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Old 10-07-2019, 09:13 AM
sjm1580 sjm1580 is offline
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Default Alvarez Masterworks MPA-70 Questions

Hoping to get feedback on this guitar. I know it won't have the low end of a D-28, but just overall opinions for strumming and fingerstyle.

If known, how would this compare to an Eastman E20P as this is my other choice.

Thank you!
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Old 10-07-2019, 12:09 PM
jseth jseth is offline
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Not sure which model you mean? If you're talking about the dreadnought Masterworks Alvarez, I've played a number of them and been VERY impressed...

Beautiful guitars; well-made and finished... but the sound is the most impressive aspect of them!

Loud, articulate and very nice tone, across the spectrum. My first impressions were that one of these would stand up easily to any of the newer Martin D-18s I've played. Obviously built for more strumming and flatpicking, I believe that it's resonant and responsive enough for fingerstyle...

At <$600 (with a REALLY nice hard shell case), it is insanely priced for an all-solid wood guitar! Open-back Waverly tuners, too!
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Old 10-07-2019, 12:17 PM
sjm1580 sjm1580 is offline
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Originally Posted by jseth View Post
Not sure which model you mean? If you're talking about the dreadnought Masterworks Alvarez, I've played a number of them and been VERY impressed...

Beautiful guitars; well-made and finished... but the sound is the most impressive aspect of them!

Loud, articulate and very nice tone, across the spectrum. My first impressions were that one of these would stand up easily to any of the newer Martin D-18s I've played. Obviously built for more strumming and flatpicking, I believe that it's resonant and responsive enough for fingerstyle...

At <$600 (with a REALLY nice hard shell case), it is insanely priced for an all-solid wood guitar! Open-back Waverly tuners, too!
The MPA70 is an all solid wood parlor. I've heard nothing but good things about the Masterworks but cannot find much on the Masterworks parlor.
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Old 10-07-2019, 01:05 PM
HeyMikey HeyMikey is offline
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I have the MFA-70 which is a slightly large OM size and its a cannon. Loud, crisp and clear with good rosewood overtones. Not woody and lush like a Martin. Its a big, forward sounding guitar for it’s size. I don’t know if the parlor would be similar.
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1979 Guild F112 SB, 1996 Guild A50, 2011 Guild F30CE, 2012 Guild F30R, 2015 Epiphone ES339 Pro. Sold: 2015 Martin OM28 VTS, 2016 Alvarez AF60, 1990 Gibson ES347

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Old 10-07-2019, 01:17 PM
sjm1580 sjm1580 is offline
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Originally Posted by HeyMikey View Post
I have the MFA-70 which is a slightly large OM size and its a cannon. Loud, crisp and clear with good rosewood overtones. Not woody and lush like a Martin. Its a big, forward sounding guitar for itís size. I donít know if the parlor would be similar.
Thank you, good to know.
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Old 10-07-2019, 06:42 PM
Oldguy64 Oldguy64 is offline
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For my fiftieth birthday I bought an Alvarez MD70CE.
I have a number of Alvarez guitars.
Iíve only ever gotten rid of one of the nine Iíve owned, and donít miss it.
(That guitar hated me from the moment I Bought a Ovation).
But Iíve given one to a grand child. And if Iíd had more time to look, Iíd probably have kept his RF26, and gotten him something different.
The Masterworks donít have to take a backseat to ANY similar guitar coating twice as much. And only a few that cost Three to four times as much.
It is fortunate for the company that they are getting more of the recognition they deserve.
But if you find you love them....buy now and buy often.
If Yairi guitars are any indication...prices will start
To reflect their reputation.
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Old 10-07-2019, 11:03 PM
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RGWelch RGWelch is offline
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I have an MPA-70, and can highly recommend it. I paid $800 for mine, but I would easily compare it to guitars costing much more. Including the Eastman E20P which I did consider and played. I got the MPA-70, so that will tell you something about which I prefer, though I'll admit the price was part of the decision. I got the Alvarez used, the Eastman I looked at was new and retail was $1,200.

I didn't get to play the two side by side, so I can't really tell you the exact difference in sound. But they are very similar guitars. I really don't think you can go wrong with either one. For picking, the MPA-70 really shines. I don't play it with a pick, I have other guitars for that, but I have tried it and it holds up well to strumming. Since it doesn't have a pickguard, I don't care to strum it. I got it specifically for finger picking, and it sings. Has a bright tone, but solid bass response too. A lot of depth to the sound. This isn't a small parlor guitar, though it's smaller than an OM. It's really similar in size to an OO guitar.

