So I went into my local guitar shop today with every intention of sitting down the new Taylors that they got in. I was playing the 210 and it was alright, but I was really looking for some solid wood and back guitars. My guitar instructor handed me this Alvarez MD95 and I fell in love. Its a bit more "glittery" then I typically look for in a guitar, but the sound was great and I think I'm going in monday to put down a deposit on it. Any thoughts by anyone who owns one?
I don't own the MD95, but I own basically the cheaper version of it (basically same appearance, but laminate mahogany sides instead of rosewood, and without the sexy fretboard inlays.). I say get it, alvarez is IMO the best acoustic brand except the more expensive brands (taylors, breedloves, gibsons).
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^ I own the Alvarez MD90; its the same guitar minus some of the binding and the inlays. I've had it for about 3 years now and the sound has aged very nicely, and the guitar is put together very well. I would definitely recommend the guitar. Jimtaka owns that exact model, though, and I'm sure he'll pop his head in here to give you the word.

Partscaster/Tele into a bunch of pedals, a Maz 18 head, and a Z Best cab.
Good to know, was basically what i was wanting to hear. Hopefully jimtaka pops in here and leaves his opinion as well.
Hi all - I've been trying to decide between two guitars for my husband as a Christmas gift. I am really leaning towards the Washburn D56SW....but I know that my husband used to have an Alvarez.... To be honest...I know nothing about guitars and have only been learning the past couple of months which has now brought me to these two guitars...neither of which I have seen in person. But - I'm not sure I'm too keen on the gold tuners that are on the Alvarez - I think the hardware is a bit superior on the Washburn... Anyone have any thoughts? Advice? Bottom line - I know my husband would love either....
I haven't played the washburn, the alvarez md95 has a *gorgeous* sound though. The two have slightly different tops, the alvarez is an engelmann spruce, the washburn a sitka. Both with solid rosewood sides and back. If you don't like the tuners on the alvarez you can always have those changed out for ones you like more, its a pretty easy and quick change. Like I said I haven't ever played a washburn, no one around my area carries them, but I have played several alvarez's and they're wonderful. I like the look of the alvarez md95 a lot too, the engelmann spruce is a lovely pale wood, good looking guitar.
:::pops his head in:::

KSUGuy... check the other thread near the top of the forum right now called "getting a new guitar" and you can read a little about this model. Roaminbard13 is correct, I own this exact model. I really love this guitar. I'm normally not much on fancy looking guitars either, but I quite like the way this one looks. I'm typically more the kind of player that goes for the plain-looking, amazing-sounding guitars... but not in this case. This guitar is fancy-looking and great-sounding. I really can't think of any drawbacks to getting this guitar and I would certainly reccomend it to you. If you would rather have something a little more plain looking, go with the Alvarez MD90. It's the same guitar without all the fancy fuss... same great tone and a bit simpler look.

vermonter16... I responded to your other questions in my thread "getting a new guitar." As for the hardware, certainly different between the two guitars but neither superior in my opinion. The Washburn has a bone nut and compensated saddle and grover tuners; the Alvarez has a Tusq nut and compensated saddle and gold die-cast tuners. I personally prefer bone over Tusq, but some people argue the opposite. Grover tuners are typically accepted to be among the best made, but I've had no problems at all with the tuners on my MD95. The guitar stays in tune exceptionally well and the tuners are just sensitive enough to allow you to get very accurate tuning without being so sensitive that it's a real pain in the butt to tune. It's a tough decision to make considering that you haven't seen or played either guitar. My only advice to you is based solely on my opinion and that is just that I simply like Alvarez guitars better than Washburn. In my experience, they have superior playability and sound better. The necks on these Alvarez Masterworks guitars are exceptionally fast and easy to play. I feel confident that your bottom line statement is correct though, I'm sure he'll love either!
I'm already halfway towards owning the md95. Next paycheck or 2 and it'll be mine, lol. I can't wait. Its a bit more guitar than I can utilize at my current level, but hell, I'll own it for a long long time. Just can't wait to get it home, slap some new strings on it, and not leave my house for the next few days as I play.
I found a guitar shop not too far from where I live that has one Alvarez MD95 in stock and I'm dying to go take a look at it. I can't believe I wasted my time Saturday at a music shop that had nothing but very low end Alvarez and nobody really wanted to help... If I'd known I could've run out to that other place. Arrrghhh... I'm trying to read reviews of what folks have to say about both the Washburn and Alvarez and I just don't find too, too much on the Alvarez and I don't know why.
You should, from the one I've played in my shop (still don't have it home yet, close though) its well worth the money you will spend on it. And yeah, I haven't seen too many reviews around the web on it either, not sure why.
KSUGuy - do you mind me asking how much $$ and if you are getting a case? I was thinking of saving some money and buying online because I can get one with a case for about $760 and that's with free shipping. However, I'm a little leary of buying a guitar online... The shop where I hope to look at this one is offering it for $899 with a case...plus tax of course....that's another $50 or so.... I'm unsure what to do...I do have to take a look at it though. I know that no one here has any experience with the Washburn D56SW....that one, I know I can get online (and feel comfortable with it) because I know the person who has the shop for probably around $700 something (I haven't asked yet).... But - I keep going back to the fact that my husband had an Alvarez and how cool it would be if I gave him an Alvarez....
Oh yeah - one more question for ya - is there a pick guard on this guitar? I've heard: that it comes with one you can put on or not...and that it has a clear one.....
I noticed that I've seen pictures of the MD95 on musiciansfriend.com with a pickguard. Mine does not have one, and I prefer it that way myself.
Mine was listed at 850$, with this hardcase http://www.pulseonline.com/Alvarez/DC2Poly.jpg
I don't mind paying the bit extra to support my local small business, instead of a large company, I realize I could have gotten it a bit cheaper online, but oh well. The MD95 doesn't come standard with a pick guard attached, but they do (at least mine does) come with one you can slap on yourself. It will sound and look better without one tho, IMHO.

