#1
I'll point out first that my grand-uncle has a music shop (in another state, mind you) and he deals Alvarez and Taylor. I've played an Alvarez MD70 and quality was good, didn't so much like the cedar top, the sound kind of broke up played loud, but still good. I was going to buy an MD95 as some of you may remember, but I kind of lost the 'acoustic lust' so I kind of put that purchase off. Now I'm back wanting an acoustic and my price range is a bit higher. At most I'd like to go $1200 I think, so keep in mind Taylor and Alvarez.

Basically I'm trying to find an all solid wood dreadnought non-AE preferably with rosewood back and sides, and your general spruce top, I don't like pickguards and I'd like a beautiful guitar, but those aren't really make or break. If I can get what I want in an American/Japanese made guitar I'm all for it, but I understand Chinese made is what I may be looking at. Ya think I could get a Yairi Masterworks at that price with the 'family discount'?


Thanks!
#2
Look into the Larivee's. I have a Larivee D03E and it was under $1k when I bought it... all solid and one of the sweetest acoustics I own... it easily compares to any $4k guitar out the for sound and quality.
#5
Take a serious look at Blueridge. I just bought a BR240 which you can get for as low as $899. I bought it used on e-bay for 525. It is a reproduction of a pre-war Martin D-18. Has outstanding tone. Has a premium mahogany back and sides and sitka spruce top. If you prefer rosewood I would recommend either the BR 160 or the BR 1060 which are reproductions of the Martin D-28.
#6
Quote by Guitar Hack
Take a serious look at Blueridge. I just bought a BR240 which you can get for as low as $899. I bought it used on e-bay for 525. It is a reproduction of a pre-war Martin D-18. Has outstanding tone. Has a premium mahogany back and sides and sitka spruce top. If you prefer rosewood I would recommend either the BR 160 or the BR 1060 which are reproductions of the Martin D-28.



I've played a BR-160, it sounded good, but I don't like the 1 year warranty, and later when I played a BR-140 I did not like the neck, don't remember how I felt about the BR-160.

That Martin looks pretty good, though I'm not done looking... after all if I can get a $1500 Alvarez or Taylor for $1200, I think that'd probably beat a $1200 Martin.

Anyone know where I can find prices on the entire Alvarez/Yairi line?

Once again thanks.
#7
Larrivee D-03R has my vote.

If you can swing the Yiari and you like it, it'll please you.

Blueridge are superb quality but I simply can't stand all that abalone - I much prefer Larrivee's minimalist approach to design. If it floats your boat though.
#8
If you are going to spend that much, I think you shpuld buy the one that sounds best to you.
I'm sure if you search, you'll find the usual suspects.
i.e Alvarez MD90/95, Blueridge BR 160, Martin D15/16, Larrivee D03R etc.

If I were buying new, I'd go with the MMV, but you may not even like the Martin sound. In that case I would say try the D03R.

I'm in favor of buying used. I just feel you get so much more for the money.
In your case, you can almost get a used D28. Or get a used D03R w/some cash to spare.
good luck
#9
Quote by Jerome G
I'm in favor of buying used. I just feel you get so much more for the money.
In your case, you can almost get a used D28. Or get a used D03R w/some cash to spare.
good luck
Very true. I came very close to buying an MMV today. I'm less than a month away from being able to afford a used D-28, and a month and a half away from getting a used HD-28. February can't come fast enough!
#10
Right now I think I'm looking at the Martin MMV, the Larrivee D-03R, and the Alvarez MD350, as well as possibly the DYM94 if I can get a good price on it. No one has any Taylors to recommend?

I may call up my mom's uncle and ask him exactly what he has in the $1000 range, to see what kind of deal hes gonna make me, and what he might recommend.

Used I don't mind in theory, the problem is finding the guitar I want in good condition. I'm in NC there aren't that many guitar dealers to begin with, let alone dealers with used Yairis :P.


