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The flatpicked guitar reviews database is here to help educate people before they purchase an instrument. Of course, this is not meant to be a substitute for playing the instrument yourself!

161 reviews in the archive.

Alvarez ARD 70 Review

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Submitted by kimmattis123 (see all reviews from this person) on 5/16/2017

Where Purchased: Guitar Gallery, Canonsburg, PA

Year Purchased: 2017
Price Paid: $350+ $50 for a ex. large case to fit it historic exchange rates / currency converter


12 fret Slope Shouldered slot-headed Dreadnought. Big Boomy sound. I changed strings to Martin montel
retro and it sounded even more retro and boomy

Sound Rating: 8


Setup was shakey- strings rattled. I took it back for a store tuneup. They did a GREAT JOB. No buzzes or rattles. I may take it back to lower action- its a TAD high for me. If you get an experienced set up guy-its usually no problem. Imported guitars need a good set up to sound ok. I had to return it to lower sting height and a new set up- now much better.

Setup Rating: 7


Slot head slope shouldered 12 fret Dreadnought. Spruce top [matchbooked pieces] Rosewood laminated [dont know what kind] back and sides.-mog neck and head- no faceplate. Its a Chinese import but the fit and finish were very good. Very striking looking guitar. Its a BIG guitar. Slope shouldered - too big for my regular dread cases.

Appearance Rating: 9


Seems substantial. Time will tell. I have another imported guitar and old Aria classical import from the 60s- It still plays well and looks fine, but that was Japanese not Chinese. Its BIG. They had find a case to fit it. Imports are getting better but are always ??? after a bit. Chinese imports are cheap $$ but will they last?

Reliability Rating: 7

Customer Service

At GG they offer in store luthery. Very good. Experienced workmen. I haven't had a cause to contact Alvarez ;yet [ i hope never] so I don't know about anything except the online reg.

Customer Service: 8


Tuners are iffy. With a slot head they are through the head [like a classical guitar only thinner] If something goes it will be these. Top [Spruce] seems nice for an import. Rosewood back and sides look sturdy. Mogh. neck is big and looks tough. Not solid but laminated woods I think.

Components Rating: 8

Overall Comments

I've had guitar problems for a while.  I play in a bluegrass band and need a BIG bluegrass guitar.  OK that is NOT a Martin [D-18/28] but being retired I really don't have the $$ for a new Dread [ Martin has reissued its own slope shouldered  model in 12 fret for about $5,500]- but the Alvarez is really NOT Martin quality. Chinese instruments vary greatly in quality from instrument to instrument   My daughter has an Alvarez-Yairi Dread.[made in Japan quality made]  VERY nice guitar.  I have a hand built Dread [ made my a friend of mine] for most gigs. But for weekly jams I wanted a boomer and something different.  A 12 fret guitar seems to fit the need.  Imports are about $300-400.  A Yairi is $2000+, a Collings or Martin= $5000+.  This seemed a fun choice.  It has the style I want with a price I can live with. Import guitars are NOT hand made Martins by any standard.  But I've seen a few good ones in my time and I'm hoping this will be one.  Usually Chinese made- low price guitars vary greatly in quality-  from VERY bad- to NOT so bad. but let us be real-- it's not a Martin or Gibson.

Overall Rating: 7

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