Price paid: $ 299
Purchased from: Pulse Music
Sound — 9
I'm just learning simple jazz chords and ultimately hope to play brazilian sambas and tropico; maybe some Flamenco, but that's a long way off. Its 3 band EQ works well. The sound is great, the tone is deep and solid playability is exceptional. This guitar is good across all notes. It sounds wonderful when fingerpicking and when struming.
Overall Impression — 9
This guitar is a great instrument. It is easy to play and is also fun to play. Playing bar chords has not been this easy since the electric guitar. If you are looking for a electric/acoustic guitar that is good quality and is a reasonable price. Then you have found the right one.
Reliability & Durability — 9
The craftsmanship of this baby is excellent, tuners are wonderful, it's just an awesome guitar. Definitely a great burgain, amazing quality for the price. It's very durable. A good guitar for screwing around on. The hardware and finish will most likely last. The strap button is solid.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The action is very low for easier playability. The EQ system works very well with house systems. The top grain is beautifully even, and the back is really well matched. The bridge shape is decorative and beautifully finished as well. This guitar stays in tune very well. The guitar is just an amazing work of beauty. The neck is somewhat narrow and it's very easy to play.
Features — 9
My wife gave this beautiful guitar for Xmas; it's built in China and came double boxed via USPS. She placed the order on 12/19/2005 and the box showed up on 12/23/05; shipping was included in the price. I can't believe it showed up that quick over the holidays [Kokomo, Indiana to San Diego, CA]. Pulse Music even called my wife to be sure she was aware that there was a good chance the guitar might not make it by Xmas. Those guys at Pulse Music really care about their customers. The guitar was double boxed and arrived undamaged, it is beautiful and when I picked it up and used the on-board electronic tuner, it was in good tune. Again, the guitar is exceptional and is my first. I'm really happy- probably the best Xmas gift I've ever received. It's a std. 20 fret, rosewood fretboard and bridge, solid spruce top and mahogany back & sides [not sure if the mahogany is a solid or laminate]. If I had to quantify the neck 'action' I'd characterize it as a slim sixteenth inch at the head and a fat eighth inch at the sound hole. The neck is a 2 piece, but they come close to being able to hide that. The finish is high gloss and perfect with black binding; the tuners are basic chrome diecast. This is a cut-away dreadnought with very clean sound and a built in pickup/mixer/tuner, it even had the required 9V battery installed and both neck strap pegs installed [Pulse Music is great]. It also has a pearl looking rosette and black pick guard that mimicks the cutaway side of the body template. The 2 repeated praises I read about this model of Alavarez is that it has good tone and projection for the money and stays in tune. I can only speak to the first at this point. I'm now looking for a worthy case, not sure if hard or soft, but I'll probably be reluctant to let it go out of the house. If I ever get to the point where a better grade instrument is required, I'll definetly look at the Alvarez Artist series.