EDIT: Where is the Larrivee made?
Last edited by Habit Zero at Dec 13, 2007,
#11
all the 03s are made in B.C. (Canada) at the original Larrivee shop, everything else is at their newer California location.
#12
Quote by Nick_
all the 03s are made in B.C. (Canada) at the original Larrivee shop, everything else is at their newer California location.



Those are some pretty good features for made in Canada, that one is definitely on my list, I'm not really so sure about paying $1300 for what the Martin is, the Alvarez MD-350 I need to play, it looks really good even being China made (nowadays China makes some pretty darn good guitars anyways).

Still surprised no one has Taylors to recommend, do they not make good $1000 guitars?
#13
My MD90 was made in China. Great quality...I will have had mine for 3 years in March and it has treated me great. The reason why no one has recommended Taylors, at least I suspect, is because the lowest all solid wood guitar they have is the 300 series that has ovangkol back and sides. Awesome guitar, but it runs about $1700 I believe.

EDIT: For the record, I've played the DY91 from Yairi, and I would buy it. great guitar for the price.

Gear:
Partscaster/Tele into a bunch of pedals, a Maz 18 head, and a Z Best cab.
#14
Quote by roamingbard13
My MD90 was made in China. Great quality...I will have had mine for 3 years in March and it has treated me great. The reason why no one has recommended Taylors, at least I suspect, is because the lowest all solid wood guitar they have is the 300 series that has ovangkol back and sides. Awesome guitar, but it runs about $1700 I believe.

EDIT: For the record, I've played the DY91 from Yairi, and I would buy it. great guitar for the price.


DY91 is not all solid is it? I'll certainly check out MD-350 Alvarez has good QC.
#15
i don't believe Taylor makes any guitars that have solid rosewood back and sides in your price range. i'm not sure what kind of discount you can get from your relative, but i think i'd be surprised if you could find a Yairi Masterworks guitar in that price range as well. the solid wood Yairi's i've seen have been well out of your price range. as bill suggested, the 03 line from larrivee is pretty hard to beat in your price range. they are great playing and sounding guitars and are very well made.

i'm also confused as to why you are no longer considering the md95. it 100% fits the description of what you want (spruce, rosewood, acoustic, no pick guard, beautiful) and is under your budget. what made you decide that you don't want to go this route now?
#16
Check it out, but I think the MD 350 nut width is 1 3/4, and the others you mention are 1 11/16
#17
Quote by jimtaka
i don't believe Taylor makes any guitars that have solid rosewood back and sides in your price range. i'm not sure what kind of discount you can get from your relative, but i think i'd be surprised if you could find a Yairi Masterworks guitar in that price range as well. the solid wood Yairi's i've seen have been well out of your price range. as bill suggested, the 03 line from larrivee is pretty hard to beat in your price range. they are great playing and sounding guitars and are very well made.

i'm also confused as to why you are no longer considering the md95. it 100% fits the description of what you want (spruce, rosewood, acoustic, no pick guard, beautiful) and is under your budget. what made you decide that you don't want to go this route now?



I've seen 1 Yairi all solid with Mahogany back and sides for $1700, a $500 markup is unlikely, you're right, but you never know... I may also find one used, who knows.


As for the MD95... well, compared to the 350, there isn't that much difference on paper, besides the rosewood and ebony fingerboards, the maple and the tortoise/herringbone binding, and the unknown and ebony bridges.

Visually I prefer the 350, in particular because of the inlays on the 95, they're just not my thing anymore, I've grown to like the mostly unmarked fretboard on the 350. Tonally, I need to play them both and see which I prefer of course.

The big thing here is the assumption that the price bump brings higher quality. In the end, if I prefer playing the MD95 (which I never got to try out in specific) to the 350 and the Larrivee, then I'll get it, the reason I made this topic was to get everyones opinions, and to hear what models are popular and of quality in my price range, I'm not going to buy a guitar based on this topic, I'm going to go out knowing what guitars to try based on this topic.
#18
Quote by Jerome G
Check it out, but I think the MD 350 nut width is 1 3/4, and the others you mention are 1 11/16



What's the difference exactly, besides 1/16?


