Maybe not the first manufacturer you think of when you consider acoustic guitars. Martin, Taylor, Gibson, Yamaha, even Fender might come to mind first. Alvarez, though, has a big reputation in certain guitar circles.
They were founded in 1965 as St Louis Music producing acoustic and neo-classical guitars. In the late 60s, they began an association with master luthier Kazuo Yairi in Japan. Since then, there have been several take-overs and buy-outs, But the Alvarez brand has managed to survive. Some of the guitars are still handmade today in the Yairi factory in Kano, Japan. Others are made in a supervised factory in China.
The Regent series is an entry-level instrument produced for the young, beginner player. The Artist series for those with a little more experience, built to give the pro feeling. Next level up the Masterworks, which have a higher spec and all solid wood construction. Finally, at the top, the Alvarez-Yairi series. These are the flagship of the Alvarez brand. Hand made in the factory in Japan to the highest quality.
They count Joe Bonamassa is an active user, as was the sadly departed, Jerry Garcia. Impressed? It gets better as far as we are concerned. One of our heroes, Harry Chapin, used one. Add to the list Carlos Santana, David Crosby, and Graham Nash. We’ll stop name-dropping now. You get the picture. These are serious guitars.
So let’s take a closer look at some of these fine guitars. And find out which could be the perfect one for you in these Best Alvarez Guitar reviews…
Top 9 Best Alvarez Guitar Of 2020 Reviews
1 Alvarez Artist Series AD60
The AD60 from Alvarez is a Dreadnought size guitar that looks impressive. It is a member of the Artist series of guitars form Alvarez. The artist series is Alvarez guitars’ second-lowest level of instrument.
It is no secret that the better quality the wood, the better the sound. The top on this guitar is a solid piece of hand-selected Sitka Spruce. It is stiff and has a very strong feel to it. It also has a nice natural grain. The back and sides are made from selected mahogany hardwoods.
The top is where the sound comes from, but the body is what gives it its resonance. All the very best guitars use quality woods. This guitar is no exception. The sound is warm and deep, using the mahogany to create its depth. The top is clear and bright, a sign of the quality of the spruce top.
The body though of a great sounding guitar needs more than good wood. They also need effective and well-made internal bracing. Alvarez has its own FST2M bracing system in this guitar. This is an X brace design. X braces and tone bars have a scalloped design.
The fretboard is made from Rosewood and inset with Abalone. It also has mother of pearl inlays. A tortoiseshell pickguard and white binding give it that classic Dreadnought style. The bridge is solid mahogany with a maple plate. It has a real bone nut and die-cast tuners at the headstock. The headstock also has a nice feel to it with the Alvarez name and logo on the polished mahogany.
You can’t help but be impressed when you play this guitar. The sound is rich and warm, it has a great sustain, and the build quality is excellent. The neck is quite wide, so players with smaller hands will need good technique.
At the price point, it is an excellent purchase. Alvarez guitars have made a winner with this instrument.
- Well-made from quality materials.
- Great warm and rich sound.
- The neck is a little wide.
2 Alvarez Artist Series AJ80CE Jumbo Acoustic-Electric Guitar
Another guitar from the Artist series by Alvarez guitars. This model is a Jumbo size that is Acoustic-Electric.
This guitar is big and great to play with that huge sound that Jumbo guitars produce. This probably isn’t a guitar for a beginner. The sheer size means that it would take a player with experience to get the best from it. And preferably experience of Jumbo style instruments to be able to handle it.
Like all the Artist series of guitars, it is built to a design specification. All that changes sometimes are the woods used in the manufacture. This guitar has the back and sides built from Maple wood instead of the usual mahogany. Maple woods a lot stiffer than mahogany, and that has the advantage of giving a warmer, richer but brighter tone. The body is built from a mixture of laminated and solid woods.
The top is made from selected Sitka Spruce known for its bright and clear sound. It is the top that produces much of the sound, so good woods in construction are essential here.
It uses the Artist series X-bracing pattern. This is handmade and is important to the overall sound. Given a scalloped design, they add strength and clarity of tone to the sound produced by the body of the guitar.
