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Rating and Reviews: Alvarez AP66E Parlor

Take this parlor-sized guitar to the stage, and you can expect nothing but big sound thanks to its BBand SYS550 preamp with built-in tuner.

User Ratings
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Sound
Features
Ease of Use
Quality
Value
Manufacturer Support
The Wow Factor
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"I Really Like Ths Guitar" submitted June 7, 2015

By Bill Jones in Gilroy, CA
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Musical Background: Playing since I was ten.
Music Style: Folk, Jug Band, Cajun, Country Rock, "Ethnic."
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Overall: I'd been researching a parlor guitar for some time prior to this. I had basically settled on a Washburn because I'd been able to play one in a Guitar Center and it sounded pretty good. But I knew that whatever I was going to get, I'd get it from Zzounds because, well- the payment plan. After searching the site for a while I started looking closely at the Alvarez AP66E. I was attracted by other reviews and I really wanted electronics onboard so I could stop chasing microphones around on stage. I saw a lot of videos on Youtube, but the truth is, I settled on this guitar without ever playing one.I expected it to sound good due to the videos I'd seen- but it sounded better than that. Punchy and bright and really easy to play. I tuned it right out of the box, (on the porch actually,) and everything worked nicely. I plugged it into some amps and I loved how it responds. I have another mahogany top guitar, so I wasn't worried about that- very warm and resonant; and it looks gorgeous. I'm leaving a lot out, but I have to say I really like this guitar...Things are mellowing out finally, but for a while there I was neglecting my other instruments...
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"Alvarez AP66E" submitted November 9, 2015

By Jay S in Birmingham, AL
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Musical Background: 30+ years
Music Style: Blues, fingerstyle acoustic
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Overall: I didn't want to spend a lot on my first parlor because I wasn's sure if I'd like a small bodied acoustic. Price on this model was very reasonable and the reviews I read sealed the deal. The pictures don't do the guitar justice; this is a very nice looking instrument- love the slotted headstock. Out of the box, however, this was the worst "set-up" I'd ever seen. Don't know what kind of strings it shipped with, but a new set of Elixirs was the first order of business. (Personal preference). Intonation was horrible, action was terrible. I realize that for the money, they're not going to go the extra mile for proper adjustment, but this was really bad- initially regretted the purchase. After a trip to my favorite local luthier however, totally different story. This guitar is a pure joy to play. It has a beautiful tone, is extremely responsive to hammer-ons and pull-offs, and the short neck really lends itself to bending the strings for playing blues.The electronics dial in very nice when performing, and the small parlor size is amazingly comfortable for sittin' and pickin'. This guitar is a very good value. You will not regret the purchase, just plan on a trip to your luthier as soon as it arrives. Gave a 1 on Manufacturer Support only because I haven't dealt with them and a rating is required.
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"Can't put down" submitted May 6, 2018

By Andrew D in Mundelein, IL
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Musical Background: recording and gigs
Music Style: blues, jazz, rock
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Overall: I would consider myself lucky to own this guitar. Out of the box, the action was perfect and the strings were good (I haven't changed them). Sound quality for this guitar superb and well balanced. I was set on to purchase a Taylor 214ce but after a final test of the taylor. I saw this guitar and just wondered how a parlor guitar sounds like. Tested and it felt right to my senses. Tested another parlor guitar, in just two chords returned it and did a comparison between the Taylor and Alvarez. I normally don't go for looks when buying a guitar but the finish on Alvarez has a big part. I never thought of owning an Alvarez but because of the comfort, I did. I can't put it down and very easy to play on. For some reason my finger tips don't feel sore after hours of playing. Most of my guitar friends were surprised by the balance, tonality, comfort and resonance of this guitar. Well worth the money.
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"Like A Little Jewel" submitted March 5, 2015

By Bill J in Gilroy, CA
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Musical Background: Playing for forty years- professionally and informally.
Music Style: A lot of "roots," type music. Blues, Folk, Country, Cajun, "ethnic."
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Sound: Right away I was taken by the acoustic sustain. The box really rings. The action is right where I need it to access the whole neck. There was the ever-so-slightest slap of strings on fretboard, but it was just how I like it. I'm sure you could set the action higher by adjusting the truss rod. Feature: The on-board tuner works great. Often when I tune with a machine I have a disagreement between what IT says and what my ear tells me. This seems right on target.The sound gear is also good- there's even a sound "notch" and "presence" control. Also, I appreciate having TWO power outlets that are NOT on the strap-button. Ease of Use: I find this a very playable guitar. Bright acoustic sound and electric sound that's as good as your equipment. I have a Fender Acoustasonic Junior, and have tried both instrument and mic channels with this guitar and the possibilities seem endless.. I also tried it mic'd with a Shure 57 and it's bright and full sounding. Quality: I was immediately impressed by how beautiful it is. The upper bout is a little less than ten inches across, so it's as small as you'd expect a parlor guitar to be. A well-laid clear coat finish really highlight the wood. The head-stock inlay and abalone sound-hole inlay is pretty, and just about all I'd want on a guitar. The tuners look good- really everything looks good on this instrument. Value: I am reading reviews where people who own much more expensive guitars think this one is better or just as good. I agree. I have spent a long time trying out parlor guitars in high-end stores, and I very seriously like this one- the one that was delivered to my house YESTERDAY- the best. Manufacturer Support: No problems with the company. It was zZounds.com, who not only got this instrument to me in two days, but extended me CREDIT to buy it. It wasn't expensive at $459.99, and still, I was able to buy it making four payments with no interest. This makes it possible for anyone to own a good quality musical instrument. Frankly, I don't think anyone else is doing that... The Wow Factor: I am certain this is going to become my composer's guitar. The ease of handling and the way you can take it anywhere is going to make it a constant companion. I will say, just so this doesn't sound too over-the-top that I wasn't too impressed with the manufacturer's warranty. Nobody walks around with their receipt for the rest of their lives- and, well that's what serial numbers are for. Oh well, I don't expect anything to go wrong with it anyway... Overall: Well, I knew I was going to like this guitar, but I didn't expect it to be as sweet as it is. I got it out of the box right on the porch and after a few key turns I was playing it. It was bright sounding in just the way I hoped it would be. I plugged it in and was even more impressed. I think people want to use terms like, "beginner" or "starter" guitar- but I think it's as good as anything I've ever played like it.
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