Alvarez RF26CESB Review & Prices

Alvarez RF26CESB Review
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  • From Alvarez's 2021 Regent series
  • Made in China
  • 6 strings
  • 25"'' scale
  • 14.96" Fretboard Radius
  • Spruce top
  • African Mahogany back
  • African Mahogany sides
  • Mahogany neck
  • Mahogany fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: SYS250 (Preamp/Active)
  • Bi-Level bridge
  • Acoustic Alvarez Set neck
  • 20 Medium frets
  • Premium Chrome Die Cast tuners
  • Compare Specs >

Our Scores and Tone Evaluation

Playability 77
Sound 81
Build quality 65
Value for money 84
Overall Score 74
Tone Evaluation
  • Heavy Metal
  • Hard Rock
  • Jazz
  • Blues
  • Funk
  • Country
Strengths & Weaknesses
Alvarez RF26CESB
  • Expensive Wood
  • Synthetic Bone Nut
  • Electronics
  • Synthetic Bone Saddle
  • Cheap Fret Wire (NS)
  • No Locking Tuners
  • Made in China
  • No Top Brand Pickups
  • Laminated Top Wood
  • Laminated Side Wood
  • Laminated Back Wood
  • No Compound Radius Fretboard
  • No 21:1 Tuner Ratio
  • No Strap Lock

Price Overview

Its average competitor's price is $430, which means that the Alvarez RF26CESB is around 33% cheaper than the competition. This takes into account all instruments of the same category in our database with 6 strings and Fixed bridge that are made in China.

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Your feedback

Not all instruments are created equally. That's why it's important to have different opinions. Here's what our users who have played this instrument say. If you've played it before, help others by voting below!

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Is it Easy to Play?

The Alvarez RF26CESB meets 4 out of our 8 criteria items for beginner friendliness, which means that it's not bad for beginners, but it could be better. This takes into account the type of frets, scale length, nut width, bridge type, fretboard radius, and neck profile to determine the easiest combination for new players to get used to.

New Player Friendliness

Alvarez RF26CESB
  • Comfortable shape
  • Easy-to-use bridge
  • Tall frets
  • Comfortable neck
  • Comfortable fretboard
  • Narrow nut
  • Short scale
  • Soft Strings
  • Locking tuners

Hand Size Comfortability

After taking into account the neck profile, scale size, fretboard radius, and nut width, we can conclude that the Alvarez RF26CESB's construction favors people with relatively small hands.

Nevertheless, this comes down in the end to personal preference. Make sure you test this guitar—or another one with similar characteristics—before buying.

Big Hands
Small Hands

Scale Length

Scale length is the distance the strings will span between the bridge and the nut. It can tell you a lot about the overall playability and tone of the instrument. A longer scale length means longer distance between frets, brighter tone and more string tension—which means lower action, but more difficult bending of the strings.

Here's the Alvarez RF26CESB's 25" scale length compared to other common sizes:

Alvarez RF26CESB Scale Length Comparison
Alvarez RF26CESB's scale length (at the top) compared to other popular sizes

This is the scale found in most PRS guitars, and it's right between the length of most Stratocasters and Les Pauls.

The scale length will affect the separation of the frets, the string tension, and even the tone of the guitar. The longer the scale, the more separated the frets are, which makes it a bit harder to move fast on the fretboard. Also, the higher tension of the strings will make them feel stiffer, so bending will require more strength. However, a longer scale also allows you to lower the action of the strings and make them closer to the fretboard, which makes them easier to press. Finally, the tone will also sound brighter with a longer scale.

A 25'' scale makes all of this feel right between a Stratocaster (longer scale) and a Les Paul (shorter scale).

Don't forget that you can also affect the tension of the strings by changing your string gauge.

More with the same scale length:

Neck Profile

Alvarez RF26CESB Neck Profile
Alvarez RF26CESB's neck profile

The neck profile tells you the thickness (neck depth) and shape in cross section. Every difference will completely change the feeling and comfortability of the neck. This is a highly subjective thing, but most players indeed prefer certain types of necks (like Cs and Ds) because they feel nice in most hands.

It has a D type neck. It's similar to a C shape, and it's one of the most common shapes right now. It's a bit flatter and thinner, even though sometimes it has a bit more shoulders. It's a fast type of neck that is comfortable, and shredders love it.

More for different hand sizes

Fretboard Radius

When it comes to fingerboard radius, personal preference will dictate which one is better for you. However, most people seem to agree that a more curved (lower) radius will make it easier to play chords while a less curved (higher) radius is better for soloing and bending.

The Alvarez RF26CESB has a 14.96" fingerboard radius.

Here's an image comparing this fretboard radius to other popular choices:

Alvarez RF26CESB Fretboard Radius Comparison with Fender Stratocaster and Gibson Les Paul
Alvarez RF26CESB's fretboard radius compared to others

Compound radius fingerboards give the best of both worlds. Unfortunately, the Alvarez RF26CESB has the same radius across the board.