The neck is also maple with a Rosewood fingerboard. The neck has mother of pearl inlays. Die-cast tuners and a bone nut with an attractive pickguard and a nice edging to the body, are all standard to the Artist range.
This guitar is acoustic-electric and has the SYS 550 dual pickup system fitted. This is a quality EQ and pick up that amplifies the sound of the guitar with great accuracy. It is a saddle design rather than the more common Piezo. It has a chromatic backlit tuner built-in.
This instrument has a big, deep, warm sound and easy playing style that is way beyond its suggested price point and is a great instrument for an intermediate player and even for pro players. Yet again, Alvarez guitars have shown their worth with this instrument.
- Great design using quality materials.
- Big, warm Jumbo sound.
- Not really for a beginner.
3 Alvarez AC65 Acoustic Guitar
Next, in our best Alvarez Guitar reviews, we have the Alvarez AC65. This is an acoustic guitar that is part of the AC series of guitars. There are three in the series. We are looking at the AC65, which has no cutaway and no electrics.
This series of classical-style guitars are made with a mahogany wood back and sides for the body. This wood produces a naturally delicate sound and has a nice resonance. The neck is also made from Mahogany and has a two-way truss rod. The fingerboard is Rosewood, as is the bridge and the binding, there are open tuners and mother of pearl inlays on the fingerboard.
It is the top of the guitar where there is a notable change to materials. Here Alvarez has used a solid piece of Western Red Cedar. We say Western Red because its qualities are different from what you might term just Cedar. The tone is not as bright as a Spruce top, which is the more common wood for guitar tops.
This type of cedar issues a deep, rich, and warm sound that suits the style of the guitar. It also has a great look that sets it apart from other similar instruments.
The neck is again where there are differences, in that it is quite wide. This may cause problems for players with small hands.
It is a classic design that has been enhanced by the choice of woods. The quality of the build is excellent, and the sound is very good indeed. A classic Alvarez guitar from a respected series of instruments and all at a very good price point. Therefore, it must be considered as one of the best Alvarez guitars in their range, as well as one of the best acoustic guitars for beginners.
- It looks and sounds very good.
- Good quality of build and good materials.
4 Alvarez AG60CE Artist Series Guitar
Another member of Alvarez guitars Artist series of instruments. The AG60CE is an acoustic-electric and is known as the Grand Auditorium. Similar in design to a Dreadnought in terms of its scale length. This guitar, though, has a more rounded shape and has a thinner waist. This has the effect of making the top frequencies a little more pronounced for a crisp tone.
It follows the design and manufacturing pattern of the other members of the Artist series. The back and sides are built for mahogany and given a semi-gloss finish. The back of the instrument especially has been polished up to show the great grain of the wood. Inside the soundbox, there is the FST2M internal X bracing system with its scalloped design.
It has a Venetian cutaway to allow full access to the fingerboard, which gives it a folk guitar feel. The top is made from high quality selected Sitka Spruce that gives a bright sound. It has been a light gloss effect finish.
The 21 fret neck is mahogany, as is the bridge, and it has a Rosewood fingerboard. There is a single inlay at the twelfth fret. The body and fingerboard have an attractive white ABS edging, and it has a bone nut. The neck has an adjustable truss rod.
Fret indicator dots are placed on the top of the edging on the fingerboard rather than one the fingerboard itself. At the headstock, there are closed die-cast tuners on polished mahogany.
The electrics are courtesy of LR Baggs Stage Pro with an EQ and pickup. Controls are basic and located on the top of the body for easy access. It has a tuner.
This is a good guitar with a mellow sounding tone. The bone nut instead of plastic, reducing the treble sound. The electrics produce a different sound that has a lot more natural top, so the EQ is useful.
At the price, it is a reasonable buy. It could be considered a beginners guitar in some ways. The thickness of the neck, though might make that difficult. Good value for money and an instrument Alvarez guitars should be pleased with.
- Well-made with good materials
- Nice sound.
- A thick neck will make some struggle with it.
5 Alvarez AD30CE Artist Series
Which guitar manufacturer will offer you a quality of build, great sound, and at an affordable price. You might not immediately think of Alvarez guitars. You should do. Their Artist Series of instruments are designed for the beginner and offer real quality at an affordable cost.
