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View Full Version : Alvarez 5950.. Japanese HD28


Bltprf502
08-06-2011, 05:11 PM
Does anyone know much about these? I have been looking for an old spruce/rosewood beater dread and think I may have found one. Its all solid with tons of mojo. Its the most identical I have seen to a Martin D28/HD28. It will need a neck reset at some point, but ok for a while. Its heading that way as it is pretty old. Its at a local shop strung with DR Dragon skin PB lights and has titanium bridge pins (not so sure about these corny things), but it sounds like a Martin. Not kinda.. Its all there!

Anyone????

Fatstrat
08-06-2011, 05:31 PM
I always liked Alvarez. Didn't know they made any all solids.

Bltprf502
08-06-2011, 06:37 PM
Back in the 70's there were some.

sneaky
08-06-2011, 06:49 PM
Made by Kazuo Yairi who did build some all solids so stands to reason he made some high end Alvarez models too.

Bltprf502
08-06-2011, 06:57 PM
I followed the grain on back and sides, inside and out. It matches. It sounds "solid" if that makes sense. If I didn't say it. MOJO! Its far from perfect. It sounds very played. Anyone ever had anodized titanium bridge pins? Interesting.

architype
08-07-2011, 09:02 AM
You might try the Alvarez facebook page. I has a lot of Alvarez info. and there are people there that work for Alvarez that can answer your questions.
The new Alvarez models that are all solid have the "M" designation somewhere in their model number to indicate the masterbilt line. I don't know about the older models.

Tony Burns
08-07-2011, 09:23 PM
I followed the grain on back and sides, inside and out. It matches. It sounds "solid" if that makes sense. If I didn't say it. MOJO! Its far from perfect. It sounds very played. Anyone ever had anodized titanium bridge pins? Interesting.

Yes it can be plywood and the back of the guitars inside and outside can still match - depends on the quality of the plywood and who made it . id say if the guitar was from the seventies -that might be so , but their too sophisticated in the manufacturing of wood products now a days -usually the guitar will list in a catalog of the manufacturer -if it says solid wood yes, solid wood products-No . Id say if alvarex yairi says it is -it is

Bltprf502
08-08-2011, 03:21 AM
I guess I am going off of the totality of circumstances. The guitar is very light weight. I have had several SCGC's in EIR in the past and believe it or not it feels as light as those from what I remember. It has the woodyness and complexity of tone that solid wood guitars usually display. I would be shocked to find out it wasn't. Either way it sounds good and I plan to go get it...

Bltprf502
08-08-2011, 04:25 AM
Ok. I feel dumb. I typed the digits in the title and apparently the narrative "WRONG".... The model is actually is a 5059. There is little info on these from what I can tell. I did find several reviews on Harmony Central. I know... They are not the best reviews and usually form folks that are not as in depth as we are on this forum. Many just don't know anything other than what they hold in their hands. That's ok though.. Takes all kinds to make it work. ;)

From the ones that seemed to know some about guitars say their 5059 was all solid wood. Top, back and sides. It gets great reviews all across the board which is consistent with my findings in this guitar I am looking at. Honestly, it sounds better than any D28 I have owned. It looks like it has been around the world more than once and may have fallen off the turnip truck a time or two. The guitar tells a story. I'm just not sure what it is yet. I may go find out today and buy it!!!

I will report back if I do.

Bltprf502
08-09-2011, 07:43 PM
I went and put some $ on this thing today. I can't believe it sounds the way it does.. CONFORMED: its all solid wood and as light as a pre war Martin or it is darn close. I know, I can't believe it either. You can blow on the strings and get a sound out of it. Its rough looking, but it plays and sounds like a dream. MOJO! I keep thinking something is fooling me on this old Japanese HD-28 clone. If I put tape on the headstock, most would not know what it was. It fits in my hardshell Martin case like it was made for it. Its strung with Dragon skin 11-52 (which is light for me) but its so easy to play and it tonally sounds great. The shop guy said it right. You take a picture and send it to China and they will try to remake it. The Japanese will get one and remake it as close as they can. They may not be true now, but he may be right from that era which was early to mid 70's. I will repopst when I go pick it up. It won't be long. Its by far the least I have paid for a guitar that sound like that. I've had some nice Martin's. None of them had what this one does. I am picky about guitars. This one is a diamond in the rough.

