7 Best Alvarez Guitars Ever Made (Are They Worth It?)

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  • Alvarez has been producing great and affordable instruments for over half a century 
  • We look at 7 of the best Alvarez guitars on the market
  • Featuring the AD60, RD26 Dreadnought, and many more!

Alvarez Guitars has been around since the mid-sixties, consistently producing great instruments for a great price, as some of the artists that use them would confirm.

Alvarez guitars are played by the likes of Bono, Joe Bonamassa and Ani DiFranco, to name just a few. However, the most impressive aspect of Alvarez is how they can produce instruments of such quality while keeping the price relatively low. 

What Are The Best Alvarez Guitars?

Our pick for this list is the Alvarez Artist Series AD60. It features a fantastic cost-benefit relationship and sounds and feels like a much pricier guitar. For those on a budget, check out the Alvarez Regent RD26 Dreadnought. The Alvarez Masterworks MDR70ESB is our Premium Choice for this list, with superior quality.

For those that are just starting out but want a good instrument from the get-go, the Alvarez Artist Series AD30 Dreadnought is our pick for Best for beginners.

Here are our candidates for the best Alvarez guitars:

  1. Alvarez Artist Series AD60 (Our Pick)
  2. Alvarez Regent RD26 Dreadnought (Best Value)
  3. Alvarez AG60CE Artist Series
  4. Alvarez Masterworks MDR70ESB (Premium Choice)
  5. Alvarez AC65 Classical Guitar
  6. Alvarez Artist Series AJ80CE 
  7. Alvarez Artist Series AD30 Dreadnought (Best for Beginners)

1. Alvarez Artist Series AD60 (Our Pick)

OUR PICK
Alvarez Artist Series AD60
$314.99

Alvarez's Artist Series AD60 provides a selection of hand-selected solid tops; forward-shifted scalloped bracing, awesome tone, and player experience.

Why We Love It:
  • Award-winning guitar
  • Rich and warm tone
  • Durable
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The AD60 is a Dreadnought size guitar that belongs to Alvarez Artist Series. This is one of Alvarez’s most popular series as it offers a great cost-benefit rate, and has won several awards in recent years

Features

  • Hand-selected, ‘A’ grade, solid Sitka spruce top
  • Hand sanded, scalloped bracing
  • Mahogany back and sides; Tuner: Premium Die Cast; Binding: Ivory ABS
  • Paua abalone and mother of pearl inlays
  • Lifetime limited warranty

Review

The Alvarez AD60 features a solid piece of hand-selected Sitka Spruce on the top. This wood choice gives the guitar an overall sense of durability and also has a nice natural grain. 

The back and sides are made from Mahogany, providing a warm and deep sound that creates depth. Together with the Spruce top, this dreadnought guitar projects quite nicely and with enough loudness to fill a small room. 

The body construction features Alvarez’s unique FST2M bracing system. This is an X brace design that features a scalloped design. 

The fretboard of the AD60 is made of Rosewood with Abalone insets and mother of pearl inlays. This neck is wide, so this guitar will be most comfortable with those that have larger hands or prefer such a neck. 

For the bridge, Alvarez decided to go with solid Mahogany with a maple plate, and for the headstock a bone nut and die-cast tuners. As it is to be expected with an Alvarez guitar, the brand name and beautiful logo are featured on the polished mahogany neck. 

All of these features add up to a nice-sounding guitar, with a rich and warm tone and great sustain. The build quality on this instrument is great, especially at this price point. 

2. Alvarez Regent RD26 Dreadnought (Best Value)

BEST VALUE
Alvarez Regent RD26 Dreadnought
$229.99

The Alvarez Regent Series is a high-quality entry-level guitar line designed to provide super value instruments with many features and specifications you find in pro-level Alvarez models. 

Why We Love It:
  • Perfect for beginners
  • Great playability
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The Regent series is Alvarez’s offer of an entry-level instrument produced for the young player that is starting out.

For the price, the Alvarez Regent RD26 Dreadnought guitar offers decent sound and playability. This Alvarez acoustic guitar is our best value choice for this list. 

