May 28, 2012 Guitar Reviews
This is Rosie. She is my new Alvarez AD-70 acoustic guitar.
First of all, yes, I name my guitars; Bella and Chuck are the other members of my guitar family.
I am quite pleased with the new addition to my guitar collection–I say collection, but I don’t think 3 guitars actually counts as a collection. The Alvarez AD-70 is an excellent instrument. It is affordable–around $300–and, in my opinion, it plays and sounds just as nice as other acoustic guitars that cost twice as much. It has a Grade A Sitka Spruce top and rosewood laminate back and sides. It can project big, bright and clear sounds just as easily as it can coax out delicately soft sounds at lower volumes. The neck is extremely comfortable to play, the action was set perfectly when I first picked it up, and the body is designed to project and sustain very well. Seriously, sometimes after a long day, I will just sit on my couch, strum some open chords and listen to the sound slowly trail off.
Now, as you might know, I recently profiled two other acoustic guitars: the Seagull S6 Original and the Yamaha FG730S. These two guitars, along with the Alvarez AD-70, were the three guitars that ended up at the top of my list a couple of months ago when I was searching for a new acoustic. All of these instruments are relatively affordable and you get a lot of bang for your buck in terms of quality. I ended up choosing the Alvarez for a couple of reasons. First, it costs about $100 dollars less than the Seagull and, because I am living on a student budget, the price was important to me. In comparison to the Yamaha, the Alvarez is very similar. They share the same wood combination (spruce top and rosewood back and sides) and are similar in price ($300). Ultimately, I made my decision after playing both the AD-70 and the Yamaha FG730S for about an hour. I thought that the Alvarez had a bigger and brighter sound and it felt better in my hands.
I am very pleased with my decision. I am sure any of these three guitars would have been a good choice, but in the end, after doing my research and playing as many guitars as I could get my hands on, I went with what was best for me: the Alvarez AD-70. I highly recommend this guitar to anyone.
P.S. I will hopefully be putting up a video of Rosie on GuitarSmithOnline’s YouTube channel in the near future so I will keep you posted.
May 24, 2012 Guitar Reviews
Much like the Seagull S6 Original that I reviewed in my previous post, the Yamaha FG730S has become well known for its quality and affordability. At around $300, this guitar gives you a lot of bang for your buck. It has a solid spruce top and rosewood laminate sides and comes in different finishes–natural, tobacco sunburst, and cherry sunburst–all of which look great and add character to the guitar. The wood combination of this guitar gives it a brighter sound. Chords sparkle and single notes really stand out. I found a really cool video on YouTube that compares the sounds of the Yamaha FG730S and the Seagull S6 Orginal; click here to check it out!
Before checking out the FG730S, the only other Yamaha instrument I had ever played was an old trombone in high school band, so I have to admit that I was not expecting much from this guitar. However, I was pleasantly surprised when I first sat down and actually played the FG730S. As I mentioned before, the sound is bright and clear, which makes strumming chords really satisfying. Not only does the guitar sound great but it is also quite comfortable to play. Sometimes, when I try out a new guitar, it takes me a while to get used to the feel of the instrument. Not so this time around; it only took a couple minutes before the neck felt right in my hands and I started to jam.
With a price that is hard to beat, the Yamaha FG730S is an awesome deal. It’s not the best acoustic guitar that money can buy, but, in my opinion, it should be a top choice for somebody wanting to learn how to play guitar or even a more experienced player who wants a budget instrument to bring to campfire jam sessions.
May 6, 2012 Guitar Reviews
So, this post is not about a seafaring bird. Seagull is actually the name of a Canadian based guitar company (Godin is the parent company) that has become well known for making quality affordable guitars. Seagull’s several different models are all very well constructed. Their various model lines range from entry level instruments priced around $300 all the way to $1000 completely hand-crafted all solid wood guitars. Seagull guitars are noted for their great sound and playability.
In particular, the model S6 Original has become a go-to guitar if you are looking for an acoustic under $500. The S6 Original, which has a solid cedar top and wild cherry sides, runs at about $400. Many of those who have reviewed this guitar have noted that it has a full, well-balanced, and clear sound. I myself played several of these guitars as I looked to purchase a new acoustic guitar. Every time I played one I was struck by how comfortable the neck felt and how well it played. I also found the sound of the guitar to be rich and resonate. In the end, I did not purchase a S6 Original, but that was mostly because I decided to not go above $300 in pursuit of my new axe. If I had had a higher budget, I could have very well brought one of these bad boys home with me.
I would recommend this guitar–as well as most of the other Seagull models–to any guitar player, not just a beginner. It is definitely worth checking out if you are looking to purchase an acoustic guitar.