The finish on it is excellent, the pearl inlay around the sound hole and around the top is a high grade, and gives it a high $ look. The gloss finish is superb. The only defect I've found is a very small bump in the back of the neck behind the first fret. It's ever so small, and I've never felt it while playing, not that it would likely bother me if I did. Other than this insignificant imperfection, I can find nothing wrong with it.

I don't think this guitar is made anymore, so if you can find one used in good shape, it's worth picking up. (They do make the MPA66, all Mahogany, and maybe a MPA60 model still?) Mine is a few years old I think, maybe a 2015 model? I think it's a real bargain at anything under $1,000, which is what it should sell for if you can find one. I've seen them as low as $700, but not sure of the condition at that price. If you want a new parlor with spruce top & rosewood b&s all solid, you'll have to get an Eastman E20P, which at $1,200 is still a good guitar buy. You would be getting a warranty with that at least. But as long as you can either check out the guitar before hand, or have a return option, I can see no reason not to try a used Alvarez.
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Old 10-07-2019, 11:40 PM
PTL PTL is offline
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I believe that the Alvarez Masterworks likely provide some of the best values in their price categories. $600 and under for acoustics, $700 and under with pick-up.

Their all mahogany models really are remarkable. I've had extensive experience with the Dreadnought and the Grand Auditorium versions.

Consider the $600 MDA66SHB - an all mahogany dreadnought. Remarkable shimmery, reverby, round tonality. A pleasure to fingerstyle on and properly projective. Wonderful tone.

AND you get:

1. An elegantly beautiful cream with tan trimming arched hardshell case that sells for $150. No desire to upgrade the case. This effectively makes the guitar a $450 net cost instrument.

2. All solid wood mahogany.

3. Forward shifted scalloped bracing that is the same with their top end Yairi that are multiple thousands of dollars. That's one thing I respect about Alvarez - they give you the best bracing pattern that they like without forcing you to pay thousands to get a particular type of bracing position and scalloping. The production cost doesn't change whether the X brace is forward shifted or not so Alvarez just gives it to you. This is a very different approach from the major brand that we all know of. I REALLY respect Alvarez for this.

4. Bone nut and saddle. Both examples I spent a lot of time with had very high saddles too. So no upgrades to be done.

5. Sunburst gloss finish. Nicely done though the finish is not of the caliber of the high end American companies.

6. Nice action out of the box - most never have to have a set up done out of the box. So no set up charges.

7. Abalone rosette.

8. Abalone trim around the top binding. (seriously?)

9. Gold plated tuners with real EBONY buttons. (seriously?)

10. Ebony buttons w. abalone inlay.

11. D'Addario EXP16 strings. I like these.

About the only cost cutting feature is the rosewood fretboard and bridge.

Again, all these are pointless IF the tone is not wonderful. They are. BUT you do need to break the guitars in and it can really improve dramatically.

I think I may have just helped Alvarez market their Masterworks instruments. Really, you get one and the only thing you may want to change is the strings to your preference.

Hope this helps.

Last edited by PTL; 10-08-2019 at 03:31 AM.
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Old 10-08-2019, 06:06 AM
sjm1580 sjm1580 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RGWelch View Post
I have an MPA-70, and can highly recommend it. I paid $800 for mine, but I would easily compare it to guitars costing much more. Including the Eastman E20P which I did consider and played. I got the MPA-70, so that will tell you something about which I prefer, though I'll admit the price was part of the decision. I got the Alvarez used, the Eastman I looked at was new and retail was $1,200.

I didn't get to play the two side by side, so I can't really tell you the exact difference in sound. But they are very similar guitars. I really don't think you can go wrong with either one. For picking, the MPA-70 really shines. I don't play it with a pick, I have other guitars for that, but I have tried it and it holds up well to strumming. Since it doesn't have a pickguard, I don't care to strum it. I got it specifically for finger picking, and it sings. Has a bright tone, but solid bass response too. A lot of depth to the sound. This isn't a small parlor guitar, though it's smaller than an OM. It's really similar in size to an OO guitar.

The finish on it is excellent, the pearl inlay around the sound hole and around the top is a high grade, and gives it a high $ look. The gloss finish is superb. The only defect I've found is a very small bump in the back of the neck behind the first fret. It's ever so small, and I've never felt it while playing, not that it would likely bother me if I did. Other than this insignificant imperfection, I can find nothing wrong with it.