Features

  • Spruce Top / Gloss Finish
  • Mahogany Back & Sides / Gloss Finish
  • Scalloped X Bracing
  • Rosewood Fingerboard
  • Chrome Die-cast Tuners

Review

The Alvarez Regent RD26 is built in a traditional dreadnought shape, featuring mahogany on the back and sides for a nice projecting sound. The top is made of spruce, which also aids in tone production, especially at this price point. 

The neck on this instrument is made from Mahogany and features a Rosewood fingerboard. There is a satin finish applied to the body, top, and neck, and the bridge features Alvarez bi-level design and is made from rosewood. 

Naturally, as Regent guitars are Alvarez’s most inexpensive instruments, some concessions were made to keep the price low. One of these is the use of synthetic material for the nut and saddle, as opposed to the real bone like in Alvarez’s pricier guitars. 

That said, the Alvarez Regent RD26 still delivers on its promise to be an appealing instrument for beginners, from the sound and playability to its looks.

In other words, if you’re looking for your first guitar or just a budget instrument in general, the Alvarez Regent RD26 is one of the best options in the market. 

3. Alvarez AG60CE Artist Series

Alvarez AG60CE Artist Series Guitar
$459.99

The Alvarez Artist Series AG60CE acoustic-electric guitar is a Grand Auditorium, which has similar dimensions to the dreadnought, but a narrower waist helping to pronounce the treble notes a little more. 

Why We Love It:
  • Features a warm and powerful sound
  • Hand-sanded, scalloped bracing
  • Rosewood fingerboard
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The AG60CE is another model on the Alvarez Artist Series. This one is a Grand Auditorium acoustic-electric with a similar design to a Dreadnought when it comes to its scale length.

However, this Alvarez acoustic guitar features a thinner waist and rounder shape to bring out the high frequencies a bit more. 

Features

  • Hand-selected, A-grade, solid Sitka spruce top
  • Hand-sanded, scalloped bracing
  • Mahogany back and sides
  • SYS550 dual pickup, blend system EQ w/tuner
  • Alvarez bi-level rosewood bridge

Review

The Alvarez AG60CE offers a bit more bite as the highs are accentuated thanks to its narrower waist. The top of the instrument features an A+ grade Stickta spruce hand-selected from quarter-sawn wood to ensure consistent quality. The back and sides are mahogany, producing a warm and powerful sound with a balanced bass and treble. 

The fingerboard on the AG60CE is Rosewood with a 25 1/2″ scale length and 21 frets

Additional features include a real bone saddle and nut (1 3/4″), premium die-cast chrome tuners, ABS biding, dovetail neck joint, Paua abalone, mother-of-pearl inlays, and a bi-level Alvarez Bridge. 

The Alvarez Artist Series AC60CE is responsive to the guitarist’s playing style and features nice playability with a balanced and projecting natural sound. 

For plugging into a PA or similar, this Alvarez acoustic guitar is fitted with an L.R. Baggs Element pick up and StagePro EQ for fantastic sound on a live performance. 

The Artist Series AC60CE comes with D’Addario EXP strings, and its case is sold separately. 

4. Alvarez Masterworks MDR70ESB (Premium Choice)

PREMIUM CHOICE
Alvarez Masterworks MDR70ESB

The MDR is a beautifully finished instrument that features full tone with lots of clear bass frequencies and glistening trebles.

Why We Love It:
  • Fantastic for more experienced players
  • Fairly priced
  • Has an aura of class and authority
View Price On Alvarez

The Alvarez Masterworks MDR70ESB guitar is a fantastic instrument for more experienced players that don’t want to spend a fortune.

This acoustic guitar features a solid build, great finish, great playability, and nice full sound with full bass response. The Alvarez Masterworks MDR70ESB is our premium choice for this list.

Features 

  • Solid AAA North American Sitka Spruce on top, Solid Rosewood for back and sides
  •  Indian laurel fingerboard
  • Slotted headstock plate
  • Comes strung with D’Addario EXP16
  • LR Baggs Element-VTC pick up

Review

The Alvarez Masterworks MDR70ESB guitar delivers on the company’s promise to produce a mid-priced acoustic with fantastic sound and playability. This Alvarez acoustic guitar is a big dreadnought that is built sturdy and yet remains comfortable to play.

