Alvarez Guitars – 5 Things You Should Know!

In a market dominated by mass-produced guitars, Alvarez has become a major player by bucking the trend and offering incredible quality at an affordable price point. In this blog, we discuss the five things you should know about Alvarez and why they're one of our favourite brands!

Chris Toft

Chris Toft

Alvarez Guitars has one of the most diverse ranges of acoustic guitars in the world, boasting premium build quality at an affordable price point. For over 50 years, Alvarez has continued to push the envelope when it comes to guitar building, never resting on their laurels. By listening to the requests of their fans, Alvarez are constantly tweaking their designs and manufacturing processes to improve their products. Here are five things you should know about Alvarez Guitars!

All-Encompassing Range

As we alluded to earlier, Alvarez’s range is comprehensive to say the least. There are few other brands whose range includes dreadnoughts, parlours, jumbos and OMs as well as baritones, 8-strings, 12-strings and flamencos! The sheer number of different models available in the Alvarez range is truly astonishing. Every type of player is catered for, from the strummers to the fingerpickers! Here at Andertons, we stock a huge range of Alvarez guitars so let’s take a closer look at the core models.

Alvarez Artist Series

The Artist Series is Alvarez’s flagship line and is one of their most popular ranges, thanks largely to its diversity. Featuring everything from compact ukuleles to bombastic jumbo baritone models, the Elite Series offers unparalleled value and performance.

Alvarez Artist Elite Series

As the name suggests, the Artist Elite Series takes the successful formula of the Elite Series and steps it up a notch! Featuring upgraded tonewoods such as Cedar, Macassar Ebony and Acacia, the Artist Elite series boasts luxurious Flamed Maple and Ebony binding and Alvarez’s signature bevelled armrest for maximum comfort.

Alvarez Jazz & Blues Series

Alvarez’s Jazz & Blues Series is inspired by the definitive chapters in American music, offering a refined selection of parlour-style guitars, made popular in the early 20th century. Combining modern manufacturing techniques with classic tonewoods and vintage aesthetics, the Jazz & Blues Series pays tribute to the golden age.

Alvarez Masterworks Series

Inspired by Japanese luthiery, the Masterworks Series includes a range of “truly eloquent professional guitars”. Boasting all-solid construction, Masterworks Series guitars are defined by their meticulous attention to detail and uncompromising quality. If you’re looking for a pro-grade instrument that won’t break the bank, look no further!

Alvarez Masterworks Elite Series

Building on the foundations laid by the Masterworks Series, the Masterworks Elite Series features unique cutaway models inspired by some of the most popular acoustic designs. Featuring premium tonewoods, stunning aesthetics and market-leading LR Baggs electronics, Masterworks Elite Series guitars are the ultimate acoustics for live performance!

Alvarez Laureate Series

The Laureate Series is Alvarez’s most premium-sounding, aesthetically impressive acoustic guitar made to date! This classically devised series has been designed with the contemporary player in mind, combining traditional appointments with modern building techniques. The Laurette series guitars comprises of the finest tonewoods such as silked Sitka and East Indian Rosewood that deliver a deep, dynamic, and rich sound from distinctive shapes and unique finishes to create their most premium acoustic guitar yet!

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Attention to Detail

Research and design play a massive role in the building process of an Alvarez acoustic guitar. Every component has either been designed from scratch, tested heavily or chosen for its quality and performance. Whether it’s the neck carve, the bi-level bridge or the model-specific bracing system, the attention to detail is bordering on obsessive! Alvarez’s painstaking approach to building quality guitars that are affordable and reliable truly sets them apart from many of their contemporaries.

Hand-Built Guitars

The term “hand-made” typically implies that an item is of a higher quality than one that was mass produced by a machine. The human touch and refined skills of artisans are what make Alvarez guitars so special, setting them apart from the competition.

Alvarez guitars are crafted on work benches by highly skilled luthiers who have perfected their craft through years of experience. There are twenty four luthiers at the Yairi factory, four of which are Master Luthiers, each with over fifty years of expertise under their belts. This wealth of expertise, combined with premium, naturally seasoned woods, results in a playing experience like no other.

Model-Specific Bracing

Of all of Alvarez’s player-friendly features, the internal bracing may not be the first thing that springs to mind. It does, however, play a crucial role in the overall sound and response of the guitar. The entire line of Alvarez guitars features genre and model-specific bracing, with everything designed specifically for purpose and performance.

FST2 – Forward Shifted Type 2

Forward-shifted bracing refers to the X brace and its relative position to the soundhole. By moving the X forward, or closer to the hole sound, it creates a larger soundboard area yielding a louder, more open tone with enhanced bass.

Alvarez FST2 Bracing

FST2 Bracing System


MST1 – Middle Shifted Type 1

The X brace is positioned further back than with FST2 and is optimised for mid-size guitars, creating a darker, more mid-focussed sound. It also allows smaller bodied guitars to generate more energy, resulting in better projection, something that many smaller bodies guitars lack.

Alvarez MST1 Bracing

MST1 Bracing System

FS6 – Forward Size 6

Alvarez’s newest bracing design, the FS6 is forward shifted and features lighter-weight bracing materials. This system delivers enhanced soundboard resonance and brings a uniformity to the guitars, allowing their individual shape and size to influence their tone.

Alvarez FS6 Bracing

FS6 Bracing System

Original Bridge Designs

Kazuo Yairi’s original direct couple bridge changed the game back in 1980 and became a big part of Alvarez’s DNA. By increasing string tension and transference of vibrations to the soundboard, the guitars delivered improved projection with an immediate response. You’ll notice that on Alvarez’s more modern style ranges, like the Artist and Masterworks series, they feature a bi-level bridge, which is a innovative step forward from Yairi’s original direct couple bridge. The bi-level bridge drops the bridge pins lower than the saddle, creating a more acute string angle. In doing so, it increases the string tension for improved resonance.

For the Laurette series, Alvarez have gone for a more traditional bridge style. The Laurette series features a solid Ebony piece staying true to that Pre-War vintage acoustic guitars. Not only does this style of bridge complete the Laurette’s iconic look, but it provides enhanced intonation and a bellowing tonal resonance.


So there you have it…five things you should know about Alvarez guitars and why they’re one of our favourite acoustic brands! Don’t just take our word for it though, as tone and playability are very subjective things. We would always encourage to you drop by the shop and try one of our many Alvarez guitars for yourself. You may just be surprised at how good they really are!

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Chris Toft
Chris Toft
Chris is a Senior Digital Product Marketer at Andertons and a self confessed guitar nerd. With a love of all things 80s Rock and Hair Metal, Chris favours humbucker equipped guitars, high gain amps and plenty of chorus and reverb! Clean tones and spandex leggings are optional!

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