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

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4.5
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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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