Bltprf502
08-24-2011, 06:00 PM
I brought it home. I still think its cool. As I said before, lots of mojo. It still had the plastic saddle, so I put in a bone saddle and changed the strings to Elixer 12-53 PB. The bone saddle was a huge improvement. The heaver strings (it had 11-50 Dragon skins on it) may be bringing more volume. It has red titanium pins which I'm not sure about. They may be part of its great sustain. It sounds like a very nice broken in D28... but at a fraction of the price! I will post pics.

markd
08-24-2011, 08:16 PM
I don't know that model but have had other higher end Alvarez guitars as well as a few DY's. My DY-85 is very much on par with the Martin and Taylor dreds that I've owned. I actually traded a very dull sounding Santa Cruz dred for this guitar which is much more alive.

Bltprf502
08-25-2011, 08:19 AM
I don't know that model but have had other higher end Alvarez guitars as well as a few DY's. My DY-85 is very much on par with the Martin and Taylor dreds that I've owned. I actually traded a very dull sounding Santa Cruz dred for this guitar which is much more alive.

I have had 5 SCGC's. Nice guitars, but not for me. I guess I like brighter instruments.

I did some tinkering with this Alvarez I brought home. These Titanium bridge pins were doing it no justice. I put plastic ones in, lowered the bone saddle I put in it with the Elixer PB 12's and its much, much better. Its a much better sounding guitar than my D16GT much less any D28 I have had. Much woodier and better resonance and sustain which I'm sure is also the new strings. Not quite the honeymoon it was in the shop. But when I got it home and set it up, its great and can't be beat for the price. The dings and a few cosmetic cracks add to the character. The "X" brace is not forward shifted and if its scalloped, there are only a few of the bars that are scalloped. So I guess its closer to a D28 than the HD28. It does have herringbone rosette and top perfling, Brazilian rw overlay on the headstock, snowflake inlay on the fret board, nice looking tortis pickguard. The shope where I bought it put some nice new tuners on it. All parts probably Ping, but are smooth and hold tune. It is stored in an SKB Martin case I had left. Great beater and song writer. Pics still to come...

Opa John
08-25-2011, 08:36 AM
I always liked Alvarez. Didn't know they made any all solids.

Well, they still make this one.............

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/guitars/alvarez-msd610-masterworks-small-dreadnought-acoustic-guitar/582298000010000

....and, I'm pretty sure, all of the previous "Masterworks" models were all solid.

I bought an Alvarez MD-80 a couple of years ago when they were being blown out at under $250 (with case). Awesome guitar, but I never bonded with it. A year later I sold that sucker for almost twice what I paid for it.

I "kinda" miss it, but I used the money to pay for a "like new" Martin DM that is my favorite guitar these days.

SPIF
08-25-2011, 09:14 AM
I got one of these 5059's about five years ago. I believe that it is not solid back/sides, but rather laminated.
Serial number is 41831. Built 10-78.
You are right, great sounding guitar.

Bltprf502
08-26-2011, 07:25 AM
I got one of these 5059's about five years ago. I believe that it is not solid back/sides, but rather laminated.
Serial number is 41831. Built 10-78.
You are right, great sounding guitar.

You may be right. When I got in to clean it up on the inside I was feeling both sides of the back and it was thicker than I thought. I have 12-53's on it so I can finger pick and light strum. I'm sure it might growl more if I went with mediums. My serial # is 471808. I guess I will call Alvarez. I know nothing about this piece. Thanks for posting!