2/26/2015

2000s Alvarez AD65CE Hollowbody Electric/Acoustic Guitar




What an interesting guitar this one is! At first glance this looks like a round-shouldered (or gypsy-jazz?) version of an early Gibson ES-175... especially with the P-90 pickup located at the neck/mid position. Once you have it in your hands, though, you notice the big differences. These include a bridge loaded with an acoustic-style piezo pickup, a long 25.5" Fender-style scale length, and a fretboard extension that's quite raised (in the style of a modern "jazz" hollowbody archtop) and fretted right up to the pickup (22 frets).

Apparently these weren't made in large numbers and date from the early 2000s. I have no idea whether they were built in Korea or China, though. This one lacks an intact label in the f-hole and so there's no useful reference as far as dating it goes. What I can say is that it's in lightly-used condition with minor wear to the frets but (after a quick setup) perfect playability.


The full-hollow 16" wide body is laminate all-over with spruce on the top and maple for the back and sides. It has decent acoustic volume because of its construction and feels roughly comparable to old Gibsons as far as how it sits in the lap.

I think it's a pretty handsome instrument... quirky with the electric/piezo pickup combination (perhaps going after that "clean jazz" or "Taylor T5" market?)... but has a nice feel and build quality that's surprisingly-excellent. I didn't have any fuss with the truss rod during setup and it's rocking a "vintage rockabilly" or "jazz" gauged (12s, roundwound) strings with a wound G.


The bound fretboard and headstock really pops against the rosewood, huh?

The plastic nut is 1 11/16" in width and the back profile to the neck is vaguely 50s/60s Gibson in feel.


The very minor wear to the frets is not effecting playability at all. Like most Alvarez products, this guitar also has no board inlay save the 12th fret "Volvo stripe" marker.



I love P-90s on "jazzboxes." So, so much more lively than your average humbucker-equipped model.


The piezo-equipped bridge is intonated for a wound G string as you'd expect on a guitar like this.


This has two volume controls (one for each pickup) and a tone knob. Sending the signal to a single amp sounds great when using a clean, full, hifi tone but the "acoustic piezo" pickup isn't as flattering through a typical guitar amp sound.


I like the Gibsonesque tail.


While the maple back and sides aren't fancy and full of flame, the blonde look is easy on the eyes.



These are Kluson Deluxe tuners with cream buttons.

The neck construction is 3-piece maple that goes right through the headstock and means this has plenty of strength and stability.





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