Alvarez/Alvarez-Yairi quality?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by EagleDo, May 23, 2015.

  1. EagleDo

    EagleDo Member

    Messages:
    686
    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2012
    Anybody know anything about these guitars? All the ones I see start with “DY” but I can’t seem to find a list anywhere of exactly what the different models are. How can I tell which ones are higher quality, and whats the difference between “alvarez” and “alvarez-yairi”?
     
  2. 59burst

    59burst Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,370
    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2004
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada!
    I have a 1987 Alvarez-Yairi DY62C that I purchased new in 1988. It was made in Japan and has K. Yairi's name woodburned on it. I think the Alvarez-Yairi are made in Japan, but newer Alvarez are made elsewhere in Asia.

    It is the guitar I've had the longest. It plays and sounds incredible, and of course, it is well-broken in and well-played. They seem to be reasonably priced on the used market, and I'd encourage anyone looking for a good acoustic to check them out. FWIW, my other acoustic is a Collings so I have a sense of what a great acoustic plays and sounds like. :)
     
  3. archey

    archey Member

    Messages:
    5,958
    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2013
    Location:
    Indiana
    Yairi's are great guitars. They can be had fairly cheap quite often. Most are solid top and laminate back and sides.
     
  4. EagleDo

    EagleDo Member

    Messages:
    686
    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2012
    Any idea how I can tell the difference? Is there a list of the models anywhere?
     
  5. madmarcus1960

    madmarcus1960 Supporting Member

    Messages:
    497
    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2011
    Location:
    Seacoast, NH
    Yairi's have an interlocked A+Y on the headstock. I have an 1981 DY-74 which their version of a Martin D-28, big boy dreadnaught. Still sounds better and plays better than most other acoustics I've owned or tried.
     
  6. Bob Pollock

    Bob Pollock Supporting Member

    Messages:
    4,225
    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2007
    Location:
    Drifting the High Plains
    The headstock logo is different as stated above. I have an '80 DY-57S.
    [​IMG]
    Alvarez Yairi = A/Y
    [​IMG]
    Alvarez = A / Inverted A

    The Yairi's were made by hand in Japan, and are arguably on par with US built guitars.
    The Alvarez's were outsourced by the distributor. St. Louis Music distributed both.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2015
  7. misterturtlehead

    misterturtlehead Member

    Messages:
    3,835
    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2013
    I have a small bodied, most likely OOO-sized, early 1970s Alvarez acoustic. The headstock just says Alvarez with no fancy decorations. It is very likely one of their lower end models from the time because it has really cheap, but working, tuners. I tried it out in the acoustic room of a used musical equipment store near me. It played well and sounded nice. At first I couldn't believe how good it sounded because it was only $100 and looked like a cheap acoustic. But after awhile I realized that it wasn't just in my head. It really did sound that good. I bought it and still have it.
     
  8. Whitecat

    Whitecat Member

    Messages:
    1,329
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2013
    K Yairi's USP is the way they handle wood... they stockpile years ahead of time and air dry it rather than kiln dry, which takes substantially longer. So a 'new' guitar might have 15-20 year old timbers. I think that's pretty cool.
     
  9. ieso

    ieso Member

    Messages:
    1,834
    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2007
    Location:
    Central MA
    I owned two Japanese Yairi acoustics back in the day and they were fantastic guitars. To my ears, all Yairi have a kind of tonal family resemblance: rich mids, velvet top end, and subdued bass. Very balanced.

    They had neck widths that did work well for my style in the end so I went with a Martin when I replaced them.

    Had some students with the plain old Alvarez brand name (make in Taiwan or something) and they were really good for the money.
     
  10. JES1680

    JES1680 Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,681
    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2004
    Location:
    MPLS
    I had a Dy-71 which was Koa and sounded amazing. Didn't play as well as a modern Taylor or Martin, but I still miss the sound of that dreadnaught.
     
  11. derekd

    derekd Supporting Member

    Messages:
    34,719
    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2007
    Location:
    In a van down by the river
    I have a Bob Weir model OM cutaway 12 string Yairi. Wonderful instrument.
     
  12. Guitarworks

    Guitarworks Member

    Messages:
    8,127
    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2007
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    I own a 2004 Alvarez PD-90S which I bought new that is the 3rd best acoustic guitar I've ever played, behind a Martin D-28 and a Gibson AJ. It's just fantastic. Very comfortable mahogany neck, mahogany back & sides, bearclaw spruce top. The neck joint angle is spot-on - neither under-set nor over-set, allowing the action to be set perfectly. The sound is well-balanced with full, warm lows, subtle mids, and clear, well-defined highs. The bass response is slightly less authoritative than the D-28, and the projection is slightly less 'cannon-like' than an AJ, but overall, I'm really happy with the Alvarez. It's a great guitar and it's not going anywhere.
     

Share This Page