Our Guide to Alvarez Acoustic Guitars
With one of the most diverse & comprehensive instrument catalogues on the market, Alvarez are considered a leading name in the industry – here's our guide to the best Alvarez acoustics for you!
Perfection is a journey, not a destination – Kazuo Yairi, Alvarez luthier
The Alvarez Range
When we say extensive and diverse, we mean it. For over 50 years, the company has not only strived for perfection, but aimed to cater for the needs of every musician. They live by a familiar but crucial ethos; make great guitars affordable to all.
This is achieved not by cutting corners, but with continual learning. Alvarez are always adjusting their designs and manufacture process to deliver the highest quality at the best price. This also results in massive diversity; their product catalogue spans steel-string acoustics, classical & Spanish guitars, baritone models, ukuleles…the list goes on!
What's different about Alvarez?
- World-class feel & acoustic tone from just £179
- Many models feature high-end specs like solid tops, exotic tonewoods and LR Baggs electronics
- Design and approach pioneered by the legendary Yairi family of luthiers in Japan
- Played by some of the biggest names in music, including Johnny Cash, Paul McCartney and many more
- Quality, attention to detail and playability that far outweighs price point
The design and type of instrument is often defined by the collection it’s part of. Alvarez’s collections range from affordable beginner’s acoustic guitars to professional-grade beauties and everything in between.
Alvarez Artist Series Guitars
The Artist Series is arguably Alvarez’s flagship line. Not only is it one of their most popular lines; it’s one of their most diverse too. Offering everything from ukuleles to full-size Baritone Jumbos, you’re bound to find something that suits your needs.
Alvarez have employed several of their crucial design appointments for the bulk of their Artist Series offerings, including their FST2 bracing system and their famed attention to detail. Combined with solid tonewood tops, and the Artist Series acoustics offer unparalleled value and performance for their price range.
Alvarez's Cádiz Series encompasses a number of high-quality classical and flamenco guitars. Traditionally-crafted to give you the most genuine feel and sound from a nylon-stringed instrument, Alvarez visited the birthplace of the classical guitar to conduct their research.
Travelling to Cádiz, the spiritual home of the classical guitar, Alvarez aimed to learn more about the rich history and construction of these amazing instruments. Working with local luthiers and players to ensure that their new guitars would satisfy the most fastidious classical players, these time-honoured models offer unparalleled levels of playability.
The extremely popular Alvarez Jazz & Blues series covers a broad range of designs inspired by one of the definitive chapters in American music. This includes hollow-bodied ES-style guitars, semi-hollow electrics with vibrant aesthetics, and even a few small-bodied delta-blues acoustics.
As with the rest of their diverse catalogue, Alvarez combine modern manufacture techniques with unique tonewood treatments and beautiful design. The resulting instruments are top-class, offering authentic, articulate sounds and spellbinding looks. Several tweaks to this classic formula also give the Jazz & Blues offerings a uniquely modern edge – expect crystal-clarity and attention to detail!
The Artist Elite range is a relatively new addition to the Alvarez line up. It takes the Artist formula and steps it up a notch, with a number of additional appointments that offer the perfect blend of pro playability, lush sounds and great looks to boot.
First up, the tonewoods. Alvarez have opted to use some slightly different mixtures, including Cedar tops, Macassar Ebony back/sides and Acacia. They've also thrown a couple of their subtle semi-gloss finishes, perfectly complementing the wood's grain. Additional luxurious include Flamed Maple and Ebony binding and Alvarez's signature bevelled armrests. Finally, a backward shift in the X-bracing producers a warmer, darker sound that's more midrange focused, making these guitars brilliant strummers.
Alvarez’s tagline for their Masterworks range is ‘Truly Eloquent Professional Guitars’. Just shy of their hand-crafted Yairi range, the Masterworks offerings are the cream of the crop. As with the rest of their diverse range, Alvarez are committed to offering stunning aesthetics, familiar playability and classy acoustic tones.
The Masterworks guitars are defined by their all-solid tonewood construction, meticulous attention to detail and designs inspired by the most popular acoustics of all-time. If you’re looking for uncompromising quality, look no further than the Alvarez Masterworks acoustics!
About Alvarez Guitars
Established in 1965 by major US instrument distributor St. Louis Music, Alvarez teamed up with master luthier Kazuo Yairi with the aim of producing the finest guitars in the world.
The success of Alvarez-Yairi guitars helped put the brand on the market, and are still handmade in Kani, Japan to this day. In the decades that followed, Alvarez significantly expanded their operation, and now produce one of the most extensive and diverse ranges of acoustic instruments in the world.
Ranging from affordable entry-level to world-class handmade instruments, Alvarez have got everything covered. Their instruments have been used by the likes of Johnny Cash, Paul McCartney, Carlos Santana, Ani DiFranco and many more – they’re obviously doing something right!
Why buy an Alvarez Guitar?
The guitar world has more to offer now than ever before, with countless brands aiming for the top with all manner of instruments available. Our experts here at Andertons have only fed back excellent Alvarez guitar reviews. Alvarez, however, aim to set themselves apart from the crowd – how, you might ask? In Alvarez’s own words, they:
- Always put the player first
- Achieve our goals through better design
- Commit to perpetual improvement
- Offer genuine and unparalleled value
- Make guitars that people love to play
- Bring quality into everything
- Know the guitar better than our competitors
To top it off, we offer excellent finance options on hundreds of instruments in the Alvarez range, as well as free UK delivery on all orders over £99. Winner!
Who was Kazuo Yairi?
Kazuo Yairi was a member of a near-legendary family of Japanese luthiers. His uncle and cousin, Sadao and Hiroshi Yairi respectively, were also known for building instruments under the S. Yairi brand.
Alvarez was originally founded in the US in 1965, but they teamed up with Kazuo in the late ‘60s to elevate their craft. The resulting instruments were a huge hit with some of the biggest names in the industry; these were hands-down some of the finest guitars available on the market.
Yairi famously once said that “…good guitars are made of good wood, by good craftsmen.” This simple philosophy embodied his human approach to, and fine ear for, guitar building. His expertise in his craft earned him a Yellow Ribbon Medal of Honour, awarded by the Japanese Emperor in 2006.
He passed away in 2014 age 81, with his wife and daughter continuing the business at the Kani factory.