Many people say that when buying a guitar you need to know: the cheaper you go, the worse the guitar gets. I tend to agree most of the time, but I also know for a fact that there are cheap guitars that actually sound good. They might have their problems, but overall they end up being rather great instruments. The Alvarez Artist Series AD60-12 is one of these rare guitars. Let’s take a closer look and see what makes it good.
The body of the guitar is shaped like a dreadnought, like so many other guitars. This gives the instrument a very powerful projection and a thick low tone at the cost of being on the bulkier, heavier side. I am perfectly fine with this trade-off since I do like my guitar loud and with a full bass sound.
The top of the guitar is solid A+ Sitka Spruce, which means it is made out of solid wood rather than being laminated. Some might think that lamination affects the overall sound a great deal, but it is not only about that. The sound of a guitar depends on each and every component. Anyway, here we are dealing with solid top wood, which means we can forget about laminate for now. Due to the character of spruce, AD60-12 has more power, paired with emphasized upper tones and distinctive mid-tones. The back and sides of the guitar are made out of mahogany, just like the neck. The latter has a semi-gloss finish and its lightweight character makes it comfortable to hold and play.
The fretboard of the guitar is made of handsome rosewood. As a result of all the above this guitar is fun and easy to play.
The bridge of the guitar is Alvarez, bi-level rosewood. The result is not only a handsome addition to the design of the guitar but a rather interesting effect on the lower tones of the guitar. With more resonance to bass comes more responsibility, so watch out.
The nut and saddle of the guitar are made of natural bone. I always appreciate natural parts in a guitar, and bone is one of the better materials for the purpose of nut and saddle. The harmony is beautiful, with a slight warming effect on the sound of the guitar.
The tuners on the guitar are unfortunately not as good as you’d want them to be, especially on a 12-string guitar. While re-tuning may be annoying on a 6-string guitar, 12 strings is a whole other beast. Just watch out for a cheap way to replace the tuners, if you get the chance to.
Alvarez AD60-12 Sound
The guitar sounds surprisingly good, though it does have some flaws. The sound is warm and judging by its quality one might even say that this thing is underpriced! It has a distinctive tone regardless of the frequency spectrum and all of that is made possible by its beautiful tonewoods. Though its tuner is not the best thing in the world, it can be easily substituted. Overall, the guitar sounds powerful and would serve as a good place to start playing a 12-string.
This is an OK guitar. I would not recommend it to every one, since it is a 12-string guitar built with affordability in mind. Guitars like these require a full accommodation of the possibilities of the 12-string tone. Yet here we have something not entirely capable. Recommended only if you are a beginner looking to practice on an affordable instrument.
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