The AGA99CEARSHB Artist Elite sounds lovely. It’s bright, but not overly so, with lots of middle and a clear low-end due to its MST1 bracing allowing the top to generate a lot of vibration. While most people are more familiar with koa rather than acacia, they are the same tree. Koa is an acacia too, but comes from Hawaii, whereas this acacia was grown in Taiwan and therefore called Acacia Confusa, rather than Acacia Koa. Acacia makes for a great tonewood because it performs well and looks fantastic. It is both light and stiff and resonates well. Tonally, it can deliver the sparkling trebles associated with rosewood, but it has the warmth and middle frequencies similar to a great mahogany.
Adding to the aesthetics, Alvarez finisheds off the AGA99CEARSHB Artist Elite with a lightly shaded Shadowburst crafted to leave the grain visible right to the edge where it meets flame maple binding. The overall design is completed with a slim bevel-edged armrest, single cutaway and L.R. Baggs electronics.
Artist Elite Series
In conceptualizing Artist Elite, Alvarez's goal was simple: “Produce a collection of guitars beyond comparison”. This stunning line of guitars is the culmination of years of R&D that allows Alvarez to produce custom-style instruments from amazing tonewoods with a truly radiant vibe. Artist Elite acoustic-electric guitars look amazing, sound rich and offer a level of fit and finish rarely attainable at such price points.
Master luthiers around the world have been crafting bevel edged armrest guitars for many years. The feature not only makes the guitar more comfortable to play, but also allows the maker to demonstrate their skill and craftsmanship in producing beautiful instruments.
After 50 years of making guitars, continual improvement through the use of emerging technologies, processes, and materials is still at the heart of Alvarez culture. Alvarez guitars are constructed correctly in every sense, from raw material preparation to construction and manufacturing processes. Their tonewoods are carefully cured; components such as neck blocks and wood joints are carefully designed. The painting, sanding and polishing techniques used are continually researched and developed, and the tone is impeccably crafted and married to a stable, consistent and lively sound box.
The term “solid top” refers to the soundboard of an acoustic guitar being made of solid wood, rather than being laminated. However, just because the top is solid, it does not necessarily mean the sound automatically benefits from this feature. The tone of the instrument only improves significantly when the whole guitar is built correctly to optimize the energy a solid soundboard can generate. Artist Series is built to do exactly this.
Each model is designed to get the best out of its components, and for them to work together to produce balance, lively projection and great response. These components include bracing architecture that is specifically designed for each body shape or tonal requirement. Alvarez's Bi-level bridge is designed to heighten string tension and improve sustain and response. Real bone nut and saddle, premium tonewoods and the crafted attenuated finish all further the quality of construction a positively impact the performance of this acoustic-electric steel string guitar.