acoustic review

A mid-priced take on a slotted-headstock, 12-fret dreadnought with big bass and a lot of class.

Solid build. Big bass response. Great finish. Easy-to-play neck.

Fourteen-fret dread fans may miss some sustain and high-end resonance.

$999

Alvarez Masterworks MDR70ESB
alvarezguitars.com

4
4.5
4
4

Mid-priced acoustic guitars are a tricky proposition. The maker has the unenviable task of building a guitar that's affordable but upmarket enough in sound and playability to justify spending what's still a considerable chunk of change. That design directive generally means compromise at every turn. So, when I received the Alvarez Masterworks MDR70ESB, I thought a lot about what concessions Alvarez might have made. But sitting there in the case, everything about this guitar's looks belie its $999 street price. From its 12-fret neck, cool vintage sunburst, all-solid spruce and rosewood construction, slotted headstock, and hip 12th-fret inlay, the Alvarez sets up big expectations.

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Photo 1

All photos courtesy SINGLECOIL (www.singlecoil.com)

We're getting close to the end of our journey. We've aged most of the metal parts on our project guitar, so now let's take care of the output jack, knobs, back plate, and pickguard.

Hello and welcome back to Mod Garage. This month, we'll continue with the aging process of our Harley Benton DC-Junior project guitar (which is a copy of a 1958 Les Paul Junior Double Cut), taking a closer look at the pickguard while aging the rest of the hardware discussed in the last part of this series ["DIY Relic'ing: Harley Benton DC-Junior Electronics"]. If you need a refresher on our aging process for hardware, refer back to "DIY Relic'ing: Break the Shine" for guidance. You can see the parts we'll be discussing today in their "finished" form, aka relic'd, in Photo 1.

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