I don't think this guitar is made anymore, so if you can find one used in good shape, it's worth picking up. (They do make the MPA66, all Mahogany, and maybe a MPA60 model still?) Mine is a few years old I think, maybe a 2015 model? I think it's a real bargain at anything under $1,000, which is what it should sell for if you can find one. I've seen them as low as $700, but not sure of the condition at that price. If you want a new parlor with spruce top & rosewood b&s all solid, you'll have to get an Eastman E20P, which at $1,200 is still a good guitar buy. You would be getting a warranty with that at least. But as long as you can either check out the guitar before hand, or have a return option, I can see no reason not to try a used Alvarez.
Thank you so much. I was ready to pull the trigger on on an MPA70 in excellent shape. I decided to hold off and get opinions here and someone walked into the shop and bought it. I'll keep looking for one. Again thank you very much for the information!
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Old 10-08-2019, 01:10 PM
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Thank you so much. I was ready to pull the trigger on on an MPA70 in excellent shape. I decided to hold off and get opinions here and someone walked into the shop and bought it. I'll keep looking for one. Again thank you very much for the information!
Just curious, was it a new or used model they had in the store? And what were they selling it for? I don't know when they quit making them, but I don't think it was all that long ago. I suspect it was because they ran out of stock on the rosewood. There may still be some available lingering around in some stores somewhere, but imagine there are very few.

I would second the opinion that the MPA66 is worth looking at if you find one of those. I have the Yairi FYM66HD and it's superb. The reason I got the MPA70 instead of the MPA66 was because I already had the Yairi and wanted something with a different tone. But if I had to only keep one, it would be the Yairi...which is a nicer guitar, but cost over $2k.
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Old 10-08-2019, 01:59 PM
sjm1580 sjm1580 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RGWelch View Post
Just curious, was it a new or used model they had in the store? And what were they selling it for? I don't know when they quit making them, but I don't think it was all that long ago. I suspect it was because they ran out of stock on the rosewood. There may still be some available lingering around in some stores somewhere, but imagine there are very few.

I would second the opinion that the MPA66 is worth looking at if you find one of those. I have the Yairi FYM66HD and it's superb. The reason I got the MPA70 instead of the MPA66 was because I already had the Yairi and wanted something with a different tone. But if I had to only keep one, it would be the Yairi...which is a nicer guitar, but cost over $2k.
It was a used model in "mint" condition for $725 plus shipping. I've looked around and couldn't find any on Reverb (except in Germany). I am going to purchase an Eastman E20P that has a repaired crack from the bridge. I has been cleated and looks really good besides that for a very reasonable price.
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Old 10-08-2019, 02:31 PM
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Originally Posted by sjm1580 View Post
It was a used model in "mint" condition for $725 plus shipping. I've looked around and couldn't find any on Reverb (except in Germany). I am going to purchase an Eastman E20P that has a repaired crack from the bridge. I has been cleated and looks really good besides that for a very reasonable price.
If the price is right, that could be a good deal on the E20P. I think the MPA70 is getting hard to find, and at $725 it's a bargain, so probably be a long wait for another opportunity like that to come along. If you are comfortable with the Eastman, get it, I'm sure you'll enjoy it if the repair is good.
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Old 10-08-2019, 02:36 PM
sjm1580 sjm1580 is offline
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Originally Posted by RGWelch View Post
If the price is right, that could be a good deal on the E20P. I think the MPA70 is getting hard to find, and at $725 it's a bargain, so probably be a long wait for another opportunity like that to come along. If you are comfortable with the Eastman, get it, I'm sure you'll enjoy it if the repair is good.
Right after I replied to you and one on the east coast of Florida popped up for $749 plus shipping. Eastman v Alvarez???
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Old 10-08-2019, 03:52 PM
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Right after I replied to you and one on the east coast of Florida popped up for $749 plus shipping. Eastman v Alvarez???
Alvarez is harder to find. If the Eastman deal isn't too good price wise to pass on, get the Alvarez, assuming you can return it if there is a problem. If there is, you can probably still find an E20p somewhere.
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Old 10-08-2019, 04:02 PM
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Alvarez is harder to find. If the Eastman deal isn't too good price wise to pass on, get the Alvarez, assuming you can return it if there is a problem. If there is, you can probably still find an E20p somewhere.
Robert, sent you a pm.
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