More with the same fretboard radius:

Playability compared to main competitors

25'' Scale Length
D Neck Profile
1.693'' Nut Width
14.96'' Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.732'' Nut Width
15.748'' Fretboard Radius
25.3'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.772'' Nut Width
15.748'' Fretboard Radius
24.803'' Scale Length
D Neck Profile
1.75'' Nut Width
14.96'' Fretboard Radius
25.6'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.732'' Nut Width
15.748'' Fretboard Radius

Nut Width

Alvarez RF26CESB Nut Width
Alvarez RF26CESB Nut Width

The Alvarez RF26CESB has a nut width of 43mm (1.693''). This is within the most common range of nut widths for a 6-string guitar. It offers a good balance of string separation at the nut. It's the size that most guitarists prefer as it gives them just enough space to play open chords without muting the strings, but without spreading the strings too wide and making bar chords difficult to perform.

Frets

It comes with nickel silver frets, so they won't last as long as stainless steel frets. If you use your instrument a lot, you might need to replace the frets after a few years. But this is unlikely as most people change instruments before this happens.

More with the same amount of frets:

Fret Size

Alvarez RF26CESB Fret Size Comparison
Alvarez RF26CESB's fret size (in orange) compared to other popular sizes

Finally, let's talk about fret size. Some people prefer tall frets because it's easier to press the strings and perform bends since there's less friction against the fretboard. On the other hand, some people like shorter frets because they like to touch the fretboard when playing, or because they got heavy hands and tend to press too much on the string and alter the of the note pitch accidently.

The Alvarez RF26CESB's frets are Medium size. With medium frets, you can feel the fretboard more than with jumbo frets, but it's still easier to press the strings cleanly than with small frets; notes might change their pitch just slightly if you press hard on the fret. Also, if you need to do some fret leveling after years of playing, you'll have some room to sand them down without having to replace them.

Playability Score

Bending & Vibrato Ease 80
Chord Playability 70
Solo Playability 80
Playability 77

Tone Analysis

The type of wood and even the shape of the body will have a lot of influence in the final tone of an acoustic guitar. Here's we'll talk about what kind of tone you can expect from its specs.

Wood

Spruce wood pattern used for guitar building
Spruce Top
Mahogany wood pattern used for guitar building
Mahogany Back, Sides, Neck, Fretboard

Spruce Top: This wood has a light color with tight grain patterns. It's very stiff but relatively light. It's known for producing a well-rounded tone with a broad dynamic range.

Mahogany Back, Sides, Neck and Fretboard: This is the type of wood found in many top-of-the-line guitars, so that's a positive point for the build quality. This red-looking wood Mahogany is found in Africa and Central America and has great sustain and a warm tone due to its high density. The downside about this type of wood is that it's relatively heavy.

More made with the same wood:

Pickups

This guitar comes with preamp pickups that will allow you to connect it directly to an amplifier and record with it, or use it live.

Sound Score

Sustain 70
Versatility 85
Tuning Stability 70
Sound 81

Build Quality Analysis

Country of Origin

Knowing where the instrument is produced is a good way to know how well it's built. Some manufacturing countries are known for having higher quality standards. For example, most expensive instruments are made in the US or Japan, but there are some exceptionally great countries—like South Korea—that are building a good reputation.

The Alvarez RF26CESB is made in China. So you can expect lower build quality when compared to others made in Korea, Japan or the United States. Guitars made in this country are meant for mass production, which translates into less attention to detail and quality control. This doesn't mean the product is made poorly at all. Chinese products have a bad reputation since long ago, but they've definitely improved a lot the last few years.

Bridge

Bi-Level: The advantage of fixed bridges is that they don't require any kind of set-up. This makes it extremely easy when changing strings because you don't need to adjust anything besides tuning the guitar. Also, the fact that the bridge is directly attached to the body will help to increase sustain. The disadvantage is the lack of versatility since you can't create the same vibrato effects as with tremolo bridges.

Nut Material

Another important thing to analyze is the nut material, as it's one of the most important aspects that can affect the sound and playability of your guitar. A well-cut nut will make sure it stays in tune and will make it more comfortable to play.

In this case, the Alvarez RF26CESB has a Synthetic Bone nut. One of the best nuts you can have is a Bone nut thanks to their rich tonality and resistance. The problem is that they're a natural material, so different bone nuts will have inconsistent tonal properties. In other words, one bone nut might not sound as well as the other even when they're made from the same piece. Synthetic bone helps with this by giving you a high-quality, consistent nut that resembles the tone produced by bone.

More with the same nut material:

Build Quality Score

Quality of materials 66
Features 75
Quality Control 55
Build Quality 65

All Specs

Alvarez RF26CESB
General
Brand: Alvarez
Year: 2021
Configuration:
Strings: 6
Made in: China
Series: Regent
Colors: Sunburst
Left-Handed Version: No
Body
Type: Hollowbody
Body Material: Spruce
Bridge: Bi-Level
Neck
Neck Joint: Set
Tuners: Premium Chrome Die Cast
Fretboard: Mahogany
Neck Material: Mahogany
Decoration: White Dots
Scale Size: 25"
Shape: Acoustic Alvarez
Frets: 20 Medium
Fretboard Radius: 14.96"
Nut: Synthetic Bone
Nut Width: 43mm (1.693'')
Electronics
Switch: 0 Way
Knobs:
Volume Controls: 0
Tone Controls: 0
Bridge Pickup: SYS250 (Preamp / Active)

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