EDIT: What was I thinking, I meant to edit this into the other post instead of posting twice needlessly.
#19
You wouldn't think it, but 1/16 makes a noticeable difference. the 1 3/4 is more suited for fingerstyle and 1 11/16 for flatpicking. It makes a big difference to some people. Check it out and see what you think.
#20
Quote by Jerome G
You wouldn't think it, but 1/16 makes a noticeable difference. the 1 3/4 is more suited for fingerstyle and 1 11/16 for flatpicking. It makes a big difference to some people. Check it out and see what you think.


Alright, will do. When you first posted that I was actually sitting here thinking 'Wtf is the difference? Did he make a mistake or something?' lol how the world turns.
#21
more of the difference is a 1 5/8 nut like on old fenders - my hand cramps like crazy, and my hands would be best described as on the smaller side of average.

Anyway the Larrivee will have 1 3/4 as well - unless you play very awkward thumb over the top with miniature hands you'll probably find it more comfortable.


It's my opinion that in that price range Larrivee can't be beat - the design philosophy behind the 03 is to use as little adornment as possible to keep price low and maximize value: The only difference between the 03 and the 05/09 (Larrivee's more expensive main range):

-Location (B.C. versus Cali)
-Gloss finish on the 05/09 (hell i buff all my necks down to satin anyway)
-A bunch of abalone
-The 05/09 comes (or did come last I checked) with a proper bone nut and saddle while the 03 has tusq - I'd recommend getting changed to bone as soon as you buy.

Otherwise - same woods and quality control.

Anyway you might be able to tell I'm a Larrivee fan - I just can't resist, Jean-Claude's design philosphy matches so well with mine. Now if only he'd start building archtops ...
#22
Larrivee, Cole Clark, Maton.
Guitars: Yamaha Pacifica 112J - Alvaro n° 25 classical guitar - Cort Earth 100F - Maton M425/12
Amps: Peavey Classic 30 - Roland Cube 30
Effects: Crybaby GCB95 wahwah- Digitech Bad Monkey
#23
Quote by Nick_
more of the difference is a 1 5/8 nut like on old fenders - my hand cramps like crazy, and my hands would be best described as on the smaller side of average.

Anyway the Larrivee will have 1 3/4 as well - unless you play very awkward thumb over the top with miniature hands you'll probably find it more comfortable.


It's my opinion that in that price range Larrivee can't be beat - the design philosophy behind the 03 is to use as little adornment as possible to keep price low and maximize value: The only difference between the 03 and the 05/09 (Larrivee's more expensive main range):

-Location (B.C. versus Cali)
-Gloss finish on the 05/09 (hell i buff all my necks down to satin anyway)
-A bunch of abalone
-The 05/09 comes (or did come last I checked) with a proper bone nut and saddle while the 03 has tusq - I'd recommend getting changed to bone as soon as you buy.

Otherwise - same woods and quality control.

Anyway you might be able to tell I'm a Larrivee fan - I just can't resist, Jean-Claude's design philosphy matches so well with mine. Now if only he'd start building archtops ...


I just checked and the Larrivee is 1/16. I'm growing to like the Larrivee a lot, it has binding on the neck which I like, the back is awesome because it looks like one solid piece with no divider like a lot of guitars, the MD350 on the other hand has the beautiful 5 piece neck with ebony strips, and no pickguard (which is a plus).

I still want to play both, but I am kind of leaning towards the Larrivee, specially after seeing a lot of people on Harmony Central got theirs for $775-$800.

EDIT: If I decide I want the Larrivee, do you guys think I could get it with a hard case for $800 cash from Sam Ash?
Last edited by Habit Zero at Dec 14, 2007,
#24
^-- larrivee's come with cases. but no, i don't think you could get a brand new d03r for $800. they are usually more like $1000.
#25
Quote by jimtaka
^-- larrivee's come with cases. but no, i don't think you could get a brand new d03r for $800. they are usually more like $1000.



