Alvarez RS26 Review & Prices

Alvarez RS26 Review
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  • From Alvarez's 2019 Regent series
  • Made in China
  • 6 strings
  • 23.465"'' scale
  • 14.96" Fretboard Radius
  • Spruce top
  • African Mahogany back
  • African Mahogany sides
  • Mahogany neck
  • Techwood fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: (/)
  • Techwood bridge
  • Acoustic Alvarez Set neck
  • 20 Medium frets
  • Chrome Die Cast tuners
  • Compare Specs >

Our Scores and Tone Evaluation

Playability 85
Sound 79
Build quality 60
Value for money 85
Overall Score 75
Tone Evaluation
  • Heavy Metal
  • Hard Rock
  • Jazz
  • Blues
  • Funk
  • Country
Strengths & Weaknesses
Alvarez RS26
  • Expensive Wood
  • Synthetic Bone Nut
  • Synthetic Bone Saddle
  • Cheap Fret Wire (NS)
  • No Locking Tuners
  • Made in China
  • No Top Brand Pickups
  • No Electronics
  • 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 $440, which means that the Alvarez RS26 is around 34% 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 RS26 meets 6 out of our 8 criteria items for beginner friendliness, which means that it's a good guitar to start with as a complete beginner. 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 RS26
  • Comfortable shape
  • Easy-to-use bridge
  • Tall frets
  • Narrow nut
  • Short scale
  • Comfortable neck
  • Comfortable fretboard
  • 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 RS26'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 RS26's 23.465" scale length compared to other common sizes:

Alvarez RS26 Scale Length Comparison
Alvarez RS26's scale length (at the top) compared to other popular sizes

This is a short scale guitar, which is great for new players. It will allow you to press down the strings without hurting your fingers so much, and makes it easier to reach difficult chords. However, this also means that you won't be able to lower the action too much.

Also, short scales give less space for the harmonics to breath, so this ends up making the tone of the guitar sound more 'bassy' than a loger scale where there's more separation between harmonics, which gives the tone more chime.

Neck Profile

Alvarez RS26 Neck Profile
Alvarez RS26'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 RS26 has a 14.96" fingerboard radius.

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

Alvarez RS26 Fretboard Radius Comparison with Fender Stratocaster and Gibson Les Paul
Alvarez RS26's fretboard radius compared to others

Compound radius fingerboards give the best of both worlds. Unfortunately, the Alvarez RS26 has the same radius across the board.

More with the same fretboard radius:

Playability compared to main competitors

Alvarez RS26
This model
23.465'' Scale Length
D Neck Profile
1.638'' 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
25.6'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.732'' Nut Width
15.748'' Fretboard Radius
23.9'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.693'' Nut Width
15.748'' Fretboard Radius

Nut Width

Alvarez RS26 Nut Width
Alvarez RS26 Nut Width

The Alvarez RS26 has a nut width of 41.6mm (1.638''). This is considered a narrow width for a 6-string guitar. This means that this guitar will have a narrower string separation at the nut, which will affect your fretting hand.

If you are a player with big hands, you might find it difficult to play chords without muting strings. However, this is good for players who have smaller hands, as it will allow them to reach each string more easily at the nut.

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 RS26 Fret Size Comparison
Alvarez RS26'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 RS26'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 90
Chord Playability 85
Solo Playability 80
Playability 85

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
Richlite wood pattern used for guitar building
Richlite 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 and Neck: 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.

Richlite Fretboard: It's very similar to Ebony, but it is much cheaper to make. The main reason is that it is made from resin-infused paper. It is very durable and soft, so it's often used for fretboards and tops.

More made with the same wood:

Pickups

This acoustic guitar doesn't come with preamp pickups, so you won't be able to connect it directly to an amplifier. Instead, you'll need to use an external microphone.

Sound Score

Sustain 65
Versatility 80
Tuning Stability 70
Sound 79

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 RS26 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

Techwood: 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 RS26 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 59
Features 65
Quality Control 55
Build Quality 60

All Specs

Alvarez RS26
General
Brand: Alvarez
Year: 2019
Configuration:
Strings: 6
Made in: China
Series: Regent
Colors: Natural
Left-Handed Version: No
Body
Type: Hollowbody
Body Material: Spruce
Bridge: Techwood
Neck
Neck Joint: Set
Tuners: Chrome Die Cast
Fretboard: Techwood
Neck Material: Mahogany
Decoration: White Dots
Scale Size: 23.465"
Shape: Acoustic Alvarez
Frets: 20 Medium
Fretboard Radius: 14.96"
Nut: Synthetic Bone
Nut Width: 41.6mm (1.638'')
Electronics
Switch: 0 Way
Knobs:
Volume Controls: 0
Tone Controls: 0
Bridge Pickup: ( / )

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