Price paid: $ 650
Purchased from: A Friend
Sound — 10
The acoustics in this guitar are outstanding. I try to play various styles of music (Country, Folk, Blues Classic Rock) and this is right at home with everything I do. Run your fingers across the strings and they just sing whether I am chording or finger-picking. I use 11 thru 50 strings which creates a bright voice that goes on and on. If you use a little heavier strings you would get more low mid-range and bass, but I like the crispness with my setup.
Overall Impression — 10
My first guitar was an old Stella Harmony acoustic my grandfather gave me when I was 12. That was 47 years ago and since then I've had and played many many others, both electric and acoustic. I've had and/or have a 1952 Gibson Melody Maker, Gibson Les Paul, Epiphone Les Paul Gold Top, Fender Tele and a Jay Turser 300QMT when it comes to electrics. I mention this so you know I know quality when I see it. I like my Martin, Yamaha and Takemine acoustics, but I love this Alvarez. It would stand out in any collection. They don't make this model any longer, but if you get the chance to pick one up don't pass it by. You won't be sorry.
Reliability & Durability — 9
This Yairi can and should be used 7 nights a week on any stage, just remember it is Cedar so it takes a little more care than spruce because it is a softer wood. What you gain in melodic tone, you sacrifice in endurance. With the proper care it is solid as a rock and the star of the show.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
I bought this used and it had the normal wear you would expect on any instrument that was born to be played, but the fit was perfection. A good clean and polishing brought up the satin beauty of this piece dispelling any pick rash. A new set of strings and I was ready to play. And so I do, the ebony fretboard adds to the ease fingering as well as the resonance and sustain. And it's narrow enough even the ladies have no problem reaching for those 4 fret stretches.
Features — 10
My Alvarez Yairi DY 61 Signature was made in 1996 for $1770.00 and I bought this high quality Japanese Hand Made acoustic used in 1998 for $650.00 The solid Cedar tops reside on Burled Mahogany back and sides that is bound on the front and back and the satin finish highlights the natural wood grain of this Dreadnaught. A simple shell and exotic wood inlay surrounds the sound hole and a Rosewood Bridge. It has a Nato neck with Ebony fingerboard with Shell inlay. It has high quality gold die-cast tuners in the exclusive Yairi inlaid headstock. This unique design uses hand inlaid strips of maple, shell and other exotic woods in a distinctive pattern. It also has the optional Alvarez System 500 Pickup installed featuring the volume and tone controls with 3 band EQ for total noiseless control when you need to amp it up. Guitar came with a used premium quality case. Even at the full retail value I would have to say it is worth every nickel.