I recently bought this as a "backup" guitar, and was looking for a JUMBO that would be better at acoustic projection when not plugged into a PA system (i.e. campfires, sitting on the patio with friends, etc. I don't like having a $2000 plus guitar outside in the cold, in the dark, etc.). I played about 20 different guitars in the $400 - 500 price point, and loved the feel and tone of this guitar the best. Very nice guitar for the money. After playing it for a week, I have no remorse. very happy with the guitar. nice job, Alvarez.
I opened the box and pulled out this guitar. The look is good. Is it the most beautiful guitar? No. But it is well made and the bridge pins are black with abalone dots. Nice. Also I like the bridge's unusual design. But the set-up from the factory is outstanding. The action is lower than I have ever had either from Martin or by having a luthier's work on a couple Takamines. I picked up a Gator Jumbo molded case and the guitar fits snugly. In fact I had to press my fingers into the side to indent the inside of the case's foam under plush to get a bit more room for the electronic controls on the side of the guitar. I love the tuner. It is the best I have used yet and I think only a Snarp tuner you would buy separately might be better. As for the sound. I smile every time I play it. It is full and strong. The highs are there and the mids and the lows. It sounds better the my ole Martin DM. I think it is better than any Takamine or Seagull I ever played. Don't pass this guitar up. Yes the body is big but if you can handle the larger size this is the greatest value and sound I have seen yet. I have not plugged it in yet. So I will update about the sound amplified. But we all know miking an acoustic is best anyways.
Update 4-4-13, I plugged the guitar into my amplifier. It is a bright sound through it's pick-up. The electronics has bass, mid, and treble dials. Also another dial that says notch. I will have to check the manual for what that does. I thought the saddle was plastic but it is in fact bone and also the nut is too. Frankly, I don't know how Alverez does it? They are still making money on this guitar? What a value for the buyer!
This is an awesome guitar for the money. I bought my first Alvarez in 1982 and have since purchased four more. Alvarez is the best value out there in my opinion. The guitars have a nice action straight from the factory, and each Alvarez guitar series has its own unique sound that is always good. I can't see paying hundreds more for a guitar when I can't hear the difference, or feel the difference in the action. The built-in electronics are very good and the jumbo box gives you a good sound with good volume when unplugged. If you appreciate a good guitar and a good value then this is the guitar but if you're into credentialism, then pay hundreds more for something that in actuality might not be even as good!
I sold a jumbo guitar recently after trying different strings. Did not like the sound. Have had mostly Alvarez acoustics. The neck on my new AJ80CE warped and since I had had it for more than a month I could not return it to Amazon. I called customer service at Alvarez and they replaced it for me. Good guitar and good service
Bought used for my son 3 Christmas ago. Even thought it has a scratch on the body, and the eq went out, (easy fix, just bypass and bought a cheap eq pedal from danelectro, which is as good or better than the boss eq) it's the best gift I have ever got for him. We play a lot of acoustics when we go to GC, but unless you want to get into the $1,000 plus range you won't find a acoustic with a full sound as this one. Best buy for the money.