It features a solid AAA North American Sitka spruce top and solid rosewood for the back and sides. The top features a two-ring abalone and ABS rosette, giving this guitar a beautiful look. 

The neck on this Alvarez Masterworks guitar is made of mahogany and finished in satin, with an Indian Laurel fretboard. There are no inlays except for one at the 12th fret, and it features a 1 3/4″ nut width (which is made of real bone, just like the saddle).

As far as the sound, this guitar produces a resounding bass as soon as you hit your first chord. There is great note separation on the sound. Overall, this guitar has a good response, whether you’re playing with a pick or fingerstyle. 

For plugging in with confidence, the MDR70ESB is fitted with the excellent LR Baggs Element-VTC pick-up with a soundhole console. In other words, this Alvarez acoustic guitar will be able to handle all of your studio and stage needs with class and authority, but without having to break the bank. 

5. Alvarez AC65 Classical Guitar

Alvarez AC65 Classical Guitar

The Alvarez Artist Series AC65HCE got the construction just right to allow this series to sing, and deliver a player experience that's exceptional for a mid-price instrument.

Why We Love It:
  • Exceptional for a mid-price instrument
  • Produces a deep, rich and warm sound
View Price on Guitar Center

Alvarez acoustic guitars come in a wide variety, and the AC65 is further proof of that. This is a nylon-string guitar that is part of the AC series. Unlike the other two in the AC series, the AC65 is not acoustic-electric and employs a traditional type of construction, with no cutaways

Features 

  • Nylon string classical-type guitar with no cutaways
  • Spanish heel neck joint and a tapered fan bracing
  • Mahogany neck with two-way truss rod
  • Solid A+ Western Red Cedar top with natural/gloss finish
  • Very responsive with warm and open voice

Review

The Alvarez AC65 features a Spanish heel neck joint and a tapered fan bracing for stability, balance, and volume across all strings. 

This classical guitar is made of mahogany for the back and sides, for a nice resonance and sweet tone and a Solid A+ Western Red Cedar top with a natural/gloss finish.

This type of cedar produces a deep, rich and warm sound that fits this type of guitar perfectly. Additionally, this top also excels in the looks department, which is always a nice trait to have. 

The design of the AC65 also incorporates a mahogany neck with a 25 19/32″ scale length and 19 frets while the nut is 2 1/16″. The neck design on the AC65 features a two-way truss rod to adjust the action. Both the nut and the saddle are made with real bone. 

Naturally, the neck is wide as expected in a classical style guitar. Some might consider this a disadvantage, but truth be told, guitarists that play classical-style guitars often prefer such a neck as it is closer to the feeling of nylon string guitars. In any case, the Alvarez AC65 is a nice guitar for the price. 

6. Alvarez Artist Series AJ80CE 

Alvarez Artist Series AJ80CE Jumbo Acoustic Guitar
$532.53

The Alvarez Artist Series AJ80CE Jumbo Acoustic-Electric Guitar is big, bright, beautiful, and has a truly fantastic player experience.

Why We Love It:
  • Huge tones
  • Hand-selected, ˜A' grade, solid Sitka spruce top
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The AJ80CE is a jumbo guitar that belongs to Alvarez Artist Series. Jumbo guitars are big in size and sound, and although they might not be the most comfortable to play, they make up for it with a huge tone.

That is certainly the case for the AJ80CE. Because of its size, this Alvarez acoustic guitar is not recommended for beginners.

Features

  • Jumbo w/cutaway guitar with big sound
  • Solid A+ Sitka Spruce top wood, and maple back and 
  • FST2 bracing system
  • LR Baggs StagePro EQ and Element Pick Up
  • Premium die-cast tuners

Review

The Artist Series AJ80CE is an acoustic-electric Alvarez guitar built with maple back and sides (as opposed to the more common mahogany). Maple is stiffer than mahogany and provides a rounder, richer but at the same time brighter tone. 

The clean sound and projection of this guitar are also due to the Solid A+ Sitka Spruce top, also known to be a bright-sounding wood for guitars. 

As far as the construction, all instruments in the Artist Series use an FST2 bracing pattern (basically a forward shifted X-bracing pattern), and the AJ80CE is no exception.

