Alvarez has been one of the leading acoustic guitar brands in the U.S.A. and around the world for over 45 years. Its image is synonymous with quality and value. Its instruments are known for their tone and feel.
Some of the most amazing artists over the last five decades have gravitated towards the brand and its guitars. Alvarez was established in 1965 by St. Louis Music. In the late 60’s the company began to develop what turned out to be a remarkable relationship with the Japanese Master Luthier, Kazuo Yairi. Since 1935 the Yairi factory had produced world class, concert classical guitars and then in the late 60’s they began working with St. Louis Music to produce steel string acoustics.
The marriage between Yairi’s handcrafted excellence and SLM’s knowledge of acoustic instruments and the music business, was a perfect fit and brand grew incredibly quickly into one America’s most recognized acoustic guitars. We still make guitars in that very factory in Kani, Gifu, Japan. Kani is a small town tucked up in the hills near Nagoya and at 80 yeas old, Kazuo Yairi is still involved in the running of the factory on a daily basis. The bond between SLM and Yairi is underpinned by the desire to produce some of the finest guitars in the world and new construction techniques and models are in constant development. Amazing musicians such as by Johnny Cash, Crosby, Still & Nash, Jerry Garcia, Bob Weir, Carlos Santana, Paul McCartney and so many more have played Alvarez over the years and for this we are truly proud and grateful.
The 2012 Alvarez line is what we refer to as the “All-New Alvarez” which is quite a statement to make and one which we say whole heartedly, as this line up really is “all new” in many ways. In our approach to this new line up we simply went back to basics, back to pure acoustic guitar development, and that starts with the raw materials and components we chose to use. We then looked at every way possible we could in order to improve on what we already had. We sourced better wood, and more suitable materials; we got into the details and analyzed them in order to give as much as we possibly could in respect to tone, player experience, feel, playability and cosmetics. We also analyzed the market and went out to lead it. Over the past 18 months our team very naturally developed a clear and coherent vision – and that was to produce [in relation to their cost] the best sounding instruments in the world. And this is just the beginning. If you are thinking about buying a new acoustic guitar, we urge you to try one from our new line. If you have recently bought an Alvarez guitar, then we sincerely thank you. The Alvarez Team St. Louis Music