All travel guitars have something special about them, since all manufacturers like to have their product stand out, in one way or another. Some of the more impressive of these instruments stand out for their tone and ability to sound exceptional The Alvarez AP66SHB Artist Series is one of them. Let’s take a in-depth look at the instrument and figure out what makes it so special, to make me want to introduce it to you.
This scaled down guitar has a smaller body size, with the shape of the body being of a parlour guitar. Parlour guitars generally had a smaller body, precisely because they were intended for travelling musicians performing in rooms that were packed with people looking to enjoy the music for the night. This means that the body of the guitar is slightly shallower, more lightweight and much easier to wield than a dreadnought guitar. This also has some sound perks, with the guitar having a great capability for resonance. While a level of projection is sacrificed for the size, this should not end up being a problem or nay musician.
The entirety of the guitar is made of mahogany. Well not the entirety, but the most important parts of it (though all parts are equal, not all of them to the sound being resonated). The top wood of the guitar is solid african mahogany, giving the guitar an exceptional resonance and sound that is very hard to forget, ever. The back and sides are mahogany as well, which results in a guitar that is sturdy, lightweight and most importantly, very warm and mellow in its sound.
The neck of the guitar is made of mahogany as well (oh what a surprise). A very slender, if slightly short neck, means you will not have a problem being comfortable with it, though you might need to adjust to the size of the frets. The fretboard is made of rosewood, and is very smooth and pleasant to play.
The hardware on this guitar is very good, especially when you think about how affordable the guitar is. The bi-level bridge of the guitar is made of rosewood, which further enhances the warm sound of the guitar, bringing its resonance to a whole new level. The nut and saddle are made of bone and it’s an addition which welcomes even more warmth into the sound of the guitar. You might even start wondering if the guitar was built with the goal of getting the most honeyed sound out of an instrument, possible. The bone is not the sturdiest material, but will last a long time, or just enough for you to get to enjoy the guitar to the fullest.
The tuners are die cast chrome and do an amazing job of staying in tune for long periods of time. Don’t fret that you will have to tune them often if you are traveling, as travel is the sole purpose the guitar was built!
The sound of the guitar is thick, full and feels like honey being poured on your soul. It is soothing, warm and smooth, perfect for a traveler attempting to express their wanderlust without words. Very expressive and beautiful, the sound is bound to stick with you for a long time after hearing it. Some may find that the higher tones of the guitar may fall a little flat, but this is not an issue many people will have with the guitar.
The guitar gets stellar marks, especially when contextualized by the incredibly affordable price sticker you will see on it. The expressive low and mid tone sound, combined with the easy build and comfortable playing, is worth a lot more than what it is being sold for. Though some of you might find the high tones lacking when compared to the rest of the sound, you should not confuse them for “bad”. The reality is that the guitar, overall sound rather good, and is adequate for all levels of players. While the highest tones might not be the guitar’s comfort zone, they will never cause you problems.
Definitely an enjoyable guitar.