You're right, I suppose I over-exaggerated that price a bit, but I think $900 or so is worth a try (they sell for $1011 at Sam Ash, no other dealers anywhere near me). I could try instead to get free stuff thrown in for the $1011, but I'll see what will work better when I'm there to buy it.


EDIT: What do we think of the Ping tuners on the Larrivee? Would it be worth it to buy ebony buttons for them (if available) or just replace the tuners themselves?
Last edited by Habit Zero at Dec 14, 2007,
#26
I think you should try loads of differant makes and just pick the one you like the feel of best. Personally I think that paying a fortune for an expensive make of guitar is a waste of money if it doesn't suit you and the genre you play. I saved up for ages, tried out loads of makes and loads of different stores and ended up buying a little Vintage v400 (sunburst, in case you care.) She isn't the most expensive make out there, or the most famous but she suits my hands and my music and I love her to pieces. It's cheesy but when you find the guitar thats gonna be yourbaby you'll know!
#27
Quote by Habit Zero
If I decide I want the Larrivee, do you guys think I could get it with a hard case for $800 cash from Sam Ash?
Guitar Adoptions sells it for $899 delivered. The price on the site states $999, but the actual price is $100 less. I'm pretty sure that's the best price around, short of buying used.
#28
I sugest you try some Simon & Patrick guitars
really great sounding and worth much more than they actually cost so you'll do a deal
#29
my mistake on the nut sizes - larrivee's dreadnoughts are 1 11/16 while the rest of their models are 1 3/4.

Guitar Adoptions is well regarded on the Larrivee forums - It's a good place if you're willing to buy sight unseen (which, especially with an acoustic, I am not).

likely just replace them if you are concerned.

The tuners aren't bad, and with a well cut nut (get a bone one cut and installed by a competent luthier if and when you by an 03) and proper restringing technique you won't have tuning issues.
#30
Quote by teegee420
Guitar Adoptions sells it for $899 delivered. The price on the site states $999, but the actual price is $100 less. I'm pretty sure that's the best price around, short of buying used.

Yeah, a shop near me in Scottsdale, AZ sell the D03r for $899 also, and they do come with the Larrivee hard case (even the used ones do at the shop)
#31
Quote by Habit Zero
You're right, I suppose I over-exaggerated that price a bit, but I think $900 or so is worth a try (they sell for $1011 at Sam Ash, no other dealers anywhere near me). I could try instead to get free stuff thrown in for the $1011, but I'll see what will work better when I'm there to buy it.


EDIT: What do we think of the Ping tuners on the Larrivee? Would it be worth it to buy ebony buttons for them (if available) or just replace the tuners themselves?


I bought mine at Sam Ash, because they will honor any deal you can find online. You just have to print it out and bring it in. They knocked $60.00 off the price of my larrivee and added in all the extra crap I would have got if I ordered mine from somewhere else.

The Ping's are fine.
#32
Blueridge BR160. Check them out at maurys Music.com. They have comparisons with the Martin HD28 and they compare favorably.
#33
Quote by Bill43
I bought mine at Sam Ash, because they will honor any deal you can find online. You just have to print it out and bring it in. They knocked $60.00 off the price of my larrivee and added in all the extra crap I would have got if I ordered mine from somewhere else.

The Ping's are fine.


Did you add everything to cart then print out the cart or how did you do it? Might I ask what you got? I can't think of any acoustic accessories I'd want/need, but like a wah pedal for my electric might be fun.
#34
Larrivee D-03R. These things sound great, and there are lots of worse guitars costing more....

Many $2500 guitars don't sound this good.
#35
Quote by Habit Zero
Did you add everything to cart then print out the cart or how did you do it? Might I ask what you got? I can't think of any acoustic accessories I'd want/need, but like a wah pedal for my electric might be fun.


No... It was a package deal for the Larrivee and some extra stuff that went with it.

You can read about it here... just scroll down a bit until you find the Larrivee. Its on the first page.