Price paid: $ 150
Purchased from: eBay
Sound — 9
This is a great acoustic guitar! I play both acoustic and electric guitar. I am a child of the '70s, '80s, and '90s so electric and acoustic guitars are part of my playing style. I have been playing now for 26 years and have had guitars from companies like Guild, Cort, and ESP. I find the Alvarez acoustic to be as good as any of those companies. The guitar has a rich full sound and it sounds great no matter where on the fret board I am playing it. I am able to play any style of music with the RD8. Because of its full bodied sound and sustained tone I can play songs normally meant to be played on an electric guitar with great success!
Overall Impression — 10
Because I do play a variety of music from the '70s, '80s, and '90s it's important that I have a guitar that has a full bodied sound. The Alvarez RD8 is good for playing lead as well as rhythm guitar. I will always use my electric for playing more complex leads but the Alvarez allows me to play enough lead guitar that I don't have to limit myself to only rhythm guitar. I would also recommend using the RD8 for playing live in a club. Whether you are going to use an acoustic pickup or just a mic to allow people to hear you playing I would recommend the RD8 and its rich acoustic sound. I really love playing this guitar.
Reliability & Durability — 10
As I stated earlier the tuning keys are nice and tight keeping the guitar in tune. I play the guitar regularly and hardly have to tune it. I don't play out at clubs any more but I do play for people regularly at parties in and out doors so my acoustic is important to me. I play acoustic versions of many songs like "18" by Alice Cooper. I also like to play acoustic favorites like Poison's "Every Rose Has Its Thorn." No matter what I am playing the guitar sounds great. Because the guitar is well constructed it is ideal for playing around a campfire and I don't have to worry about using a generator to power an amplifier or effects.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
It has a rich full sound and the action is decent for an acoustic guitar. The action is not as good as my electric guitar but that is to be expected from an acoustic. I did buy it used so there is the possibility that the previous owner worked with the nut and the bridge. The tuning keys are nice and tight helping keep the guitar in tune. The rosewood fret board is a little worn from use but it doesn't negatively effect the sound of the guitar. I do know the previous owner so I do know that these are not the original strings but they haven't stretched and I believe that this is due to the tight tuning keys. The bridge and nut are perfectly aligned.
Features — 9
The case is brown and has a very nice dark red interior with a compartment for picks and extra strings. The case is manufactured by Alvarez. The case is nicely cushioned and forms perfectly to the guitar. Inside the case I also found a QC card that tells you the level of the action on both the first and 12th frets and it also tells you the action for the first and sixth strings. The guitar is natural color clear coat finish. The frets are wide enough yet close enough for comfortable playing with a 20 fret rosewood fret board.