Oh-the pickguard that comes with mine is black, not sure if thats standard or not, but yeah...
Yeah - I actually prefer it without the pick guard as well. Yeah - I can understand the guitar costing a little more in the DC area. My father had a small business up until a few years ago when he went under....he just couldn't make it against the big stores and lost everything. I'll have to email the owner back and see what kind of guitar case he offers with it. I actually like the old standard black ones....only because it reminds me of my dad (who is thankfully still alive). But, I would take anything and I know that the one you got is great!

Thanks for all the help and advice jimtaka and KSUGuy! I'll keep you posted. I still haven't fully decided on the Alvarez....but....I think that's the way I'm leaning... How fickle am I that I didn't like the looks of it a week ago but after constantly looking at it...it's really grown on me
Megadittos Thought it excessively frilly at first, now I love it, and I don't even fully own it yet.
haha I plan on getting to see this guitar on Thursday and look forward to it. I hope I love it even more than I already do from the pictures. Just something about it...it's different and I like that. Maybe before I didn't....who knows. But hearing you all say good things about it's playability is wonderful.
I put a deposit down on this guitar tonight! Some other person had just been looking at it so I figured I'd better snatch it when I could. It was $899 with a hard case (which I thought was reasonable here in the DC metro area). I hope my husband likes it!
Yay!!! Now there's at least 3 of us that have this great guitar. Look forwards to hearing how he likes it!
I can't wait to give it to him!! I do have a question though - the bridge on it was not the typical inverted U. Anybody know anything about this? It was definitely the MD95 though - had the paper inside, tree of life inlay, sounded great! The person said they had had it for about 2 months. Any ideas?
Well - talked to the owner of the store. He actually said it is a new style that they will be changing over too or something regarding the bridge. Ok - works for me!
^ If you have any real concerns, I would take down the serial number and call Alvarez. If the owner is lying, they are the only ones who would know.

Partscaster/Tele into a bunch of pedals, a Maz 18 head, and a Z Best cab.
Well - I contacted Alvarez and it turns out that this guy is one of their top dealers who they seem to know pretty darn well. Everything checks out so I should have nothing to worry about! Yay!
Hey, I was kind of assuming that you live in Vermont...would you mind telling me the name of the shop and where it is?

That'd be awesome...I spend some time up there in the winter, and I love stopping at good, independent shops!

Partscaster/Tele into a bunch of pedals, a Maz 18 head, and a Z Best cab.
Sorry Roamingbard13 - I am from Vermont but currently living in Manassas, VA. However, for any future reference to you or anyone else - the store's name is Classic Axe Guitar. The owner is very nice and I've emailed him - I don't know how many times before I even came into look at the guitar. It isn't a big shop but he has wall to wall guitars all the way to the ceiling. They can also do all kinds of adjustments there as well.

Roamingbard13 - where do you generally go when you go to Vermont? I have family outside of Burlington - Underhill, Essex Junction, South Burlington....friends who run a B&B in Stowe, and my husband and I will be headed up there to live in the NE Kingdom - Glover...
RoamingBard13 - hang on though - depending on where you go, I do talk with another guy who is on a different guitar thread who knows some good guitar shops up there.
Yeah, I have a couple of friends who live up in burlington, they just recently started a country radio station up there. I'm more likely to be caught between Ludlow, Rutland, and White River Junction though, and in the summer time my family will go camping in St. Johnsbury. Its absolutely beautiful up there. My brother works as a mountain ambassador at Okemo and I hang out with him up there in the winter. The last time I went guitar snooping up there was just over the line in Brattleboro; there's a shop there that I can't remember the name of, but they carry quite a few of the local custom guitars and some smaller hand-made off-shoot brands. Lots of fun to check out guitars like that.

Partscaster/Tele into a bunch of pedals, a Maz 18 head, and a Z Best cab.
Hey Roamingbard13 - We'll be moving up to Glover which is about 30 miles north of St. Johnsbury, and about 10 minutes off of I-91! Next time I'm up there I'll check out what's around. In the meantime I'll see where that other person is from.