Price paid: $ 199.99
Purchased from: Music123.com
Sound — 9
I gave this a 9 for sound. It came with elixir nanowebs, which are (relativly) expensive strings, I liked them, but I replaced them when they got dull in sound for Ernie Ball rock and blues. Those are only 5 bucks and sound just as good on this guitar. The natural harmonics on this guitar are nice and clear. I never put this baby down, she is perfect for every kind of music I want to play. Rock, blues, folk, anything I want, I know I can rely on Irene.
Overall Impression — 10
I play rock and blues mostly, and this acoustic is perfect for me, when I'm not playing my electrics I can cound on this baby to be there. I have been playing for about 5 years. The only thing that I find that this guitar lacks is a quality saddle and nut. But these don't affect sound, so they are fine, I replaced mine, but only for the rights to say that I have a tusq saddle and nut on it. I love everything else about this guitar. Overall, I give it a 10, I don't think I could dock it in overall value for it not having my exact prefferences. It makes up for everything with its sound and appearance.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I got this guitar for an acoustic that I could take with me everywhere and not mind if it got dinged up, but when I saw it those plans vanished, this guitar is meant for a beginner, but I've been playing for about 4 or 5 years and wouldn't call myself a beginner or even intermediate, I'd say I'm probably almost advanced, and this guitar doesnt't lack anything. I would definately gig with it, it sounds very nice and I wouldn't be embarrassed by it's looks, I brag about this guitar a lot. This would definately make a great beginners guitar, I wish I could have started on this, but for the better of the guitarists Who just want a guitar that's fun to own and play I would recommend this. It is great for the musicians on a budget (low money was the main reason I bought this, I didn't have much money after buying a car).
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The factory setup on this guitar was playable and decent, after about a month, I adjusted the truss rod and got rid of a little (minor) fret buzz. The saddle and nut werent hight quality, as I said, but they werent poorly manufactured, they just werent made out of quality materials. They didn't affect the sound or playability at all. The Finish is beautiful, as I said, mine had a mild quilt which made me very pleased, for under 200 dollars, that was much more than I could have asked for. Alvarez did a great job with this instrument. When I get more experienced with inlay, I'm going to do a custom inlay job on this guitar, the dots aren't bad, I just want a better inlay, I feel that they are the only average part of it's appearance.
Features — 9
Mahogany back and sides and a spruce top, this guitar is definately the best acoustic I've played under $500. I used to have an Epiphone dove, I wish I still had it, it was a beautiful guitar but it definately didn't sound as nice as this one. This guitar is beautiful too. I don't know if it was just mine, but the top had kind of a quilted grain. It is beautiful. The rosette is lovely, the binding looks very good also. It was made in China, which I have no problem with, if it were made in America, I would expect a price around $500 or higher. It is a dreadnaught, one of the reasons I bought it, if I hadnt I would have wanted a sharp cutaway. The tuners are decent, they are the only reason I gave it a nine for features, those and the bridge pins, the saddle and the nut. I would have been happier with grovers, but I'm not complaining about that, for 200 bucks I couldnt ask for more. I'm planning on replacing the tuners with gold grovers anyway, I love gold hardware and they will make this guitar more beautiful. It will definately be a 10 for features after that replcement, but stock it is a good 9. The nut and saddle isn't high quality, I replaced them, they aren't bad, it is just a personal prefference. It did come with a nice hard shell case that I wouldn't have minded paying a little more for. It is probably worth $50 or $60 bucks.