as good as an Alvarez.
Last edited by EL Conquestidor at Aug 28, 2006,
^Most Alvarez guitars in that price range will come with a case, OR its cheaper to spend a little extra to get the nicer model that comes with one.

Partscaster/Tele into a bunch of pedals, a Maz 18 head, and a Z Best cab.
I have an Alvarez MC90, of the Masterwork series.

Excellent guitar. Beautiful tone, sustain, and cosmetics.

Cost me about 600 dollars, but it's worth every penny

Alvarez make quality instruments
My God, it's full of stars!
dont buy it for anywhere near list price. you should get at least 25% off of list price from any place you buy your guitars. they are ripping you off because they have a monopoly on your local music market. a $700 list guitar goes for about 400-450 where i live (ohio)

alvarez are nice guitars. they dont sound as good as they used to though. i think they started making the bodies thicker because people are using heavier strings nowadays. thicker wood means less resonance. but the higher end models still sound excellent.
I have an Alvarez Reagent, and when compared to a similarly priced (~$300) Fender, Yamaha, and one other brand I can't remember, the tone is hands down best on the Alvarez. They make quality guitars. Though, what one of the posters above said about them not sounding as good now, I wouldn't know. I bought mine about 6 years ago.
I think the higher priced models still sound good. Some of the cheap ones not so good. I like USED ones that were made in the 1960's & 70's best.
buy the ibanez aef18etws, it is sweet, great tone, you cant beat the electronics/pickup and the arched mahogany back is verry nice $350 at musiciansfriend.com
^-- Yeah, I like how the ibanez ones look in picture but I never seen one in person. I was thinking about going for one of those first since I own an Ibanez electric. I'm looking to spend more cash than that, mostly for the fact I want to have solid wood. Thanks for that suggestion.

I think for wood my choices are Spruce for top and Rosewood for back and sides.

After looking into the masterworks series, as suggested.. I think I'm going for the MD90 as it has both of these woods. I didn't look into those as much for the fact they lack a pickguard.. but I think I read that they have an invisible/clear one? Is that true? Even if it didn't, I'd rather have solid sides over a pickguard any day, ha.

Is the only difference between the MD90 and MD95 the inlays?

I'm getting really eager to buy one though I feel maybe I shouldn't buy on impulse. This isn't my "first" acoustic as I was given a small body one when i was younger and I purchased a Rogue one on the internet because i thought it was cheap a few years back *gag* worst money EVER spent. I handed it down to my sister, hehe.
This is why I'm looking to actually spend money on something that will have a good quality.. I liked how the PD90 felt and it looked like it was built well, but as i said in the first post, I don't know much about acoustics. Through research and the help i am getting here I'm learning more. Thank you all for being so helpful!

Does anyone know where these are made? I keep reading Korea.. and then China.. I was just wondering how I could figure this out.
"Those who do not want to imitate anything, produce nothing."
Last edited by scribbles at Sep 1, 2006,
I'm skeptical about the (fairly) new "Master" (work/built etc) guitars being offered these days.
Are they being built in the SAME Chinese/Korean Factories as the "standard" models? Are they REALLY being built by "master" guitarsmiths, or just an assmbly line changeover w/the same workers?
Sure, they apparently are made w/better materials than their laminate lessor quality brothers. But is that the ONLY difference? Is it worth the large difference in price?
I doubt that there is a different guitar factory for all the different brands & models coming out of China & Korea. But rather think there are probably only one or two that indeed preform an assembly line changeover just like if Ford goes from making a Taurus to a Mustang.
This was the case in the 1970's where the same Factory produced Alvarez, Epiphone, Ventura and several other brands. (but IMO these Japanese builts were of generally better quality than the current China/Korea crowd).
Same line, same people, different parts, different model plans, but pretty much same quality.
If were going to drop $700.+ on an acoustic guitar, I'd SERIOUSLY consider looking into an American made Martin. ONE factory that makes only ONE brand of guitar. Even if I had to spend a little more.
I've owned several Alvarez guitars and liked them. Especially the Yari's. But I've never paid more than a couple hundred for one. But I tend to buy used also. But IMO NONE of them, as much as I like them, was worth anywhere near $700. And I personally don't think anything coming out of China or Korea is.
Last edited by EL Conquestidor at Sep 1, 2006,
Sorry to bring this thread back up, but I've been away for a few days...

The Masterwork series are built in Korea, while everything else Alvarez (w/ the exception of the Yairis) are made in China. I've had the MD90 for a year and a half now, and it trumps everything else in the price range. I haven't had a single problem with that. The only difference between the 90 and 95 is the inlay pattern on the MD95. Personally, I think it looks gaudy. You'll get a pickguard with the guitar, but its your decision whether you put it on or not (its a standard black pickguard). For aesthetic reasons, I left it off. Best of luck!

Partscaster/Tele into a bunch of pedals, a Maz 18 head, and a Z Best cab.
seems you;ve already got tons of advice on this thread, but i just thought i'd add my share. i have an Alverez which i absolutely love. i'm not totally sure what model it is, but i got it for under $300. the tone and feel is much better than anything ive played of similar price range. it looks awome too. best of luck