FST2 takes the axis of the X closer to the soundhole, resulting in a larger soundboard area that allows for more energy and vibration to be harnessed. This type of pattern employs a scalloped design to add strength and clarity to the overall sound of the instrument. 

The neck on the AJ80CE is maple and features mother-of-pearl inlays, with a rosewood fingerboard and a scale of 25 1/2″ and 21 frets. The nut (1 3/4″) and saddle are made with real bone. 

To ensure that the huge sound of this jumbo guitar can also come across in a live setting, Alvarez fitted the AJ80CE LR Baggs StagePro EQ and Element pick up for greater accuracy and has a chromatic backlit built-in tuner. 

This jumbo guitar sounds as fantastic and big as it looks and ships with D’Addario EXP16 strings. 

Naturally, jumbo guitars are not for everyone, especially not beginners. But if you are in the market for a big guitar with a big sound, check out the AJ80CE.

7. Alvarez Artist Series AD30 Dreadnought (Best for Beginners)

BEST FOR BEGINNERS
Alvarez Artist Series AD30 Dreadnought Guitar, Natural/Gloss Finish
$289.99

The Alvarez Artist Series AD30 Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar is an entry point for the Artist Series. This is a well-made instrument, delivering real value.

Why We Love It:
  • Perfect for beginners
  • Affordable
  • Durable
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The AD30 is a great choice for beginners that want a steel-string acoustic guitar. It features solid construction, is durable, and nice tone and playability for a low price. This is our pick for best for beginners. 

Features 

  • Solid A+ Sitka Spruce top wood, and mahogany back and 
  • FST2 bracing system
  • Comes strung with D’Addario EXP16
  • Techwood fingerboard and a 25 1/2″ scale length
  • Chrome die-cast tuners

Review

Alvarez Artist Series AD30 has a classic dreadnought design with no cutaways or electronics. It features a solid A Sitka Spruce top with mahogany back and sides. Although this is guitar mostly for beginners, it sounds much better than what its price and application would suggest. 

This is partly due to Alvarez’s choice of woods as well as their FST2 bracing system which increases the vibration to produce a bigger overall sound with more bite and projection. 

The neck on this guitar is mahogany with a 50/50 semi-gloss finish, techwood fingerboard and a 25 1/2″ scale length. Like many other Alvarez guitars, it features a dovetail neck joint. 

An interesting feature is the angled headstock that along with Alvarez’s bi-level bridge increases string tension by making the break angle of the strings from the saddle to the top more acute.

In turn, this increased string tension is helpful to the sound, feel, and the response of the instrument, which are also heightened by the use of real bone nuts and saddles.

Other notable features on the Artist Series AD30 are the real bone nut (1 3/4) and saddle, Natural/Satin finish and black ABS biding. 

FAQ: All About Alvarez!

Does Alvarez make good guitars? (Most Asked Question)

Yes. Alvarez makes guitars that feature excellent build and sound, and are also affordable.

Where are Alvarez guitars made?

Most Alvarez models are made in China, while their top-tier Alvarez-Yairi instruments are produced in Japan. Every Alvarez guitar is inspected at their facility in St. Louis, Missouri.

Do Alvarez guitars come with a case? 

Most Alvarez guitars do not come with a case, but you can purchase one separately from the company. 

Do Alvarez guitars have truss rods?

Some Alvarez guitars have truss rods, while other models that follow a traditional Spanish construction do not.  

What famous artists use Alvarez Guitars?

Players that use or have used Alvarez Guitars include Joe Bonamassa, Bono, Ani DiFranco, Monte Montgomery, Josh Turner, Johnny Cash, Bob Weir, Crosby Stills and Nash, Jerry Garcia, Paul McCartney, Carlos Santana, and Thom Yorke of Radiohead.

Are Alvarez guitars solid wood?

All guitars on the Alvarez Masterworks Series are solid wood.

What type of strings do Alvarez guitars come with?

Most Alvarez guitars come with D’Addario strings of various gauges.

Does Alvarez make electric guitars?

No. Alvarez makes acoustic and acoustic-electric guitars exclusively. 

Does Alvarez produce other instruments?

Yes. Alvarez also produces a wide array of ukuleles.