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Fireguy8402 11/19/2011

Alvarez AJ60SC : Fireguy8402's user review

« Decent Jumbo for Live Use »
4

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The AJ60SC is a full featured jumbo acoustic from Alvarez. The AJ60SC features a single cutaway jumbo body made of maple on the back and sides and has a solid Engelman spruce top. The body is fully bound and the neck has a rosewood fretboard and nickel diecast tuners. The soundhole of the guitar has a white pearl rosette. The acoustic-electric version of this guitar has the System 600TMK II electronics and the input jack is located in the bottom strap button.

UTILIZATION

This guitar is built well and takes bumps and bruises nicely. The guitar has a thicker clear coat on it, which helps in the durability department but kills a little resonance. The neck is comfortable, it isn’t too wide or too narrow and isn’t too thick or thin. It feels similar to a fatter Les Paul neck really. The electronics seem to work well for live use, but probably isn’t detailed enough for recording. You are better off sticking with a mic for recording purposes. Feedback has never been an issue with the guitar, the preamp seems to put out plenty of gain as well. Later versions of this guitar featured a built in tuner. My guitar does not have this feature since it was an earlier run, therefore I cannot speak for the accuracy of the tuner feature.

SOUNDS

The sound of this guitar is definitely darker than my dreads, but that is to be expected out of a jumbo guitar really. I think the guitar would sound better had they left off the clear coat and made it a natural unfinished guitar. I feel like the guitar is slightly choked off, but the longer I have it the better it seems to sound as the Spruce top starts to open up a little. Maybe it will just take a little while to age into something sweet. The saddle on my guitar cracked where the compensation is. I replaced this with a real camel bone saddle, sanded to fit and I can tell a difference in the tone. Before this guitar sounded somewhat muffled, now it rings out a lot more and the top end is enhanced. This isn’t a night and day difference, but if you’re looking for a little more shimmer to the high end and more direct clarity in the low in you might try upgrading to a bone saddle.

OVERALL OPINION

This is a very attractive jumbo and it does have quality electronics included. I feel it’s at the right price mark and a good value. It isn’t a high end Taylor or Martin, but I feel it’s steps above what Fender and Washburn are offering in the same price range. When people ask me for a suggestion for a mid-priced guitar for playing out I always point them to Alvarez. They make great gigging guitars. They have enough good tone to get you a decent sound, and they don’t cost an arm and a leg. For playing out I would pick this guitar up again, but if I were looking for one guitar for recording and acoustic playing only I would probably go for a slightly more expensive solid wood guitar without this finish and electronics like a lower lined Martin. In this price range the Alvarez AJ60SC really is a good value for a mid level instrument.