The Artist series is designed for the beginner. Maybe not the complete beginner as some of their guitars have wider necks and are Jumbo and Dreadnought size. They are, though, an excellent choice for a new player. Maybe one who learned the basics on the Regent series, a level down.
This Dreadnought style guitar is manufactured using the standard Artist series disciplines and materials. It is another quality instrument from the range. As such, it must be considered to be the best Alvarez guitar on the market.
The back and sides are constructed from mahogany and inside the body, the standard FST2M bracing system. Part of the success of this design is the scalloped design which adds strength and brings a warm clarity to the sound. There is a single-cutaway giving access to the full length of the fingerboard.
The top is made from selected Sitka Spruce and given an attractive Satin finish. It has a traditional scratchplate. It has a mahogany neck with a Rosewood fingerboard, a mahogany bridge, and die-cast tuners.
The electrics are built in-house and are not third party. There is a pick up placed in the resonator cavity that will pick up the pure sound of the guitar. It has a built-in EQ to give you control over the sound. There is also an onboard tuner.
It has a full and crisp tone with a bit of a twang to it. The sound is full and big, and when amplified, still maintains that rich sound. This is a quality instrument and great for the young player. The neck is made a little wide for small hands, but that is a very minor issue. A great entry-level instrument at a very good price point.
- At this price, nothing at all.
6 Alvarez Artist Series AD30 Dreadnought Guitar
Another Alvarez guitar from the Artist series of entry-level guitars. This one the Dreadnought sized AD30.
This model is a more conventional basic style. No cutaways or electrics, just a classic Dreadnought design. It is built with all the usual Artist series plus points. The back and sides are constructed using mahogany, giving the body a warm and resonant sound.
Internally there is the familiar scalloped X bracing. This adds strength to the build of the body and helps to generate a good one. The familiar selected solid Sitka spruce top is finished off with the traditional scratchplate. The body is given an attractive ABS binding to complete a very impressive looking guitar.
The neck is made of mahogany and has a Rosewood fingerboard and is fitted to the body with a dovetail neck joint. There are inlaid dots on the fingerboard. The guitar is given an attractive semi-gloss finish.
As with all models in the Artist series, Alvarez uses the best materials possible. The nut and saddle are made from real bone, and there is a bi-level Rosewood bridge. The advantage of using real bone is that it helps to produce a more natural sound. Plastic in these fittings often results in too much treble. Up, on the mahogany headstock, are die-cast chrome tuners.
This is another quality instrument in this series of guitars. They bat well above their average when compared with similarly priced instruments — often being compared to guitars costing much more. Good value for money with this model and certainly worth considering as the best Alvarez guitar considering its price point.
- Well made with excellent materials.
- Great price for a very good sounding guitar.
- Some may want electrics or just a cutaway.
7 Alvarez AC65HCE Acoustic-Electric Guitar
Next in our Best Alvarez Guitar Reviews, it’s the turn of the AC65HCE, which is a cousin of the AC65 guitar. The AC 65 is a plain no-frills entry-level guitar, whereas the 65HCE offers a little more.
It is a classically acoustic-electric styled guitar with 14 fret access. As with all members of the Alvarez Artist series, it is well made using good quality materials. The back and sides are made from Mahogany, and the internal bracing is carefully designed to deliver a rich and warm sound. It also encourages sustain and volume.
It has a solid Cedar top and a mahogany neck with a Rosewood fingerboard. There are mother of pearl inlays and an attractive Rosewood inlaid decoration around the soundhole. Up at the headstock are open chrome tuners. It has real bone nut and saddle and a Rosewood bridge.
Unlike many classical style guitars, this model has an arched fingerboard. This is built a little slimmer than usual and gives it the feel of an electric guitar. A classical style guitar with nylon strings that plays like an electric guitar. Interesting idea.
If you’re as fascinated by string choices as we are, it’s well worth checking out our in-depth article on the best acoustic guitar strings currently available.
It is, of course, acoustic-electric, and the sound is delivered by an LR Baggs stage pro Element pickup with a three-band EQ. The pick up is under the saddle to collect the full tone of the guitar. It also features a chromatic tuner and notch filter with the controls that are mounted on the top edge of the body.
Well constructed with good material and easy to play, it is a great entry-level guitar with a great price for its quality.
- Well made with good materials.
- Good features and electrics onboard.
8 Alvarez Regent RD26 Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar
The Regent series from Alvarez is designed as their entry-level guitars. They are the lowest range in the structure, but that does not mean they are not good guitars. On the contrary, they are well-made with good materials. Being designed for the student, they do not have some of the finer points of the higher levels. However, the basic quality is still very evident.
They are designed to look attractive to encourage young players to want to play. They have many of the features that the Artist series have like the bridge construction. The guitar is built in the traditional Dreadnought shape, with back and sides made from mahogany. The top is made from Spruce. There is the internal bracing series you will find on the higher range instruments. This includes the scalloped X designs.
The neck is made from mahogany with a Rosewood fingerboard. The body, top, and neck are given a satin look finish. The bridge is the Alvarez bi-level design, also made from Rosewood. Up at the polished Rosewood headstock, there are chrome die-cast tuners.
One difference between the Regent and Artist series is that the Regent uses PPS synthetic bone instead of real bone for the nut and saddle. The guitar has an ABS binding to finish of its decor.
There is no doubt for an entry-level guitar, this is exceptional value. A really nice sound that will encourage young players. It is made on a budget, so don’t expect the quality of the higher levels of the instrument. Accept it for what it is a budget range starter guitar, and you won’t be disappointed.
It’s most definitely one of the best cheap acoustic guitars under 200 dollars, and it even comes with a gig bag.
- Great value.
- Nice tones for a starter guitar.
9 Alvarez Delta00/TSB Jazz & Blues Series Guitar
And finally, in our Best Alvarez Guitar Reviews, the company introduces a guitar that is an appreciation of the jazz and blues of days past. It has a different style and motive than the more common Artist and Regent series. But it is still made with Alvarez’s attention to detail to produce some great guitar sounds.
The body is designed and made in a traditional Blues style with no cutaway. It has a solid mahogany body and spruce top that is finished off with an attractive sunburst finish. It has a mahogany neck that has inlay dots on the upper edge of the binding on the neck. There is a Rosewood fingerboard with a single mother of pearl inlay on the 12th fret.
The V-shaped neck has a length of 24 inches. There are a total of 20 frets, though, with no cutaway access to the higher notes is limited to comfortably reaching the 14th.
The body is given a high gloss finish. The ABS binding extends round the body edges, and there is a design around the soundhole. It has a real bone nut and saddle. The bridge is made from Rosewood.
At the headstock, which is overlain with Rosewood, are the Premium open chrome tuners. A good number of Alvarez instruments are made in Japan. This particular model, like some of the budget ranges, is made in China.
It is a nice guitar and brings something new to the Alvarez range. It can handle fingerpicking style or strumming, and both show off its great sound. However, it won’t compete with the very top of the range of Alvarez instruments.
It is priced mid-range for Alvarez, which is about right. And it is a great sounding and playing guitar and definitely gives you that blues/jazz feel. It is an Alvarez guitar, and that means value for money. Play away, Delta Lady.
- Nice design and attractive appearance.
- Authentic finger and strumming sound.
- Maybe dot inlays on the fingerboard.
But What Is The Best Guitar In These Best Alvarez Guitar Reviews?
We always start this section by saying how difficult it is to choose. Usually, it is. In this case, it is even harder — so much quality on show here with these guitars. You cannot help to be impressed with how good these, what most people would call, entry-level instruments, actually are. The build the sound all very good indeed. Even the budget range instruments are a long way ahead of most of their competitors.
So we have to pick from our list the best Alvarez guitar. We have, therefore, chosen the…
Great jumbo size, plays beautifully and it has a rich, warm sound. Looks great and made with the Artist Series excellence. What is it? Well, quite simply, it’s an Alvarez guitar. And our choice for the best guitar in this Best Alvarez Guitar Reviews.